How to Interpret your Blood test Results

Understand what your blood tests results mean & prevent disease before it strikes

How to interpret your blood test results without a medical degree.

Blood tests, these pathology tests can be a highly valuable tool for assessing health and creating a treatment plan or a complete waste of time if you don’t know how to assess them correctly. I’m a big fan of looking at blood work, why, because our blood is super important, some describe it as the river of life, it contains lots of cells, nutrients, immune factors, salts, hormones and much much more!

The problem is, 9/10 blood tests results I see which have been deemed as ‘fine’ by a GP are really quite far from fine and its all to do with the reference ranges, in my opinion being inadequate! You see the problem is, these reference ranges are set based on the average results of the population, hhhmm there’s a few things wrong with that.

Firstly, unfortunately the average population isn’t all that healthy, which means we’re setting the standard pretty low to begin with and to make matters worse, the majority of the population are going to the doctor to get blood tests performed because they are unwell, again lowering the bar further.

We are so so so lucky to have access to some incredible advancements in medical science with a huge range of diagnostic tests available, but if we can’t interpret these to a standard that optimizes health, well we’re nowhere really!

So to prevent yourself from flying under the radar or falling through the cracks of the health system, I have created a quick easy to interpret guide which will help you identify when something is out of whack with your blood, which may not show up as an issue due to the inefficient reference ranges.

Understanding and implementation of the basic pathology results as applicable to healing the human body

Total Cholesterol – below 4 is actually not healthy, every single cell in your body requires cholesterol in its membrane structure as well cholesterol is used for synthesizing hormones, so too low is actually bad. If your total cholesterol is above 6, don’t panic! Cholesterol is useful, its only damaged, oxidized cholesterol due to smoking, high alcohol intake, high sugar intake and chronic stress that will damage the cholesterol, making it sticky and therefore more likely to deposit itself in arteries.

HDL or LDL Cholesterol – if these are too high, its a sign your liver is sluggish

Triglycerides – this should be 1 or below, if higher than 1, its an early sign of insulin resistance.

Fasting Blood Sugar – this needs to be approx 5. If its far lower its a sign of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if its above 5 its a sign your not metabolizing sugar out of your blood effectively which can indicate some insulin issues.

Random Blood Glucose – 9/10 this test will not identify anything – other than whether or not you have consumed sugar/carbohydrates in the last couple of hours.

Urea – if this is above 5, its an indication you are not metabolizing carbohydrates efficiently.

Elevated Liver Enzymes – indicates your liver is inflamed or you have a virus

Elevated Bilirubin – indicates your liver is sluggish

Total White blood count – when this is elevated it is a sign of infection somewhere within the body, when it is too low, less than 3, it is a sign the immune system can be struggling making you more susceptible to infection.

TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone This needs to come in at 2 or below, if it is higher than 2, its a sign your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally and your metabolism will be sluggish, affecting your ability to burn fat.

Thyroid Antibodies – if you have any amount of these antibodies, even less than 60, its a sign you are predisposed to am auto-immune process by which the body will attack the thyroid if the immune system and gut health become compromised. Thyroid antibodies are very close in structure to the gluten molecule so it is advisable that you avoid gluten if your body has already mounted an immune response to your thyroid as gluten will speed up this process resulting in thyroid problems.

Homocysteine – Less than 7, when homocysteine creeps up it is a sign you are deficient in the methylating nutrients – B6, Folate and B12

B12 (serum) – Closer to 800, the bar is simply set far far too low.

Serum Folate – can be a useless test, especially if you carry an MTHFR gene mutation which affects the bodies ability to utilize Folate within the red blood cell. Therefore circulating levels of serum (blood) Folate are useless if the DNA of the cell cannot access it. Always ask for Red Blood Cell Folate to be tested.

hsCRP – this is the most accurate inflammatory marker to test, it is more specific than the common CRP which is often requested, if you have an elevated CRP your system is severely inflamed, if you have hsCRP (high sensitive c reactive protein) tested instead you will pick up inflammation at a much earlier stage.

Vitamin D – This should be above 120

Ferritin – No more than 150, this is actually an inflammatory marker, when this is too high it is actually a sign the liver is inflamed.

More detailed reports including how to treat or correct any incorrect results, can be can be found as apart of the Well 4 Life Online health and education programs. 

So just remember, having a blood test done can provide you with a lot of important information about the health status of the body, being able to interpret it from a holistic, whole body perspective and gauge what elements of the body has the potential to fall out of line is far more valuable than simply identifying disease once it has already manifested. It is our job as individuals to take back our power and take responsibility for disease prevention and not merely expect our doctor to solve all  our health problems once we have neglected the body through poor nutrition and leading a toxic lifestyle. Make disease prevention top of your to do list by flooding the body with healthy raw, wholefoods, drinking lots of pure filtered water and embarking on activities which help to cleanse and detox and support the liver in its ever growing role of facilitating the removal of toxins from the body.

Live Your Best Life,

Written by Stacey Foat, Naturopath, Nutritionist

The Healthy Living Expert