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How Can I Get Healthy in 2012?

Are you feeling your best? Do you suffer from chronic aches or pain, depression, chronic fatigue, or digestive problems?  Are you overweight, have trouble sleeping or getting motivated on a daily basis? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions or you’re just looking to start the New Year off  on a healthy note – maybe it’s time you really made your health a priority. Remember the saying, “Ain’t nobody happy if Mama ain’t happy?” If you’re a woman – you probably put everyone else’s needs first.  I may be the poster child for this one – but I have gotten better.  Resolve to be the best you can be in 2012 – then you can be the best for everyone else! So what does that look like? Where do you start? …Get a physical! But don’t settle for the standard physical – there are other tests you should consider.

If you have insurance and an annual physical is covered – get one!  Here’s what you’ll want, but the tests may very from clinic to clinic:

Get a Chemistry panel and Complete Blood Count like this one  offered by Life Extension. The chemistry panel is also known as a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) and it tells the doctor the status of your kidneys, electrolytes, blood sugar and pH levels (acid/base balance) of your blood. In addition to measuring your white (WBC) and red (RBC) blood cells and your platelets, the CBC will also provide  hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and a lipid panel which measures your cholesterol levels.

Besides the standard blood tests here are several tests YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY REQUEST – you may need to pay for them, but the money will be well spent – they’re essential to restoring and maintaining your health.

  • C-reactive protein test or CRP – this measures inflammation in your body and if you’ve been following us on Facebook or our blog, you know inflammation is the source of many health conditions.
  • Get your vitamin D levels checked – you don’t want to be deficient in vitamin D3 and 90% of the population is – especially if you live north of the equator. As you learned in our  most recent Vitamin D blog maintaining optimum vitamin D levels has a significant impact on your overall health. You want to ask for the 25-hydroxy vitamin test. You should get your levels checked every year at minimum.
  • Get a thyroid panel done. This test measures your thyroid hormone levels (TSH, T3, T4) You want to be sure your thyroid is working properly and even if your results come back in the normal range, you may still have thyroid issues.

Okay, that takes care of your physical with the mainstream doc, now let’s look at some other tests you should consider. If you had all the standard blood-work and they told you your results are  “normal” – but you still feel lousy, you may want the tests listed below, but first, here are a few things to remember about standard lab results:

1) They often adjust the normal range to get more patients on Rx drugs.  Case in point – cholesterol levels. The so-called normal range has gotten lower and lower over the years forcing more people to be placed on statin drugs. Now they’re putting children on statins, instead of addressing the horrendous problems with the Standard American Diet (SAD).

2) Just because your lab results fall in the normal range  doesn’t mean that’s the optimal level or normal for you. Everyone’s biological makeup is different.  Listen to your body, if you feel lousy – there’s probably a reason for it, but your doc and your test results aren’t getting to the bottom of it. Consider the following tests to dig deeper:

  • Get tested for adrenal fatigue – or sub-clinical hypoadrenia. This was recognized as a distinct syndrome earlier in the 20th century, but you can barely find a mainstream doc to recognize it now. There are a variety of tests for adrenal fatigue, but the most common is saliva testing. Your adrenals play a significant role in your overall health and they secrete more than 50 key hormones like cortisol (stress hormone), DHEA, progesterone & testosterone to name a few. Maintaining balance in your cortisol levels is critical to proper immune health. You don’t need a prescription for this test, but you should work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to  address this problem. You can learn more on adrenal fatigue by going to Dr. James Wilson’s website at www.adrenalfatigue.org or purchase his book on our website.
  • Get tested for heavy metals. This is a very common problem and heavy metal toxicity can interfere with many bodily functions. It can wreak havoc on your thyroid, for one thing. If you have amalgam fillings, you have a problem with heavy metal toxicity. The mercury in your fillings leeches into your system. See the Campaign for Mercury Free Dentistry for more info on this one. We are all exposed to mercury, aluminum and many other toxic metals on a daily basis. This could be the source of  some of your ongoing health problems.
  • Food allergies and sensitivities can also make you feel lousy. Seek out a qualified healthcare practioner who understands how allergies/food sensitivities interfere with your health. Testing for this is usually a blood test and the test known as ELISA(enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay) is one to get. Two others are delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction tests (DTH) and activated cell tests (ACT). Some  labs combine these tests. Unless you can convince your MD to order these tests, you will likely pay out of pocket.
  • Get to a chiropractor – if your spine isn’t in alignment it can interfere with the rest of your bodily functions.  Sometimes the most simple adjustment can alleviate a plethora of symptoms!
You can do many things to attempt to get well in the New Year, but getting to the root cause is fundamental. In fact, if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue and you think exercising is best for you, think again. Until you can get your adrenals healthy first, you may do more harm than good. You may also be saying to yourself, “But these tests are too expensive.” When my family members say that, I tell them, “It’s cheaper than cancer or diabetes, or some other autoimmune disease!”
Five years ago I decided my health was worth whatever I had to pay to get well – it may have saved my life. You’re worth it, too.  Happy New You….now go schedule that physical!

+Mary Bloomer is an advocate for natural health and wellness and writes regularly for Natural Healthy Concepts. Visit the site today to browse a wide selection of herbal nutrition supplements, homeopathic medicine and natural skin care!