Taking Charge of Your Health

Greetings. Eric Bakker, naturopath. Thanks for coming back and looking at my video. I often get asked by people, “What are the
right kind of tests I should get performed by my doctor? How can I monitor my health on a regular basis? What are the most important things to look
for? What do I ask my doctor for or, failing that,
what can I actually order myself so I can self-assess?” Remember this important thing, the most important
person in your life is you. Okay? Your health is more important to you than
your health is important to your doctor. All right? Sounds really awful saying that, but that’s
the truth of the matter. Really, I mean your health is your probably
… well, in my opinion, your greatest asset. It should be greater than your car. It should be greater than your house. It should be greater than your fish tank or
whatever you’ve got turns you on. Health is the number-one asset you’ve got
so, therefore, you want to monitor it to the max and make sure that everything is running
really, really well. I’ll bet you that you get your car checked
and tested and serviced more regularly than you would your own body, and yet you’re probably
going to dump your car in a few years and get another one. Well, I’ve got bad news for you. You can’t dump your body and get another one,
not yet anyway. What are the best tests to do? Let’s talk about that. To start with, let’s talk about medical tests
that the medical doctor’s going to do. I think we’ll have to make a separate video
on the best functional medicine tests. These are the tests that your primary medical
doctor will not do. They’re not interested, really, in the function
of the body. They’re more interested in the disease of
the body, so a lot of these tests are performed, really, to see what kind of illness or sickness
you have so then they can correct that sickness or illness, but a lot of these tests are really
good for you to get done regularly to monitor the state of your health so you don’t get
sick in the first place. Okay? Many people I see get sick because they have
something lacking in their diet. They’re either too stressed, or they don’t
eat the wrong kind of food, or they’re lacking something to confer good health. A lot of these markers we’re going to talk
about will actually point you in the right direction to what needs fixing up.It’s incredible
how many people I’ve blood tested over the years that haven’t had a test for a long time,
and we find some amazing things, and other people where I’ve tested, they get tested
all the time, but they don’t get tested for particular types of markers. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at websites
and blogs and looking at people’s recommendations for tests, but most of these people have got
no working knowledge of the tests. They don’t regularly get them done on patients,
and they haven’t got the span of experience and the decades that I have in seeing the
cause and effect of these markers. I’ve learnt what are the most special markers,
really, that you can look for. These are specialty markers, markers I don’t
generally see other people recommending. For example, one called homocysteine, which
I started to really understand and look for over 25 years ago when nobody really tested
for it. I’ll talk more about that later. I’ve broken the blood testing into different
categories, okay, so lipids, like fats in the blood, cholesterol, things like that,
inflammatory markers, blood sugar markers, thyroid markers, kidney markers, and liver
markers, and then miscellaneous, particularly B12 and vitamin D, and also the homocysteine. I might put that one under that category. Then, also, we’ve got a CBC or a complete
blood count at the end, which is just basic stuff. Let’s start with the lipids. Many people worry with fats in the blood,
for example, HDL, the good fats, low LDL, low-density lipoprotein, which are supposedly
the bad fats, and also triglycerides, which are a type of fat influenced more by sugar
or carbohydrates in the diet. The lipid studies are quite important, especially
as you get older, but I’ve been to too many seminars and conferences and heard expert
doctors say that many people who die of heart disease have got quite a normal blood lipid
profile. About 50% of people who have heart attacks,
for example, don’t have elevated cholesterol, so don’t let the doctors pull the wool over
your eyes and tell you that, if your bad cholesterol is slightly elevated, that you need to go
on a statin drug immediately. Now, I’ve had to delete several nasty comments
on a video I did a while ago from someone with scathing, scathing attack, in fact, on
me, and I had to kick them off the channel, that said it was reprehensible, and it was
disgusting what I was doing, and I was killing people with my comments, and I was telling
people to go to quack doctors and all this sort of nonsense. I know a world expert in cardiology who’s
written many different books on the topic who gave a presentation called The Big Fat
Lie, for example, who said that there is a correlation between blood fats and heart disease,
but it’s not the be-all-end-all, all right? There are other things that influence blood
fat, so HDL, LDL, triglycerides, they’re all worth monitoring. For example, if the LDL or what we call the
bad blood fat is elevated, which I recently found in a friend of mine, I did a further
test, a functional test where we examined all the seven subsets of LDL. We actually drilled down into the bad cholesterol,
and we could see all of the smaller subsets. In this case, Anthony’s VLDL or very low-density
lipoprotein was seriously elevated. Now, Anthony’s father died of heart disease
at quite a young age, so we’re taking this further now because the question I ask people
is, “Have you had a relation very close to you who is passed away, 50 or younger, with
a heart attack or a stroke or an aneurism, anything like that?” If they say, “Yes, absolutely,” or, “My grandma
did,” or, “My auntie,” or several people, then we definitely have a more interested
deep sort of look into the whole blood fat kind of profile of that patient. We look at blood pressures more carefully,
and we look more at B12. We look at factors that influence the body’s
ability to create pathology in that particular area. Genetics play quite a big role when it comes
to many specific types of diseases, and heart and stoke are particular things that I really,
really look at when there’s a family history there. If there’s no family history, then a lot of
it’s lifestyle. You’re too fat, eating the wrong food, stuff
like that. Inflammatory markers, number two, c-reactive
protein, high-sensitivity c-reactive protein or hs and ESR or what we call the sed rate,
erythrocyte sedimentation rate. There are probably others, but these are three
key ones that many people look at. CRP is a protein in the blood that elevates
with inflammation. We know there’s a fire, but we don’t know
where the source of the fire is. Okay? If you’re flying out of a forest and you see
a fire somewhere or smoke, well, you’ve seen smoke, big deal, but where is the fire? Where is the guy with the box of matches? Where is the fool with the campfire, things
like that, that’s lighting off fires in a dry forest? You’re going to identify that guy, and you’re
going to take him out. CRP is no different. Knowing there’s inflammation is useless unless
you know where the inflammation’s coming from. Was it from a diseased tooth? Is it from a bunged up ileocecal valve in
the gut? Do you have parasites down there creating
inflammation? Do you have a tonsil problem causing inflammation? Where is the fire? That’s always my question.Now, the hs or the
high-sensitivity relates more to cardiovascular inflammation in particular, so if hsCRP is
elevated, you’ve got a pretty good indication you’ve got a cardiovascular kind of an issues. If hsCRP is elevated, and the guy’s got low
B12, and he’s got high LDL and a family history, I’ll actually send him off to Auckland up
here in the north of the north island, and I’ll get him to get a heart scan done. It’s a very high-speed CT scan of the heart. They take hundreds of pictures. They put you through a tunnel. That maps out, for example, all of the coronary
blood vessels, which range, from what I’ve been told, from about 9 to about 15 square
millimeters of surface area. The machine will actually do a 3D picture
and map out exactly all of those vessels around the heart to see if there’s any coronary calcification
going on. Very, very clever test. I’ve had patients take many heart drugs that
didn’t need to take any drugs at all because all of the vessels were completely clear around
the heart, so I basically told them to get off that crap. They had other issues that were causing problems
like palpitations, for example, and blood pressure, but it wasn’t the heart. It’s very easy for a doctor to give you a
call, judgment call, and put you on a drug that you may not even need. Conversely, I’ve seen people with a very clogged-up
heart that were ignored and not put on medications. When you know tests and you now work with
a doctor who can take things further, you’re not going to, hopefully, have any nasty surprises
as you get older. That’s the inflammatory. Especially important, the inflammatory markers,
for autoimmune disease, if you’ve got autoimmunity, because maybe you’ll be able to track down
where the elevation of inflammation is. Inflammation we consider the mother of all
disease. It’s one of the key things that pushes a person
into cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, or neurodegenerative disease is inflammatory
problem. Guess where most inflammation starts with
people? In the gut. Interesting, isn’t it?Blood sugars, important
for people who think they’re pre-diabetic or people who have, perhaps, adrenal problems
or high stress, people with hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. people who do a lot of sports or have got
a finely-tuned blood sugar regulatory system, fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, very important
marker, which just gives you the stability of blood sugar over about a six-week period. I call it the HBAC test, the HA1 or BAC test. The other one is fasting insulin, a very important
one if you’ve got issues there, known issues with blood sugar, or you’re a user of insulin. You might want to know what your fasting insulin
is. The other one, which no one talks about, is
cortisol. Many people I see have got a lot of stress. They’ve got low cortisol or high cortisol,
and that can seriously influence their blood sugar, so it’s good to do a salivary cortisol
test as well. Now, notice I’m not giving any reference ranges
here because there are many reference ranges depending on the country you live in, and
they can vary slightly from lab to lab kind of thing. Thyroid is a key area I look at. Thyroid stimulating hormone, this is one I
know quite a bit about because I work so much with thyroid patients. The range can level from naught .5 up to 4.5. I like a patient to be around 2, 2.5, about
midway. Many people I see are borderline with thyroid,
which means there’s potentially a problem. In that case, I go further and test T3, T4,
and antibodies as well and, sometimes, reverse T3. These are all indicators of a problem. If a patient has a clear-cut thyroid issue,
I’m very interested to know what their iodine levels are like, so we will do a serum iodine
or a 24-hour urine collection and sample that or an iodine challenge where the patient’s
given a 50-milligram iodine tablet and the urine is collected the following day and sampled. If the person is very deficient in iodine,
the thyroid’s going to hold a lot of that 50 milligrams back, and only a small amount
will get passed out. If the patient’s like me and got good thyroid
function, they’ll pee out most of the iodine and, therefore, not be deficient. The challenge test is the best one for iodine. Kidney function, creatinine clearance and
glomerular filtration rate or GFR. Your kidneys decline in function, by default,
as you get older. When you get older, like me, your kidney function
is just slightly going to go down, down, down. That’s why the big thing is to drink water
all the time, less caffeine, less alcohol, more water. The kidneys perform an incredible role of
filtering thousands of liters of blood. Every day, they’re just filtering, filtering. Now, coming back to the motorcar, you take
it to the mechanic. They guy or the lady can just get the filter
out and bin it, put a new one in, but you’re not really going to go, okay, to the hospital
and get a new kidney, get yours binned and a new one put in. Doesn’t work like that. You got to look after your kidney. The kidney really like plenty of clean, fresh
water to drink, makes a big difference. If you notice a problem with the creatinine,
the ability for the body not to get rid of this waste product from muscular respiration,
you really need to work on improving kidney function. Otherwise, you’re going to get a build-up
of crap in the body. Your skin will get itchy and dry. You’ll start getting flaky skin, pain in joints. All sorts of problems will occur. Many people with kidney issues get really
tired as well. Kidney function’s definitely worth checking
out from time to time.Liver function, different markers here. You’ve got AST, ALT, GGT, and alkaline phosphatase. Some of those markers, for example the AST,
has a good indication on drug toxicity, especially pharmaceutical drug toxicity. GGT, as in god, god, T, is a good marker for
if someone likes having a drink. If a person likes having a few drinkings here
and there and GGT is elevated, you know their liver is getting whacked with too much alcohol
issues there. If liver is an issue, you may again want to
keep an eye on it regularly to make sure that the markers go down. It’s especially important to test liver function
if you’re taking pharmaceutical medications because they’re all toxic to the liver, all
right, and the kidney.Vitamin B12 is a very important one. I’ve given up counting how many patients I’ve
requested a B12 test and it was very, very low. You can also go deeper into B12 and look at
MTHFR gene defects, a special test you can do to see if you got a problem with folate
and B12 there. Vitamin D. Probably one of the most important
ones is vitamin D that was never really tested. I started testing vitamin D about 25, nearly
30 years ago when I first went into practice when people looked at you strange and said
… even labs would say to me, “What the hell do you want to test that for? It’s just a vitamin, you know? Is it that important to get tested?” Yes, it is important to get tested because
I realized the relevance of this with the immune function. Many doctors today still don’t test for vitamin
D. I could spend an hour talking to you about different case histories of people where I
saw rock-bottom vitamin D, and I saw their life change once they started getting their
level up again. Anxiety disappeared, sleep improved, their
chronic disease went away. I’ve seen miracles with vitamin D elevation. You want to keep your levels between 75 to
100 as a minimum. I routinely see patients between 10 to 15,
but you want high levels. This is one you want to say to your doctor,
“I want to get it done.” If the doctor says no, say, “All right. Bugger you, mate. I’ll go and get it done privately.” The doctor’s probably got low vitamin D anyway. That’s probably why he’s forgetting to do
it or his brain function’s not working adequately or whatever. Now, homocysteine is a very important marker
also. Okay? It’s a naturally-occurring compound in the
body. Homocysteine needs to be broken down through
what we call the methylation cycle. It needs to break down. If it doesn’t break down, it can build up
to quite high levels and then cause a lot of problems. Now, the American researcher who did work
on this way back in the ’70s and ’80s, he believed that the optimal level was around
6 or 7, but I’ve seen the reference range now they’ve bumped it up to between 10 and
15. I prefer people to have a level under 10,
preferably around 7 or 8 I think is good. Again, B12 will lower homocysteine, B10, B12,
B6, and I think it could be magnesium. There are a few other elements, but you can
actually buy homocysteine formulations that contain all of these elements. This is a very important one for you to get
tested. In fact, it’s that important I’m going to
write it down on a piece of paper so you guys can … homo, and don’t get the wrong idea
there, cysteine. You’ll note the word cysteine in there, the
amino acid cysteine. Homocysteine. By the way, all of these tests we’re talking
about need to be fasting. All right? Don’t exercise in the morning. Have just a very plain, basic meal at night
like some steamed vegetables, maybe a piece of lean protein. Don’t eat any food in the morning til the
tests have been done, but you could get a little bit weak and dizzy if you have too
much blood pulled at that point, so you don’t want to get like 15 tubes done at the same
time, so be mindful of that. That’s the homocysteine. The complete blood count is the last one. All right? That’s red blood cells, white blood cells. That’s the whole shebang, basically, that
gives you electrolytes, magnesium, and things like that, sodium, potassium. Potassium and sodium are useful markers for
adrenal fatigue. I often look at those as well. The red blood cells, we can look a whole bunch
of parameters there, ferritin, which is the iron storage protein. You can look at transfer and saturation. You can look at TIBC and all these kind of
weird things. This is basically the shape of red blood cells,
the size of them, the health of them, so that’s quite important. Then we look at the cell count as well, how
many cells you’ve got compared to the reference range. Yeah, so there you have it. That’s basic by the way. You can go way more than that, but that gives
you a good insight into different blood tests that you can get performed by your doctor
or request these tests yourself and then work with someone who can interpret them for you,
but here’s a tip. When you do all this testing and you find
stuff that’s really way off the scale, get an Excel spreadsheet on your computer going
and then make sure that you put the date on there when it was tested and what the marker
was, and then track that over a period of time to see … You may want to get it tested,
for example, every six months or every four months or three months. If you do vitamin D and you find it low, okay,
put it on the spreadsheet, put the date on it, and then start taking vitamin D, and then
again three months later, test it to make sure that your vitamin D is gone up. Common sense? Not so common, is it? Try it. I hope that helps you people out there. I’ll do another video soon on functional medicine
testing and my take on different types of tests. Thanks so much for tuning in.

12 thoughts on “Lab Tests You Should Ask Your Doctor For Or Ask Yourself

  1. I have SIBO-C with an ulcer. How should I go about treatment? What should I be doing first? I am 2 years in and it all just seems to get worse – its overwhelming.

  2. As a young person I don't think doctors care about my chronic health problems. They never suggest any testing for my list of symptoms and I'm left going home with a bill and no answers. Not taken seriously.

  3. “…but you can’t dump your body, not yet anyway…” Love this kind of healthy humor! ?Sums up all in one sentence: health should be a priority

  4. I'm sorry you have to deal with hate and negativity, but I just want to say that some of us really appreciate all your efforts, knowledge, and experience. So thank you, I'm constantly learning so much from you. Much respect and all the best wishes Doctor

  5. Can you do a video on «food combining» for digestion? Whats your experience with it, or is it just BS? Also, if drinking water with food is a problem.
    Your videos help alot. Thank you!

  6. Hi do you have video about Candida and Low Sex Drive and why candida disturb hormonal imbalance ? I can find ..Thank You

  7. I really like this channel. I watched a vegan channel earlier today and he says to overload in fruits when recovering from Candida? The amount of dreadful information these guys give out is just gonna make you more ill. C'mon.. Huge amounts of fruit to heal candida? Crazy.. When i watch this channel i understand it. His information is very true and believeable. I am following his diet protocol and supplement choices as i believe his information to be far more accurate.

    Thanks for all the info!

  8. Hi eric, Is it the right approach to repair the bowel lining with bone juice and also take antifungal and probiotic?

  9. Hi again Erik. Ok to ask? I have just got back from my Doctors. I mentioned all my symptoms. Stomach issues. Stool issues. Poor Digestion. Constantly hungry and crave sugars. Anxiety & depression and major lethargy. I says i think it could be a SIBO Candida issue? He screwed his face up and says no ita not it is just classic anxiety. I says so anxiety is giving me bad diarrheoa and bad stomach cramps.. My stomach was making noises while i was sitting thier.. I also says my tongue is also white (Bad) and i says this can be another classic symptom? He says no get a blood test and see how your blood sugars are and also i will check your iron levels etc. I was a bit hacked off tbh. I have went and bought Oregano oil 'Berberine' Caprilyc Acid and a very good Probiotic. I use Ceylon Cinnamon in foods and have added in Garlic aswell.

    Im certain i have this issue. I done your online test and got a 94% result. Also last year i took an antibiotic for 2+ months for acne. Your test asked this and it was a major red flag.

    Should i just continue with my own treatment? I don't see these supplements having any issues even if i never. I have purchased a months worth so i will buy your products to run after this. They look a fantastic profile.

    Would you say i do have SIBO? I honestly feel miserable everyday. Im only 32 so i shouldn't be suffering major fatigue every single day. Im still battling on though.

    Thanks Erik

  10. My eyes turn red when im outside. I had sunglasses on. Night vision worsened. I also have citrobacter. Is there a connection?

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