4 Lab Markers You Need to Know About

Have you ever done a routine blood test and noticed that a few of the markers were out of range? It’s not uncommon to have a few things show up on your annual blood labs but unless these deviations indicate something critical, your primary care provider will most likely assure you that everything looks fine. But you’ve got questions about why your lab markers are out of range – and no one to give you the answers.

(Spoiler alert – I can definitely help! But keep reading… more on that in a few.)

Unfortunately, there’s a big elephant in the room. Conventional medicine isn’t set up to keep you healthy. They are looking for the things that are wrong – some kind of disease state – so they can dig into their toolbox and find a solution. But the only solutions they have are drugs, surgery, or radiation. Not the best options if you ask me.

So, let’s take the matter into our own hands and take a quick look at some of the more common markers that can be out of range and what you can do about it. 


Contrary to what you may have been told, cholesterol is not the enemy, nor is LDL (sometimes referred to as your bad cholesterol). Cholesterol is actually vitally important for your health. It’s a superhero in the body, responsible for the production of cortisol, your primary stress hormone, sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA, and it plays a very important role in brain health and keeping your cells healthy. 

On your blood test, there will be 4-6 markers that are part of the Lipid Panel, one of which is cholesterol. The others are HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, and depending on the lab, there could be one or two others. This collection of blood markers tells you how much cholesterol your body is making (total cholesterol), and how well it is being transported to your brain, cells, adrenal glands, etc. by way of your transport proteins, LDL and HDL. I know, it gets kind of confusing.

But without these proteins, your cholesterol is stuck, unable to move through the bloodstream and get to where it’s needed the most. And when you don’t have enough cholesterol, your body won’t be as healthy as it could be. The best food sources are animal fat, egg yolks, butter, and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and herring. When your body has enough of the right fat, it can make the perfect amount of cholesterol. But when we withhold cholesterol-containing foods, the body has to work harder to try and produce cholesterol to keep you healthy.

If your cholesterol happens to be high on your blood test, that’s okay. No reason to panic. But we do need to ask the question, “Why is it high?” What would be causing your cholesterol to go up? Could it be to create more cortisol in response to chronic stress? Could it be caused by a thyroid dysfunction such as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease? Or maybe it’s because the artery wall is weak and cholesterol is needed to strengthen and reinforce the endothelium until more help arrives. 

Cholesterol will never elevate just because. There’s always an underlying reason. That’s where we come in – to help you figure out what’s really going on and then create a plan to fix it. So, before you say yes to the statin drug recommended by your doctor, which will only ‘force’ your cholesterol to go down, a better idea would be to figure out why your cholesterol is high in the first place and work on addressing and correcting the underlying problem. 


TSH is one of the markers your provider might order to check on the status of your thyroid in addition to T4 and/or T3. But unfortunately, the lab reference range for TSH is fairly broad so even if your results appear to be normal, they may need some further investigation. The optimal range for TSH is between 1.0 and 2.5 so if your result is above 2.5, you may want to consider finding out why.

If you have already been diagnosed with a thyroid condition or have a strong suspicion your thyroid may be contributing to your health concerns, we recommend ordering a few additional markers that will provide a more comprehensive overview of how well your thyroid is working. This will help us determine where the issue is and create a plan for correcting it. 

Sadly, most conventional providers (and insurance companies) will not approve ordering additional thyroid markers which leaves you in the dark as to why you’re feeling so crummy.

Remember, your doctor is equipped to manage the symptoms, not necessarily address the underlying concern. (That’s what we love to do!)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is activated by sun exposure and synthesized with the help of cholesterol (another reason why cholesterol is so important!). Many people believe that vitamin D is the cure for all ills and while it is incredibly important in the body, it’s no more important than the other fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, and vitamin K. In fact, vitamin A and D, when taken together, help to strengthen the immune response at the first sign of illness.

But here’s the catch. Although the creation of vitamin D begins in the skin via cholesterol, it is not available for your body to use until it’s metabolized by the liver and kidneys. That means in order to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, you need to have a healthy liver and your kidneys need to be working up to par. Without them, your vitamin D levels are most likely to be lower than they should be.

So how do you know what the right amount of vitamin D should be? Well, the lab reference ranges on your blood test will be a bit misleading as they are more broad than they should be. Optimal vitamin D levels should be somewhere between 40-50 ng/mLs. If you are currently taking a vitamin D supplement and your lab results are higher than 50, it might be time to take a little break!

When it comes to vitamin D, our recommendation is to test before you take. Don’t just reach for the nearest vitamin D supplement and start taking it because you think you should. Let’s find out whether you even need it – and if so, then you can add it to your daily regime.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is one of the most common blood markers and for good reason. Different than vitamin D, vitamin B12 is water soluble and has a number of important jobs in the body including:

  • Being needed for the creation of red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the body
  • Improving carbohydrate metabolism
  • Maintaining nerve function
  • Ensuring your DNA is healthy
  • Maintaining optimal emotional and mental health

Because vitamin B12 is so important, your body stores a significant amount of it – several years’ worth in fact! The best and most useful source of vitamin B12 comes from food – animal protein to be specific. Yes, plants do contain some vitamin B12 but it’s not well absorbed which can lead to deficiency. The best way to ensure you have plenty of B12 is by including animal protein in your diet several times a week.

Sometimes, vitamin B12 can be elevated on a blood test. Because it’s a water-soluble nutrient, the body will flush out what it doesn’t need. But the bigger question is this: Where is all the vitamin B12 coming from? The most common reason is due to excess intake from health supplements. Because vitamin B12 is essential for life, many manufacturers will include it in their products and if you are taking several of them each containing a little bit of synthetic B12, it can accumulate in the bloodstream fairly quickly.

So, the answer is to stop taking the supplements for a bit and allow your body to clear the excess.

Take Charge of Your Health

Having your provider order a blood test as part of your annual physical is super important. However, the markers that are included are very basic and will not provide a comprehensive perspective of what’s happening inside your body. There are other essential blood markers that should be included if you are serious about getting to the root cause of your health concerns.

If you are ready to take a deeper look, we’d love to help. When you contact our office, we will provide more information about how to order a comprehensive blood panel and then, we’ll go over it with you, making sure you have the knowledge you need to take charge of your health and make the decisions that are right for you.

Here’s to your best health so you can live your best life!

Happy Patients

I have had back issues most of my life. Since starting treatments with Dr Greg I have had no more issues. It's such a relief to be able to be physical at the high level I want to be. I am able to maintain wellness by seeing Dr Greg on a regular basis. Thank you Dr Greg!!

Michael L.

Hello! I just want to say that you are truly a healer! After leaving your office last Monday, I was more able to breathe, truly breathe - after having suffered all weekend to take a deep breath due to a "rib out of place" OK - if you say so....all I know is that, though I continued to have a bit of pain in my upper back and neck for a day or two, I could take wonderful, glorious deep breaths thanks to your treatment. Thanks again for all you do! Even if I do make many sound affects while you are treating me - "OUCH!!! Hmmmph!! Ughhh!! Really???" I truly appreciate your healing touch....


I have had Parkinson's Disease for 8 years.  I have developed arthritis in my back and hips. The stiffness of the Parkinson's and the arthritis has caused me a lot of pain. Because of that unrelenting pain I was unable to exercise. Exercise is an important part of pain management for Parkinson's.  Since I have been seeing Dr. Krapf I am feeling much better and his care has allowed me to begin exercising again, which has improved my overall well being. In the past I have been treated by physical therapists and orthopedists. Dr. Krapf's chiropractic manipulations have had an amazing impact on my health and happiness. I highly recommend Dr. Krapf to anyone who needs excellent chiropractic care and the many alternative therapies he offers. I would say he is magical!

When my friend received excellent care from Dr. Krapf, she recommended him to me. I have had gastrointestinal problems for nearly 50 years that have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease with lactose intolerance. All that, including unrelieved stress had made me unhappy and unhealthy. Today I am a different person with the help of Dr. Greg. The Gastro issues are practically nonexistent, my stress levels have plummeted, and my body is changing. I am so grateful for Dr. Greg and his healing hands.

Mary Ann L.

Our family have been patients of Krapf chiropractic for a few decades. We have several success stories archived. The most recent event involves our youngest son who is completing his senior year of high school. He has been a patient of Krapf Chiropractic (KCA) since birth. He has been an avid soccer player since the age of four and has sustained numerous injuries over the years. Dr. Krapf has successfully assisted in every recovery.

Most recently, he began complaining of his feet hurting while playing soccer. Both feet hurt - particularly the balls of his feet while running and cutting. He came to Dr. Greg with his complaint as this was seriously affecting his game. Dr. Greg evaluated the situation and decided a foot scan should be done. The finding was dropped arches. My son was fitted for orthotics. They arrived within days and he wore these as directed. Within a few short weeks he is now playing full games pain free.


I first called Krapf Chiropractic when my back was so bad that I couldn't get up off the floor. It's been a blessing to have Dr. Greg help me with my overall wellness and health! I find this to be a place where you are not a number and everyone cares. Mollie is always cheerful and reminds me to come. Erin is always smiling and helps relax me when I'm in pain. I would not be functioning if I did not have Krapf Chiropractic to keep me going. As I get older my appreciation deepens, especially when I see people around me who are suffering with back problems. If they only knew how helpful this is. I believe Dr. Greg treats the person not the symptoms. Thank you

Debbie B.

I've been lucky to have exceptional health care from the beginning. At the beginning, seventy-six-plus years ago, Hugh Rodgers brought me into the world in mother and dad's second-floor bedroom in our dairy farm home. Hugh's son, Hugh, Jr., practiced with his dad and beyond caring for my parents, he, also, cared for hundreds of others and me. Roughly forty years ago, a friend suggested I make an appointment with Richard Krapf for help with back-pain. Richard treated the pain that, often, was debilitating, and on Richard's death, his son, Greg became the second second generation to help me from one place to another. I'm grateful to Hugh, Hugh, Richard and, perhaps, most of all, to Greg.


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