Testing Options for Overall Wellness?

MenoGingerJanuary 1, 2002

About 6 years ago, a friend of mine went to a CFS Specialist and he ran all sorts of blood, urine, and other tests on her to find out what nutrients she was low, high, or stable with, in order to assess her overall health. He did the whole shebang two or three times over a year or 18 months or so to check on her status. It was very expensive and her insurance only covered about 80% of it, rather than the 100% lab coverage she normally had.

She was given a diet to folow, and various supplements to help her out. It worked, and she saw great improvements in her fatigue levels, overall pain, she became stronger physically and seemed "brighter" intellectually, and her moods actually improved from feeling better, (however, with her diet, I might have suffered a little more in order to eat better foods.. it was a LOT of brown rice and steamed vegetables if I remember correctly).

Since we are all into perimenopause and/or lots of intense and irratic PMS symptoms, it seems to me we might be better prepared to assess and figure out "what is what" if we had a serious set of blood tests and work-ups with dieticians, nutritionists and fitness trainers etc. to become more aware of just how well we can be.. or could be.

I know that my friend was helped by the therapies she was put on, and it has enhanced her quality of life so much!

I've noticed that Menopausal symptoms mask and compete with other physical and emotional diagnosis. It seems even to a degree that puts all of us at risk of more than just the side effects of menopause, like bone density or heart disease. My gosh, for example how would you know if you had an infection and a fever while you were going through a phase of hot flashes and night sweats! How would you know if you didn't have Chronic Fatigue Syndrom or Fibermyalgia? Muscular Sclerois or some other chronic or disabling disease?

Is there a gamut of tests that doctors can run to assess our overall health and needs for vitamins, minerals, etc.? Or was my friend's doctor just billing her a ton of money and could have just as well of put her on a weight reduction diet and a daily vitamin?

Since I started my after Christmas dieting today, (I went up 6 pounds in only about 2-3 weeks of Holiday eating.. boo hisss..), I am wondering if anyone else has sought out or gotten a full scale evaluation. If I am going to put myself in the best shape I can be in.. I would like to know better HOW to do that, what really IS good for me.


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What is a CFS specialist? Is it a medical doctor or an alternative medicine practitioner?

I have heard of this approach to wellness. Actually checking blood levels of nutrients (proteins, fats, sugars), vitamins, minerals, various enzymes, etc. Then prescribing diet and supplements to create some optimal balance. How the optimum levels are determined, I don't know. It's wonderful that your friend has a better quality of life and no matter the cost, if she is satisfied, that is all that should count.

Even though some menopause experiences are horrible, I think we would know when a more serious disease is present. If we are paying attention, I believe our own intuition will tell us. Even though I had severe hot flashes, I knew when I was sick with a fever. Anyone having troublesome symptoms that could be menopause as well as a disease, definitely needs to be evaluated by a doctor to rule out serious conditions before chalking it up to menopause. And I happen to believe that a woman with menopausal symtoms so severe and disabling that they are confused with diseases needs hormonal support.

Any person is free to consult a nutritionist, physical trainer, or any other professional in order to figure out what will help them to optimum health. The problem for most of us is following their advice. It is extremely difficult to change a lifetime of eating and exercise habits. People need a strong motivation to continue the initial changes and make more as time goes on. Even people with life threatening illnesses like diabetes and heart disease (which you would think would be a strong motivator) are unable to change the habits that would contribute to a longer and healthier life for themselves. I'm not saying this to discourage people from trying to live a healthier life style. The more a person can do on the side of health the better off they are, even if they can not do it 100% of the time.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2002 at 7:27PM
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CFS is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I almost put that in as a "P.S.".. but with all the "holier than thou" types filling the board recently, I was actually "afraid" of doing anything that would spark their ire or attention!! LOL

So, a CFS Specialist is a doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2002 at 8:11PM
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LOL, good one.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2002 at 9:56PM
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I believe that if we were more adept at listening to our bodies, we'd have a better idea what to do to make ourselves feel better. My body constantly tells me to exercise and drink more water and get more sleep and stop eating so much sugar, etc. When I ignore the messages it sends me, I suffer the consequences. It's really hard sometimes to tune into our own bodies, but it's necessary for our survival. I wish I'd started listening and heeding the warnings a long time ago. *Sigh*

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 10:52PM
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I wish someone had suggested I do a hormone test when I was normal so I would have something to compare with. I really think all women around 35 should have one done to stash away until they reach our age because what's normal for one woman isn't normal for another. It's all very well doing tests now and having a Dr saying your hormones are down, but I wish I knew exactly what they were before hitting perimenopause. I will certainly make sure my daughter gets hers done when the time comes.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2002 at 4:49AM
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I couldn't agree with you more Linda. I think the major problem with HRT is that the dose is not right for the majority of women. Also, I have a major problem with synthetic estrogens that the pharmaceutical industry forces on us. Instead of offering women bioidentical hormones, (which they can't patent) they force synthetic patentable drugs on us. All for the sake of profit, with little or no regard for the welfare of women. These synthetic exogenous substitutes are not metabolized in our bodies like our own endogenous hormones. They cannot interconvert from one form of estrogen to another. And they do not bind to the estrogen receptor with the exact same affinity as endogenous forms of estrogen. For all of these reasons, synthetic hormones can cause major problems. At present, I am only using progesterone cream, and so far this has been enough. But due to the history of osteoporosis in my family, I may consider bioidentical hormone therapy when the time comes. I remain undecided.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2002 at 3:47PM
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