As we continue on a patients journey from fatigued to energized, we review the labs that were gathered and become your fatigue detective.
Fatigue can come from many sources
The most common sources that we can evaluate via lab tests, and those that I talk about in my upcoming book, The Supercharged Method, are:
Blood sugar imbalance
Oxygen transport issues or anemias
Blood Sugar Balance
When evaluating blood sugar balance, I don’t just look at a fasting glucose, which is the most widely run test, to determine if you are on your way to diabetes. I also run a marker called hemoglobin A1c that can evaluate blood sugar levels over the last 3 months and insulin that can be an indicator of blood sugar issues before glucose goes out of range. We also evaluate insulin, the fat storage hormone. Highs and lows of insulin can cause fatigue.
Thyroid evaluation is trickier. In my book I go into much more detail but for the purpose of this post I will keep it to the list of markers I run for thyroid function and the ones that are most important (and most rarely run).
TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, TPO and TgAb.
I know it looks like a really long list. Especially when the only markers that are run to evaluate thyroid are often TSH and T4, that’s it. There is much more to making the hormones that give you energy and help you lose weight than just TSH and T4. The most overlooked ones are the last two, TPO and TgAb. These are tests that tell us if your immune system is going to war on your thyroid gland. A symptom of this is fatigue. Wouldn’t you think it’s important to know that. It is and that’s why we run it.
Oxygen Availability and Transport
Most doctors will run a panel yearly to evaluate your oxygen transport by only evaluating iron. What is typically missed is B vitamins and stored iron, called ferritin, which is vitally important to evaluate your iron levels. Especially if you are told there is nothing wrong with you but you can’t make it through your work day because you are so tired.
The last group is not a blood test but a saliva test and it takes a specialized lab to run it. This test evaluates cortisol levels. Cortisol is made in your adrenal glands. It is your fight or flight hormone that, when out of range, indicates that stress has taken it’s hold on you making you tired, unfocused and foggy-headed.
This may have made your head spin but running these tests allows me to be thorough when caring for you.
Here’s to you!