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Pathological vs Functional Health Ranges

Updated: Apr 21




blood sample testing

One of the services we offer at Hands and Hearts Birth & Botanical is labwork and a full review of the labs we draw...and the labs you bring to us.


Updated labwork is always a plus, but we also learn a lot about your overall health picture by following your previous labwork. We have had clients bring in their yearly labs as far back as 4 or 5 years for us to review.


So why would you want a lab review done?


How many times have you visited your provider not feeling your best, maybe just feeling off or maybe this is just your "normal" after years of not feeling your best...you have labs done, probably a physical, and everything comes back as "looking good" or "all within normal limits" yet you still feel like there's got to be something going on?


Maybe you're tired more than ever, you seem to roll from one illness into another without feeling like anything got better in between...


Pathological lab values are not the same as Functional lab values.


The values used in giving the ranges to your blood work results are based on 95% of the population. This includes healthy as well as unhealthy people. It is a set value that includes the upper and lower limits of a grouping of people.


Keep in mind, currently, statistics show 60% of all Americans have at least 1 chronic disease, 25% have 2 or more chronic conditions, and chronic diseases account for 85% of our yearly healthcare costs. The United States spends more money on healthcare yet we continue to rank 37th in healthcare outcomes, especially chronic diseases.


Lab values have a high level of accuracy, yes, but the values are not universal. Each lab uses its own equipment, chemicals, and analysis process... ultimately creating its accepted range base.

A "normal" result does not always mean "healthy." Most tests have overlapping ranges that are not only from the healthy percentage but those with various diseases too. It's very possible to have an illness or disease and still fall within a normal lab value.

Then you have to factor in that each person is a unique individual when it comes to health and disease. Your sex, age, ethnicity, even your vaccination status alters what is "normal" for you. There can also be a huge variance of healthy and early-stage illness markers based on the type of sample used (urine, saliva, blood, etc). as well as if it is a fasting test, your level of hydration, recent exercise and so much more.


Pathological lab values are based on the averages among predominantly unhealthy people. Pathology is the study of disease and its causes and progression.


Functional lab values are based on normal, optimal, and pathological health states. Functional Providers look at blood, stool, urine, saliva, hair samples, and other biomarkers that may not be measured by traditional testing. Relying on the optimal values helps reveal the patterns forming in your health picture, such as biochemical and other dysfunctions that contribute to symptoms and disease progression. These are the warning signs that health is taking a turn and in most cases, you still have time to make a course correction before things get out of control.


The best part of looking at blood work and other labs through a functional, or optimal viewpoint is that we focus on trying to identify and address the root cause of an illness instead of just treating the symptoms as they occur.


From a functional perspective, we look at the whole person...lifestyle factors, genetics, environment, imbalances in the body, and more.


Are you an outdoor person? Gardening, hiking, swimming, just generally spending your days soaking up fresh air and sunshine?


Or are you working at an indoor job, at a desk, or behind a machine every day with short lunch breaks and long hours away from that fresh air and sunshine?


Those two people have vastly different lifestyles and environmental factors that play into their overall health picture.


What we do at Hands and Hearts Birth & Botanical is walk through your labwork results and look at all the things that make you the individual you are. We utilize multiple lab programs and the training and education from several resources to work from a functional perspective and provide you the most information we can. Our goal is to help you find the things that are out of balance and help you map out a path to getting back to feeling normal for real.


If this sounds like something you're interested in, we would love a chance to visit with you (and all the lab work you want to share). Schedule your visit with us soon -- and don't forget to ask about our Lab Panel of the Month each month. These are specially priced lab groupings that offer even more discount than our already low-cose labs.


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