In this episode we talk about Five important blood tests that you should ask your doctor to order. These tests aren’t typically ordered unless requested even though they can provide a lot of important information about your health.
We talk about Triglycerides, C-Reactive Protein, Vitamin D Level, Omega-3 level, HA1C.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin Jr.: Hello, my name is Dr. Martin Jr.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And I’m Dr. Martin Sr.
Dr. Martin Jr.: This is ‘The Doctor Is In’ podcast. This is episode 134. Today, we want [00:00:30] to continue our discussion from the last episode where we talked about the four stages of health. Basically the journey that takes place as you go from being healthy and move towards disease. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to that episode, then I would suggest going back and starting with that one. It’s a really good episode to give you an overall airplane view of what happens as you go from being healthy and move towards disease. Of course, our premise here at our clinic is [00:01:00] that you don’t go to bed healthy tonight and wake up diseased tomorrow. It’s actually a journey that takes place. There’s a road. That road can take months, years, decades really. Depending on what’s going on.
Because you don’t go to be healthy and wake up diseased tomorrow, the body gives you a bunch of clues all the way throughout the process. So last week, we talked about the different clues that the body gives you at different stages. Again, we would encourage you, if you haven’t heard that episode, to go back [00:01:30] and listen to the episode we just did previously to this one.
Today what we want to do, we want to continue the discussion and specifically we want to talk about five or so blood tests that we would recommend you ask your doctor when you go in to get your standard testing done, there are five things … There are a couple other bonus ones on there, but there are a few things that you want to make sure that you ask your doctor to check that they generally don’t always check.
Dr. Martin Sr.: If your doctor is not thinking outside the box, they often [00:02:00] won’t, that’s alright in a sense. I always tell people, “Look, it’s best if you go to your doctor …” and I know sometimes doctors don’t like this, or whatever. I always tell people, go to your doctor prepared. Bring questions. You know? Because people come to me and a lot of times, man oh man, they’ve got a notebook out and they’ve got questions. Especially on their follow up. Right? First time, [00:02:30] I do a lot of the talking. I tell them what’s going on. I’m asking them questions and blah, blah, blah. Then, I give them all our findings. When they come back, in encourage that so much, ask. If you’re not sure, ask me. What about this? And what about this? What about that? You know what? The idea … we mentioned it in the last program, is that health is a journey, but you have to be all in on this. It’s important [00:03:00] for people. Is there anything more important? When you think about it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s taken for granted until you don’t have it anymore. Then you find out that there is nothing more important. There’s nothing worse than not being healthy. There’s so many people that listen to our podcast every week and a lot of them aren’t healthy. A lot of them are frustrated because they don’t feel well, or they’re going through a disease. I’ll tell you, health becomes so much more important when we don’t have it. And there’s a lot of things in life that are [00:03:30] like that, right? Relationships, we take advantage in a sense, or we don’t understand how important they are until they’re broken. Then all of a sudden we understand how important they were. Health is just one of those things that-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Don’t neglect it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Don’t neglect it. I remember reading this a long time ago. There’s a very powerful psychological principal that we live by that we don’t even realize it. It kind of guides us in a lot of ways. The idea is this, because it’s never happened before, it never will. [00:04:00] We do a lot of things in life and the consequences never happen, so we don’t think it’s even possible that it can happen, until it happens. Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Exactly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Health is kind of like that. Every day we kind of go about our business and we’re doing these things and then all of a sudden our health … “Well, I won’t get heart disease. I’ve never had heard disease. I’m not …”
Dr. Martin Sr.: Or, “It’s not in my family.”
Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s why prevention is hard to talk about, because you’re talking about stuff that’s never happened to them before, and we just as humans, if it has never happened to [00:04:30] us before, we don’t think it’s every going to happen to us.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I’ll give you an example of that too. It’s kind of funny, cause I remember a lawyer told me this one time, because people would come in to see him to do their will, and they would say, “Well, if I die this is what I want to happen.” Right? He says, “You mean when you die?” They say, “No, no, if I die.” I think it’s not if, it’s when you die. Right? He [00:05:00] got me laughing about that. The fact is, as you move through life, our health will change. Very few people live a long life and never have any health concerns at all.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s quite rare.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, the reality is, it’s something that is going to happen to everybody, but again, it’s one of those things that we just don’t think about too much until it actually happens. Now, our audience is different in a lot of ways, because they’re actively seeking out health information. They’re actively doing things to take [00:05:30] care … In our private Facebook groups for people that are in some of our programs, we’ve got so many amazing people in there, right? They ask a lot of questions.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They’re really in.
Dr. Martin Sr.: They ask a lot of questions.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They’re really implicated in their health. I love that.
Dr. Martin Sr.: So do I. When somebody is asking questions, it’s cause they’re interested. Right? When somebody is not interesting, they generally don’t ask a lot of questions. Now, when it comes to your doctor, it can be hard to ask questions. It’s not that you’re not interested in it, it’s just that the environment, especially [00:06:00] in our system here, our socialized medicine system here in Canada. They’re busy. I feel sorry for a lot of those guys. They’re really busy and they don’t have time to sit there and answer questions. People bring in these lists, and a lot of doctors will have a thing where you can ask one question.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You can’t ask two?
Dr. Martin Sr.: No. Ask me one question. It’s like, “How are you doing?” “Great.” “Okay, can ask you a question?” “Well, you just did.” No. Of course that’s not how it is, but that’s the reality. You don’t have a lot of time. A lot of times too, these doctors have [00:06:30] thousands of patients. If you were to add up the amount of minutes that you see them in a year, it could be like two minutes, right? I mean, it could be a two minute thing. All they have on you is a file. To them, some doctors know you, they’re very personable, but that’s what they have on you. Whereas, when you leave there, you’re with yourself all the time. That’s why we like to tell people, be prepared, ask questions, or if they’re not going to ask questions … when they go for your [00:07:00] standardized blood testing, ask that these things are on there. Now, some of these things in Canada you’ve got to pay a little bit extra for, but the cost is worth it for a lot of these things.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Absolutely.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Now that we’ve got that long introduction out of the way, let’s talk about a few things that we … a few tests that we would strongly recommend that you include when you get your blood testing done next time. Now again, our biomarker testing, we recommend because as we mentioned last week, it’s [00:07:30] kind of that stage two stuff where stuff doesn’t show up on traditional blood tests, but things are off. Like leaky gut, cortisol is starting to elevate, or insulin, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that we look at. Heavy metals and deficiencies and all these kind of things. That’s very important. Here are five things and we’ll go through them. One of the first things that we like to have people check all the time is their triglycerides.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Not cholesterol.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They’re going to do your cholesterol, but every time they do your cholesterol, [00:08:00] they always do triglycerides as part of your blood lipids. When you get your results, they don’t call you but you see, today, I think a lot of times I think you can get your results. A lot of people go online and get their results.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, you can login now, here at least.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. A lot of my patients can.
Dr. Martin Sr.: A lot of the numbers, they don’t mean a lot. You can Google them, then you go down a rabbit hole pretty quickly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We go over a lot of results.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Now, triglycerides. Why is that important?
Dr. Martin Jr.: First of all, [00:08:30] triglycerides … They try and make cholesterol the boogeyman. You can’t live without cholesterol. As a matter of fact, I always say this, God didn’t trust you enough to eat enough cholesterol, that only 15% comes from your diet, the other 85% comes from your liver. There’s a reason for it. You need cholesterol. Your cells are made up of cholesterol.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Your brain absolutely needs it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You bones are made up of cholesterol. Your brain is made up of cholesterol. You don’t live without cholesterol. They made cholesterol the boogeyman, [00:09:00] right? They made it part of heart disease, and we don’t want to go overboard, but the idea is, I always tell my patients, cholesterol smolesterol. I want to know what your triglycerides are. Okay? Biochemistry wise, that is the boogeyman. That is the bad guy. Look, there ain’t a drug in the universe for triglycerides. What triglycerides are controlled by is the amount of sugar, crappy [00:09:30] carbohydrates, that you are eating. You want a measurement of where you’re at? You want to know where your liver is at? You can do liver enzymes, but before or during fatty liver and whatever, your triglycerides are going to be elevated. If they’re beyond 1.71, you’ve got elevated triglycerides and you’re in trouble.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s interesting, speaking of triglycerides, I just read a study that came out not too long ago and [00:10:00] they found … they’ve known this, but what they found about this was fascinating. Your triglycerides cross your blood/brain barrier. Again, your brain is really well protected. You have a barrier, they call it a blood/brain barrier, that filters out junk from getting in there. It’s supposed to stop a lot of stuff that gets into your blood. Even though old time medicine says your blood is sterile. Your blood is clean. There’s nothing in there. Now, they’re finding out that’s not necessarily even closely remotely [00:10:30] to the truth, but you have a last line of defence, your blood/brain barrier. Yeah, it may get into your blood, it may circulate through your body, but your brain is protected. However, now they’re finding out that the blood/brain barrier, the same thing that plugs the holes in there, is the same thing that plugs the holes in your gut. So the same thing that kills the stuff in your gut, kills the blood/brain barrier.
Your brain becomes leaky. We talked about that before-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Leaky gut, leaky brain.
Dr. Martin Sr.: What they found interesting is that your triglycerides actually cross your blood/brain barrier. One of the effects of that [00:11:00] is, it actually effects your hunger. Meaning, you feel hungry. And it’s kind of funny, right. Triglycerides is basically an indication that you’re consuming too much energy in a lot of ways, right? You’re moving things into storage. It’s circulating into storage. It crosses your blood brain barrier, and then you feel hungry all the time. It’s kind of a catch 22. You’re overeating and by all accounts you’ve consumed enough energy, you shouldn’t feel hungry at all. The way that we’re made, our hormone system should be telling us, “Hey, [00:11:30] you know, stop doing this.” But it becomes so messed up because of these triglycerides that are crossed … One of the reasons. There are other things we well that happens.
Triglycerides play a role as well in hunger. So, keeping your triglycerides down actually helps quite a bit with hunger. It’s just an interesting kind of an aside. The first thing we would recommend, and this is done on standardized tests, but we would encourage you to find a little bit more information about your number there, would be triglycerides.
That’s the first one. Let’s talk about another [00:12:00] one that we recommend people get all the time, which is your C reactive protein, or CRP for short. Which is an indication of inflammation levels in the body.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And very silent. Most people don’t have arthritis, and most people don’t have symptoms that they know of, at least having inflammatory markers. That’s what I love about thermography, right? In our office. A lot of people light up like a Christmas tree, because they have so [00:12:30] much inflammation. We don’t have to do the C reactive protein test, per se, but C reactive protein is a marker. If it’s high, you have an inflammation thing going on. That is part of the process … It’s not the first thing that happens in your body, right? As your body heads towards disease-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Something has to cause that inflammation.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s not spontaneous.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s not spontaneous. It can be a lot of things, but it is [00:13:00] a good marker.
Dr. Martin Sr.: That is a tremendous marker.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Your doctor, a lot of times rheumatologists will traditionally do a CRP, a C reactive protein. They’re showing a real link between inflammation and heart disease. A real connection between inflammation and cancer. Inflammation and Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and all this. You want to know how much silent … and the only sign sometimes that you have inflammation? I mean the only symptom that [00:13:30] you might have, you might not have any pain at all, you would be burning inside, with inflation, but you have no pain. You’re not necessarily … It started attacking your joints or whatever, but you usually are fatigued. Usually energy is an issue.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, energy is an issue. That’s something common I see. And from an anti-aging standpoint, a lot of studies have shown that inflammation is the chronic accelerator of aging. Those that have higher inflammation [00:14:00] levels are aging on the inside quicker, so they tend to have a much higher biological age. Again, if you want to know more about anti aging, we did three very good podcasts on anti-aging. So you can go back and listen to those. Even from a aging perspective, you want to keep your inflammation levels low. High inflammation levels indicate something is going on. It’s in effect. It’s not a cause. It’s an effect. There’s something going on there. That’s another good one to get done. So far we’ve talked about triglycerides and C reactive protein.
Another [00:14:30] one that we like a lot as well, are you vitamin D levels.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Your dihydroxy 25, right? Again, in Ontario, in the wisdom of the government, I hate to be negative, they decided several years ago that this shouldn’t be a standard test, because all they think of when they think of vitamin D is they think of bones, right? If a doctor is suspicious that you have osteopetrosis or osteopenia, then OHIP apparently pays for it. Okay? [00:15:00] In terms of our providential government here. You know what? Every cell in your body has a little antenna for, a receptor for, vitamin D. Your body doesn’t work properly. Your immune system doesn’t work properly.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s one of the best indicators of all cause mortality. What we mean by that is that it’s strongly correlated to all cause mortality, so the higher your blood D3 levels are, the less likely you are to die of [00:15:30] almost anything. Cancer we know, specifically. We’ve talked many times about breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s a good way to prevent it, in a lot of ways, but also your mortality while you have cancer, is much higher if your blood levels of D are higher. It’s one of those deficiencies that is so common, we also argue a little bit over the range that they use to determine what’s normal, what isn’t normal.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You’ve got to be jus about dying for your vitamin D [00:16:00] to be out of that normal range. To be at an optimal range is where you want to be in terms of prevention for cancer and autoimmune and all these things are very, very important. Vitamin D really, really tells you where your immune system is at. If you want to test. Get your dihydroxy 25, vitamin D test done. Ask your doctor. The commercials in the [00:16:30] United States, the pharmaceutical commercials, I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but they’re always saying, “Ask your doctor if this drug is good for you.” You know what you need to do folks? You need to ask you doctor for tests. Your doctor should tell you-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Drug companies want you going and asking about drugs. Go and ask for some blood tests.
Dr. Martin Sr.: They don’t allow it in Canada, but United States, they’re big down there.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We get all the commercials.
Dr. Martin Sr.: We see them.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They get the secondary effect.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Ask your doctor, get your [00:17:00] CRP done, get your vitamin D testing done, get your things that-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Let’s talk about the fourth one that we like as well, which is your blood omega-3 levels. Now, if you can, get your omega-6, omega-3 index even better. There’s a ratio between omega-6 and omega-3. Now, long story short, all the processed foods, and all the way that we consume food today, we have super high levels of omega-6.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 27 to 1, I think you said.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It was [00:17:30] 17 to 1. And it might be higher than that now, but it was at one point, 17, 18 to 1. Which means that we have 17, 18 times more omega-6 than omega-3.
Dr. Martin Sr.: This is a major cause of inflammation.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And a major cause, in my opinion, of-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Insulin.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, insulin for sure, but also autoimmune disorders.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Big time.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I think it causes irritation of the gut levels, but we can talk about autoimmune another time.
Dr. Martin Sr.: That’s a good thing, yeah. You’ll probably have to pay for that, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: The closer you are to one to one, the better off. [00:18:00] There are studies showing, for example, somebody has a high index and then they lower it down to even four to one, most of the stuff they’re complaining about goes away. It goes away. From headaches to whatever. There is study after study showing the benefits of that. If you can’t get that done, at least get your omega-3 levels checked. Again, high omega-3 levels are awesome for your brain, less likely to have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Can I mention something about something brand new that just came out? That your blood/brain barrier, [00:18:30] we always talk about having enough good bacteria. What happens in your gut, happens in your brain. You know what makes up … I didn’t know this. Part of your blood/brain barrier is DHA.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I was going to say DHA cause that’s what we’re talking about.
Dr. Martin Sr.: But seriously, I read a study yesterday-
Dr. Martin Jr.: It makes sense, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: It makes sense.
Dr. Martin Jr.: The cell walls are fatty. It only makes sense that Omega-3 and DHA specifically, would play a big role in the health … It’s the preferred source [00:19:00] of your brain. That makes sense. I understand that.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I just thought-
Dr. Martin Jr.: That goes to show that-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Did you know that? You probably did.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I did, but that’s alright.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I can’t fool you.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It is important. Nonetheless, it’s one of those things that rarely is checked on a standardized test. If you get a chance, try to get the index done. If you can’t, then try to find out what your Omega-3 levels are and then, again, like vitamin D, the higher … the more normal your Omega-3 levels are, the better [00:19:30] off you are across the board. It would be interesting to find out, and this is something that I can look up probably, is the correlation between C reactive protein, so inflammation markers in the blood, and DHA, or Omega-3 levels. I bet if you had high Omega-3 levels your CRP would be much lower.
Dr. Martin Sr.: No doubt. Very anti-inflammatory. We just know that about Omega-3 in general. Right? Especially DHA. We know how [00:20:00] anti-inflammatory that is.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, the big problem … We’ve done a presentation before on DHA, and one of the big problems … When somebody comes in and says, “I took it. I didn’t notice any difference.” It’s because they didn’t take enough of it. Again, you can go to our website. We have videos on that specifically. Let’s talk about one more. We’re running out of time. So let’s talk about one more quickly here that we like as well. It’s that hemoglobin A1C testing. Which is kind of … it’s basically-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s an average, right.
Dr. Martin Jr.: [00:20:30] It’s an average over the last two to three months of your blood sugar. It’s a good trailing indicator in a sense. What were the last two or three months of your blood sugar? And then you get this number. Obviously the worse that number is, the more your sugar levels were messed up. It’s a good indicator that insulin in fluctuating. If you got a high number, then you got high circulating insulin as well, for sure. There are other ways to find out if you’ve got high circulating insulin, but that’s not a bad way to find out [00:21:00] as well.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Often times, not traditionally, are least not always done.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No. Unless they specifically ask for a full sugar profile, they generally won’t, not always ask for that. Right? They’ll do a CBC, and they’ll do a chem screen, and they’ll do all those kinds of things. They’ll check the liver enzymes and all that, but these are other things that are important. We can talk as well about men and women getting your testosterone levels checked, free testosterone. There’s so many implications in that. Women, getting [00:21:30] your estrogen checked. Thyroid, hormonal, they tend to do thyroid a fair amount nowadays, because so many women are having thyroid issues where you and I would say that the thyroid, if it’s Hashimoto’s, which is an auto-immune, then it’s an auto-immune disease that’s effecting the thyroid, so you can treat the thyroid but you’re not fixing the auto-immune part of it. A lot of times, if the thyroid is off, they go on meds, but the thyroid wasn’t really the initial problem to begin with. So the meds don’t help them feel any better. But they do [00:22:00] check thyroid a lot more than they used to.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s a good idea. If you’re armed, you’re going to see your doctor, I want a full panel done on my thyroid testing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Everything.
Dr. Martin Sr.: not just TSH, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: We’re pretty much out of time, but again, the point of this episode is, when you do go to your doctor and you work up the nerve to ask him for … a lot of people can’t do that. Some can, no problem, but a lot of people have a hard time doing that, [00:22:30] but I would recommend at least trying to get those added tests done, if they’re not going to do them.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Bring your bouncer with you.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. That’s right. Using that information, you can get a little bit better idea than just a standardized testing to see what’s going on. Again, I’d encourage you, if you haven’t, to go back and listen to our last podcast, cause we do talk about biomarker testing and the importance and where that slots in. Now, you can get biomarker testing done, cause even if somebody is diseased, we like to do biomarker [00:23:00] testing, because-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Get your biomarkers done once a year and for some people twice a year. Get it done. You talk about prevention big time and letting you know exactly where you’re at.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We want to thank you for listening to this episode. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’re not a newsletter subscriber then I would strongly recommend that you go on our website, martinclinic.com and sign up for our newsletters. We send out a few emails every week and our podcast as well. Also, if you have any questions, you do a [00:23:30] Facebook live every Thursday morning.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yep.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You can go there.
Dr. Martin Sr.: We have a great time.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: At least I do.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We always tune in at first to see the technical difficulties that may arrive.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I was talking to a lady in Florida that watches every Thursday, and she said, “Oh, yeah, upside down, sideways, and do you do that on purpose?” I said, “No, I don’t know what I’m doing. That’s the point.”
Dr. Martin Jr.: We can attest to that. We can definitely attest to that. [00:24:00] You do a Facebook live every Thursday and you answer so many questions. It’s amazing. You’re out there. You’ll stick around for 45 minutes or so and answer people’s questions. It’s a great way to get your questions answered as well. Again, we want to thank you for listening. Have a great day.