Only 12% of Americans are considered “metabolically healthy.” More than 130 million Americans are dealing with chronic disease. Up to 40% of annual deaths are due to preventable conditions.
Given these statistics, health should be a national priority, yet Americans still only spend an average of 20 minutes with their primary care physician annually.
At Holtorf Medical Group, we aim to empower our patients with the education and guidance they need to resolve symptoms and feel healthier than ever before.
One of the key ways in which we do so is through comprehensive biomarker testing. Biomarkers can be viewed as similar to KPIs for business, they are indicative of your current health state as well as potential issues you may face later down the line. In other words, biomarkers testing can catch imbalances in your body years before you are symptomatic.
Unfortunately, proactive testing is not common in traditional medicine, leaving many of us without critical information about our health. Our experienced physicians recommend biomarker testing every 3-6 months to track your progress and eliminate any guesswork along your health journey.
Below are the “newest” biomarkers that are valued and tested at the forefront of medicine that your primary care physician may not be tracking:
What is F2-Isoprostane?
As an indicator of oxidative stress, F2-Isoprostane can act as a vasoconstrictor, increasing the risk of clotting heart attack, and stroke.
What is Creatinine?
Creatinine is a chemical compound that indicates how well the kidneys are filtering toxins. Creatinine is left over from energy-producing processes in your muscles, which kidneys then filter out of the blood as a waste product in urine.
The ratio of these key biomarkers is considered the “gold standard” for measuring oxidative stress, one of main contributors to disease. These markers are particularly useful for individuals who have lifestyle risks due to poor diet, chronic stress, toxin exposure, or smoking. This ratio is also relevant to those with a family history of cardiovascular disease, or hyperlipidemia.
High levels are linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque) and certain cancers.
Galectin-3 is a lesser known marker for heart failure that may also indicate the growth of cancerous cells.
Given that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, this new biomarker can help you gain a more accurate picture of your risk and empower you to change the trajectory of your lifespan.
A recent study involving over 8,000 people showed that elevated galectin-3 levels was linked to tripling the risk of mortality.
Did you know 50% of annual deaths are due to inflammatory conditions?
That is why hsCRP is arguably the most important marker to regularly test as it is an effective way to track your inflammation levels. hsCRP can be an indicator of issues linked to inflammation such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, food sensitivities, toxin exposure, and more.
High levels of inflammation are linked to nearly every chronic condition. By proactively addressing elevated hsCRP levels, you can avoid suffering from long-term infections, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, thyroid imbalances, irritable bowel disease, and cancer.
Vitamin D Levels
Although vitamin D may not be considered a “new” biomarker, it is not regularly tested yet this vitamin is critical to overall health and wellness. This lack of testing is particularly shocking given that approximately 42% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone and plays a variety of critical roles in the endocrine system, the immune system, as well as reparative and restorative processes in the body. For optimal levels of sex hormones and a robust immune system, optimal levels of vitamin D are required.
With 70% of the American diet consisting of processed foods, “hidden sugars” in our diet is a frequent problem that can have long-term consequences.
Hemoglobin a1c levels measure your average sugar intake over the last three months. It is a prerequisite for determining your risk for diabetes, which affects an increasing percentage of Americans. In fact, 1 in 10 Americans suffer from diabetes and 1 in 5 people with diabetes don’t know they have it.
For optimal health, experts recommend maintaining hemoglobin a1c lower than 5.2, otherwise you risk increasing inflammation levels, accelerating the aging process, and developing insulin resistance.
When testing thyroid function, many doctors only test the levels of Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH). Although TSH is considered the “gold standard” test by many endocrinologists, there is no consensus on the appropriate reference range for this test. Some endocrinologists consider any number within the reference range (it’s around .40 to 4.0 mlU/L at many US labs) “normal,” and others feel that TSH must be as high as 10 mlU/L. Moreover, this “gold standard” test does not consider the levels of Free T4 and Free T3 — the actual circulating thyroid hormones, nor the antibodies that detect autoimmune thyroid disease (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). As a result, you may have sub-normal levels of T4 and T3 (meaning bodily systems are not receiving enough thyroid hormone), and/or antibodies that show that your thyroid gland is in self-destruct mode, yet if your TSH is within the reference range, the endocrinologist may say it’s “normal.”
It is also uncommon for endocrinologists to screen for a patient’s levels of Reverse T3 (RT3). As the mirror image of T3, RT3 is responsible for keeping active thyroid hormone levels balanced and is important for overall thyroid function. Thus, in order to receive an accurate picture of your thyroid health, it is best to have a full panel screening of your thyroid hormones.
Once a full thyroid panel is conducted, an experienced endocrinologist can determine if thyroid medication is right for you.
Take a Data-Driven Approach to Your Health
Ready to eliminate the guesswork and understand what’s best for your health? Gain the data you need with our comprehensive testing. Contact Holtorf Medical Group today.