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Health Protocols

Lab Testing

Chemistry Panel and Complete Blood Count: The Most Common Blood Test

Hematocrit (whole blood)

Hematocrit measures the percentage of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. Hematocrit decreases with age (Kubota 1991) and in anemia and increases in dehydration, and high values were also associated with the possibility of an increased risk for venous thrombosis (Schreijer 2010). Low or high hematocrit levels are associated with increased morbidity and mortality (Boffetta 2013; Paller 2012).

  • Reference Range:
    • Women 36.9-44.6%
    • Men 41.5-50.4%
  • LE’s Optimal Range: Upper end of the reference range

Hemoglobin (whole blood)

Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport protein in red blood cells. Its measurement aids in the diagnosis of various forms of anemia.

  • Reference Range:
    • Women 12.3-15.3 g/dL
    • Men 14-17.5 g/dL
  • LE’s Optimal Range: Upper end of the reference range

Calcium (serum)

This test is used to evaluate parathyroid function and calcium metabolism. Serum calcium is increased in hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, metabolic diseases of the bone, immobilization after trauma or osteoporosis, leukemia, lymphoma, and the use of certain diuretics (Goldstein 1990).

  • Reference Range: 8.6-10.3 mg/dL
  • LE’s Optimal Range: 9-10 mg/dL

Albumin (serum or plasma)

Increased albumin is found in cases of dehydration. Low albumin is found in patients receiving intravenous fluids, excessive hydration, liver disease, chronic alcoholism, certain chronic diseases such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammatory diseases, infections, heart failure, skin diseases, burns, pregnancy, and oral contraceptive use.

  • Reference Range: 3.5-5.5 g/dL

Glucose (serum)

High blood glucose levels are associated with diabetes, neuropathy, eye problems, heart disease, and stroke. Glucose is the primary blood sugar used by cells to make energy. Glucose level is included in most chemistry panels. It is useful to have glucose tested with other measures such as insulin and hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C). This test may be done fasting or 2‒4 hours after eating. Both types of tests provide valuable information, though 2‒4 hours after a meal provides a more realistic assessment of the state of your blood in everyday life.

  • Reference Range: 65-99 mg/dL
  • LE’s Optimal Range: 70-85 mg/dL

Uric Acid (serum or plasma)

Uric acid is made from purines, which are made naturally in the body and also come from the diet (Schlesinger 2005). If uric acid is overproduced or the kidneys are unable to get rid of it, the elevated levels can result in joint pain, leading to a condition known as gout (George 2017). Uric acid is included in most chemistry panels.

  • Reference Range:
    • Women: 2.5-7.1 mg/dL
    • Men: 3.7-8.6 mg/dL
  • LE’s Optimal Range: <6.0 mg/dL (Desideri 2014)

Creatinine (serum or plasma)

Creatinine is a commonly used test to evaluate kidney function by measuring the rate of filtered fluid through the kidneys (Gowda 2010). It is included in most chemistry panels along with the BUN/creatinine ratio (which has a reference range of 9-20).

  • Reference Range:
    • Women: 0.57-1.0 mg/dL
    • Men: 0.76-1.27 mg/dL
  • LE’s Optimal Range: <1.0

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) (serum or plasma)

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) is an indicator of how well the liver and kidneys are functioning. BUN is included in most chemistry panels along with the BUN/creatinine ratio.

  • Reference Range:
    • 6-20 mg/dL (adults)
    • 8-23 mg/dL (>60 years)

Total Cholesterol/HDL Cholesterol Ratio (serum or plasma)

The total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio is helpful in predicting an individual’s risk of developing atherosclerosis. The number is obtained by dividing the total cholesterol value by the value of the HDL cholesterol. (High ratios indicate higher risks of heart attacks; low ratios indicate lower risk.)

  • Reference Range: 0.0-5.0
  Men Women
½ average risk 3.4 3.3
Average risk 5.0 4.4
2x average risk 9.6 7.1
  • LE’s Optimal Range: <3.4

Triglycerides (serum or plasma)

Triglyceride levels are used to identify risk for developing coronary heart disease and if fat metabolism disorders are suspected.

  • Reference Range: 0-149 mg/dL
  • LE’s Optimal Range:
    • Fasting: <100 mg/dL (<80 mg/dL if any risk factors; <60 mg/dL if pre-existing cardiovascular disease);
    • Non-fasting: <116 mg/dL

Total Cholesterol (serum or plasma)

Total cholesterol is used to assess risk of coronary heart disease and stroke (Kinosian 1994; Ansell 2000; Foroughi 2013).

  • Reference Range: 100-199 mg/dL (over age 19)
  • LE’s Optimal Range: 160-180 mg/dL

HDL (serum or plasma)

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the “good” cholesterol because it helps transport cholesterol from cells to the liver for removal. Low HDL levels are used as a predictor of heart disease risk.

  • Reference Range: >39 mg/dL
  • LE’s Optimal Range: ≥50 mg/dL

LDL (serum or plasma)

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as the “bad” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol and fats from the liver to the rest of the body. Elevated LDL levels are used as a predictor of heart disease risk.

  • Reference Range: 0-99 mg/dL (over age 19)
  • LE’s Optimal Range:
    • Good: 80-100 mg/dL
    • Ideal: <80 mg/dL (<70 mg/dL for those with pre-existing, or who are at high risk, for cardiovascular disease)

Iron (serum, preferred)

Low levels of iron are associated with iron deficiency anemia. Anemia is associated with fatigue, low energy, and in some cases, can manifest as muscle aches and headaches. High levels of iron are associated with liver disease, kidney disease, and vitamin B6 deficiency (Prothro 1981; Gkamprela 2017; Mydlik 1997).

  • Reference Range:
    • Women:
      • 27-159 µg/dL (age 18-60)
      • 27-139 µg/dL (over age 60)
    • Men: 38-169 µg/dL (over age 17)
  • LE’s Optimal Range: 40-100 µg/dL            
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