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How to read your Lab Results – Episode 1 CBC

NEW SERIES! Ask the VIKING Doctor! Starting with Reading Lab Results. Most people are clueless to most results in a lab test. I wanted to ask our Clinical Supervisor, Chris Neal, to better explain each value and what it means. Episode 1 goes over the CBC panel

[00:00:00.330] – Sam Ridgeway

Hello Everybody.  Sam Ridgeway here with LivelikeaViking.com. Now, everybody knows blood work is a necessary evil when it comes to maintaining a healthy hormone replacement therapy regimen. The reason being, we need to make sure our insides are functioning just as well as our outsides are.  If I am being honest, when I started TRT, I had absolutely no understanding of what any of the lab results even meant. So to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen to you.I did a Web conference with Chris Neal, the clinical supervisor for Viking. I asked him to explain what the blood work values actually mean. Going over the entire sort of lab results. Took almost an hour. So I’m going to make this a series. We’re going to break down each test within the lab results and explain each piece as we go along. So let’s get started.

 

[00:00:51.810] – Sam Ridgeway

All right. So here we are today. What I wanted to do is I’m here with Chris, who’s our clinical supervisor at Viking Alternative Medicine, and hi, Chris. And so this is actually brilliant into the hormones and a whole bunch of things. But also, he knows everything that there is to know about labs. And part of the problem that we have is testosterone replacement therapy, hormone replacement therapy people, because we get these labs done on a quarterly basis.

 

[00:01:16.440] – Sam Ridgeway

They come in or every six months they come in. And we have really no clue what a lot of it means.  we might know two percent of the other 98, we don’t know. So I wanted to do a video series sort of with Chris and have him go down what you might find in a normal lab result and just have him explain what it is, if it’s high, what that could mean, if it’s low, what what that could mean.

 

[00:01:41.180] – Sam Ridgeway

We also want to do a disclaimer. This isn’t going to be in no way an exhaustive list of what could possibly be wrong you.  Anything outside the boundaries of what you deem what they deem to be normal, you should always consult your physician. So first of all, this is the first thing. It’s CBC with differential flightline. What is CBC? Even mean?.

 

[00:02:02.700] – Chris Neal

OK, so so this is this is basically how we go through a set of labs. And in a way it’s I’m really into cars. So I like looking at this as if I’m your specialty tuner and we’re opening up the hood of your car and we are specifically looking at different mechanical aspects of the car. And each little each little piece has its own meaning. And we have to be able to to put this into context and in different ways, because what we’re really after here is, is not just standard medicine.

 

[00:02:39.630] – Chris Neal

We’re after more of what we like to call performance medicine. So these reference ranges are some of them are worthwhile, some of them are necessary, and some of them it’s just dangerous to stay outside of some of them from a performance aspect. Just means know there is there’s some room where we’re being above the level is is is more advanced. It’s a good thing. And you have to have a good working knowledge of that in order to piece all of that together.

 

[00:03:04.650] – Chris Neal

So let’s take a look under the hood as we go through the first thing that usually pops up. The most common thing is what’s called the CBC, which is the complete blood count. So this really has to do with certain aspects of your your your blood cells. So your white blood cells, the first one that’s up white blood cells is is is a measure typically when we think about infections, stuff like that. So stone-Cold normal here is 8.3 that looks good.

 

[00:03:31.770] – Chris Neal

Red blood cell count these next three, the red blood cell count hemoglobin and the haematocrit that has those have to do with certain aspects of your red blood cells, which are the most critical aspect of of the cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Basically, as your body becomes more anabolic with an increase in testosterone, you can you can think that and imagine that your body’s going to require more more of a lot of things in order to fire up this engine to keep things running.

 

[00:04:04.920] – Chris Neal

So one of those that one of the aspects of your body that just naturally happens is guys take testosterone, is that their red blood cell count will go up their hemoglobin and their hematocrit numbers will start to increase slowly, slowly over time.

 

[00:04:19.440] – Chris Neal

So there’s a safe window for that. There’s a dangerous side to that. The and the goal  is to keep you in the safe zone. So the number that I usually look for in order to use has a range because all three of those numbers will kind of go in a similar fashion upward is the hematocrit. I like to look at that as my standard. When that number gets above 50 percent, that’s usually when I take the stance of something like this.

 

[00:04:49.110] – Chris Neal

Hey, man, in the next three weeks or so, you should probably go donate some blood. And when I say that donating blood is standard is about five hundred million liters or about a pint of blood. So have what’s called a double red, which is two pints at some places, so when you donate a pint of blood, that usually drops your hematocrit level about three points. So in Sam’s case here, he’s at fifty two point seven.

 

[00:05:13.920] – Chris Neal

So he’s a little bit over. So I would say, hey, you need to donate blood. And that would put him just a hair under 50 so he could, in fact, do a double red and donate two pints. I would just encourage him to stay hydrated during that time. And so when you’re 50, most guys do not feel anything at all. When they’re at 50, they feel perfectly fine. And now when guys get to about 52.5, that’s when they might start feeling a couple things.

 

[00:05:45.600] – Chris Neal

A little fatigue can happen after some fatigue. You can even get some some your blood pressure can go up a little bit just because your blood is slightly thicker and it takes a little more pressure for your heart to pump it through as it goes up. Even beyond that, you’re even looking at palpitations, feeling your heart, beating out of your chest, even shortness of breath with exercise. So when it comes to dangers as far as blood clots and cardiovascular dangers, those we have to be of great concern to.

 

[00:06:19.470] – Chris Neal

But that happens when you get higher, closer up into closer into the 60 range. That’s when that happens. So our goal with doing the the quarterly and six every six month blood work is to is to catch this before it gets to 50. And once it gets to 50, you donate blood in your fine. It’s like, you know, if you drive a car, you just know that you have to change the oil every so often and that’s about it.

 

[00:06:43.440] – Chris Neal

And then that keeps you out of any issues.

 

[00:06:45.390] – Chris Neal

So the other the others down there MCV and MCH, MCHC, RDW, those are factors relating to the precursors to your red blood cells or like maybe red blood cells in a way. And and those are all doing fine. Platelets are doing just fine. The other factors, the neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils. So all of those down there, those are related to your immune system aspects to your your immune factors in your in your blood.

 

[00:07:15.420] – Chris Neal

Those are perfectly fine. Some of those are more related to a virus or a bacteria. That’s kind of how we piece those things together. And that’s really what they’re what they’re primarily used for. Everything’s fine. Sam, you look like pinnacle of health as far as that goes.

 

[00:07:30.300] – Sam Ridgeway

So there you have the CDC portion of your lab results explained in the next episode. We’ll discuss the metabolic panel, which has to do with glucose, creatine  and liver function and more. The third part of a series will have to do with testosterone and estrogen. So hopefully when we’re finished, you’ll have a far better understanding of what your lab values mean. You’ll know when you should worry about the numbers that fall outside of the normal range and you’ll know where not to

 

[00:07:58.800] – Sam Ridgeway

There is  one thing you should always know, and that’s the fact that you are never too old to live like a Viking until next time Peace Out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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