As I mentioned last week, I opted to try Inside Tracker.
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 Inside Tracker 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 Inside Tracker is beneficial.
So after essential nutrients from my first blood test came out, why did I decide to go further with Inside Tracker?
My quality of life is fine, and I live my day to day normally. 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 at least get a full picture of my health. Thinking out loud, I would rather 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 test just check key nutrients. Heck why not throw in an MRI just to get some photos too? If only health care worked like that…
Due to the price, my husband and I went back and forth with Inside Tracker. For a full blood analysis, 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 Inside Tracker gave me a discount but even if they did not, we decided the price would be worth it to have the knowledge.
Since I don’t give blood well, I opted to pay the extra fee for the 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 the test 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 a 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 on a Thursday, and my results were available the Tuesday after. I was impatiently waiting all weekend. To be honest, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to know the results. I had seen plenty of people shocked by their results. What if they found I had a serious issue? At least I would have answers I guess.
So with that, what did they find?
Inside Tracker classifies your result from “Optimal”, “Needs Work” and “At Risk”.
Let’s start with my “At a Risk”:
My biggest issue is my cortisol level. My cortisol level is too high. This definitely 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?
My second risk is my Vitamin B12 is extremely 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 High levels:
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. It recommends eating less red meat. I wouldn’t say I overeat red meat, but I do have a few serving a week.
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. It 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?
- I intend to focus on my Cortisol and Vitamin B12 because those are most important.
- It was recommended to take 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).
They are minor fixes and adding a few more nutrients and foods to my diet. There is nothing drastic or a crash diet.
I’m also going to get retested in 8-10 weeks to see if I am improving.
Would I recommend Inside Tracker?
I would. While the price 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 won’t help. I would have never thought my iron levels were too high, and honestly, I was debating taking an iron supplement because “that’s what female runners do”.
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 Inside Tracker, there will be results that surprise you. Maybe your blood work 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 Inside Tracker because the information is high quality and useful for my situation. It isn’t telling me to completely overhaul my diet or fast on juju juice for eight weeks. It’s 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?