Lab work is an important component of diagnosing and treating possible causes of fatigue. Women, particularly, require special consideration when it comes to lab work related to fatigue because sex hormones can have a significant impact on energy levels. Lab work usually tests for basic nutrition deficiencies, metabolic disorders and hormone imbalances that could cause fatigue. Depending on the specific case, additional tests may also be necessary. Lab work should be conducted prior to any treatment recommendations or lifestyle changes as it will give medical practitioners a solid foundation from which to start.
Are you tired all the time?
You're not alone. In fact, fatigue is one of the most common complaints we hear from women of all ages. But it's also one of the hardest to diagnose because there can be so many different causes.
That's why we've created this helpful handout outlining which lab tests your doctor should order to get to the root cause of your fatigue. With this information, you can finally start feeling like yourself again.
Download our free handout now!
Dr. Kathryn King (00:01):
Dr. Kathryn King here and today I wanna talk to you about lab work that you should get your medical doctor to run if you are feeling fatigued. So if you are so tired, you get a good sleep and you wake up and you're still tired or you know, minimal amount of exercise really wears you out, there may be an underlying reason that must be corrected. So there are a few different labs that I really do like to run. Number one is called a CBC or a complete blood count. So this kind of gives us an idea if anything is off in your blood cells. So your red or your white blood cells and even your baby blood cells, that is just baseline, easy to run. If you are really showing strong signs of anemia, it will show up there and there can be some other interesting issues that can come outta that.
Dr. Kathryn King (00:53):
The other one is vitamin b12. So I did a post about that previously, so you can take a look at that. Uh, being low in vitamin B12 can lead to a certain type of anemia, which would also cause fatigue. The other type of anemia that can be from having, uh, an issue with absorption and an issue with your levels is iron deficiency anemia. So getting your iron tested. So an iron panel plus also ferritin. Ferritin is like your iron storage. So what you have in the bank, an iron panel tells us how much do you have in your pockets like you're walking around iron. So getting both looked at is very important. That combined with the CBC will let us know what's going on. Your ferritin levels should be better than at the very bottom. Okay? So depending on where you live and depending on what the range is.
Dr. Kathryn King (01:51):
So for example, our range here in Alberta is 20 to 300. So if you're at 20 or 25, this is not good. I want it higher. I want it like 50 to 70. So it's so common and it's so common I see people with iron, uh, ferritin levels of like 3, 5, 10. Mine were 13. It is wild Women, well we can lose a lot of blood each month and so our iron levels can really get low if we are not careful and if our hormones are out of balance and if we are bleeding to death. So really get your ferritin checked and then take a look at the numbers yourself and if they are not optimal then you should be taking somewhere. The other uh, vitamin that I like to test is vitamin D. So this is a little bit difficult to get tested, especially here in Alberta or in Saskatchewan from a regular medical doctor running out of a regular lab because to be fair, the test does cost $75 and $75 of vitamin D would, you know, fill you up for a
Dr. Kathryn King (02:58):
Year, year. And we are all deficient, but it would be worth testing. Um, if you are supplementing vitamin D very heavily and want to make sure you are not overdoing it or if you're just interested in knowing where your starting point is. So a functional medicine doctor or a naturopathic doctor can do the test for you, but you would have to pay that $75 out of pocket. It's usually around the cost. Outside of testing for these different vitamins and minerals, uh, I do like to look at a lot of different hormones. So your thyroid hormones, your female hormones, even your male hormones. So testosterone has a huge impact on your energy levels. And then a few other interesting things like uh, a panel looking at your liver health can point out something a little bit more intense. And then also a fasting glucose and fasting insulin that can be super helpful in terms of looking at your blood sugar levels, which are hugely related to your energy levels. So I have created a beautiful little handout that explains them all in detail and then a nice little short list so that you can figure out with your medical doctor which tests are right for you to get to the bottom of these issues as soon as possible and get your energy back. So you can click the button above and uh, get that handout. And it is lab work to run for exhausted women.