Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Take Control of Your Health: Order Your Own Blood Work

For those of you who are new to this saga, here's the quick recap: Henry was struggling with self-regulation. We took him to therapy (and still do), had him tested by a neuro-behavioralist, had food sensitivity testing done (he should steer clear of gluten), and had a genetic test done by a child psychiatrist. His genetic testing reveals that he has MTHFR issues and his body doesn't process folic acid the way it's supposed to, which means he doesn't produce dopamine and serotonin the way he is supposed to (which means he can only self-regulate about 70% of the time). 

And since it's genetic, it means I have issues, too! MTHFR is connected to anxiety, depression, addiction, thyroid issues, and heart issues. So I had a 23andme report done and took it to the functional medicine doctor to have her decipher it. The functional medicine doctor wants me to make dietary changes and start on certain supplements, but I want to have baseline blood work done first so I can make sure that the changes she is recommending are really necessary. 

I tried to have blood work done back at my regular doctor's office, but she didn't think many of the tests were necessary. I didn't want to have them done through the functional medicine doctor because I worried they would be more expensive. 

So I discovered that you can order relatively inexpensive labs from the internet! I know it sounds crazy, but I tried it, had a great experience, and can now recommend it. 

I used Direct Labs to order a bunch of things that my functional medicine doctor wanted to see. For the celiac panel, the test kit was mailed to my house, I did a finger prick collect, and sent the sample back to the lab. For the other tests, I printed a requisition off the internet and then took it to my nearest Quest Diagnostic (which happened to be in a grocery store). Then the results show up in my dashboard online. 

It's such an easy and empowering system, although I am a bit freaked out. One of the tests (CRP-hs) shows that I have elevated levels and am at increased risk for cardiac issues (which is definitely connected to MTHFR). I'm not going to let my hypochondriac brain get too out of control; I'll let you know what the functional medicine doctor says as soon as I hear!

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