As a Naturopathic Practitioner a comprehensive set of basic blood tests gives me important information about your child’s health. I have spent alot of time learning the significance of every marker on a basic test from a Functional Medicine perspective ie. how each white blood cell, nutrient level, thyroid marker functions in the body.
Having a comprehensive set of tests allows me to make a better diagnosis about your child’s health condition. There are patterns in blood tests that indicate specific pathologies. These are more difficult to determine with only one or two tests, although all tests are valuable.
The problem alot of parents face is getting their General Practitioner to request these tests. Many of the tests I am requesting are considered ‘unnecessary’ or ‘alternative’ and are brushed aside, sometimes rudely. This is because Practitioners like myself spend alot of time educating ourselves about what the current medical and scientific research is saying and integrating this into our practices. While many other practitioners are doing what they were taught at University which could be 5 or 10 years old, and not keeping up to date with what’s current.
Times change. Treatment approaches change. If you’re main health care provider can’t keep up with current treatment recommendations, find someone who does.
There are many General and Alternative Health Practitioners in the world who do keep abreast of the changes. I see hundreds of GPs at Alternative Medicine conferences in Australia every year. They are amazingly passionate about the changes they are making to their practice. It is very empowering for them.
My suggestions for getting blood tests are these:
Don’t just make an appointment with your local clinic and expect to get a long list of tests done. You are wasting your time, unless you are very lucky to have a very open minded local clinic. Do your homework. Scour the internet looking for Integrative or Holistic Medical Clinics that specialise in treating children. They may charge a bit more but it’s better than experiencing ridicule and contempt from someone who is out of touch. Make an appointment and explain what you are trying to achieve and send them a link or give them some information. You may be pleasantly surprised to find they are willing to work with you.
If you are having trouble getting blood tests, I can order them for you without any problem. I have accounts with Pathology labs in the US, UK and Australia, and can order any blood tests you require. The catch is, they will come with a fee. In Australia a CBC or basic blood count costs $25AUD, while a Full thyroid panel costs $200AUD. If you are having these tests done twice a year, it may be worth it to pay the money and avoid the run around. It will get expensive to have alot of tests done, so do the math and work out which is the best option for you, you may be able to do a bit of both.
Also, a mention about blood collection. Again, it’s up to you to do your homework. Ask parents in your area, search the internet, make some phone calls to get recommendations for an experienced Paediatric phlebotomist preferably at a hospital. It can make a huge difference to your child’s experience getting blood taken. The test results themselves can also be affected as I have seen first hand a TSH shoot up when the blood draw was long and stressful giving you a false result. You will end up going back to do it all over again.
Make sure you book a first morning blood collection and your child should be fasting except for water and breastmilk. Your child should be encouraged to drink alot of water and stay warm. No supplements or medication should be taken prior to the testing.
Hope this helps in your quest to get blood tests.
by Gabi Giacomin