I recently got a Thyroid Panel and a MicroNutrient analysis done at Any Lab Test Now here in Portland. The company is franchised based with 100+ locations in over half the country. They offer a wide range of lab tests from health and wellness to drug testing, DNA and even infidelity testing. Yes, you read that right. Infidelity not paternity although they do that too. People bring in seat cushions, underwear etc all in the name of…err love? No, wait that’s not right. I digress. The Portland office was staffed with 2 lovely ladies that made me laugh, gave me more ideas for future tests (good but subtle sales skills) and even shared a great place to get a tattoo. Talk about value added!
I found out about their company through some obscure site when I was searching the interweb for ‘at home’ vitamin testing. As a woman that seeks to get her vitamins and minerals through her diet as opposed to a supplement regimen, I was very curious to see how my nutrient profile would stack up.
After only a few minutes of waiting, I was called into a windowed room, where I rolled up my sleeves and pointed out that my left arm has the better vein. It’s a solid bulls eye where my right vein is like small tree roots branching out from the center. Good stuff to know. Saves you time and pain when they can’t hit your vein.
They drew 3-4 vials of blood that day and before beginning, I was asked if needles bother me – they don’t and neither does blood. Which reminds me, I need to find a place in Portland to donate to – I have O- and it’s very popular at the blood drives as it is completely universal. I haven’t given blood since December 2010 – eep!
Though this was a fine experience, my dream test would be if I could prick my finger much like a glucose meter machine and check my levels weekly/monthly, whenever I wanted. Maybe someday. For now though, Any Lab Test Now, seems like a good alternative. You don’t need insurance, a doctor’s recommend, or an appointment. You can just walk in, ask for the tests you want to take, fill out a form and get your blood drawn.
I really like that no matter what test you’re getting you have the control in the situation. I enjoyed being able to go over the results, research, and learn a lot of new information.
Then depending on the chosen wellness test and following results, you can seek a Dr that is right for you, and go over the results together. I promised transparency on facebook, so here we go with my results!
The first, a Thyroid Panel ($79.00), screens for thyroid disease, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism by examining your body’s production of the thyroid hormones TSH, T3 and T4. This panel also includes your Thyroxine Index – basically a math computation estimate based on your T4 and T3 tests.The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating how your body uses energy. The thyroid also produces hormones critical to proper cell and system functioning.
All of my thyroid levels came back in range. !!!
My interest in getting the thyroid panel done was a ‘maintenance’ thing. I think it’s a good one to check on and because I know 7+ women that are on thyroid medication, so there was a little bit of ‘hypochondria’ worry. Things are good and now I know at this point in time, my thyroid levels were healthy.
The second test was the MicroNutrient Test ($399.00), it measures your body’s ability to absorb 32 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients within your white blood cells. This non-fasting blood test tells you if you have a vitamin deficiency and gives you a plan for how to correct it. More importantly, the resulting information can help you reduce the risk of illness and disease related to such deficiencies.
I thought my results were good, considering I don’t take a multi-vitamin.
My deficiencies were: Vitamins B2 & B12, folate, oleic acid, and zinc. I have B12 supplements but I’ve been lazy about taking them, that is going to change.
Here are the reports 🙂
I wasn’t expecting an advised repletion schedule, so that was a welcome surprise.
Here are the details of the analysis. Considering I get my calcium from greens and nuts – I was thrilled at their level.
With the following, I had never seen this type of chart before and I still have more reading to do on them, but they basically show in picto-graph form where the levels rest. I put ‘hearts’ around the ones I need to give love to.
I was also given a comprehensive information packet listing the items I was deficient, their function in the body, deficiency symptoms, and repletion information.
So now what? There was a trip to the vitamin store, the B12 I already had (I just wasn’t taking it).
I’ve already begun taking the vitamins this last week, since getting my results. The thyroid test came in within 2 days and the MN panel took 15. Because I’m a secret science nerd and I find this fascinating on so many levels – I would love to do a test in 6 months as a follow up, but I don’t find it to be an affordable option after the first time. I suggested to them that they offer some sort of a discount or ‘club’ offer. I think this is something many people would take advantage of and I think word of mouth would be crazy within those health loving niche markets. I know I’d prattle on and on about it.
Did you know avocados are a good source of oleic acid? Oh no, twist my arm to eat them and on a regular basis!
There is research in my future as I look to find/increase foods that will help balance out my deficiencies; when possible of course.
Summary and Random Thoughts:
Love the control! I pick the tests and when I want to take them.
You don’t need insurance to go here BUT if you have it, they may cover your visit.
When I did have insurance (it’s been a year – starting March 1st – we’ll have it again), I was really good about going in once a year for my girl stuff, twice a year for dental cleanings, and hardly ever went in otherwise. If I got a cold, I followed my Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing as my first line of defense.
I wonder why these tests aren’t given more often when people go in to the doctor with concerns. A few years ago (pre-raw food), I went in because my fingers and toes were turning white at the tips with numbness. It’s not even that my body would be cold, just my hands/feet. It was getting old and annoying. The doctor told me I had Raynaud’s syndrome and that was that.
Anyone who’s experienced being cold – this is beyond that, it took a ridiculous amount of time to get me warmed up again and get feeling back in my hands and by ridiculous, I mean 15-30 minutes. As the feeling would return, my fingers would turn red and painful to the touch. Thick slippers and mittens were my friends.
It was maybe a year after that, that the ‘raw food way of eating’ kept popping up in my frame of reference. First with my beloved copy of Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing, then with a co-worker, and finally with a friend’s library copy of Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.
Why is that important now? At the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, I began making green smoothies, eating salads and veggie trays of my own creation throughout the days, all while cutting back on ‘processed’ foods and seriously eliminating animal sources from my diet (I’ve been a scattered vegetarian for the last 11 years – so this only involved a little adjustment). Making my first raw food carrot cake and being amazed at how wonderful an all veg dessert could be and even more creations after that – well let’s just say my world was forever changed.
Now after reviewing the tests and reflecting, I wonder if the simple and rather quick diagnosis was really just a symptom of a zinc or b12 deficiency. Why? Because sometime into to 2010, maybe it was 6 months eating a very high raw diet – my Raynaud’s symptoms disappeared and I haven’t had them since. I am so grateful.
I am pretty completely sure that I might have been treating these deficiencies the last 2 years with all the whole food I eat and that is why I’ve improved. Interesting? Yes.
One other point I would like to make is about the cost of the MicroNutrient test. I debated for about a month, weighing the pros and cons, and trying to decide if it was worth it. I decided in the end to do it, it was something I was interested in and wanted to be able to share my experience with others that may be intrigued. Taking control of your health is worthwhile process.
One big benefit I see regarding supplements and rationalizing the cost of the MicroNutrient test is that, I know people that take many self-prescribed supplements. It’s possible they’re based on intuition or maybe they read a Prevention article or Women’s Health blurb and felt the need.
But what if you’re taking vitamins you don’t need – that too is making your body do extra work, filtering/processing something it doesn’t need to, and reducing money out of your wallet.
Or – on the other side, what if you’re really missing out on something big? There’s a benefit in that knowledge, it’s all about bringing the awareness back to your body and the things you can control.
I would love to hear your thoughts… Do any of their tests interest you? Do you look for ways to heal through foods instead of frequent and costly doctors visits? Do you have some bodily change that has benefited from an increase in a whole foods lifestyle?? Feel free to comment below, I would love to hear about it.