Interpreting Lab Results

Laboratory reference ranges can vary from company to company.

You may have had labs that were always within normal limits (WNL) but now flagged high (H). This can easily happen if you go to a clinic that only uses one lab company and then get a blood test done at a separate location. However, result abnormalities can happen from more than different lab reference ranges.  

Abnormalities can also occur due to separate lab companies getting different results (even if they have the same sample). 

We sent in a split sample of one of our provider’s blood to evaluate testosterone levels, using 2 leading labs. See the results below:

  • Lab 1 – Reference Range: 2-45 ng/dL
    • Total testosterone result – 47 HIGH
  • Lab 2 – Reference Range: 4-50 ng/dL
    • Total testosterone result – 39

Other reference ranges in the area for the same lab test: 
Lab 3: 15-70 ng/dL         Lab 4: 4-38 ng/dL          Lab 5: 9-55 ng/dL
Which range and result is accurate and best to optimize a woman’s testosterone level? 
39 and 47 are similar but that is a significant difference when ranges are so narrow. 
Testosterone is extremely important for: 

  • Energy
  • Drive
  • Motivation
  • Ambition
  • Mood
  • Building muscle mass
  • Ability to lose weight
  • Hair growth
  • Libido (sex drive)
  • Bone health
  • Skin health
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Brain fog


Look Beyond Standard Ranges
Functional lab panels look beyond standard ranges to help provide a comprehensive view of health and aid in prevention.

The doctors at LOHC use functional lab analysis to help educate and optimize your health. Your health is unique, and understanding your lab results is a crucial step toward optimal well-being.

Labs to consider for 40-65 yr old male and females:

Fasting lipid panel to evaluate cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL.
Complete blood count (CBC) looking at white blood cells (WBC), red blood cells and some immune function. Do you have chronically slightly low WBC’s? This can mean a chronic infection that we want to investigate. Symptoms can include intermittent or chronic fatigue. Other symptoms can include body aches and stiffness.
Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) looks at liver and kidney function, protein, and electrolytes. Slightly elevated liver enzymes can often be improved with nutrition changes and a specific short term supplement plan.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is a basic screening test for thyroid function.

Other labs to consider:

Full thyroid panel can include: TSH, total T4, free T4, total T3, free T3, reverse T3, anti TPO, anti TBG.

A more complete look at cardiovascular health and blood sugar. This may include: apolipoprotein b, lipoprotein a, hs-crp, CRP, homocysteine, insulin, and hemoglobin A1c.
Full hormone evaluation for men and women may include: Estradiol, total estrogens, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA-s, sex hormone binding globulin, free and total testosterone, DHT.

Ferritin, iron panel, and vitamin D. Vitamin D is often low which can be linked to environmental exposures such as glyphosate and other chemicals.
Urine testing can be an amazing way to get a clear picture of how your hormones are being metabolized and salivary testing can be a very accurate way to evaluate some stress hormones.

You may want to consider thorough digestion testing, including microbiome and antibodies to specific foods if you have IBS, gas/bloating, bowel urgency, weight gain, brain fog or constipation.

Posted in Health Blog.