Blood tests are an essential tool we use to help our patients take the guesswork out of weight loss. A simple blood draw contains a tremendous amount of information to help us tailor a safe and effective weight loss program for each patient.
For patients in my 12-week weight loss program, we conduct blood draws at weeks one, four, and twelve. The first test establishes a baseline and helps us identify any existing or potential health conditions to account for. The second test helps us spot any issues, irregularities, or improvement opportunities early in the treatment cycle. The final test shows progress over the twelve weeks and guides the next steps.
Comprehensive Biomarker Panel (CMP)
The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a set of 14 unique blood panels. Together, they provide a clear and detailed view of each patient’s kidney and liver function, blood sugar, blood proteins, and electrolyte balance. Obesity can be linked to various underlying health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease, or liver dysfunction, all of which can be effectively detected through a CMP.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Complete Blood Count (CBC) shows us everything we need to know about a patient’s blood cells, including red and white blood cell counts and the size and shape of the cells. Blood cells offer valuable predictive insights and important warning signals. For example, an elevated white blood cell count can be an indicator of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries).
The Lipid Panel helps us evaluate a patient’s cardiovascular health and risk factors by measuring cholesterol levels. This panel shows us the levels of LDL (“bad cholesterol”), HDL (“good cholesterol”), and triglycerides. High LDL levels can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, while HDL helps remove LDL from the artery walls, reducing the risk of heart disease. Abnormal triglyceride levels may indicate metabolic syndromes such as diabetes or thyroid disease. Based on Lipid Panel results, our team may recommend steps like reducing red meat consumption and taking daily supplements like Fish Oil and I Am Lipidwell with Bergamot extract to lower LDL cholesterol.
Vitamin D directly supports healthy thyroid function, metabolism, and insulin resistance, and there is a strong link between Vitamin D deficiency and obesity. Plus, optimal Vitamin D levels are essential for optimal overall wellness. We measure each patient’s Vitamin D levels to establish a baseline to improve and optimize throughout the treatment cycle.
Measuring free T3 levels helps our weight loss providers evaluate a patient’s thyroid function. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in metabolism, energy regulation, and body weight control. A healthy thyroid function ensures optimal metabolic rate, facilitating proper digestion and efficient use of calories. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can lead to a slowed metabolism, weight gain, and ultimately obesity, as the body stores more calories as fat instead of burning them for energy.
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Testing TSH levels is another important way we evaluate thyroid health. This panel shows how effectively a patient is converting free T3 and how well T4 and T3 are working together.
If our initial round of thyroid tests (free T3 and TSH) reveals significant thyroid dysfunction, we may order additional tests to measure things like Reverse T3 and Hemoglobin.
For new weight loss patients, we perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) in addition to blood tests. The EKG lets us evaluate a patient’s cardiac status before prescribing anti-obesity medications like Phentermine or Semaglutide.
Blood tests are one crucial way we evaluate each patient’s health and develop a weight loss plan, but they aren’t the only way. Just as important as all of the tests, we listen to our patients. What’s your story so far? What’s the new story you’d like to write? How can we help you? Schedule your consultation and tell us so we can get started together.