by Danni Rodgers
First of all, you’re not alone. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard the sobering statistics. More than 65 percent of Americans are overweight, including 17 percent of children and adolescents.
The epidemic of obesity in America costs millions of people their health and wellness. It has resulted in a public health crisis that has in turn spawned a multi-billion dollar weight-loss industry. It comes to individuals to decide for themselves what they must do to preserve their own health.
Fortunately, there are many options for losing weight safely and effectively, without falling prey to the multitudinous scams and quack schemes that take advantage of people who are willing to do anything to improve themselves.
Going to a good doctor that you trust is the first step in embarking upon a serious course of weight-loss. A few simple lab tests and taking action on the results can save you from a lot hard work in the wrong direction. Instead of doing it all by yourself, go to a doctor, get the tests done and gain some peace of mind, knowing that you are finally educated and able to lose weight the right way for your body.
General Lab Tests
These tests can usually be performed by any regular doctor, lab, or testing center. They include a look at things like Vitamin D levels, blood counts, and cholesterol. These are extremely common tests that people usually receive during their annual health exams, so you might need to have them done whether or not you are trying to lose weight.
• The Complete Blood Count (CBC)
• The Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
• Lipid Profile
Advanced or Specialized Testing
The following tests are a little more detailed, and take a deeper look if something is revealed to be out of the ordinary. Ultimately, your doc will have her own ideas, but showing her the tests you want done goes a long way towards proving that you are serious about weight loss and informed about your health.
Complete Thyroid Panel
A complete panel will look at TSH, Free triiodothyronine (fT3), Free levothyroxine (fT4), Reverse T3, Total T3, Total T4, Antithyroid antibodies.
The best route is to go to an Endocrine specialist and do one or both tests. Get a ACTH or nontropical stimulation test and a saliva cortisol test. The combination of both is a full proof method to look at your function.
Some basic tests will cover these, but it usually takes being specific to get the most thorough testing done. For women, you may have an easier time going to a gynecologist for both these and your thyroid panel. I find they are more agreeable with testing than general doctors or urgent care. Tests to consider include Estradiol, Testosterone, Total & Free, DHEA, HGH, Progesterone, and SHBG.
Getting these tests done before you start your weight loss program may seem like a lot to have to go through. But if you look back and see a long struggle with losing, and then regaining, the same amount of weight, then it may be time to see if there is a medical reason as to why this is happening to you. Won’t it be worth it, when it pays off in the end?