Educating women about their lab results right away allows them to track their own progress and gives them more power and incentive to make positive changes in their lives — before needing a prescription or a procedure.

This section is geared toward giving you some essential information all women deserve to have at their fingertips. By understanding more about routine medical tests for women, you can begin better advocating for yourself:

A lot of our medical technology and testing is geared toward simply finding and tracking health problems, rather than preventing them in the first place — and many practitioners use labs and imaging studies as signposts of disease rather than looking at the overall portrait they paint of a woman’s health. Many women say they had no idea they were headed down the path toward diabetes, heart disease, or hypothyroidism until they’d progressed so far their practitioners were recommending prescription drugs.

The reality is that in today’s busy medical practices most practitioners don’t have time to sit and explain each test and each result to their patients.

Listen to your body

Even the best practitioner doesn’t know what it feels like to be in your body. They are all living their own lives, with their own family and personal stories. Blood levels that may be normal for some might not feel good for you. Just as one weight might suit one woman but cause health problems in another.

When it comes to the science of medical testing, you can oftentimes see health issues even before they start to cause problems. If we’re smart about it, we can change the outcome for the better. Using modern technology along with the wisdom of your own body can do wonders in terms of preventing disease and setting you up for a long and healthy future.

References

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3 Hays, B. 2005. Chapter 19. Hormonal imbalances: Female hormones: The dance of the hormones. Pt. I. In Textbook of Functional Medicine, ed. D. Jones & S. Quinn, 218–219. Gig Harbor, WA: Institute for Functional Medicine.

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   See also: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/107/3/499#TBL4.

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  See also: Costa, L., et al. 2002. Prospective evaluation of the peptide-bound collagen type I cross-links N-telopeptide and C-telopeptide in predicting bone metastases status. J. Clin. Onc., 20 (3), 850–856. URL: http://jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/full/20/3/850 (accessed 09.12.2008).

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16 Adams, J., et al. 1982. Vitamin D synthesis and metabolism after ultraviolet irradiation of normal and vitamin D-deficient subjects. NEJM, 306, 722-725.

17 Harris, R. 2008. Plants: The fuel of the future? URL: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95444264 (accessed 11.10.2008).

18 Lautt, W. 2007. Postprandial insulin resistance as an early predictor of cardiovascular risk. URL: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2376071 (accessed 12.15.2008).

19 Lab tests online. 2004. Cholesterol. URL: http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cholesterol/glance.html (accessed 09.24.2008).

20 Penno, K. [No date listed.] Low density cholesterol subfractions: Not all LDL-C particles are created equal. URL: http://www.medcompare.com/spotlight.asp?spotlightid=201 (accessed 10.23.2008).

21 Becker, D., et al. 2008. Simvastatin vs. therapeutic lifestyle changes and supplements: Randomized primary prevention trial. Mayo Clin. Proc., 83 (7), 758–764. URL (abstract): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18613992 (accessed 10.28.2008).

&  Aubrey, A. 2008. Study: Red rice yeast helps cut bad cholesterol. URL: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92103272 (accessed 10.28.2008).

22 Einstein, A. 1941. Science, Philosophy and Religion: A Symposium. NY: Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life.

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