Follow Allen J. Facebook
Email Allen J. Email
Health Care
Jan 18, 2023

Normal Is Not Always Optimal

Sponsored Content provided by Allen J. Holmes - MD, Biosymmetry Wilmington

Have you ever gone to your doctor because you were experiencing symptoms that were concerning or bothering you?  Maybe you were fatigued or lacked energy?  Or you were having difficulty losing weight?  Maybe you were working out a lot but not getting any stronger or faster?   Your doctor may have done lab work on you and you were told “Your labs are are normal.”

You may have wondered what does normal mean?  You may have thought, “if they are normal, then why do I feel the way I do?”  Perhaps you left frustrated and not knowing what you should do next since everything is normal.

Have you ever wondered how normal lab values or reference ranges are determine?  It is a very complicated process beyond the scope of this article.  In simplified terms, lab results are obtained from a “healthy” population.   The mean (average) of those results are calculated and then the reference range is determined.  It is usually plus or minus two standard deviations from the mean.    Reference ranges also take into account sex, age, and other determinants.

Let’s not focus on the calculations but rather on how is “healthy” population defined?   Are these people with no medical problems?  Are they all thin?  Do they all eat healthy and exercise?

As our population becomes more obese (current rate is 41.9%) and have an ever increasing incidents of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc. the definition of “healthy” population must become more lenient, or else there wouldn't be much of a population left to base reference ranges on.

Furthermore, factoring in age as a determinant for reference ranges can be problematic.  These values will adversely decline or rise as we age, thus the older we are the lab reference ranges allow us to have deteriorating numbers and still be normal.

What if we chose to not accept this deterioration in lab values and the deterioration in health and vitality accompanied with them?  What if we didn’t settle for normal values for a 60 or 70 year old, but instead desired to have normal values of a healthy, robust, fit 35 year old?

Here is an example:   According to Labcorp the normal reference range for Free Testosterone in females is 0.0-4.2 pg/dl. Zero testosterone is normal.

Are we asking the wrong question?  Should treatment always be based on normal or abnormal?  Or should we be seeking what are optimal lab values?  What lab value should we strive for safely that will allow us to have the most vitality, energy, longevity and health span?

Normal is not always optimal.  Let’s go for optimal!

Ico insights


Dave sweyer 300 x 300

Insights into the 2023 Leasing Market in Wilmington, NC: What You Need to Know

Dave Sweyer - Sweyer Property Management
Mcwhorter 0005

So, You Have an Idea for an Amazing, Life-Changing Company... Now What?

Heather McWhorter - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Maximizing Your HOA Living Experience: Tips for an Enjoyable Community Life

Dave Orr - Community Association Management Services

Trending News

Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Welcomes New Board Members

Staff Reports - May 28, 2024

Novant To Sell, Leaseback Four Wilmington-area Properties In Statewide Effort

Emma Dill - May 28, 2024

CVB Announces Tourism Award Winners

Staff Reports - May 28, 2024

United Bank To Acquire The Piedmont Bank

Audrey Elsberry - May 28, 2024

UNCW Honors Faculty Awards Recipients

Staff Reports - May 28, 2024

In The Current Issue

As Hurricane Season Heats Up, How Do Builders, Laws Prep Homes For Storms?

The damage caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018 throughout the region put a bigger spotlight on the need for the construction industry to fa...

Info Junkie: Adam Isley

Adam Isley, founder of a spatial medtech applications and experiences company Artemis Immersive, shares his top tech and info picks....

Restaurants Serve More Outdoor Space

Outdoor dining spaces add another dimension to dining in the Port City and, in some cases, take a restaurant’s brand to new heights. ...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season