As I mentioned last week, I opted to try InsideTracker.
After my injury, I had no answers about how my ankle fracture occurred. It blindsided me. I received a DEXA scan which came out normal (not even flagged for osteopenia). I also got my calcium and Vitamin D levels which both came out normal. Just like my blood test with at my doctors, my blood test with InsideTracker indicated Vitamin D and Calcium were both normal too. Even though I don’t believe I got answers about my fracture, and do believe the information I obtained from InsideTracker is beneficial.
InsideTracker tests data for 30 biomarkers. The science team breaks down your blood test results and gives lifestyle recommendations. InsideTracker doesn’t tell you to cut out X, Y, and Z. InsideTracker is designed for your health and wellness, not for a crash diet. InsideTracker breaks down your blood cells and nutrients into optimal zone, needs work, and at risk.
So after essential nutrients from my first blood test came out, why did I decide to go further with InsideTracker?
My quality of life is fine, and I live my day to day usually. I live a pretty balanced lifestyle and enjoy cake, cookies, salad and meat. I don’t have any health red flags such as exhaustion or loss of period. While most signs of my fracture point towards gait or a rolled ankle, I wanted to get a full picture of my health at least. I would instead rule out any problems then the question, “what if.”
Unfortunately, my insurance is great but doesn’t cover the cost of a blood test, “just to know.” If I were dying or going through something serious, my insurance would cover the test (as they covered it to check my Vitamin D and Calcium levels). They do not include a tests like InsiderTracker, just check key nutrients. Heck why not throw in an MRI to get some photos too? If only health care worked like that…
Due to the price of InsideTracker, my husband and I went back and forth with InsideTracker. For a full blood analysis with InsideTracker, the cost is $499. In the medical world that is comparable for blood work, however, without insurance it’s steep. Do I want a blood test or do I want Louboutins? Decisions of the month…(kidding). I was fortunate InsideTracker gave me a discount, but even if they did not, we decided the price would be worth it to know.
Since I don’t get blood draw well, I opted to pay the extra fee for the InsideTracker White Glove Service. This meant a registered nurse come to my house and collected my blood. Another thing I don’t deal well with is InsideTracker also requires you to fast for 12 hours. Even after eating directly before and after, I’ve passed out the majority of time giving blood or getting shots.
So being the diva I am, I ordered the InsiderTracker test for the earliest time possible time of 7 am. The woman who came was professional, timely, and done by 7:10. She works with several different but similar companies. In fact, she has been a mobile blood collector for 20 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
I got my blood drawn for InsideTracker on a Thursday, and my InsideTracker results were available the Tuesday after. I was impatiently waiting all weekend for my InsideTracker results. To be honest, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to know the results with InsideTracker. I had seen plenty of people shocked by their results. What if InsideTracker found a severe issue? At least I would have answers I guess.
So with that, what did InsideTracker find?
Inside Tracker classifies your result from “Optimal,” “Needs Work,” and “At-Risk.”
Let’s start with my InsideTracker “At a Risk”:
InsideTracker Found Cortisol Levels “at-risk”:
My biggest issue is my cortisol level. InsideTracker found my cortisol level is too high. This plays a role in my stress level as well as bloating. I’m also a very type-A person, and I do stress out from anxiety. I’ve always had a higher than average cortisol level due to stress, anxiety and occasionally depression. To be honest, I’m getting out of a rough time in my life, so it’s not surprising my cortisol level is rather high.
How am I combating that? Mentally, I am making relaxing a priority. I’m trying to focus on sleep as well as adding a few more of the nutrients indicated. A lot can play a role in cortisol levels, and I need to make it a priority to just relax and not overbook myself. Better said than done right?
InsideTracker “At Risk” Vitamin B12:
The second risk InsideTracker found is my Vitamin B12 is exceptionally high. This surprised me! I drink no more than 20 ounces of coffee daily (decaf after noon). I drink soda once in a blue moon (maybe once every other month?). I looked at my multivitamin which also has 100% of my daily intake. A lot of the food I consume is enriched with B12 too. So for now, I’ll look for nonenriched foods. I’ll look to find a multivitamin without Vitamin B12 too. I like the taste of coffee, so hopefully, by substituting nonenriched foods, I’ll be able to lower my B12.
Next to my InsideTracker High levels:
InsideTracker found Iron “too high”:
I am honestly shocked, but my iron is too high. I don’t know a lot of runners who have this issue. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was too low. This will be a hard one to work on, to be honest. InsideTracker recommends eating less red meat. I wouldn’t say I overeat red meat, but I do have a few servings a week.
InsideTracker “At Risk” Liver Enzymes:
My liver enzymes are too high. I had no idea what that even meant. I had to do more research after getting my results, but it is great information to have. InsideTracker recommends taking a probiotic and eating a few servings of nuts, so I’ll be adding those to my diet and monitoring the results.
So What’s the Plan now that I have my results with InsideTracker?
- I intend to focus on my Cortisol and Vitamin B12 because those are most important.
- InsideTracker recommended taking a probiotic. Is that the band-aid to fix everything? I’ve been taking a probiotic for just over a week now. To be honest, I can’t feel any difference, and I feel more bloated, but I think it will take a few weeks to assimilate.
- I’m still researching how to decrease my iron levels. I have a feeling my higher iron is inhibiting my calcium and vitamin D; While I tested in the normal range, it was towards the lower end (and make a huge effort to intake a lot of both).
I’m also going to get retested with InsideTracker in 8-10 weeks to see if I am improving.
Would I recommend InsideTracker?
I would recommend InsideTracker. While the price of InsideTracker is high, the quality of information you receive is worth it. While I had several higher than average and two “at risk” categories, I didn’t have any major red flags. That doesn’t mean the knowledge of InsidTracker won’t help. I would never have thought my iron levels were too high. I debated taking an iron supplement because “that’s what female runners do.”
With all of these finding of InsideTracker, I don’t believe any of these imbalances caused my ankle fracture. However, I’m glad I chose to get the blood work. I do feel as though as I begin running and increase mileage, my body will respond better to the mileage.
Chances are if you decide to utilize InsideTracker, there will be results that surprise you. Maybe your blood work with InsideTracker comes out in the optimal range. Or maybe you have nutrients that “need work” that you never would have thought. For me, I didn’t think my liver enzymes weren’t optimal or that my iron was too high.
I like InsideTracker because the information is high quality and useful for my situation. InsideTracker isn’t telling me to completely overhaul my diet or fast on juju juice for eight weeks. InsideTracker is giving me minor tweaks of how I can improve myself and easy to update my diet with.
Question for you: Have you ever gotten blood work done? Have you tried InsideTracker?
This is interesting. I have strange iron levels that probably will never be in balance (either high or low never right). Glad you got things checked out. Hopefully it helps you stay healthy!
Very helpful review Hollie. I have been thinking about getting blood work done as I had vitamin deficiencies last time I did it in 2008, but since that was so many years ago and I eat very differently now and take vitamins daily, I am curious to certain vitamin levels and how I have improved. It is frustrating that blood work is so expensive but it provides such great information. I would also have to opt for the white glove one because I do not like blood drawn.
That’s how I feel too Alicia. Let me know if you do get your results, I’ll be curious to hear how it goes for you. 🙂
I’m so glad you did this test too, and you definitely got some valuable insight! The people at InsideTracker are so great to work with and, I’m looking forward to my re-test.
very informative! I am the worst at blood work and have fainted several times too! I don’t know how I had a baby with all that blood work lol. I had high liver enzymes back in the day when I wasn’t getting my period. I think reasons are different for everyone though so I wouldn’t even venture to explain why they said mine were high during that time as it may not apply to you.
I find this so fascinating and would love to have it done.
But part of me does wonder what the point of all this is really. I mean, you said yourself you don’t have any health flags (OK apart from the random injury you got that came out of nowhere).I’m the worst person to make this comment because I love stuff like this and gadgets for running (#allthedata) – but I do think that sometimes too much information can be a bit crowding. I mean, what the hell even ARE live enzymes?? It’s now made you concerned about something you, and most normal people, didn’t even know was an issue! Just some food for thought and not a criticism as, like I said, I’d definitely do it if it was available in the UK and cheaper.
That is a very valuable and important point Anna. I am not having any serious health complication. Is it better to have optimized enzymes? I’m sure, however, ami missing out on life right now? No…ill be interested to see how I feel when they are in the optimized zone.
High liver enzymes are normal in many endurance athletes, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Not knowing what liver enzymes are doesn’t mean this test isn’t valid or is silly. High liver enzymes can be a sign of liver or kidney damage and some doctors test this yearly. You could probably get insurance to cover a re-test of this because of what it can signal, though yours is likely just related to running. If you take a week or more off from exercise and get retested then your levels should be normal. If they’re not, then overtraining could be your problem!
This is all really interesting. I’ve been thinking about Inside Tracker for awhile but like you, part of me is afraid to see what the results would say. I do tend to feel pretty tired around 2-4pm most days so I sometimes wonder if it would be beneficial for me. My main concern for me is that coming from an ED past, it could potentially trigger me to feel the need to restrict certain foods (like dessert) if something was high or at risk. I do think it’s very valuable information though and really helps your overall health.
This is SO interesting!!! And also a reminder that I need to get blood work done, haha. I have high cholesterol so I’m supposed to get it checked regularly, but like you, I always come close to passing out when I have to fast and give blood!
I’d love to get all this info, though. I usually expect to be a little low in Iron and Calcium because of my diet but it’s nice to know how you’re doing, you know?
Thanks for sharing all this! It’s SO interesting@
Really fascinating! I would love to have that done! I’ve had blood work done during regular physicals but never anything like Tracker. I consistently tested low in Iron and B12 when I was a vegetarian for 10 years and not fueling properly for the running I was doing. Thanks for this review!
did you have to start eating meat to up your iron levels?
Actually I did not Kelly. To my knowledge, I’ve never had low iron levels but I do enjoy red meat. I’ve always eaten it.
That’s really interesting and kind of surprising! I didn’t even know that high b12 levels were a thing since vitamin b is water soluble and our bodies are supposed to get rid of it when we pee. And for the high liver enzymes, I think you mentioned that you have diabetes, right? I know that can contribute to elevations in liver enzymes. Anywho, I’m a wimp when it comes to getting my blood drawn, but I do love learning more about what’s going on inside me. Thanks for sharing!
I did the inside tracker test. No red flags for me but it was interesting.
They are based in Cambridge, MA so I actually met with one of their execs before I took the test.
This is so interesting to me! I’ve never heard of this, but I’m so interested in trying it out!
Isn’t it so frustrating how you can’t get blood tests covered? It can be so eye opening and useful. Would you say that Inside Tracker was worth the money overall now that you’re done? I’ve always wanted to try it but go back and forth.
Meditation can help a lot with stress and anxiety.
This is really interesting data to have. I’m also surprised to hear that your iron levels are high as a female distance runner! I recently had blood work done at the doctor’s office and my liver enzymes were super high. So much so that the doctor asked if I drink to much alcohol! I was like, “nope, I just run too much.” Apparently this is common in distance runners but it still worries me and I would like to know how to correct it. I have tried to up my daily water intake. I will be interested to hear how the probiotics work for you!
I’ll definitely continue to post Angela and thanks for sharing your experience. Liver enzymes worry me as well. Have you had any success lowering it?
Definitely look at changing your multivitamin. I had high iron levels when I had bloodwork done in 2011, which surprised me because I don’t eat a lot of red meat. I switched to a multivitamin that contained no iron, and when I had my 2012 blood tests done, I was exactly in the mid-point range.
High iron levels can indicate kidney problems (which I learned when I tweeted about my high iron and a friend lectured me about it because he had kidney and iron problems — two years later he had a kidney transplant). You’re probably just fine, but I think it’s good to be educated and proactive, so it sounds like this was worth it for you!
This is super interesting. I have read other posts from other bloggers on this topic. Seeing as I am just recovering from mono, this would probably be useful to me at some point. Sorry to hear you are at a stressful time in your life– I am too. We’ll get through it!
Inside Tracker is so neat! I think I’d love doing something like that, just to check in on my health. I love that they offer white glove service, too!
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