Ok, so I admit it right up front; I’m my doctor’s worst nightmare of a patient. They can say they want me to have a blood test and before I reach the bottom of the stairs I’ve convinced myself that it really isn’t necessary.
You see, I hate having my blood taken – if I can get out of it I will. It doesn’t help that I’ve had experiences where the phlebotomist is poking around trying to find the vein that has simply disappeared because I’m so anxious. Nor does it help that if I make it through the ordeal I systematically burst into tears through the stress of it all.
So it takes a lot for me to part with my blood. But I’ve discovered something really quite revolutionary – we can ask for a print out of our test results. Oooo, now that almost makes a blood test worth having…
For the last two blood tests I’ve requested the results and without any ado they are handed to me. Very interesting they were too!
Now one of the first things I look for is my C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. This is a marker of inflammation in the body and it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on if you’re wanting to get any chronic inflammation under control. Although a normal level is below 5.0mg/L it’s, quite frankly, one of the measures where the lower, the better. My last test (October 2018) was <1.0mg/L – yeh!
Another measure of inflammation is homocysteine, which can build up due to B vitamin deficiencies, in particular in B6, B12 and folic acid. Optimal levels are between 10-12, with elevated levels being above 15. People with a homocysteine level of 15 or more have double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s… This didn’t appear on either of my recent test results but I’ll look out for it in future.