You’ve heard about preemptive strikes, how about preemptive health? Don’t wait until you are really sick to get blood work drawn. Have it drawn at your yearly physical and keep a copy for your records. You OWN your medical records, by the way, your physician is just the custodian of them – so you are legally entitled to a copy of anything contained within it.
PREEMPTIVE HEALTH: What Blood Work to Request from Your Doctor
I get a lot of requests from people asking what blood tests they should request at their next medical appointment. Along with getting a standard Chemistry Panel and Complete Blood Count (CBC) which should include RBC Magnesium and RBC Potassium , here are the ones I commonly recommend for women. Men would have a few slight differences.
1) Complete Thyroid Panel :
TSH (many doctors only test TSH, and that is like trying to diagnose what is wrong with your foot by only looking at your big toe)
Free T3 (also known as: Triiodothyronine, Free)
Free T4, Direct S (Not Free T4 Index, Free T4 calculated, or TSH reflux)
Reverse T3 (If your doctor will do this and/or if it’s available in your country)
***Because this test includes a TSH screening, remember that medications like corticosteroids, aspirin and lithium can interfere with those results. Also, if you’ve had a recent X-ray that used iodine dye – or other radioactive tests – ask your doctor when you can take an accurate TSH test. Pregnant women in their first trimester should also ask their doctor about the proper time to get a TSH test.
If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism and/or Hashimoto’s Disease, add these :
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPOab)
If you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism (much less common), add these:
Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI)
Thyroid Receptor Antibody (TrAb)
2) Iron panel:
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
4) Sex Hormones (serum blood):
***The sex hormone tests should be done 7 days after ovulation. If you don’t know when you ovulate, an ovulation kit can be purchased from a drugstore, or you can just test on day 21, if you still menstruate. If you no longer cycle, the tests can be done anytime.
5) Other tests:
C-Reactive Protein (systemic inflammation marker)
Cholesterol panel ( I don’t care if it is high, I look at the ratios, and your CRP level^^^)
Fibrinogen (clotting & inflammation marker)
Hemoglobin A1C (long term measure of glucose status)
Homocysteine ( risk for coronary artery disease, fractures, and other disorders)
A) If you have ANY chronic health conditions, I recommend getting an ELISA Food Sensitivity and Allergy Panel done. It is an easy way to identify what you consume that is contributing to your systemic inflammation. Most family doctors do not perform these tests, you will need to go to someone familiar with them. ALCAT and ALLETESS are the two brands of testing that I have used with my patients. Their respective websites can help you locate a practitioner who is versed in them www.alcat.com , www.foodallergy.com
B ) If you have symptoms of low cortisol/ or adrenal fatigue, then salivary cortisol tests should be considered. Cortisol levels: 24-hour saliva cortisol tests from Canary Club and MyMedLab are done through ZRT Laboratories: http://www.canaryclub.org/diurnal-cortisol-4x-stress-hormone-kit.html ($119+shipping) or https://sttm.mymedlab.com/sttm-profiles/sttm-24-hour-cortisol-dhea ($125)
Symptoms of low cortisol: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/symptoms-low-cortisol/
C) Educate yourself! Read up on what you are experiencing: Books I highly recommend: Type II Hypothyroidism, Dr. Mark Starr; Stop the Thyroid Madness, Janie Bowthorpe; What is Your Menopause Type? Joseph Collins ; Death to Diabetes, DeWayne McCulley, The Blood Sugar Solution, Dr. Mark Hyman; The Adrenal Reset Diet, Dr. Alan Christianson; Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Wentz & Nowasadzka.
©2015, MirandaJorgenson, www.mirandajorgenson.com
It has been a long time since I have done a product specific post, but I am so excited about the release of this product next week, that I just had to tell you about it…
TruElevate – The latest creation from TruVision Health, TruElevate is a synergistic blend of ingredients known to promote healthy weight loss. In fact, TruElevate was designed to help individuals with resistant fat break through their weight loss plateaus. Furthermore, it comes in two unique versions – a delicious chocolate smoothie, or as easy-to-swallow capsules. So how does it work? In a nutshell, TruElevate acts to decrease appetite, balance glucose and insulin levels, burn fat (with an emphasis on stubborn abdominal fat), and provide you with gentle, sustained energy so that you can get out and enjoy life more! While it aids in fat loss, it doesn’t do so at the cost of losing muscle. It helps you to maintain your muscle mass and feel good while doing it. It contains several ingredients that have balancing or reparative properties to ensure you have ‘healthy’ weight loss. If you’ve been stuck in a rut – then give TruElevate a try!
Here is how each ingredient works:
Ribose – Is a pentose monosaccharide (simple sugar) which forms the backbone of RNA and plays roles in metabolism and energy (ATP) production. Early research indicates that taking ribose supplements orally may improve energy, sleep, the sense of well-being. Studies also show that it supports healthy heart function, a reduction in fatigue, restless leg syndrome, and may lessen symptoms associated with fibromyalgia . Ribose may lower blood sugar levels, so people taking insulin or other diabetic medications should monitor their blood sugar and consult with their physician.1
Inulin – A polysaccharide and functional fiber which acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances which support the growth of healthy intestinal flora and probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut. In dietary supplements, inulin is most commonly derived from the chicory plant. Studies have demonstrated that inulin is beneficial in supporting healthy blood lipid levels, including cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It promotes bowel regularity, weight loss, and can also be used as a food additive to improve taste.2
Caffeine – is a natural CNS stimulant which is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, colas, and many other products. It is commonly used to reduce fatigue and increase mental alertness. Used in moderation, caffeine can enhance the action of other medications and supplements, and is widely recognized as being safe when used as directed.3
Yerba Mate – a tea derived from the evergreen bush ilex paraguariensis, and has been used for centuries to provide energy and improve concentration. It has been demonstrated to promote normal blood levels of glucose and cholesterol. Studies also indicate it may be beneficial for urinary tract health, colon health, bone density, healthy mood, and weight loss. Consumers of Yerba mate report that it provides them with the energy and alertness of caffeine without any ‘jitters’ or sleep disturbances.4,5
N-Acetyl Tyrosine – An amino acid that may be difficult for the body to make in optimal concentrations. It is used as a building block to make new proteins and cells, and to aid the recovery and repair of muscles and other systems. One of its key roles is that it aids in the synthesis of dopamine – one of our main neurotransmitters. Dopamine is directly correlated to your emotional responses, behavioral responses, and addictions. Dopamine levels are also associated with norepinephrine – a neurotransmitte related to adrenalin. Maintaining healthy dopamine levels results in stress alleviation, enhanced mood, and improved energy and concentration.6
Taurine – A sulphur-bearing amino acid that is a required building block for proteins. Certain tissues of the body have higher concentrations and requirements including the heart, brain, muscles, and blood cells. It has been used to support healthy cardiovascular function, blood pressure, blood lipid profiles, and as an agent of repair for those with oxidative damage from diabetes and alcoholism.7,8 It also helps the body respond to mental and physical forms of stress.
Phenylethylamine – is a natural chemical found in the body which boosts mood, mental drive, concentration, productivity, and aids in fat burning. It is also one of the components in chocolate that makes it so appealing.9
Green Tea – Used for centuries a daily tonic and all-purpose beverage, green tea is an extract form the Camellia sinensis plant. Studies have demonstrated that green tea extracts have thermogenic properties, and can reduce body mass index (BMI) and obesity levels (particularly abdominal fat).10,11
Evodiamine – An Asian plant extract that has been demonstrated in laboratory studies to reduce both fat uptake, act as a thermogenic, and stimulate metabolism.12,13
Trimethylglycine – An organic compound found in many plants, but commonly isolated from beets. Trimethylglycine is required for methylation, and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. It also plays a key role in energy production, and is beneficial for optimal digestion, liver health, and certain detoxification pathways.14,15
Theacrine – is a natural plant extract which structurally resembles caffeine but appears to have fewer side effects, making it known as an acceptable alternative to caffeine. It is noted to increase energy levels, and has stimulatory effects. It may boost physical activity, motivation, concentration, and levels of alertness. Anecdotal reports suggest it may be useful in reducing fatigue, and have anti-aging and immune boosting properties.16,17
Glucomannan – Often found in the cell walls of certain plants, Glucomannan is a polysaccharide/dietary fiber. It has been used as a food additive to emulsify fats and act as a thickening agent. As a dietary supplement, it can decrease appetite and it slows the absorption of sugars and fats in the gut; which can help to balance glucose levels, and result in weight loss. As the fiber passes through the intestinal tract, it absorbs water, which also helps glucomannan improve bowel health and regularity. 18,19
Huperzine – purified extract from Chinese Club Moss. It is associates with improved memory, mental focus and clarity, muscle function, energy use, and sleep.20
DHEA – Is a hormone (dehydroepiandrosterone) naturally produced in the body, however both stress and age decrease its production and many people turn to dietary supplementation to maintain optimal levels. DHEA has been associated with enhancing immune function, energy production, normalizing hormones, building and maintaining muscle, bone health, and balanced mood. It is believed to have anti-aging benefits and plays a role in weight loss; particularly in the reduction of abdominal fat and insulin sensitivity. Lower levels of DHEA are found in people with chronic health conditions, including diabetics, and those with cardiovascular dysfunction, inflammatory disorders, immune disorders, and with those taking certain medications – including corticosteroids and hormonal birth control.21,22,23
Xylitol – a natural sugar alcohol commonly extracted from birch trees for the dietary supplement market. It is used in lieu of sugar in “sugar-free” products, and is believed to prevent dental cavities and ear infections when taken orally. It is considered a ‘diabetic friendly’ sweetener.24
Available soon: You will be able to get TruElevate as part of our convenient Combo-Packs
**A note on resources – while I had the option to use any of a variety of available sources for the information contained above, I chose to stick to popular and widely accepted sites such as WebMD and the MayoClinic. Whenever possible, I did not use sites associated with the manufacture or sale of dietary supplements so there would be no accusations of ulterior motivation. These resources are not all encompassing, but are user friendly, and I encourage you to be your own informed consumer and do your own fact checking.
©2015, Miranda Jorgenson. May not be used in whole or in part without the expressed written permission of the author.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Maybe it is because I was raised in Canada, maybe it is because my grandparents were products of the Great Depression, but I am frugal. I’m a dollar and cents kind of gal. I always want to know exactly what I’m buying and what it is going to end up costing. So, in the course of my meticulous comparison shopping, I have created a small chart detailing the most commonly referenced weight loss programs on the internet and their respective costs. Not that I consider it a true comparison, however, because the TruVision combo works from within and does not involve gritty shakes, bars, or meal replacements of any kind. However, since so many people are watching their pennies in this day and age – this should give you good insight on what things actually cost and what you get for your dollar.
There are literally hundreds of diet products on the market, and I can’t investigate all of them, but the following list contains the ones that came up most frequently in my research. Each ‘system’ or ‘plan’ takes a slightly different approach — some focus on dietary restriction, other on pills, appetite suppression, shakes, etc. Some involve extreme dietary restrictions for their duration, which I am not a fan of. The long-term viability of program like that is not good. Some involve healthy lifestyle modification, others position themselves as being ‘magically’ effective. Popular products like Body by Vi will set you back $311 for 30 days of shakes. NutriSystem costs anywhere from $299 to over $500 depending on the package of meal replacements you choose. Isagenix, another shake and pill program comes in at $383. Jenny Craig averages $100-$130 per week and involves follow-up office visits. The TruVision combo isn’t for everyone, but it did work for ~80% of the study participants- which is a phenomenal track record by anyone’s standards. It works to balance the underlying body chemistry so your body can release the weight it has been hanging onto. It works even better if you take advantage of their 10K Fitbit program and work on getting in 10K steps per day (thereby winning free products from the company). You eat real food of your own choosing and you never have to drink gritty shakes or consume chemical cocktail franken-foods. I will be the first to admit that it is hard to compare apples to oranges, and some of these programs are very good and some are very bad. I leave it to you research each plan’s individual components, but know this: most good diet plans will have you lose 1-2.5 lbs per week on average, so if you are paying $80 to lose 10 lbs vs. paying $400 to lose 10 lbs – then your Cost Per Pound Lost is $8 vs. $40. It is clear that you don’t have to spend big money to get big results!
Cost Comparison of Popular Weight Loss Programs
||Length of Program
||Retail Cost (average)
||TruFix & TruWeightEnergy combo, pills
||Pills, patches, shakes
||4 body wraps, Thermofit, Greens, pills
||Drink additive, pills, laxative, probiotic
|| $120- 220+
||Coaching only, food extra
|Body By Vi
||Transformation kit: Shakes
||24 Day Challenge, pills, fiber, shakes, MR
||Meal Replacements (MR) kits
||Ult. Wt. Loss kit; shakes, pills
||Pills , shakes
||$60 – $120+
||Drops, $50-$120 per bottle, 1 bottle for every 20 days, $$$ charges for Dr.’s appt
||$50 – $240 av ++
||Paid per week @ $100-130/wk, MR
|South Beach online
||Centered on ‘good carbs’, foods can be costly
||MR, does not include Center fees or food upgrades
|LA Weight Loss
||3 levels – all have juice & bars, upgraded pkgs have additional shakes, fiber, and supplements
||$199 Silver$299 Gold
||Weight loss coffee, @ 2 per day
||Weight Loss Bundle; pills
||Reset Weight Loss, pills, MR,
||180 Turnaround Kit; tea, bars, shakes
||Smart mix, AM/PM combo, XM+; drink, pills
| NuSkin /Pharmanex
||ReDesign Weight Mgmt ; pills, shakes
|Physician Weight Loss Centers
|Fit Team Global
||Fit Sticks: drink mix
||Zen Shape: Mix, pills, shakes
||Shakes, portion control, exercise
||Loyalty Pack, shakes, pills
This is an aspect of weight loss that perplexes a lot of people – they start a new diet and notice their clothes getting looser, or their face getting thinner – but their weight is staying the exact same! It is frustrating, because you *think* your diet is working but you step on the scale and feel like a big old failure.
Well, I am here to tell you that you can relax! You are not a failure! You are experiencing the wonders of the fat cell in action (I can hear you saying, “big whoop — skinny thighs are what excites me!”).
Let’s start off with a little physiology lesson. In your body you have 10-30 billion fat cells, and that is if you are of a healthy weight. Overweight people can have 75 billion fat cells or more, and it is not unheard of for morbidly obese people to have 250-300 billion fat cells overwhelming their boney frames! That is a LOT of fat cells (adipocytes). Picture each fat cell like a little deflated balloon. That balloon can be relatively empty or filled to the brim and be stretched over 10x its normal size. Now these fat cells are stubborn creatures – you can always make more, but once you have them, they are yours for good. Up until very recently1, it was thought that the only way to get rid of fat cells was to cut them out, but you can deflate them — and this is the key to losing weight effectively.
You see, fat cells are little storage tanks, and despite your most heartfelt desires to the contrary, they are remarkably efficient at storing fat in the form of triglycerides within the cell. When we want to burn fat – it isn’t an easy matter of having your brain tell your body, “we need more energy – let’s burn that love handle”. It doesn’t work that way! We need two enzymes, hormone sensitive lipase and adipose glyceride lipase to break down the triglyceride within fat cell where it is then released into the bloodstream as FFA’s. The more blood supply an area has, the better it can whisk away those FFA’s that are getting dumped from the fat cells. You can see this on your own body — take a second and poke your facial cheeks. See, the fat there is nice and soft because it has a good blood supply. Now grab the fat on your belly or on your butt. Feel the difference? It is dense and hard. It doesn’t have a good blood supply to whisk fat away. This is why when you start losing weight, it usually leave the ‘soft’ places first – your face, breasts, and arms and leaves you feeling like a saggy humpty dumpty for a while. This blood flow issue also leads us to our key point – when you start a diet and are burning fat, the scale often stays immobile despite you noticing that you are shrinking. This happens because the body abhors a vacuum. When the adipocytes dump out their fatty contents, your body doesn’t like to see an empty cell – so it shuttles water into the cell to fill up the space the fat just occupied. This is also why fat loss can be considered an inflammatory process and why you often feel bad, tired, sick, or swollen when you are dieting (there are other chemical factors, but we will discuss those at another time). Your body is literally replacing the fat with water! This process is more extreme for some people than for others, and some fortunate souls experience very little of this water replacement. This is also why your stomach or thighs can feel mushy or spongy when you are losing weight – you are replacing a dense fat with water.
So, what you can do, especially if you know that you have resilient fat or are a water hoarder? Well, there are a few simple things:
- Stay hydrated. I know, you’re thinking, “Why put more water into a swollen body?”, — Well, you need to flush out the metabolites from breaking down those FFA’s.
- Limit Caffeine and Alcohol. A little of either substance is OK, and small doses of caffeine can even be beneficial because it has a mild diuretic effect. Large amounts of either (and by large I am referring to more than 3 caffeinated beverages or more than 1 glass of wine or beer each day) can cause you to swell up like a balloon at the Macy’s Day Parade AND make your hard-earned weight loss come to a grinding halt.
- Shake your booty. Yes, I said it. The largest lymphatic pump in your body is the quadriceps muscles in your legs, so anything that gets those quads pumping — like walking, dancing, or biking, increases your lymph flow and your blood flow. If you work yourself up to a decent exertion point, then you will really increase systemic blood flow, and breathing (and breathing is the means by which your body excretes the metabolites of burnt fat cells!). Dig out those Richard Simmons’ shorts you’ve been hanging onto for the past 20 years — (they are back in style) and get ‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies!’
So there you have it! Know that you are not hallucinating – your face is thinner, your breasts are shrinking, and those bingo wings are real. Your scale just hasn’t caught up with your body! The more you follow the above steps – the faster you will purge that excess water (and inflammation) and the scale will start moving in the right direction.
CoQ10 is a ubiquitous yellow vitamin-like nutrient that is found within every single human cell. Your body requires CoQ for energy production; in fact 95% of the energy produced by the body is dependent on CoQ10. A healthy person can manufacture their own supply, but that is easier said than done. The synthesis of CoQ involves 17 separate steps and requires that you have optimal levels of B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folate, vitamin C, and several trace minerals and elements. organs with the highest requirements include the heart , but the lungs and liver also contain significant amounts. Your levels of CoQ10 peak in your early 20’s, at that point making about 500 mg of CoQ per day and this decreases as you age to less than 250 mg per day by the eighth decade of life.
Low levels of CoQ10 are very problematic and have been associated with a wide variety of issues including heart disease, breast cancer, chronic fatigue, infertility, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Coincidently, all of these factors are also associated with obesity. In fact, studies have found that 50% of obese patients were CoQ 10 deficient and other studies monitoring CoQ levels and weight loss found that individuals supplementing with CoQ lost twice the weight as those who did not supplement with it.
You really can not satisfy your body’s need for CoQ solely from your diet. CoQ acquisition from food sources is limited at most, with less than 5 mg per day being consumed as part of a typical western diet. Other factors that adversely affect CoQ levels include physical and mental stress, alcohol intake, nicotine consumption, and certain metabolic disorders. Additionally, CoQ10 is one of the most cited nutrients lost with medication use, therefore if you take any medications on a routine basis, ask your pharmacist to check whether that medication has any known drug-nutrient depletions. Statin medications in particular are well known for their dramatic depletion of CoQ 10.
If you go shopping for CoQ10 – you are going to see a lot of contradictory information. Some people are selling a form of CoQ 10 called ubiquinone. This is the original – or old form of the nutrient. Other people are selling a new form of CoQ called ubiquinol – and they are claiming that it is vastly superior to the original form, and thus well worth the much more expensive price tag. Let me tell you, at this time, I feel the literature is justified in supporting the use of either form. Choose one from a company you trust. Your body takes the original form, ubiquinone, and converts it to ubiquinol, so barring complete metabolic dysfunction, you end up with the same end result. The ubiquinol may absorb marginally faster, but both work and both have their place. One thing to note, off all of the thousands of studies promoting the use of COQ, over 98% of them used the original ubiquinone. Most of the studies on the newer form are very recent and associated with the raw materials manufacturer. TruVision Health uses both ubiquinol and ubiquinone in its formulations.
I am all for CoQ supplementation, in fact it is one of the supplements I take on a most regular basis. Your body needs it but you simply cannot get it from food and it is virtually impossible for anyone over the age of twenty to make enough for what they need. If you suffer from fatigue, low energy, burn-out after exercise, or if you have a history of heart issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, gum disease or lowered immune function – then you really should investigate adding CoQ10 supplementation to our daily regimen.
Most therapeutic guidelines suggest a daily recommended intake of 50 mg-250 mg/ daily depending on your individual needs and medical history. Those with a history of heart or cardiovascular disease, or those taking certain medications being at the higher end of the spectrum.
Heart & Hydration from TruVision Health is one of the products containing CoQ that I commonly recommend. While capsules are an easy way to ingest high quantities, Heart & Hydration is a pleasant tasting powdered drink mix, which is both convenient and a good option for people who do not enjoy taking pills.
Updated 02/17/2016 – TruVision just announced a new addition to their wellness and lifestyle product line. Their Ubiquinol supplies 100 mg per soft gel capsule, which is a great addition for people wanting to take the higher, more therapeutic levels of CoQ10.
Copyright (c) 2015, 2016 Miranda Jorgenson. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission of the author. You are welcome to share this link or print this page and use in its entirely