The PICTURE of Health

It has been said that a  picture is worth a thousand words.  Labwork is the  “snapshot” of your true health. You can’t determine how healthy you are by the weight on your scale, the size of your jeans, or how you look in the mirror…only lab work provides a factual look at what’s really going on inside your body. Lab work and blood pressure are markers of your actual health.
Everyone needs to keep an ongoing record of lab work. Lab work is not reserved for when you get older. It should be done, at least annually, throughout your lifetime. Much can be derived from those numbers. If you follow your labs with a pro-active mindset, you can often “see” the very beginning of a disease and make changes that can reverse its progression. Lab work need not only be used to diagnose illness, it can also be used to prevent illness.
In the past, doctors have been very territorial with patients’ lab work.You may have noticed that you are not shown the labs and you can’t actually see the results. They look quickly and say..”Labs are fine” or “You need to lose some weight” or “Watch your sugar or salt”. These labs are your property. Always get a copy of your labs and file at home in a safe place.
If you are a reader of my works (The Metabolism Miracle or The Diabetes Miracle) or follow my blogs on www.dianekress/  or www.thewhistleblog/  you know that it is imperative to determine if you have Metabolism A or Metabolism B. By ascertaining the way your body metabolizes food and handles glucose, you can determine the lifestyle to get and keep you healthy on as little medication as possible.
Briefly, I use the term Metabolism A to describe those with textbook metabolism. Calories in –Calories out = your weight. Your cholesterol rises when you eat a high calorie, high fat, high cholesterol diet without exercise.
Metabolism B (the majority of those who are overweight have Met B) have a non-textbook way of metabolizing carbohydrate foods. Their weight is not based on calories and their cholesterol is not based on fat intake. They have a hormonal imbalance of the fat gain hormone.
The lifestyle needed to remain healthy with Metabolism A or Metabolism B is opposite in many ways. Both require physical activity…but those with Met A will track calories and fat while those with Met B will focus on carbohydrates.
If you think you may have Met B, or someone in your family has Metabolism B, ask your doctor to draw fasting lab work that includes a Metabolic Profile (shows your glucose reading, liver panel, kidney labs), Lipid panel (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, ratio, and triglycerides), thyroid panel, hemoglobin A1C (an average reading of your blood sugar over a 3 month span), and Vitamin D.
It is important to have your labs checked as many people with the very real symptoms of Met B just assume they must be caused by menopause, getting older, their busy life with family and career, job stress, etc.

The symptoms of uncontrolled Met B will absolutely detract from quality of life . (See symptoms later in this article). And they get worse. At the same time these symptoms detract from your quality of life, your inner body begins to show wear and tear.
Very often, a person is sent home from the MD’s with no explanation for their very real symptoms. The lab work may fit within the lab’s “normal” parameters….so the patient is pronounced healthy and sent on his way. While it is true that at that moment in time, they are without disease but that doesn’t mean the beginning of problems can’t be detected.
They are meant to  feel like “this must be all in my head” as the doctor says I’m healthy. Without the definitive labs, screened correctly, Met B can go undiagnosed. Untreated Met B always leads to a worsening of symptoms, along with persistent weight gain around the middle, increasing blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
The following are symptoms of uncontrolled Metabolism B. And remember that over 60% of the population has Metabolism B!
 Fatigue
 Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
 Accumulation of weight around the middle (belly fat, back fat, love handles, muffin top)
 Irritability/anxiety/racing thoughts
 Sleep problems
 Memory loss
 Lessened focus and concentration
 Bingeing on carb foods
 Not feeling full within an hour or two after a meal
 Light senstivity (sunshine is VERY bright and headlights are troublesome
 Abnormal menstrual cycles
 Decreased libido
 Constipation
 Depression
 Coarse, dry hair , perhaps some hair loss
 Dry, pale skin, bleeding gums
Many people are left without an answer for these symptoms, because their labs come back in the “normal range”. To determine Metabolism B, you should compare your labwork against the markers for Met B (see below).
Typically, fasting labwork requires 8 hours without food, although you may drink water right up to the time of the test. The whole process is very quick, and results are typically back within 1-7 days. Don’t let the ranges on the lab sheet fool you, or the fact that a doctor checks them off as being “okay”. I have had many patients come to my office with lab work signed off by their doctors with glucose levels 100+, cholesterol readings of 200+, etc.
Glucose: should be under 90
Total Cholesterol: should be under 200
LDL: should be under 100
HDL: should be over 50
Triglycerides: should be over 50 but under 100
Hemoglobin A1c: should be 5.3-5.6
TSH: should be 0.45-4.5
Vitamin D: should be over 40
These are NOT the reference ranges on your lab work. These are the reference ranges used to determine whether a person has Metabolism A (textbook metabolism) or Metabolism B (over 60% of overweight people have this hormonal imbalance of insulin).
If you have Metabolism B, do not fret. Actually, you have found the answer to many of your nagging symptoms, need for medications, and inability to lose weight and keep it off. You are now armed to make real changes that will influence your entire health and well-being.
So get a copy of your most recent labwork (your MD has a copy). Find out if the tests were run in a “fasting state.” (If possible, ALWAYS have your labs drawn in a fasting state). Then, compare your readings to the above reference range. If your readings are outside of the ranges shown, you have Metabolism B. If you have not recently had labwork…it’s time to have a look see!
Go to or www.thediabetesmiracle  for more information on Met B.   The lifestyle program will enable you to dramatically change the way you look and feel within 8 short weeks. You will begin to look and feel better within one week!. Labs repeated anytime after 8 weeks on the program will show marked improvement, and many people get medication doses cut or eliminated after this short period of time. For the first time in a long time you will be eating and living to MATCH your metabolism!


About Diane Kress

Author of The New York Times Bestseller; The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, and The Diabetes Miracle. and The Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition. Owner, developer, and administrator of The Metabolism Miracle's support site: Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Email:
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