We’ve all experienced it before – we don’t feel well and go to our GP to get checked out. The GP decides to do some blood tests and then tells you “you are fine”, everything in the blood tests came back normal! How can that be? How can I be medically healthy but have all these symptoms?
The answer is there is an important difference between blood levels that are in the optimal range versus those that are in the ‘normal’ medical range.
What is the normal reference range for blood test results?
Before we dive in deeper, let’s understand how the normal reference range came about.
When you go for any blood test, there is a bracket of numbers on the side of the results. This reference range suggests where 95% of a healthy population fits into. Each laboratory has a slightly different range due to the equipment and method they use to analysis the results.
Some biomarkers have a broad range between upper and lower limit. For example, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) has a normal reference range between 0.50-4.00 mIU/L. You will be considered normal as long as your level falls within that range. However in clinic we often see patients complaining of textbook symptoms of thyroid dysfunction when they are at the high or low end of the reference. And because they are considered ‘healthy’, patients are not able to receive the necessary medical support they need.
What is the optimal reference range for blood test results?
What does optimal reference range mean? An optimal range is a much narrower range than the normal reference range. It is often associated with better health. Within the optimal range, the body is able to function properly without any symptoms.
Functional and natural medicine practitioners who look at patients with a more holistic view use the optimal reference range rather than the normal reference range. This means that even if your blood tests came back “normal” there is still room for improvement and treatment.
What can I do when my blood test came back normal but I have symptoms?
If you experience symptoms but your blood tests come back normal, it is worthwhile to seek an opinion from a practitioner who interprets your results according to the optimal reference ranges. They will also take into account the symptoms you are experiencing.
Here at Natural Solutions we always like to have an in depth look at your blood test results. We will then work with you to get all your levels into the optimal ranges. Once you get appropriate treatment, you will get back on top of your health much faster.
How can I make an acupuncture appointment?
Please bring your blood test results to your appointment so we can check them!