THE FIRST BLOOD PANEL: A Patient Journey

This is a blog series by Amber, a patient who is sharing her personal journey while receiving care from The Livewell Clinic. All thoughts are her own.Check out her first blog post to kick off her patient journey here.

I’m excited to share with you what I’ve learned so far on my journey as a patient at the Livewell Clinic.  Let’s jump right in!

I had my first blood panel done through the Livewell Clinic and although I’ve had blood work done a LOT in the past, Dr. Zac was able to break the results down for me in a way that I completed understood.  The follow up conversation that I had with him to go over the results was so much more informative than any other provider I’ve ever seen, and trust me, I’ve seen many. 

I know many people wouldn’t be comfortable sharing their medical information freely, but I want you all to know that I’m the trenches with you and what I’m learning through this whole process. I want to share with you a GREAT analogy that Dr. Zac used to describe what was going on with my gut because it’s the best explanation I’ve ever heard.

This is a clip right from my follow-up notes;

“The largest area of stress I see is your intestinal tract. These labs would suggest that there is significant loss of ‘tolerance’, meaning you most likely have many stresses to the body from your diet, pathogens (bugs), and mental/emotional stress.

Most of our immune system is located within/around the gut. This is to keep us protected from ‘stuff’ in the gut that should stay there and be eliminated. Stresses on the body cause our stress hormone, cortisol, to make the immune system weaker. These stresses can include: emotional/mental stress, diet/blood sugar, chronic infections, etc.

I would guess over the years, the stress on your gut has made the immune system weaker…this in turns makes your gut wall more ‘leaky’ (leaky gut). When this happens, it’s like a bouncer to the club allowing all the underage drinkers in…no bueno. He needs to be discerning on who gets in and who doesn’t. Well, your immune system is now bombarded with all of this stuff ‘leaking’ through (think of the club getting over capacity).

The immune system now needs to fight back and attack these foreign things (bouncer going into the club and whipping everyone’s a**). This is good! But, over time the immune system starts to see YOU and some of your body as the enemy! (Bouncer: I don’t care who I throw out, they all gots to go…including the employees and the bartender).

Ultimately, many areas of your body can be attacked (break down) leading to these elevations in antibodies to your tissues (hence all the autoimmune conditions). In functional medicine, we are not necessarily concerned about each disease (RA, Hashimoto’s, osteo, psoriasis, etc.). You have one dysfunction… autoimmunity.

Call it what you want. If a person has 1 autoimmune condition, most likely they have multiple (like you). The source of this dysfunction most likely resides in the gut. If we can’t optimize your gut (repair the bar, hire nice bartenders to keep the peace), then you will spin your wheels.”

This was just a baseline panel to see where everything was at and I’ll have to redo it again down the road to see how I’m improving, but this makes so much sense!

After reviewing the blood panel, we came up with a game plan moving forward.  I will be completing a 2-week detox, GI/Stool study, Food sensitivity testing, Array 14 Mucosal barrier assessment and a Multiple Autoimmune Assessment. After what we discovered in the standard bloodwork, I am BEYOND stoked to see what I learn about my body through these more specialized tests.

I’m about to start the detox and I’m really excited to really get this journey off the ground.  

Stay tuned and thank you for all of your support! We’re in this together!