Friday, December 15, 2017

Functional Interpretation of Blood Test Results

Traditional diagnostic testing

Most of us are using the conventional laboratory reference ranges for our blood chemistry and CBC interpretation. For many practitioners blood chemistry and CBC analysis is a matter of comparing a test result with the conventional laboratory reference range, seeing whether or not the patient’s results are normal or abnormal and attempting to fit them into a particular disease pattern or pathology. Unfortunately these conventional laboratory ranges are designed to identify and diagnose disease states and pathology. People who fall within the reference range are assumed to have no clinical signs and symptoms of any disease, and are considered “normal”.

Alternative, diagnostic testing methods

In the field of alternative and preventative medicine we know that most of our patients are by no means “normal”, so why do we use an interpretive method that is based on that assumption? I want to suggest another method of analysis from the Functional Diagnostic Medicine perspective, a method that looks at a patient's blood chemistry from a functional or prognostic perspective. If we do this we can gather data on how the physiology of body is functioning. By looking for optimum function we increase our ability to detect the dysfunctions that plague our patients long before disease manifests. Our conventional lab testing becomes more comprehensive by being prognostic and preventative, as well as pathology oriented.

A major focus of our Functional Medicine work is to look at blood chemistry and CBC testing from this functional perspective. We use different ranges, which we call optimal ranges, for each test on a regular blood chemistry and CBC or hematology screen. In addition to the US units of measurement we also look at tests that use the Standard International units used by physicians in the rest of the world.

Alternative blood chemistry and CBC analysis has been around for many years with many researchers and clinicians contributing their particular talents to this growing field. We have been using this particular method of analysis for the last 6 years, and over that time we have refined our diagnostic criteria into the system that it is today.

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