Many patients have had this experience and maybe it sounds re-assuring to have great blood test results but it still does not answer the patient’s question as to why they do not feel well.
First of all, understand which blood tests were run and what they indicate.
Second, understand the limitations of a blood test.
Third, I interpret many blood test parameters “within normal range” as problem indicators.
#1. Which tests were run. Let’s take thyroid testing as an example because it is looked at when people complain of fatigue. Most often the TSH, “thyroid stimulating hormone” is run as a screening for hypothyroid or hyperthyroid conditions. They are told it is “fine”.
What was not run to complete the picture were individual hormone levels of free T3 , free T4 and a reverse T3 which indicates adrenal fatigue.
#2. The limitations of the TSH test for thyroid health : TSH is a hormone produced in the posterior pituitary gland in the brain, according to adequate circulating levels of thyroid hormone. If thyroid hormone levels are subnormal TSH sends a message to the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone. See #1 and #3. TSH alone is not enough to reveal thyroid function.
#3. There are differing opinions on what a normal level should be for a TSH, some allow it to be 0 and not call it hyperthyroid. The upper limit was lowered years ago to 2.5 but labs still do not print that as the upper limit leaving many in the hypothyroid category but ignored.
Arguments will persist regarding thyroid testing. Here are some reasons all testing for thyroid is unfortunately not representative of thyroid function. Turn first to the work of Dr. Brody: “Sub-clinical hypothyroidism” wherein he learned that patients had “normal” thyroid blood tests but still had all or some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism: cold, constipated, fatigued, depressed, weight gain or inability to lose weight, hair loss maybe and dry skin. When treated with thyroid hormone the symptoms improved.
He analyzed their thyroid function via the basal body temperature, finding that all of those patients with normal thyroid tests but still with thyroid symptoms had a BBT of less than 98.6 degrees calling less than 97.8 hypothyroid.
The thyroid hormone stimulates each cell. Each cell requires an adequate basal temperature to activate enzymes. Imagine millions of cells not producing your ATP, (energy units), or cells not producing needed other hormones. You feel like you are operating on 3 cylinders, and you are. In addition waste builds up as cells can’t metabolize adequately. Clogged up.
Another phenomenon revealed as we have learned over the last two decades about chemicals and heavy metals in the body, are the molecules of mercury, lead or arsenic, PCBs, perchlorate, fluorine, chlorine and bromine, herbicide chemicals DDT, DDE, -banned in US but still circulates in those who are my age and older, and phthalates will effect thyroid releasing hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone as well as block receptor sites for receiving T3 our active thyroid hormone.
Another phenom of these foreign chemicals is the kicking off of an autoimmune process. As the body realizes the mercury for example does not belong there, it cannot be identified to tag and excrete. The thyroid tissue or hormone that it is attached to can be identified by the body and is tagged- antibodies are then produced to get rid of it. This can happen to the gland’s tissue or the hormones, ultimately creating autoimmune thyroiditis most often “Hashimoto’s Disease”. The cure, is to detoxify (eliminate) the metals and chemicals from the body.
Fluoride used in dentistry for decades as well as in US water systems, blocks thyroid hormone.
Doctor Rau, MD of Switzerland noted that the USA has a phenomenal amount of Hashimoto’s thyroid disease. I see this too. Everyone with sub-normal basal temperatures and or thyroid symptoms could be screened for antibodies to thyroid hormone and gland.
Other limitations of the blood test, can be seen with liver enzymes for a second example. Four enzymes are usually tested, let’s look at AST and ALT, say the range is 15-45 and 15-50 or there about.
First we must understand that this is a test that represents cells that have died in the liver and released their contents or cells being damaged. If you have Hepatitis C, or severe alcoholism, or a cancer in the liver, these numbers go very high. So what does normal mean? Does it mean your liver is in fine health? The answer is no. So much can be a problem in the liver on a physiologic level before you see elevated liver function tests.
There could be a deletion in an enzyme that helps you detoxify chemicals, which causes your body to accumulate them more easily and become tired or develop a cancer. There can be lack of proper nutrition to help the liver to its daily jobs, there can also be stressors to the liver slowing it down but not being in the disease category. Typical stressors : heavy meals, alcohol, excess caffeine, excess eating excess spicy foods, especially excess or non-nutritive fats. Medications are largely metabolized by the liver adding to its natural list of jobs, so the more medications one takes the huger the burden to the liver, some drugs being outright toxic to the liver cells like Methotrexate. etc.
Of course the illogical irony of the statin drugs are that they can damage liver function the very organ that is responsible for metabolizing and packaging up the fatty acids into storage molecules named LDL.
These are just two important functional parts of our body that can be affected but not show up on the blood test, and be a part of your fatigue or feeling lousy.