I talked a little bit on Wednesday about the work that I had done by a PT to determine about the imbalances that I had. Another thing that I did to help with my training was to get a full total blood work up. Yall, I'm not playing around with all of these tweeks. I was going to be proactive, figure out what was wrong and train like a normal human being! haha! I knew that something had to be wrong somewhere, and I think I'm able to piece together the puzzle pieces.
If you aren't familiar with Inside Tracker, and you may have heard some other bloggers talking about it, it's really an ingenious business model where they are taking something that you can get in a doctors office to the next level that you would never get in that setting. Admitably, as a pharmacist, my first question was: How is this different?
The biggest difference that is worth it's weight in cold is the in-depth analysis that they do and how they correlate this to things that you can change, fix, and learn from. They TEACH you. At the doctor's office, if you had a total blood panel done, they would most likely not even call you back if you had everything pretty much within normal limits. If you had something that might need to be tweeked then they might would mention it to you. Inside tracker went through every single biomarker with a range from high to low with parameters that show you whether you are high or low and explanations of why this is important. For example, this is what it looks like for Magnesium on my blood testing.
So, what about if you aren't optimized. For most of my levels, I was optimized which is definitely not a bad problem to have. It makes me feel really great about the changes that I've made in my diet throughout the years and the way that I'm taking care of myself however, there are ALWAYS areas for improvement. If I was to look at someone's ferritin levels and they were between 11-307 as a woman, then I would say that they are fine, however the cool thing about Inside Tracker is that they are going to give you a range and how even though you may be "good", you can also work on things. For some reason, when I looked at this the first time, I missed that my ferritin was a little lower than optimal.
When you sign up for Inside Tracker, it allows you to put what kind of sports that you play and the diet that you typically are doing. So if you'll notice, it talks about running and cycling because those are the things that I said that I do and gives feedback on why it's a normal occurrence for someone that is doing these things to have lower iron. There is a little bit more information after this but I could not fit it in the top picture so here is that! As an endurance athlete, I want to be utilizing oxygen in the BEST way that I possibly can and not just the lower end of normal.
There are different options in your dashboard and one of them is nutrition. So, we know now that my ferritin levels could use just a little work, so how can I fix that with my diet. They populate things that would be good for your diet and give you ideas of food for the day based on the things that you could optimize. If you have something wrong with any other level then you are able to click on both at once, so for example if you had 5 areas that needed work, you could click all five and it would give you options of things to eat that would address all of those issues at once. I heard someone say once that we should be adding things to our diet and not removing them, and I think that is SO true for overall health. There are so many micronutrients in each one of the choices that we make every day and I used to be such a little turd about that. I really didn't care at all, and that shows how I was way too focused on just image. This is about HEALTH. So, it's really awesome to be able to see each food and what that can provide and keep ADDING foods not taking away.
This is JUST for ferritin and also populated because I put that I'm dairy free, pork free, poultry free, beef free, and fish free. You can not check any of things and it will give you other options. You can choose that you are paleo or vegan (I actually did not put vegan because I felt that I have egg whites often enough that I'd be lying haha). You can choose vegetarian as well. You can choose what foods that you strongly like and strongly dislike. It is going to populate meals and options for you to be able to optimize your blood work.
The beautiful thing about this is that you can also choose what parameters you want Inside Tracker to look at and there are different levels. I did the mack daddy and had everything tested to knock everything out and make sure there were NO areas that I could utilize optimization in. Here is what part of my table looks like for inflammation for example.
If you look at the bottom, you see Strength and Endurance, and those bio markers are testosterone, cortisol, creatine kinase, and SHBG which stands for "sex hormone binding globulin." All of these MATTER. Every single level in your body MATTERS for your health and your performance and so I really do recommend that even if you think that you are healthy, there are always ways that you can optimize.
If you go to the about section: https://www.insidetracker.com/about/ , you'll see that they have a really credible staff that has put together all of this clinical knowledge into a format that can be easily and readily available to people that haven't been to 10+ years of schooling for this. They are bringing the knowledge of health to a totally different level and especially for athletes.
The process is really simple. When you sign up, you will have to fill out some paperwork and you just take that to a local lab testing center and everything is set at that point. You will give the paperwork to the testing center, they take your blood, and then after that, you will be sent the results in the format that I have shown above with the recommendations for you personally. If you use the code KATIESFITSCRIPT, you get a great discount as well.
While I was there, a cool thing happened and I've realized, if we let ourselves, we can find amazing triumph stories every single day. When I went in to get my blood tested, the lady at the counter was honestly kind of rude to me. I can't say that I wasn't annoyed. It was right before Christmas so I assumed that she was ill that she had to work. When she took me back to take my blood, she started asking about my life and my Christmas holiday and I found out that her husband had died one month ago and she said she found it really hard to function this Christmas. I had judged this lady, to be honest, and it was such a good lesson that we have NO idea what others are going through. So moral of the story: Be nice to the person taking your blood! ;) haha!
Let me know if you have any questions about Inside Tracker if you are considering it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I think it would be really beneficial for anyone.