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Testing Over Guessing: Top 10 Diagnostic Measures for Optimal Health

Reviewed by Connie Casebolt, MD MPH of Forum Health Greenville 

In the realm of functional and integrative medicine, above all else– testing over guessing. Dr. Connie Casebolt, Forum Health provider and dedicated advocate for preventative health, emphasizes the importance of specialized medical testing, especially as many health issues manifest without visible symptoms.  

As you age, your body undergoes changes that can give rise to various health concerns. To address these changes proactively, Forum Health Medical Weight Loss recommends an annual battery of tests for both men and women aged 40 and above, ensuring you remain in the optimal health zone. 

Watch the video to learn which tests Dr. Casebolt recommends and why they’re important to get done on a regular basis.  

Why Specific, Comprehensive Health Testing Matters

While basic bloodwork provides valuable insights, more comprehensive diagnostic tests delve deeper into the intricate workings of the body, unveiling potential imbalances, deficiencies, and risks that may not be apparent through routine analysis alone.  

These advanced tests empower your healthcare provider to identify early signs of disease, allowing for timely interventions and personalized treatment plans.  

The nuanced information obtained from these diagnostic tests goes beyond the surface, providing a holistic understanding of your current health status, ultimately leading to more effective and personalized healthcare strategies that contribute to better health outcomes over the long term. 

The Top Health Diagnostic Tests to Get Done Annually, Especially After 40

Imbalances in hormone levels can contribute to various health issues such as mood swings, fatigue, and weight changes.
 
Sex hormones play a critical role in overall health for both men and women. While women experience menopause, men go through a similar decline in hormones known as andropause. Women should start having annual hormone testing between the ages of 35 and 40 depending on symptoms. Men starting between ages 40-50—earlier if they have symptoms, later if they don’t.
 
The following tests provide a detailed picture of hormone health, including thyroid and sex hormones, allowing for timely intervention and personalized treatment plans. 

Recommended Hormone Tests:

  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) 
  • T4 (Thyroxine) 
  • AT3 (Antithyroglobulin Antibody) 
  • Thyroid Antibodies 
  • Spot Urine 
  • Iodine Levels 
  • Selenium Levels 
  • Testosterone Levels

 

Monitoring vitamin levels is crucial to prevent deficiencies that might contribute to bone health deterioration, immune system weakening, and cardiovascular problems. Comprehensive testing allows for targeted interventions and personalized supplementation plans. 

Recommended Vitamin Testing:

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  • Vitamin D 
  • Vitamin B12 
  • B6 (mentioned depending on symptoms) 

   

Essential minerals play a key role in maintaining overall health. Monitoring these levels helps identify imbalances that could lead to complications if left unaddressed. Personalized recommendations based on test results ensure optimal mineral balance. 

Recommended Mineral Tests:

  • Ferritin 
  • Zinc (mentioned in some cases) 

Advanced Testing for Early Detection and Disease Prevention

Advanced testing offers a holistic view of overall health and how all systems of the body are functioning. Testing is available to measure specific factors that inform your provider of how well your immune system is working, your heart, hormones, metabolism, blood sugar, and so much more. Using these advanced tests, your healthcare provider gains a nuanced understanding of your individual health, enabling them to create personalized and targeted interventions for improved long-term outcomes. 

Most importantly, early detection and intervention based on advanced test results can prevent the development of chronic conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and autoimmune disorders. 

Recommended Advanced Tests:

  • Homocysteine: A silent risk factor for heart disease, dementia, and more. 
  • C-reactive Protein (CRP): A marker for inflammation, a vital facet of overall health. 
  • Hemoglobin A1C and Fasting Insulin: A gauge of how well the body manages blood sugar over time. 
  • Fasting Blood Sugar: A crucial measure in understanding glucose levels. 
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): An overview of white blood cells, hemoglobin, and platelets. 
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Profile (CMP): A comprehensive examination of blood chemistries, encompassing kidney and liver function. 
  • Lipid Profile (Cholesterol): Insight into cholesterol levels and heart health. 

Proactive Health for a Longer, Healthier Life

Skipping advanced testing increases the risk for delayed detection of health issues, hindering timely intervention and potentially exacerbating the development of chronic conditions.  

By taking proactive steps towards preventive care and addressing potential health concerns before they escalate, you can optimize your well-being in the long term.  

Our Forum Health Medical Weight Loss providers advocate for an integrative approach to health, combining these essential tests with personalized lifestyle recommendations to pave the way for a longer, healthier life. Remember, in the world of health, knowledge truly is power – and testing provides the key to unlocking it!  

Schedule your visit with your Forum Health Medical Weight Loss provider to begin advanced testing and optimizing your journey to better health.  

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