Blood Don’t Lie – My First Test With InsideTracker

When I first heard of the company InsideTracker I was intrigued. Then I went to their site, read reviews, did some research of my own and realized they are offering something I hadn’t seen being offered before. This is directly from their website:

“InsideTracker is a personalized health analytics company founded by leading scientists, physicians, nutritionists and exercise physiologists from MIT, Harvard and Tufts University. 

The InsideTracker platform tracks and analyzes key biochemical and physiological markers and applies sophisticated algorithms and large scientific databases to determine personalized optimal zones for each marker. InsideTracker’s expert system offers science-driven nutrition and lifestyle interventions that empower people to optimize their markers. When optimized, these marker levels have been scientifically proven to increase vitality, improve performance and extend life.

Our goal is to empower individuals with the essential information they need to manage and optimize their own health. We believe that by providing a dynamic, personalized analytic platform at the intersection of biology, science and technology, then distilling the results into simple, natural and sustainable nutrition and lifestyle recommendations to follow, we can help people live longer, healthier lives.”

First thing that came to my mind is how beneficial this could be for me and my goal of a BQ at CIM this year. Then, the more I thought about it the more I realized this is not just for my athletic performance but my overall health. Coming from the veterinary field I know many veterinarians recommend annual blood work for your pets, and biannual blood work when they reach a certain age. Yet when was the last time I had labs done? It has been 3-4 years. Which is crazy! Knowing your blood values is a must, comparing them year to year, catching diseases before they become a problem…it just MAKES SENSE to have annual labs at the least. But let me get off my soapbox and talk about my experience.

 I was told to not exercise the day before and I had to fast for 12 hours. Ugh. But I knew it was worth it. Blood draw went great. The nurse (?) was super nice, we talked, she was fast & proficient and while I was shaking the whole time I was fine. Until she pulled the gauze to look at my arm. I saw the tiniest red spot on my arm where the needle was and I guess that set off the chain of events. I left the room feeling queasy and sat in the waiting room for a minute. Then I thought I wanted air so my bf & I headed to the elevator, but I realized I wasn’t going to make it outside so we went back to the office and one of the ladies told me they had a bed to lay in if I wanted to for a few minutes. I gladly accepted her offer and walked into the back…then I woke up with a cold towel on my head, someone squeezing my arm, another person fanning me and wondering, “Why the fuck am I on the floor? They said they were taking me to a bed!” Then I realized what happened. Yep. I passed out.

Personally, I thought it was pretty funny. So I just had to tell my story. But I am REALLY hoping it doesn’t happen next time.

On April 27th I decided I was going to cut meat from my diet. I have a lot of reasons for doing so, but that is a topic for another post. Training has been harder for me some days, easier others which is how training goes. However, I decided after a month of no meat (I still eat eggs, fish and cheese…don’t come between me and my cheese) it would be interesting to see where my blood values are and like I said earlier good info to also have for my BQ this December. Here are just a few of the findings.

This is what I was worried about. Low iron levels. Since I no longer eat meat I will have to really focus on raising these levels. My Ferritin, which is an iron storing protein, is pretty low too. This is bad for me as an endurance athlete because, “Iron is required for the formation of the oxygen-carrying proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin, and for enzymes involved in energy production. Oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is essential for endurance exercise as well as for normal function of the nervous, behavioral, and immune systems.” – InsideTracker.

iron

Happy to report my creatine kinase levels are WNL – and actually even better. They are in my optimal range. “One of the most valid and reliable methods for assessing muscular damage is to check for increases in blood serum levels of creatine kinase” – InsideTracker

CK
However my testosterone:cortisol ratio is a bit low. Again from InsideTracker, “The testosterone:cortisol score (T/C) is therefore an indicator of whether the body is in a state of increasing or decreasing muscle mass. The score ranges from 0-100, and the higher the score, the more optimal the conditions for increasing muscle mass. A low T/C score can be an indicator of over-training, high stress levels, or poor quality sleep, any of which can result in muscle breakdown and fatigue. A high T/C score can show that your body is getting enough sleep and recovery time to increase muscle mass and strength.
TCR
Which brings me to this. My cortisol. I was unpleasantly surprised how high this level is. Normal range is 4.0 – 22.0 and optimal levels are 5.0 – 16.3. My level is at 27.0 So this needs some work.
Cortisol
One of the many things I love about InsideTracker is they tell you what foods will be best for your diet to make positive changes with your lab work. The GIVE you a shopping list in their Food Basked section. Love that! It makes it so easy.
Here are some recs for lowering my cortisol levels.
Cortfoods
Another level I was shocked about was my low Vitamin D. I am outside every day. I mean, I’m a runner! Although I am not outside midday and I have been told that is the best time to get some sun. Looks like some diet changes and supplements are in my future.
Vitd
Another thing I like about InsideTracker’s service. You can compare yourself to other InsideTracker uses.
vitd2
So we won’t go over all of my results but here is what was included:
Glucose
Cholesterol
LDL, HDL
Triglycerides
Calcium
Vitamin D
Magnesium
Folate
Vitamin B12
Potassium
Sodium
Zinc
WBC
High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein
Creatine Kinase
Testosterone
Free Testosterone
DHEAS
Cortisol
Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin
Albumin
Hemoglobin
Ferritin
Total Iron Binding Capacity
Iron
Transferrin Saturation
Alanine Aminotransferase
Aspartate Aminotransferase
Gamma-glutamyl Transpeptidase
I chose the Ultimate Plan, but they have a other plans to choose from depending on your needs.
You get the science behind the results, nutrition recommendations, tracking to see your progress and best of all (in my opinion) is you’re an advocate for your health! You know that saying, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? I completely disagree. What you don’t know can kill you. So take care of yourself!
Over all I would say my labs were good. I now have the knowledge of what I need to work on to take my training to the next level and stay healthy.
    Already working on getting in more Vitamin D.

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3 thoughts on “Blood Don’t Lie – My First Test With InsideTracker

    • I am going to see my dr to talk about that. I’ve been putting off which is bad. I am eating what was recommended to help my values by nutrition.

  1. Pingback: InsideTracker – Personalized Nutrition & Lifestyle Recommendations | Runner Transformed

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