Dear Friends and Patients,
It’s been a long and crazy spring this year! Who knew 2020 would turn out to be such a surprise? Hope each and every one of you and your loved ones are staying safe, healthy, and happy, despite all the changes and challenges we are facing in the world. Hopefully with each passing day, things will start returning to normal.
Today I wanted to write about one of my favorite parts of my job — reviewing labs! As an internist and integrative/functional medicine specialist, I’m passionate about seeing the objective data on patients’ health. The beautiful thing about my practice, is I get to see lab values improve so significantly over the course of months! As people eat better, exercise more, take the right supplements, and take better care of themselves, we see radical changes in their bloodwork. This is PROACTIVE AND PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE.
Why wait until your health falls apart? Find out now what is gong on with your body and fix it! Test, don’t guess! That is my philosophy and I take great joy in helping people feel amazing; with their lab values showing in black and white their exact progress.
Checking a thorough and comprehensive lab is one of the ways we can objectively find out how your body is doing in terms of nutrients (iron, vitamin D, B vitamins), hormones, thyroid function, metabolic function, and inflammation, and autoimmune disease.
I also wanted to share some tips on HOW BEST TO PREPARE FOR YOUR LABS.
1) If we are checking insulin or lipid panel, please be fasting for a full 12 hours, but you can drink water. So if you are going to the lab at 8 AM, please do not eat after 8 PM the night before.
2) For patients on thyroid medication, if your medication is T4/T3 compounded, desiccated thyroid (Armour, etc), or if you are on any T3 medication (Cytomel or liothyronine), please skip the medication on the morning of the labs (you can take it after your blood is drawn). The T3 component present in these medications can falsely raise the T3 value on the labs since it has a shorter half life compared to T4. For those on levothyroxine or Synthroid (only T4) it does not matter if you take or skip your medication.
3) For patients on hormone replacement (men or woman), please use/ apply your hormones the morning of the labs or night before as you would usually do, so we can see your blood levels.
4) For patients on pregnenolone or DHEA supplement, or prescription pregnenolone/ DHEA, please take the morning of the labs (even if fasting if possible) so we can measure your level and see if your dose is appropriate.
5) For patients on Biotin supplements (anything over 1000 mcg or 1 mg (this is found in most hair-nail supplements), please hold your Biotin for 3 days prior to labs since it can affect the thyroid tests.
If you are not sure, please contact us and I am happy to provide exact instructions specific to your lab order.
The good news is Quest diagnostics and Labcorp are doing an exceptional job in prioritizing patient safety during this time. Patients are taken back one at at time and they fully sanitize between patients. This has allowed my patients to keep up with routine bloodwork to prepare for their appointments.
The COVID IgG test is now available. This is to test for prior exposure and immunity to the virus (not for active infection). If you are interested in being tested for this, please discuss with me at your upcoming visit and I can order it for you.
Cheers to prioritizing health and feeling amazing for the rest of 2020. Let’s check your labs and see how we can improve them!
Rajsree Nambudripad, MD