Are Your Lab Results Really Accurate?

Your primary care physician orders certain lab work to test things like your vitamin D, cholesterol, and glucose levels. Most of the time when we receive our lab test results, we are told that our lab results are “within the normal range”. However, what I discovered this year from my chiropractor at Adams Avenue Integrative Health is that even if you are within the normal range, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your body is at it’s optimal level of functioning. If you want to make sure you are in extremely good health, it is best to take a closer look at your lab results.

Lab Result Example

Let’s look at my glucose level. According to the lab, a normal range for glucose level is 65-99. My result was 92.0 and therefore it is “within the normal range”. Most people wouldn’t think twice about it and I didn’t either.

The Bell Curve

However, when I brought my lab results to my chiropractor, he had a different interpretation of my results. He explained it by drawing a bell curve. Regular lab result ranges use the middle, wider part of the bell curve, which would be 95% of the population, and they call that the normal range. That would mean 95% of the population is healthy. Really? Come on, we all know that is not true. Now if you are on the very bottom ends of the bell curve, whether low or high, then that usually would be where they would say you are in a dangerous area, where potentially you could develop or have a disease. So according to the bell curve, that bottom ends would make up about 5% of the population. So basically to them it’s either normal (95% of the population) or abnormal (5% of the population).

Optimal Level

Well, what if we don’t want to settle for just “within the wide normal range” and we want to make sure that our bodies are at the optimal level? As my chiropractor explained it, the optimal level would be at the top end of the bell curve, so therefore it is a much narrower range, and would be more like 70% of the population, which definitely seems more accurate. In using the glucose example, the optimal level, according to his program, would be 75-89, therefore showing that my glucose level is actually high. This is a much better way to review your lab results because you have more of an opportunity to actually prevent a disease from starting in the first place. The way our current lab system works, they are waiting until you are in the possible disease range, to then suggest treatment options to get you out of that dangerous range. I don’t know about you, but I would rather know ahead of time if I’m heading towards that abnormal area so I can make the adjustments I need to make now and hopefully avoid it from getting worse. My chiropractor, for example, asked me about my eating habits and found out that I don’t eat breakfast regularly and I don’t have snacks when I need them, especially when I am starting to feel tired during the day, which of course affects my glucose levels. Having him show me the optimal range and how my results compared to it, is what jumpstarted me into making some changes in my eating habits. If I had gone by the regular lab results, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

The Trick

In using the regular lab result ranges, if your results are closer to the lower or higher ends of the range, it is an area worth looking into further. You shouldn’t just accept the answer that you are “within the normal range”. You want to be in the optimal range. So ask your doctor what treatment options he or she would suggest so that you can be closer to the middle end of the range, which should be everyone’s goal. If your doctor brushes it off and says you are fine, try to ask an alternative specialist that can give you some suggestions such as an acupuncturist, nutritionist, chiropractor, or homeopathic doctor. If all else fails, researching on the internet the specific level that you want to increase or decrease can also give you some options.

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.” ~Jim Rohn


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