Crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s…

Way back in the spring, just a few weeks after the Calgary Marathon, on a random early morning trail run, I suddenly had a bout of dizziness that had me nearly falling down into the bushes.  This bout of dizziness would become almost 6 weeks of vertigo.  This wasn’t my first experience with vertigo, I’d had it a few times in the past, it’s caused by calcium crystals dislodging in the ear drum and floating around, causing havoc with the little hairs and balance in the ear drum.  Clearly I’m no doctor, and this is a very simple, amateur explanation.  

Long story, short… I put up with the vertigo, planning but putting off a doctors visit, until one day it went away on it’s own.  That is until about a month ago when it suddenly came back again.  This time I decided to do something about it early on, that I didn’t want to battle it for weeks on end again.  I booked a Dr’s appointment, and at the same time set to work asking Dr. Google what I might do to prevent or cure it.  I know that Dr. Google isn’t the best method to deal with health problems, and I am in no way advocating anyone go that route!  It did get me to thinking about my holistic health though, and trying to find out if my vertigo might be a symptom of some other deficiency.  My dr’s trip did not lead to any brilliant revelations.  Dr. Google had suggested that a Vitamin D deficiency might be a probable cause, but in Alberta, you have to be in a severe health crisis for a dr to order a Vitamin D test.

This set me to searching, to find out how I could pay out of pocket for the test.  I pay for all sorts of things out of pocket, running shoes, massages, chiro visits, these all aid in my running and my health, we Canadians aren’t used to paying for health care, but I figured if I could pay a small fee, and know that I was setting my body up to be it’s healthiest form, then all the better.

This search led me to InsideTracker.  I’d heard of them before, I frequently listen to Endurance Planet, and I know that the host, Tawnee, is a big fan of InsideTracker.  My first thought when I looked at their packages, was that I didn’t need all that they were offering.  I just wanted a simple Vitamin D test, I mean otherwise I’m pretty healthy, and I get standard blood work, and a checkup every year.  Then I got to thinking and looking through all that they offered.  Their Performance Plan includes so much more, Glucose and Cholesterol testing, Creatine, Testosterone, Calcium, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Folate, B12, Homoglobin and Ferritin, White Blood Cell Count, Potasium, sodium and Liver testing.  Some of these are included in our standard yearly testing, but many are not, and for less than the price of two pairs of shoes (you don’t want to know how many pairs of shoes I go through in a year), I decided it was worth it!

Last week, when I was in California, I went into one of their many labs and had my blood drawn.  It was a pretty easy process, taking less than a half hour, and not costing anything in addition to the test cost to InsideTracker.  It took two business days to get my results back (I was shocked to have them in my email  yesterday!).

The results were really interesting, and not at all what I was expecting.  I’m so glad that I decided to get the full array of tests, and  not just my Vitamin D tested.  It turns out that my Vitamin D is pretty high, and that I don’t really have to worry about it, so that’s good!  There were a few other things that were on the wrong side of what’s ideal, that I’m currently making a plan to work on over the winter.  I’m going to do a separate post to go over a few of those, and what my plans are to try to improve them.  My idea is that I’m going to work on these things over the winter, and then in April when I’m in Boston, I’m going to retest and see if my numbers are headed in the right direction.

If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to ask.  InsideTracker is an American company, they have thousands of labs that they are affiliated with across the US.  You can use their services in Canada, they offer what they call a “white glove” service for an additional $80, they will send someone to your home or place of business to do the blood draw.  If you’re in Canada, this is the only way to use their services (other than travelling to the US).  If you are like many Canadians, we’re often in the US a couple times a year for business, races, or vacation, and it is really easy to schedule a local visit wherever you are visiting.

*disclaimer, InsideTracker gave me a discount to use their service because I promised that I’d share my honest experience on social media.  I did have to pay for the tests, and will of course be sharing my honest opinion on the process and the results that I’ve received.

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5 thoughts on “Crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s…

  1. I had to chuckle about the ‘white glove’ comment. The latex gloves my doctor wears during an intimate part of my annual physical, are white. Just saying.
    I’m of two minds about these advanced diagnostic services. In one sense, you are completely correct, more info is almost certainly better, and you can decide what to do with the information. On the other hand, it’s hard to actually understand the data in relation to your norms, in the context of an overall health plan. It is easy to be flim-flammed into spending money on things that don’t matter in the overall scheme of things, and I’m not suggesting that’s the case here.
    Still the diagnostics are getting cheaper and more available. The first DNA sequencing took forever and cost a zillion dollars, and it was well under $1000 last time I looked, probably less now, and I wouldn’t be the least surprised if results were delivered the next day. It’s what happens with the data, both in what we do with it, and what the company does with it. Can you spell privacy concerns?

  2. I’ve never thought to book a lab test when I’m in the US, but I might just do that when I’m there in January.
    Like you, I’d love to have better insight into my overall health and while I do appreciate my naturopath, I actually think Inside Tracker would be a better route to learn about all the things.

    1. Stay tuned next week for my follow up post. I’ll have some coupon codes, and more detail on what the results look like. It worked really well doing it in the US and I’ll definitely do follow up tests next year.

  3. Pingback: InsideTracker Results and Plan of Action – Terry's Blog

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