Over the last several years I am surprised by the number of healthcare providers who tell patients their labs are normal. A number of patients come in with their labs and they tell me that all the labs are within normal range and they are good. Take vitamin D for example, if you are over 30 ng/ml on your lab test then you are okay. Yes, this is true that you won’t get rickets i.e. soft bones but for heart health you need a level of 50 ng/ml. If you want cancer protection you need a level of over 60 ng/ml. Per Professor Coimbra in Brazil a patient with MS needs a vitamin D level of 250 ng/ml. A study done with 6,000 MS patients showed that with high levels of Vitamin D 95% of MS patients suppressed the disease activity and were able to get out of their wheelchairs.
The next example would be thyroid labs. The actual thyroid hormone is Free T3. Most healthcare providers only check TSH and Total T4. The Free T3 level is usually between 2.3-4.2. So, if your level is 2.5 you’re okay. This may not be so. Often I see patients for years being told that their thyroid is fine. If this is true, then how come when I get their Free T3 around 3.7 their fatigue goes away. Take sodium the range is 135-145. Many times I will get a person with chronic weakness and brain fog and I get their sodium level to 146-148 and they are a completely different person. Testosterone levels range from 250-900. A patient came in with a level of 400 and he was told he was fine yet he had brain fog, weakness, and low libido. I got his level to 850 and low and behold he was a completely different person he was strong, had good clear thinking, and increased libido.
Recently, I had a young lady who felt tired for years. Her labs were always normal. I looked at her CBC and saw that her MCV was 82. The normal range is 80-100 and her ferritin level was an 8 and the range is 16-288. I said what does your healthcare provider say about your MCV of 82? She said it was in the range so it’s okay. A low MCV can mean low iron. Her ferritin was 8 which is below the normal range. Iron is carried on a red blood cell as ferritin. If ferritin is low your fatigue can easily cause you to get shortness of breath because your body is not able to hold onto the oxygen. I gave the patient an IV of ferritin and an hour later she was a totally different person. If you are not feeling well have your healthcare provider look at your labs in more detail.
John Young, M.D.