Revolution Health & Wellness

Functional Medicine Approach To Labs

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Functional Medicine Approach To Labs

Functional medicine lab evaluation TulsaAs a patient in our Tulsa, Oklahoma Functional Medicine Clinic, you’ll notice that we do a lot of things different. Our primary goal is to ‘dive deep’ looking for any disruption in your health. We want to find any deviation from optimal and fix it as early as possible.

We aren’t interested in “Normal.” We want optimal! You may want to listen to this podcast about what “normal” means on your labs and why we may view them differently.

For starters, we check a lot of labs! Why? Because they tell us about what is going on inside your body.

Your body is not a series of individual functions. It contains a very complex, interwoven series of biochemical reactions performing very complex functions. In order to understand your overall health we need to ask a lot of questions about your physiology. Each lab we check is asking a specific question. These lab results give us specific answers. They help us understand what is going on inside your body.

We generally start with what we call a “Full Panel” lab evaluation. It is a great place to start for many patients.

Vital Signs

Vital signs are not blood labs but they are called “vital signs” for a reason. They give us vital information about what is going on with you.

A full explanation of each of your vital signs are found on other, specific posts but here is an overview:

  • Blood Pressure: our goal for optimal is <120/<80. I recommend that everyone also have an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor which is the Gold Standard for blood pressure evaluation. We can arrange this test for you.
  • Heart Rate: this should certainly be <100 for “normal” but we want it lower than that. Preferably less than 80.
  • Respiratory Rate: 12-20 is normal
  • Temperature: Normally around 98.6
  • Pulse Ox (oxygen saturation): we don’t check this on everyone, only if there is a question of lung function and/or oxygen delivery issues.

I mention these vital signs here because they are the start of our lab review appointments and extremely important in regards to your overall health.

Labs - functional medicine tulsaOur labs are divided into sections which are identified by the blue box in the far left column. The picture to the left has red arrows highlighting these sections.

You can simply follow along below and each lab will be explained in much greater detail. Hopefully, you’ll gain a better understanding of what we are checking, why we are checking it, and why we make the recommendations we make.

Lipoproteins (common referred to as “Cholesterol”), Particles, and Apolipoproteins

  • Total Cholesterol Lipoprotein particles. Many people want to know their total cholesterol. However, there is absolutely no correlation of total cholesterol and any disease process. High total cholesterol does not suggest an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Non-HDL Cholesterol – this is simply a calculation of your total cholesterol minus your HDL
  • ApoB
  • LDL-P
  • sdLDL
  • HDL-P
  • Lp(a)

Inflammation / Oxidation

Metabolic Labs

This section includes nutritional and metabolic labs:

Renal function

These labs help us understand your kidney function

Liver function

  • AST
  • ALT
  • Alk Phos
  • Total Bilirubin
  • GGT

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)

Men only.


Hormone labs include:

  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Progesterone
  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Testosterone.

Thyroid Labs

  • TSH
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid antibodies

Diabetes Related Labs

  1. Glucose
  2. A1c
  3. Adiponectin
  4. HOMA-IR
  5. Insulin
  6. Anti-GAD

Iron studies:

  • Ferritin
  • Transferrin
  • Serum Iron
  • % Saturation