The Tests We Use to See Into Your Health Future

If you look at the leading causes of death in Canada, you’ll notice that most of them are the result of chronic disease. They’re things like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, and diabetes–things that tend to be slow-moving and subtle, creeping up on you over years, silently exerting their effects on your body without your awareness.  

But what if you could measure those things before they become apparent? What if you could see your possible health future, and then work to change it?

In fact, you can. Chronic disease can and does show up in your biochemistry long before you have the heart attack or stroke. Measuring that biochemistry is like a glimpse of the future…only in this case, it’s a future you can change.

How to See the Future: the Metabolic Panel

Here at StoneTree we use a “metabolic panel” to help us see into your future. It’s a collection of blood tests that gives us a picture of your overall health. By testing your blood over time, we can understand if your biochemistry is moving toward, or away from health. That helps us see what causes of death you’re moving toward, and at what rate.

Watching these test results over time gives you a chance to make change–in treatments, supplements, lifestyle choices, and more.

The metabolic panel is actually a number of inexpensive blood tests. It’s our favourite “crystal ball” for seeing your possible health future:

  • GGT. Gamma-glutamyltransferase is a liver enzyme that can be elevated in the blood if you are drinking too much alcohol and/or developing a fatty liver. A fatty liver means your diet contains too much processed food, bad fats and sugars and that your liver is overwhelmed.  
  • Fasting Glucose. This test is common, and measures the amount of sugar in your blood without eating. High numbers are a sign of diabetes. 
  • Fasting Insulin. This test is less well-known, but far more important. Most people with diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes. This is a “metabolic dysfunction” where the person’s cells are insensitive to insulin, and the body produces more and more insulin to deal with the same amount of blood sugar. Fasting insulin, then, will be elevated long before fasting glucose becomes elevated–it’s the canary in the coal mine.
  • HbA1c. Glycosylated hemoglobin, is a measure of how much sugar is attached to your red blood cells. While fasting glucose gives you a blood sugar reading at one point in time, this test gives you your average blood sugar over three months.  
  • hs-CRP. High sensitivity c-reactive protein, is a measure of overall inflammation in your body. The literature repeatedly shows how important the overall inflammatory environment is in chronic disease. 
  • Triglycerides. This fat, when elevated in the blood, is linked to diets high in sugars and simple starches, low in fiber, and high in processed fats–in other words, diets that aren’t good for you.
  • SHBG. Sex hormone binding globulin is a protein in our blood that carries around…you guessed it, sex hormones. It also plays a role in proper sugar balance in the blood.

Here’s the amazing part: You can modify all these results. Supplementation, various treatments, exercise, dietary changes–they can all change your biochemistry, and as a result, your health.

It’s worth repeating. You can change these markers, and as a result, change your health outcomes. Doing this panel of tests every 6-12 months isn’t just a glimpse of your future; it’s the first step in doing something about it!

To learn more about the metabolic panel, or to arrange testing, contact us at 705-444-5331, or book an appointment online.