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What Does Your Blood Say About Your Health?

Blood test, blood samples on a laboratory formDid you know that your blood is a cornucopia of information?  When I go for my annual medical check-up I get the usual "routine" blood tests done.  Those tests tell your doctor what your results are for cholesterol level, blood sugar reading, iron level, platelet count, etc.  I am routinely within "acceptable" limits for all those readings and, so, feel there's not much for concern. However, one of the other readings that's not routinely tested for, but was done for a recent test, is "c-reactive protein" or CRP.  An increase of this in your blood is an indicator that there is some inflammation in your body.

Acceptable limits are indicated as "<3".  I had all this in mind when the recent test indicated that my CRP was well above that acceptable level. I did some research (yes, I Googled it) and found that it's considered a "non-specific marker" for disease. In other words, it can signal flare-ups of numerous inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and vasculitis. But, it may also suggest a chronic low-level internal inflammation that, over time, could lead to many serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, some forms of cancer, and/or neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Inflammation in the body can be caused by many different factors some of which may include food and environmental sensitivities or allergies, high stress in your life (and this includes exercise), the increase or overabundance of Candida in your body and body injuries (broken bones, sprains, surgery, cuts, etc).  But these are not the only determining factors to internal inflammation!

But if I hadn't had a "baseline" for my various levels, including my c reactive protein, then how would I know if my body was not working at its optimal level?  There are indicators that show what is "acceptable" or not and the lab will red flag anything that needs to be further looked into, but what if your CRP is normally at 1 and now it's 2.5?  That indicates something is going on, but it's still within the "acceptable range" and so wouldn't be red flagged.  (As a matter of reference, I had to ask what my CRP levels were and even though it was red flagged it didn't seem that important to this specialist.)

I seriously recommend that everyone must find out their "baselines" in their numbers.  So, when you go for an annual checkup, don't just let them take the basics, ask for a full chemistry of your blood including the c-reactive protein levels.  When you have aches and pains, or are feeling run down, another blood test may help you, and your GP, determine what you need to help you maintain your health.  They can then work toward combating the problem rather than masking and treating a symptom.  For me, it was a swelling of certain joints (with no known injury) that had me get the blood work done.

Many years ago when I went to my GP, I had an anomaly with the results in my blood (seems to be a trend with me) and my very smart GP could not figure it out.  I went for Ultrasounds, scans and further tests which resulted in me having to be subjected to blood tests every 3 weeks for a period of several months.  He suggested he didn't know what was going on and at that time highly recommended I go see a Naturopathic Doctor.  I knew that naturopathic doctors were expensive (those tests and appointments weren't covered under my extended medical plan), so I didn't bother seeing one.  I thought with ongoing tests and following up with my GP that we had it under control.  After all, I felt great!  While I was doing the rigorous testing with follow ups, I was training for my second marathon and even though I had registered for the event and was training, I had to promise my GP that I would NOT run the marathon if my blood gave the same "wild and crazy" results.  They didn't and I did my marathon and felt awesome before, during and after!  But, having the blood work done was still showing this very serious anomaly, it just wasn't as dire.

Live Blood AnalysisI did eventually acknowledge that it was more important to be healthy and I knew my body was trying to tell me something.  This something wasn't being very clear to my GP, so I went to see a Naturopath.  Among the tests this naturopath did was a "live blood analysis".  It was not only very interesting to see my live blood showing the health of my red and white blood cells but also what other "stuff" was going on.  Again, it's all about the blood.  It shows what is going on with one's body!

That was over 12 years ago and I still go in to see my naturopath whenever my blood shows something is up in my body.  Over the years I've been shown over and over again how using a combination of Western and Eastern medicine modalities gives you a clearer, more overall, picture of your health.

I've had some serious repercussions with high inflammation levels in my body over the years.  The Western side of medicine has always been stumped and confused.  Seeing my naturopathic doctor helps me combat this inflammation quickly so that I may continue to do what I love to do - live life to its fullest and help others to do so too!

The moral of the story is - get "baselines" for where your body is at now.  This can usually be done through your GP and specifically ask for the C Reactive Protein levels so that you may know whether or not you have high inflammation in your body.  And, don't be afraid to try different approaches (like a naturopathic doctor) to get a more complete picture of your health.  Trust me, for those times you need help to stay healthy and active, it's extremely important to have as much info on your blood (and from your blood) as you can.  Ridding the body of high inflammation (aka acidic environment) can cure so many other ailments that it would require another blog to discuss.

Loreli With a WeightLoreli's company, Alter Ego Fitness Experience, offers Personal Training, Group Fitness (boot camp) and YogaFit training options. Her passion for overall health and wellness, and her innate ability to sense a client’s personal struggles, enables her to assist them to get to their next level and to, ultimately, find their “alter ego”!

"Overall health and fitness is a journey, not a destination!"

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