So my example of establishing a reference range of normal was a little corny (I don’t mean corns on toes from ill-fitting shoes!), but you get the point, I’m sure. Many blood test results have such a wide range of “normal” that it is vitally important to also consider a person’s symptoms in assessing whether the lab value reflects health and not just a point on a bell shaped curve.
Take the “gold standard” TSH (or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) test of thyroid function. Most labs report a reference range from 0.5 to 4.7 and conventional medicine says “if your TSH is in the reference range your thyroid is normal.” However, a significant percentage of people have significant symptoms of hypothyroidism with a “normal” TSH.
Natural thyroid replacement medication has been used for over 100 years with dramatic success, but the advent of modern laboratory testing has made the medical practitioner deaf to hearing patients’ descriptions of their symptoms while he/she fixates visually on reading the TSH lab value written on paper (and now iPad). Treating the whole patient, i.e. symptoms and labs, results in treating those symptoms until they resolve with natural thyroid replacement (BHRT)! The patient obtains relief of symptoms and optimized function of every cell in the body that requires thyroid hormone.
Similarly, estrogen and testosterone need to be optimized for preventive health benefits as optimized levels are scientifically proven (remember RandomControlledTrials?) to provide protection to the brain from Alzheimer’s, protection to the heart from coronary heart disease, protection to the bones from osteoporosis, and protection to the breast from breast cancer. Optimization restores levels to the healthy levels produced when we were chronologically young. With all these long term health benefits for both men and women from optimized hormonal status, aging with vitality is truly possible and the risk of developing chronic diseases can be decreased.
Can anyone give me a credible reason why, with all the evidence of benefit, does an influential, policy making medical society (I’ll leave unnamed for now) advise its medical constituents to “use the lowest dose of hormone for the shortest period of time, and then discontinue it”? All I can assume from such a recommendation is health care benefits from illness. I recommend being OPTIMIZED!