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health tests/monitoring - traditional & modern, incl. blood tests  RSS feed

 
Rufus Laggren
Posts: 481
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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AFAIK the only way you get blood tests is by entering into and consorting with the medical/industrial complex - which almost always involves severe financial issues one way or another. Some people have insurance, some have VA benefits, some find good teaching clinics, some find free clinics and some pay through the nose. When I had blood tests recently there were more than a dozen specific tests listed and the average costs ranged from $20-$120 each; I think the total for one particular set of tests ran $2000. Are there cheaper ways to get the real thing ?

This seems important because getting these tests done regularly and often can help tremendously in figuring out what exactly keeps _you_ healthy. I have seen many references to various blood results here and elsewhere and clearly blood tests provide the primary most direct way to determine your health status and changes and trends - one stop shopping for health info. I haven't done a lot of research yet but though there are many ways to observe and maintain health awareness, blood tests appear to be the gold standard and in many cases there is no good substitute. Also, when you are addressing a health issue over time you really want to check results regularly, even frequently - and even if you find a nice free clinic, you'll probably not be welcome "on the house" too frequently on an ongoing basis.

I think there are some limited tests available "over the counter" for specific issues like diabetes (but these are not actually blood tests?) and these can probably be helpful. Does anybody know what actually is available over the counter in the way of test, not just limited to blood tests, but any health monitory resouces?

Just wondering. I like access to good health resources and this looks like one of many choke points.

Rufus
 
Rose Pinder
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Location: Otago, New Zealand
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"clearly blood tests provide the primary most direct way to determine your health status and changes and trends "

Hi Rufus, for many people blood tests are most definitely not the primary most direct way to determine health and changes to health. Many individuals and many cultures use a range of low tech, very effective, and sometimes very sophisticated ways of determining and understanding health. Blood tests are good for certain aspects of managing some illness and disease, but even there they are limited. I don't want to derail the thread from your actual questions, so let me know if you would like more information on the alternatives (that can be used on their own or in conjunction with lab tests).
 
Rose Pinder
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Location: Otago, New Zealand
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btw, with type 2 diabetes a simple blood sugar monitor that you can use at home is very useful. Costs vary (between $30 and $50 where I live). You need to buy strips as an ongoing cost, so there is a bit of a pharmaceutical rort going on, but it is still a good way of having instant feedback on blood sugar issues.
 
Rufus Laggren
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Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Hi Rose,

Thanks for you reply and I certainly would be interested in all other health indicators. I assume there a "millions" but maybe they target specific issues or depend on specific conditions. I changed the subject to be clear that all info on health monitoring practices is most welcome. I know there are many different things in our lives we can pay attention to and it may be helpful to bring some of them together with any how-to's and limitations we know for each to provide a crib and a reminder once in a while as well as sharing "new" ideas.

My feelings about many indicators is that they are very _very_ fuzzy. Eg. energy, fatigue, pain level, various etc are almost totally subjective even for just one person much less over infinite other individuals. Subjective is part of life but it's an extremely variable part. Eg. when the sun shines in the morning after a great night of connubial excess, we wake up and feel great while on a morning when it's gray and humid and 50F out after a night bucketing out a flooded basement we feel like dog doo. Same person, same physical shape, different observation of personal condition. Not to mention the placebo affect. I do NOT mean reject all "soft" indicators, just that there are some serious advantages to "modern" testing - as well as serious inadequacies in some situations I'm sure.

I started with questions about blood tests because I have seen references in the forums that cite blood tests to indicate the need for more this, less that and that clearly begs the question how to get the next test and next test after that to see if your diet or whatever experiment is having the affect you're looking for - least relative to the starting point, a blood test. I do think blood tests, along with stool and urine tests are the standard for health testing world wide. Of course they don't mean much w/out a good physical exam (including time spent in conversation and fact finding) by somebody educated, experienced and otherwise competent in health matters. So I guess part of health monitoring is getting the regular checkup. <g>

But what I was thinking about for this thread is stuff a person can (and probably should) do themselves, possibly after getting a general map and plan from visiting "experts" or just to try to figure out what's what when we notice something is "off". And blood tests seem to figure in so much of diagnosis and monitoring these days.

Rufus
 
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