Have you ever been told your bloodwork is ‘normal’, but you still don’t feel good? Or, you know something isn’t right?
There is a difference between clinical laboratory ranges (reference ranges) and functional ranges. Typically, reference ranges are used to diagnose ‘disease’. Functional ranges are used to assess risk for disease, before it develops. In the example above, the lab reference ranges for WBC is 3.4-10.8 and this patient’s result is 3.3. Yes, that is low, but I know from my functional training, anything below 5 indicates chronic infection. Of course, this is clinically correlated, in terms of the patient’s health history, etc.
Also, RDW (red blood cell distribution width) is one of the best markers to assess Vitamin B12. As noted above, the reference ranges for RDW is 12.3-15.4 and the patient’s result is 13.6. Technically, this is within the lab reference ranges, but I know anything above 13 can indicate B12 deficiency.
My goal is for each patient to understand the ‘why’ behind my decisions and recommendations. It is very empowering to take control and ‘own’ your health!