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Jigzone Jigsaw Puzzle

One of the most frightening things I learned while in veterinary school was that blood results are not really considered abnormal by a lab test until the body is 70% sick. I found that to be true in my own health as well. When I first started on my path toward becoming a naturopath, I knew I had pre-cervical cancer. I was depressed and wanted to die. Yet, only one liver enzyme was a bit out of whack when a nurse drew my blood for a life insurance policy. How could this be? And what surprised me most was how normal the rest of my results were.

Well, I've corrected all those abnormal results and have my life back. I also have a whole new bag of tricks at my disposal.

Another thing Iíve found over the years was that my clients had no idea what their lab results meant (or their pet's lab results), what a "rule out" was, or what they could do naturally to repair the abnormal values. Everything seemed so complicated for them, and by not understanding the results (often people in the medical profession use big words that most people canít understand) this disempowered my clients.

Because I saw a need for this information, I sat down and compiled a handout that explains lab tests in lay terms, but there are some things you should know:

1. Reference "normal" ranges and unit measurements can vary from lab to lab (sometimes up to 30% difference).

2. Other factors influencing test results include, dietetic preferences, sex, age, race, species, menstrual cycles, amount of exercise, use of non-prescription drugs (aspirin, cold medications, vitamins, etc.), prescription drugs, alcohol consumption, collection and handling of the specimen.

3. For best comparisons of lab results, tests should be done by the same laboratory.

4. Always use the normal ranges printed on the lab report of that particular sample.

5. Blood tests can have false positives and negatives. If the blood cells have not been handled properly, they break. If components to the test are expired, they may not work correctly. If the temperature is wrong, this may also skew the results. And what if there is a new person in the lab who doesn't even do the test correctly? Would you trust those results? When in doubt, you may want to repeat certain tests.

6. Interpretation of blood tests takes knowledge of the underlying disease process and experience. If your lab results are outside the normal range, we suggest that you discuss them with your doctor. Often it is not the recent result, but the change from a previous test that is most helpful in trying to place a diagnosis on a condition.

7. Some tests cost more than others. If you can help the doctor understand why a certain test may be important for you and they can justify it in their mind, they can justify it to your insurance company and you may get to your diagnosis quicker saving time, money, and aggravation.

8. All diseases have "rule outs." There are a number of things that might cause a high or low level in a blood test, and these need to be ďruled outĒ by other tests or observations or even by intuition and gut instinct. Some of the possibilities will have more weight and be more highly suspect because of your lifestyle habits, your environment, your age, and your history.

For those diseases that are the most likely diagnosis, other tests may be included to rule that particular disease ďinĒ or ďoutĒ depending on the results of these additional tests. This is much like putting a jigsaw puzzle together and searching for the exact placement of the pieces to the puzzle. Certain clues (pieces to the puzzle) may fit in one part of the puzzle or another if you just look at the color of the piece (or your symptoms in this case.) You just have to keep trying to see if the piece fits. The same goes with disease. If we are lucky, we match the piece of the puzzle with the correct name/diagnosis for the disease.

This Sherlock Holmes activity is one of my favorites because I get to add in so many other tidbits of information that the medical system doesn't have time to ask in making a final "jigsaw puzzle" assessment. I have tried to make these rule-outs more understandable by associating the laymanís terminology with the medical work on my website page:

Here, Iíve listed the rule-outs, what you see on your blood test form, the common name it is known by as well as the other abbreviations for the test if it has one for most of the basic blood panels, heart enzyme tests, urinalysis tests, complete white blood counts, red cell counts, thyroid tests, hormone tests and more.

Iíve been told itís a pretty good list. Check it out and see if it empowers you!

Dr. Denice Moffat is a practicing naturopath, medical intuitive, and veterinarian working on the family unit (which includes humans and animals) through her phone consultation practice established in 1995. She has a content-rich website at and free internationally distributed monthly newsletter. To read more on what your lab tests mean, go to: