“Why do I need so many lab test at BioBalance Health?” Dr. Maupin answers this question and more.
Q: Why do I need so many tests to replace my testosterone and or estradiol with pellets?
We order these tests for three purposes: We test your general health, kidneys liver and lipids as well as your level of inflammation, and your blood counts. These particular group of tests tell me how healthy you are, what undiagnosed problems you may or may not have, and some of the problems in your health that testosterone will improve. The second group of tests (Hormone Group) is to evaluate every hormone in your body, because they all work together, and to determine if you need replacement of testosterone, estradiol, thyroid or other hormones. The hormone group also assists us in determining your dosage of T and E2 pellets.
The last group of tests are those that test to see if you might have problems taking testosterone or estradiol, so that we do not misdiagnose you or treat you incorrectly. The help us to do no harm with your treatment.
Q: How Often are my labs drawn?
We ask that you get a panel of lab tests before your first visit, before your second visit and once a year. If you have other medical problems that we are treating, we may intermittently order tests to manage these other problems.
Q: Why are your “optimal blood test ranges” different from the labs reference range?
3 kinds of Tests: Health tests, Hormone tests, and Risk preventive tests.
Health tests are the same in general as Labcorp and Quest, except for Insulin fasting levels—We have updated them with the most recent research, but the labs have not.
Hormone tests: At least one hormone test is taken to test each gland in your body. Hormone tests are a little tricky because the lab “reference ranges” are not obtained from the hormone levels of young healthy patients between 20-40 years of age of the same sex as hormone levels have traditionally been determined, but in the past 15 years the labs have used the levels obtained from the “sick” patients who have their blood drawn for any reason by that lab and they don’t represent the optimal blood levels that are the goals of our hormone replacement treatment.
The hormones we replace or stimulate to young healthy levels generally start becoming deficient at age 40-50. Comparing our patients to old and sick patients who generally go to the lab for tests, is not a test of health, but a test to see if that patient is on the average as sick as other people their age, which asks the question, Is the patient tested as sick as other folks their own age?We don’t consider that comparison a test of health! Testosterone, estradiol, thyroid and growth hormones fall drastically as patients age and their health decreases as their hormones drop.
For hormone tests we interpret them based on your circumstances and compare your numbers to those of healthy young adults 20-40 because hormone levels not only decrease with age, but compared to young healthy people of the same sex, their blood levels parallel their symptomology and incidence of the diseases of aging.
It is true that traditional health care compares an individual to the group of people getting blood drawn, but the doctors don’t even know it.. they still think the labs are devising their reference ranges from asymptomatic people who are young and healthy. We had to repetitively ask the largest labs in the US Quest and Labcorp how they got their normal and why they were progressively lower levels each advancing year. It is because when comparing an individual to a random group of Americans who are getting tested because they are sick, the blood level average is dropping as Americans get fatter, more sedentary, stressed and have more and more diabetes and heart disease.
We don’t want our patients to be sick or be average for the “sick, obese and diabetic American” we want them to be in the reference range of healthy, young Americans without symptoms or presence of disease. For an example the clothing industry has changed the measurements that indicate a certain size of women’s dresses as the average American has gotten fatter. If you wore a size 4 dress when you were 25, your waist measurement in the 70s was 24 inches. In 2021 a size 4 waist measurement on a dress is now between 26-32 inches. They have made the average size 4 bigger and bigger to reflect the fattening of Americans because wearing a smaller size makes us feel good!
The labs have taken the cheaper route which is use the statistics you have in your hands—the results from patients whose insurance pays for their blood tests—to make a bell curve and create an average reference range which really means nothing but that if you are in that range, you are probably as sick as your neighbor. In contrast we use the ranges that are used in hormone and medical research that have not changed in the last 50 years. We don’t want you to “feel good “about your lab tests if they are not reflecting health!
Risk Prevention Tests are tests that make sure we are treating the right illness, menopause, low T in women and men or a more serious illness, eg we test a prolactin level (the first pituitary hormone that increases from a pituitary tumor) to make sure we are really treating estradiol or testosterone deficiency, and not a pituitary tumor. If the Prolactin is high (more than 60) a micro-adenoma of the pituitary may be present and you need an Endocrinologist or a Neurosurgeon to diagnose and treat it, not post-menopausal hormones from BioBalance Health! We also check for several genetic diseases that requires special management by us to keep testosterone replacement safe, including Hemochromatosis, Erythrocytosis, and High Homocysteine which can cause stroke or heart attacks. Our goal of improving your health and decreasing your risk of disease means that we find and treat all the diseases that can occur with aging or that are made more severe with testosterone.
On the first blood draw, we test for your blood type to help us advise our patients on the most appropriate diet for their genetic make-up.
At BioBalance Health® we order blood tests to direct our management and preventive medicine recommendations. We advise you to use your insurance to pay for your blood tests and offer you the discount the lab offers us, if you do not have insurance or have high deductibles. We do not use laboratory as a profit center, but as necessary medical information needed to guide us in our treatment plans.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com (314) 993-0963
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