I am generally interested in getting some blood tests done this month (January 2012) and then again in six months, and then January 2013. I have only been eating Paleo for three months and so would like to get them done now so I can see the changes (if any) over the next year.
In terms of which to get done, there are loads of posts already about this. What I would like to know is how many of you have had blood tests and afterwards made specific changes to your Paleo diet?
This question, namely "Would I?" has been on my mind lately. I expect to have a physical in February or March. One benchmark will show improvement since I'm a lot lighter and much of the fat came off my waist.
If my results are different from the past--this would have to be in a bad direction, because they were always fine before--I'll have to consider whether I should delete the full-fat yogurt and bit of heavy cream. I'm allowing myself that as a natural source of calcium/vit D and in the past I had low cholesterol with high HDL.
If blood results are still good, no changes anticipated.
The only test that means anything to me is the Vitamin D --25 (OH)D test.
And even now, I am thinking of dropping it and simply relying on how I feel. If my D level drops too low, my asthma kicks in, so I have a built-in "sensor", lol!
I've gotten so much more sensitive to my body since going Primal, so how I feel is a better gauge than it used to be about my overall health.
Appearance of Xanthelasma under my right eye in October 2011 made me decide to get a lipid test. (Previously I had vowed to never bother to take a test again as I had felt so good eating primal since 2008)
TC Sept 2007: 220. TC Nov 2011: 530. (Quite scarily off to the right of O Primitivos all causes graph)
I have made some very minor changes to my diet. Next test in Feb.
I have been tweaking my diet to see if I can get my LDLs to a place where my doc doesn't stress. My HDLs and triglycerides are in a great place (as are the ratios), but by virtue of what is commonly discussed here (calculated LDLs being less useful when triglycerides are low) my LDLs are higher than my doc would like. Despite the whole "dietary cholesterol is unrelated to serum cholesterol" I've been experimenting to see if I can find a sweet spot.
What I've been more concerned about is my fasting insulin level. Changing diet did help, but it has not brought me to a normal range, nor has adding in weight training. This suggests to me that Stephan Guyenet is likely right that fasting insulin is mostly related to the amount of excess adipose tissue. So I'll revisit after I've dropped some more weight. Alas, I suspect I'm unlikely to get to the levels he thinks is healthy.
Due to total testosterone figures near the low end of guidance (although improving) I'm getting it tested for free test next time around. In the meantime, doing my best to improve test.
My thyroid might be hypo(ish), so that's another change I'm making in my diet to see if TSH improves before starting to make any other changes.
D-vitamin levels were ok and improving, confirming my supplementation is effective.
So if you're asking whether blood tests are worth the money, most likely they are. Even if you feel fine, they can confirm that you are, indeed, fine.
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