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Optimize your health by knowing your numbers.

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Written by: Dr. Rory Gibbons, Naturopathic Doctor

We all want to be “healthier”, but what does this really mean? Goals will be met when they are objective and attainable, so getting lab work updated or done in the first place is an excellent start to set a baseline of your health. From there you can be more specific in the health changes you are set out to make. A naturopathic doctor can take the time to go through your lab work and make nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle suggestions to start getting these values in check. Ever wondered what the following names and symbols mean?

CBC w/ Diff:

  • Getting a complete blood count (CBC) with differential gives physicians a glimpse into how well (or poor) your red and white blood cells (WBC) are being produced and gives clues as to why symptoms may be arising. When assessing red blood cells, the shape, size, and count can be an indicator of iron, folate and vitamin B12 status and can even be an indicator for blood loss. Hematocrit compares the number of red blood cells against all other components of blood and this can give us information on hydration, nutrient status, and may prompt other testing to investigate blood producing centers like bone marrow. Hemoglobin paired with hematocrit and the rest of the CBC can be reflective of internal bleeds, nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B12, folate and iron, and the health of your kidneys.

  • The differential provides information for our white blood cells. An elevation of a specific white blood cell usually correlates with some sort of infection or allergy.