Top 10 Blood Test Metrics

Hey guys


I'm from Australia and blood testing here is kinda funny.  My doctor bulk bills and the blood tests are essentially free, however, doctors here aren't exactly quantified-selfers and it was a difficult time getting my bloods run for just a few things I wanted last time (1.5 years ago :o)  


I think I'll be pushing it asking for 10 different things to test but if you guys could help me curate a list aimed at general health and athletic performance that would be awesome.  


My diet is alright, I'm in my twenties so it can be all over the place.  I party a little but I don't really drink.  Train 3-5 times per week.  Have been off a lot of supplement simply due to running out, about to place a massive iherb order soon but it would be nice to see some stuff with no supplemented intervention so I can dose accordingly.  I've got access to GABA, creatine, whey, 5-htp (usually post 'partying') and a few others but my supplies have almost run out.  


Thanks for any help guys


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  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited August 2014

    not specifically answering your question J-brah (sorry)...but adding some info that may be helpful...


     


    if there are any tests you are having problems getting your doc to 'sign off' on, just ask to do it 'private' ie. you will pay for the test (find out the rough prices first tho*).


    there should be a 'private' check box on the request form (other check boxes are 'Medicare' & 'Schedule').


    he/she will need to do a separate form for the 'private' tests, so you don't end up paying for all of them.


     


    Now having said that, i have done this tactic a few times & never been charged (for the medicare covered tests).


    One doc even use to write 'non-medicare' on the forms & i still never got billed. I think the reason for this was that the labs just check whether the requested test is covered by medicare, if it is they they do not bill (or did not bill in my instances). 


     


    Some of the 'private' tests i have asked for have not been covered by medicare,  i got billed for those, as expected.


     


    * for tests pricing, & to see if tests are covered or not, you can email the labs, or search on these sites,


    Search the MBS


    Pathology North


    St Vincent's Pathology Site


    St Vincent's Pathology Site Out-Of-Pocket Expenses (pdf june 2014)


    Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology


    Sydney South West Pathology


     


    i listed a few (there are more), as the usefulness of the info/details may vary a bit between sites & tests.


    fake it till you make it

  • If you are generally healthy standard blood tests usually always come back ok.


     Ask your doctor for a full blood count, HsCRP, cholesterol, trigs, HDL, LDL, apolipoprotein B, iron studies, homocysteine, Vitamin D, HbA1C ... you may have to tell them a story about family history of cardiovascular disease and diabetes for them to do the full range of tests.


     


    The other tests that I recommend are saliva adrenal test to measure DHEA and cortisol, extensive thyroid test including antibodies and RT3 and sex hormones, and it's impossible to get these tested through your average GP. Testing these hormones will give you a clearer picture of your health than the general blood panel the GP does.


     


    The hormone testing can be done through my my website http://www.planetnaturopath.com/products/functional-pathology-testing 


    Specializing in functional pathology testing in Australia http://www.planetnaturopath.com/products/functional-pathology-testing



  •  


    The other tests that I recommend are saliva adrenal test to measure DHEA and cortisol, extensive thyroid test including antibodies and RT3 and sex hormones, and it's impossible to get these tested through your average GP. Testing these hormones will give you a clearer picture of your health than the general blood panel the GP does.


     




     


    I had to go through a naturopath and pay $130 for for dhea and cortisol. My naturopath has a bulk billing GP that he uses for his clients to order other tests or get things prescribed. Haven't had to go the GP yet, but I'm sure its coming soon for certain tests or prescription meds or something...

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

  • ClassicClassic
    edited August 2014

    For athletic and performance related things:


     


    Get testosterone (free and total) levels checked.


     


    Estradiol


     


    SHBG


     


    Vitamins D and B12.


     


    IGF1 (an indicator of growth hormone levels)


     


    I'd also want to measure my kidney and liver function (BUN/Albumin/Creatinine/etc)


     


    Ideally, get a Spectracell micronutrient test and see if you're in healthy ranges or deficient in 30+ vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.


    Being severely low in just one of these can have a big impact on performance, energy, hormone levels and more.


  • Thanks for the suggestions guys, really helpful.  


    Thanks for the list Daz, lots to look into


     




    If you are generally healthy standard blood tests usually always come back ok.


     Ask your doctor for a full blood count, HsCRP, cholesterol, trigs, HDL, LDL, apolipoprotein B, iron studies, homocysteine, Vitamin D, HbA1C ... you may have to tell them a story about family history of cardiovascular disease and diabetes for them to do the full range of tests.


     


    The other tests that I recommend are saliva adrenal test to measure DHEA and cortisol, extensive thyroid test including antibodies and RT3 and sex hormones, and it's impossible to get these tested through your average GP. Testing these hormones will give you a clearer picture of your health than the general blood panel the GP does.


     


    The hormone testing can be done through my my website http://www.planetnaturopath.com/products/functional-pathology-testing 





    Thanks for the tips.  I'd love to go through your site but the tests are way out of my price range unfortunately.  It's a shame haematology tests are so expensive in Australia

     


     




    For athletic and performance related things:


     


    Get testosterone (free and total) levels checked.


     


    Estradiol


     


    SHBG


     


    Vitamins D and B12.


     


    IGF1 (an indicator of growth hormone levels)


     


    I'd also want to measure my kidney and liver function (BUN/Albumin/Creatinine/etc)


     


    Ideally, get a Spectracell micronutrient test and see if you're in healthy ranges or deficient in 30+ vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.


    Being severely low in just one of these can have a big impact on performance, energy, hormone levels and more.





    Do you think he'll tell me to hit the bricks if I request the spectracell and other stuff.  Thinking of getting a food sensitivity panel done as well.  Anyone know exactly how that works? 


  • Assuming you generally feel healthy.


    1. All guys should get Testosterone, Free Testosterone and SHBG tested.


    2. hs-CRP and homocysteine can reveal longer term issues brewing (aka inflammation)


    3. Iron profile


     


    These are the ones you may get some actionable information out of and they are standard so your Oz doc shouldn't have an issue with ordering them.


    The Quantified Body Podcast 

     

    Gain Confidence in What You Invest Your Time & Money In.

    Learn from Data-Driven Experiments using New Tools & Tactics to Improve Health, Performance and Longevity

  • You can get tested for anything you want in Australia. You just have to turn up at a pathology place with your credit card and pay for it.


     


    I'm in a little bulk billing experiment at the moment.


     


    All thyroid test are bulk billed, however, the government has stated that a doctor can test TSH and only if the result shows something off are they allowed to continue testing for t3 t4 and thyroid antibodies. They are discouraged from testing for everything first time round because you know.. if free, but someone has to cover the cost, so doctors are ordered to run minimum tests.


     


    The magic words appear to be 'but I can just go there and request the tests and pay for those myself. right?' 


     


    For some reason this resulted in the doctor writing me up a second request for all those extra thyroid tests but on the request form bulk billing is still ticked. He even said to me 'as long as you are prepared to cover the costs" and I said "yes" but why is bulk billing still ticked? will it be free? I don't know. I have to wait until the 11th to have the tests done...


     


    But its like legally the doctor cannot say 'yes lets put them all on at your request', so you have to do this song and dance where you both pretend it cant be done when it can.. I will update you on what actually happens.. free or not...


     


    Technically, you can go to one doctor and request some tests. I have seen many doctors amend my request form by hand when they forget some tests. Write some more on yourself, have the tests done, and then go to another doctor and he can download your results and present them to you. I'm not saying do it, but I'm saying its possible. you'd only be charged for tests that are not bulk billed to begin with.


    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."



  • Assuming you generally feel healthy.


    1. All guys should get Testosterone, Free Testosterone and SHBG tested.


    2. hs-CRP and homocysteine can reveal longer term issues brewing (aka inflammation)


    3. Iron profile


     


    These are the ones you may get some actionable information out of and they are standard so your Oz doc shouldn't have an issue with ordering them.




     


    Yep, those are all on the list for sure.  Vit D also you think?




    You can get tested for anything you want in Australia. You just have to turn up at a pathology place with your credit card and pay for it.


     


    I'm in a little bulk billing experiment at the moment.


     


    All thyroid test are bulk billed, however, the government has stated that a doctor can test TSH and only if the result shows something off are they allowed to continue testing for t3 t4 and thyroid antibodies. They are discouraged from testing for everything first time round because you know.. if free, but someone has to cover the cost, so doctors are ordered to run minimum tests.


     


    The magic words appear to be 'but I can just go there and request the tests and pay for those myself. right?' 


     


    For some reason this resulted in the doctor writing me up a second request for all those extra thyroid tests but on the request form bulk billing is still ticked. He even said to me 'as long as you are prepared to cover the costs" and I said "yes" but why is bulk billing still ticked? will it be free? I don't know. I have to wait until the 11th to have the tests done...


     


    But its like legally the doctor cannot say 'yes lets put them all on at your request', so you have to do this song and dance where you both pretend it cant be done when it can.. I will update you on what actually happens.. free or not...


     


    Technically, you can go to one doctor and request some tests. I have seen many doctors amend my request form by hand when they forget some tests. Write some more on yourself, have the tests done, and then go to another doctor and he can download your results and present them to you. I'm not saying do it, but I'm saying its possible. you'd only be charged for tests that are not bulk billed to begin with.





    Thanks a lot miss, Australia health care is tricky; but I'm sure we can hack that too 

  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited August 2014


    All thyroid test are bulk billed, however, the government has stated that a doctor can test TSH and only if the result shows something off are they allowed to continue testing for t3 t4 and thyroid antibodies. They are discouraged from testing for everything first time round because you know.. if free, but someone has to cover the cost, so doctors are ordered to run minimum tests.




     


    Here's my experience with TSH, FT3, FT4, Thyroid Antibodies (& rt3) in Australia;


     


    Thyroid Antibodies: not a problem to request or get results.


     


    TSH, FT3, FT4: Doc kinda wondered why i wanted ft3 & ft4, but not a problem to get request completed.


    'Slight Problem': as alluded by izabela, my TSH was within range, so the lab did not run the ft3 & ft4 (even tho it was on the form).


    Now it was a while back, so cannot  remember exactly what i did to get the lab to run the ft3 & ft4. Basically the lab still has your blood, so 'i' had to request what i think the lab terms an 'Add on'. Now from memory, i think i got my doc to do another request form for ft3 & ft4. Gave the form to the Laverty guy who normally draws the blood, he then called the lab (while i was with him) & got them to do the tests as an 'add on'. he then faxed the form thru. & they ran the tests.


    ** I would recommend that if you ask for ft3 & ft4 (in addition to tsh), get you Doc to write something like...'please run ft3 & ft4 even if tsh is normal' (it may help).


     


    rt3 (reverse T3): this is a non-medicare test (not free) & the labs don't run it that often.


    in fact i only found one lab in Australia that actually runs this test. So turnaround can be slow. Check the cost, i think it was around $50 eg. this lab estimates the fee as $50 (note. i doubt this lab actually runs this test, they will just outsource it).


    If you decide to run this test, get your blood drawn at a Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology if you are in QLD or a Douglas Hanly Moir Patholgy lab outside of QLD...because the turnaround will be quicker. The lab that runs this test in Australia is Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology in QLD.


    When i had this test done, the blood was drawn by Healthscope in Sydney, & the sample finally ended up at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, QLD, after a trip to Melbourne first. So it missed a few 'runs' & took close to 2 months to get the result.


    I initially had blood drawn at Laverty's but after following up a few weeks later they said the result was probaly still two months away, so i cancelled the test & went to Healthscope thinking it would be quicker (wrong).


     


    Also, you can request a copy of your results to be posted to you. Just get the doc or the lab staff to add your details to the 'copy reports to' section. 


    That was all i need for Laverty's. With Douglas Hanly Moir, they had me sign another form.


    Supposedly, they delay the posting of the results out to the patient to allow them to be reviewed with your Doctor first. Something like 10 working days i think.


    Tho in reality, the results have always arrived in the post quicker than this for me. & i never bother with the follow up visit with the Doc (unless something concerns me in the results).


    fake it till you make it

  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited August 2014


    You can get tested for anything you want in Australia. You just have to turn up at a pathology place with your credit card and pay for it.




     


    You know...i don't know if you are right about this...have you tried...?


    I think i asked once...& the answer was you need an 'authorised/qualified person' to make the request.


    This person does not have to be a doctor, it can be a Naturopath for example. I had a naturopath fill out my second rt3 request.


    The reasoning being, i suppose, is that they do not want to (or are allowed to) send results to patients without them being sent to the authorised/qualified person first (for interpretation). 


     


    edit: actually i remember now...i walked in to both a Laverty collection centre & a Douglas Hanly Moir collection centre & said that i wanted to get some blood tests done. They both said i had to have a request from a Doctor first.


    fake it till you make it



  • Here's my experience with TSH, FT3, FT4, Thyroid Antibodies (& rt3) in Australia;


     


    Thyroid Antibodies: not a problem to request or get results.


     


    TSH, FT3, FT4: Doc kinda wondered why i wanted ft3 & ft4, but not a problem to get request completed.


    'Slight Problem': as alluded by izabela, my TSH was within range, so the lab did not run the ft3 & ft4 (even tho it was on the form).




     


    i have tsh on one form and then t3 and t4 and antibodies on another.. on that second form it is written that i have requested those tests... do you think that it will go through? i dont rt3 on there at all.. 


    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."



  • You know...i don't know if you are right about this...have you tried...?


    I think i asked once...& the answer was you need an 'authorised/qualified person' to make the request.


    This person does not have to be a doctor, it can be a Naturopath for example. I had a naturopath fill out my second rt3 request.


    The reasoning being, i suppose, is that they do not want to (or are allowed to) send results to patients without them being sent to the authorised/qualified person first (for interpretation). 


     


    edit: actually i remember now...i walked in to both a Laverty collection centre & a Douglas Hanly Moir collection centre & said that i wanted to get some blood tests done. They both said i had to have a request from a Doctor first.




     


    No, my practitioner told me this, but I think he meant it from the point of view that if you tell a doctor you want these tests and you are willing to pay for them yourself and not bulk bill they will request them on your behalf without questioning... my form still says to bulk bill though...

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited August 2014


    i have tsh on one form and then t3 and t4 and antibodies on another.. on that second form it is written that i have requested those tests... do you think that it will go through? 




     


    That looks like a good request method. given that your tsh is on a separate request, i would think they would run the ft3 & ft4 straight away, whether the tsh is within range or not.


     


    Note that i keep saying ft3 & ft4, afaik the t3 & t4 tests have been superseded/replaced in Australia with the ft3 & ft4 tests. so even if the request reads t3 & t4, the labs will run ft3 & ft4.


    fake it till you make it

  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭

    @izabela, you do not need to answer this one...but i was just wondering why you "have to wait until the 11th to have the tests done..."


    fake it till you make it

  •  




    @izabela, you do not need to answer this one...but i was just wondering why you "have to wait until the 11th to have the tests done..."




     


    Because I am a lady!!!


     


    At day 21 in the cycle, ovulation should have taken place. Without this happening correctly, the cycle is all out of whack. Hence I assume this is the most important time to sample blood and hormone levels since it influences everything. I can have the test done on the 11th ideally but can do 12-13th as well..


     


    Women are so much more complex!


     


    I have had doctors do hormone tests on me when I was younger. You get a result but the normal ranges vary depending at what stage you are in your cycle. The doctor would look at my result and say something like 'your level is normal if you were in this time of your cycle'. No doctor ever asked at what stage of my cycle I was in when the blood sample was taken!!!! They just made the result fit into the normal range so they could say i was fine.


     


    That is how oblivious they are and if it happened to me, I can imagine how many other women it has happened to... 



    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."



  • That looks like a good request method. given that your tsh is on a separate request, i would think they would run the ft3 & ft4 straight away, whether the tsh is within range or not.


     


    Note that i keep saying ft3 & ft4, afaik the t3 & t4 tests have been superseded/replaced in Australia with the ft3 & ft4 tests. so even if the request reads t3 & t4, the labs will run ft3 & ft4.




     


    I did note but now that I know its the same thing, I can stop worrying that I'm still missing more tests on my forms. Thanks :)

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

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