Regular Blood Testing: Getting the Real Score of Your Wellness Game

You get your rest. You practice mindfulness. You watch what you eat and you exercise. That should be enough to ensure your health and well-being along the journey of life, right?


Well, almost right.

There is one more thing you can do that can impact how well you navigate your health: Have your blood tested regularly.

Think of blood tests as scorecards of sorts. They can help you better understand the actual impact your daily health routines are having on your overall well-being. Ensuring you are testing at regular intervals can help you see how your body is changing over time and provides the opportunity to make any course corrections if needed.

Most healthcare providers recommend bloodwork at least once a year, typically around the same time as your annual physical.

But there are several major reasons you may want to have your blood tested more frequently. Certain conditions and situations could warrant additional testing, including:

  • Experiencing unusual, lingering symptoms. These might include fatigue, abnormal weight gain or weight loss, new sources of pain or other odd symptoms that don’t make any sense.
  • Risk reduction. It’s a good idea to stay on top of any changes in your health to reduce your risk of disease or other complications. Regular blood tests can catch the warning signs of almost any disease early. Many heart, lung, and kidney conditions can be diagnosed using routine blood tests.
  • Health optimization. Tracking common blood markers, such as cholesterol, can allow you to adjust your diet or fitness plan to keep you as healthy as possible without having to wonder whether you’re doing the right thing or optimizing your supplement routine.

Four Important Blood Tests

Here are four important blood tests that you may want to consider.

Basic metabolic panel. A BMP checks for levels of certain compounds in the blood, such as:

  • electrolytes
  • calcium
  • glucose
  • sodium
  • potassium
  • carbon dioxide
  • chloride
  • blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • creatinine

Abnormal results may indicate kidney disease, diabetes or hormone imbalances. Your healthcare provider will order follow-up tests if necessary to confirm any of these conditions.

Complete blood count. As the most common blood test, a CBC will be included as part of your annual health exam. This panel evaluates 10 different aspects of how well your white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are doing.

Imbalances or discrepancies seen on a CBC can indicate:

  • nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B6 or B12
  • iron deficiency
  • bone marrow issues
  • tissue inflammation
  • infection
  • heart conditions

If your healthcare provider notices any irregular results, he or she will order follow-up blood tests for further evaluation.

Lipid panel. This collection of blood markers lets you know how your body is managing cholesterol and the transport proteins that carry it along. Cholesterol is a superhero in the body, responsible for making stress hormones, sex hormones and keeping your brain and your cells healthy. Contrary to popular opinion, we actually need plenty of cholesterol to stay healthy. A lipid panel tells you how much cholesterol your body is making (total cholesterol), and how well it is being shuttled through the body on LDLs and HDLs. When it comes to the lipid panel, make sure your healthcare practitioner understands the value and importance of cholesterol before being too quick to recommend a prescription to reduce it.

Thyroid panel. A thyroid panel looks at how well your thyroid is producing its primary hormone, T4, and whether that hormone is being efficiently converted into its active form, T3. In addition to these three blood markers, Reverse T3, T3 Uptake and thyroid antibodies should be ordered to ensure a comprehensive evaluation can be done.  As one of the most important glands in the body, your thyroid helps regulate many body functions including mood, energy level and overall metabolism.

Your next step

These important blood tests will help you see how well your diligence and attention to your overall health is paying off.  If areas of concern are identified early, you can make plans for addressing them well before there’s an unwelcome crisis.

Patient Testimonials

Dr Don Sharnowski is a doctor who is above and beyond all other doctors! Probably his most outstanding quality is that he LISTENS to what his patients say. He is willing to explain things to his patients in terms they can understand. Dr Don treats his patients with wisdom, understanding, gentleness, care, encouragement and he is willing to "go the extra mile" to give his patients the proper treatment they need. He does not treat patients like they were on an assembly line or like he is rushing them out the door. Dr Don has fixed many of the problems I had at my first visit, one of which I had endured for 3 years. Dr Don was able to fix that problem in 2 weeks when others had not. Dr Don has also helped me loose 40 lbs so far. My total recovery is still an ongoing process, but should be a cinch with Dr Don's expert help! Thank you, Dr Don! You are an awesome answer to prayers!

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Super Awesome Doctor in Overland Park, Kansas!! He really knows his stuff love his Holistic approach. Wish I lived closer so I could see him on the regular, at least we can chat on the regular! Very informative in all aspects of health! Five years ago this man took our health and turned it around 360 degrees. My son got ear infections very often. Both my boys have respiratory issues. My husband asthma and overweight. Myself aches and pains, specifically on my left side and joints. Well needless to say no more ear infections respiratory not nearly as often my husband is 80lbs less and never uses his inhaler . My sons ear infections...What ear infections...They are no longer! Thanks Dr. Don for all you do and have done!!

Lots of Love from The Stevens

Dr Don Sharnowski is truly an amazing Doctor. He listens to his patients and treats in a very complete way. He is very knowledgeable because he never stops learning. He is a great communicator and will help you learn better ways to be healthy if you will actually do what he teaches.

Cassie N.

Don (Dr Sharnowski) is truly one of a kind. He is warm, inviting and incredibly generous with his time, but also really knowledgeable about the body and everything within. You won't find crystal balls here. You'll find a super nice guy in sneakers who also sells farm fresh eggs at the counter. I went in expecting to get adjusted (and was scared, because I'd never seen a chiro before). Instead, what I experienced was someone who actually sat down and listened to my history, connected the dots between several ailments (instead of jumping to prescribe one drug apiece to treat each one), and explained things that no one had ever taken the time to do. I was there about my back specifically, but we talked about my whole health. Instead of just prescribing an anti inflammatory (which is what my other doc did), he explained why we get inflammation in our bodies, and how to help reduce it with what we eat. I've also been on thyroid medication for over 10 years, and he actually explained what the thyroid is, and what the drug I take is, and what it does. But not in a defensive or overly crunchy way. He just openly explained in a way that I could understand it. I highly recommend Don to anyone with a body who wants to feel better. His approach is approachably holistic. Just common sense, whole body-centered treatment.

Megh K.

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