At only 30 years old, Tami should not have felt this bad. She shouldn’t have felt like this if she were 65, but at 30 it was controlling her life. Being well read, Tami had researched her symptoms and discussed with her doctor that she felt that she was suffering from hypothyroidism. After much convincing, her doctor ordered her labs to find that her levels were within the “normal range.”
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NORMAL AND OPTIMAL?
Tami asked what so many patients who come to us ask . . . “NORMAL FOR WHOM?” She was experiencing the frustration that patients like her struggle with – her labs fall within the range of normal, but they are low for her. After safely bringing her up to the upper range of normal, her life began to change.
For fun . . . let’s pull out our slide ruler to discuss where the word “normal” came from in referencing your laboratory results. When your doctor describes your blood tests as “normal”, that means that it is within the reference range. The first step in determining a reference range is to define the population that the test result range applies to. A large number of individuals who are thought to be the “normal” population are then tested. The reference range for a particular laboratory test is then worked out mathematically by using the average value for the “normal” population group together with the variation around that value (plus or minus 2 standard deviations from the average). In this way, ranges quoted by laboratories represent the values found in 95% of individuals in the chosen “reference” group. This means that even in a “normal” population a test result is outside the reference range in 5% of cases (1 in 20). It is why the term “reference range” is preferred over “normal range”. The term “reference range” is being replaced by “reference interval”.
When you examine test results from different populations, you quickly discover that what is “normal” for one group of people is not necessarily normal for another population group. For tests such as cholesterol the “normal range” has been replaced to a large extent by use of target values.
In Tami’s case, her thyroid panels fell within the reference range so . . . end of conversation for many patients and their doctors; however, that is not always the case. Each person has their own optimal level of blood chemistry and hormone balance. The fact that a particular test fell within a reference range on a particular day should carry only a little weight in determining a treatment plan. Her symptoms and examination showed that she was suffering from sub-optimal thyroid function for her, and customized treatment could begin.
Tami is now energetic, warm, enthusiastic for life, and more than anything, empowered. She feels like she can dream again. Tami brightens the day of everyone she encounters . . . including us.
You know your body, and you know what you are capable of. Don’t let yourself be taken out of the game by anyone. We have written a free eBook available for instant download to help guide you through how to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and take notice of you as a whole.
You are right there . . . that point of your life when you know the most and can make things happen . . . ReVitalize your body and optimize your hormones. Now more than ever you deserve it.