I cannot count the number of times a new patient has told me either (a) they have never had blood work run or (b) it has been 10+ years since they last had blood work done. The reasons for the gaps are all over the map - they may not trust healthcare providers due to past experiences, they may not have had access due to financial reasons, they may have grown up in a family who avoided mainstream medicine. Whatever the reason is, I try to approach the issue gingerly. Many people I see have needle phobia or, as previously mentioned, had adverse or negative experiences with medicine in the past and I don't want to worsen that.
Running labs gives us a tremendously valuable peek inside of the body which can sometimes let us get on top of issues before they become worse. Sometimes when symptoms show up, as in the case of iron deficiency anemia for example, the condition is so severe it makes it more difficult to treat. As a bonus, when I run labs for my patients I have a different perspective on what "normal" is vs what the lab considers normal. In many cases, my "normal" might be much narrower than what the lab considers normal. This is extremely important when it comes to helping my patients reach optimal levels of health and well being.
I always emphasize the importance of data when it comes to seeing my patients - it makes it easier to determine what needs help and easier to track their progress. The easiest way to collect that data is through a blood draw. Keep in mind, there are some needle-free options for lab work, but most folks do require a poke here and there.
I recommend basic panels get drawn at least every 2 years. Is that too frequent? No, I don't believe so because our labs can change quickly depending on many factors including stress levels, exercises, what we're eating, age and stage, and more! When patients come to me - something has changed and labs are a great way to see what might be going on below the surface.
What are basic panels? In my practice, those panels include these:
If you'd like to learn more, send me an email or call to schedule a free 15 minute discovery call with me. I can't wait to talk with you! -Dr. Katie