InsideTracker reached out to me a few months ago for a collaboration and I think when I saw the DM in my mailbox I basically SCREAMED FOR JOY! I have been so interested in their product but being in the practioner in the medical field I rarely find the time to focus on my own health as I am always focusing on everyone else’s – hence the “months go” part. I discussed with InsideTracker that I was interested in comparing the “medical way” your PCP approaches your health care vs what inside tracker gives you and they were 100% on board. So lets get started.
BACKGROUND ON INSIDE TRACKER
What is InsideTracker?
- InsideTracker is a company that analyzes your blood test and physiological data and uses the results to form a simple, natural and sustainable nutrition and lifestyle recommendation in order to optimize your performance and well being.
What is the Process:
- You purchase InsideTracker online on their website and you then are sent a slip to print to take to Quest Diagnostics. You can generally make an apt online so you dont wait forever. You want to do it first thing in the morning because its a fasting test. This is important because alot of the labs they are checking are fasting dependent. Once you go to the lab they draw about 6-10 vials of blood and send them off to InsideTracker. InsideTracker has their physician team analyze the labs and you are sent your InsideTracker results within 5-7 Days. Once you get the results inside tracker gives you the lab value and if you were high, low, optimal, or normal and different foods to improve your labs and the science behind it. Additionally you can create different grocery lists to help plan which foods to buy from the recommendations based on your dietary preferences as well as a create a targeted plan to improve your valures in 6-10 weeks.
What Type of Tests does InsideTracker Perform?
- InsideTracker has 4 Main Plans and you can also do a DIY Plan if you are looking for followup on your first test or just want specific labs checked.
- The 4 Main Plan range from the Ultimate with 42 Biomarkers for $589 to the Essential with 12 BioMarkers for $189.
How is InsideTracker Different from Your Doctor’s Bloodwork?
- So you may be thinking wow thats alot of money for labwork I probably can get covered by insurance. You are probably right if you don’t have a high deductable plan where everything costs a fortune. However InsideTracker gives you MORE than just the numbers InsideTracker TEACHES you how to fix it and optimize your levels not just settle for “your labs were in the normal range” phone call and “see in you 3-12 months”. Inside tracker will let you know if you are optimal, high, or low and explain the improtance and give you NATURAL ways to fix it through your diet and not an exogenous pill. This is important because of alot of us will have labs that are in the “normal range” but was on one extreme or the other of the bell curve of normal and if we changed some things we could more optimize our bodies function but doctos only look for the “red” on the labwork and if its all “white” they say check and you get the above said phone call.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH INSIDE TRACKER
As I said before I was super excited about InsideTracker a few months back when they reached out, however by time I ended up getting the bloodwork I felt it was more of necessity than a fun experiment. After this year of moving around the country 2 times in 12 months, FT Job, FT Coaching, Finding 2 New jobs, Buying a House, 2 Half Marathons, 1 Marathon, 2 Half Ironmans, 1 Ironman, etc. etc. I was completely spent. I found myself just dead exhausted and it wasn’t like i was training at the volume I was and no I was not working because I am waiting on my new job in Florida to start but I still felt the need to take multiple naps and lay on the couch. On top of it when I did workout my legs were just not popping and I just felt like I was dragging through. I knew if anything I needed this test to confirm the obvious that I was in somesort of Adrenal Fatigue and I was curious to what else I put my body through the drain. Life is hard sometimes guys lol.
I got my results back last week which was perfect timing because I had 2 physician appointments with my new PCMs on base for routine physicals and “bloodwork” was supposed to be on the agenda. My first PCM appointment was on Monday prior to getting the InsideTracker Results. At my apt the physician looked over my history, vitals and listen to my heart and lungs and said whelp your healthy – call if you need anything. FANTASTIC. Mind you I didnt press the subject b/c I had the insidetracker results on their way, but it goes to show you that sometimes in medicine if you aren’t chronically ill they just scrape the surface. Later that week I saw the other PCM for my GYN apt and I had recieved my results from InsideTracker. I had analyzed them myself at home as I am a Physician Assistant but its always good to have an outside source manage your healthcare. She looked over all my labs including the “HIGH ALERT/RED” one and thought it all lokoed good and the only thing she would want to check again was my iron levels in about 1-2 months. Thats REAL MEDICINE guys! In order to get what InsideTracker gives you, you would have to find a dedicated physician who specializes in metabolic nutrition and an AMAZING DIETICIAN that will help tailor your diet to optimize your labs and perormance. InsideTracker gives you that in 1 visit without even having to exit your house or see a physician. Of course they say you always consult your doctor for any of the “red” values”. I think this is important because as a practioner I wanted to see how InsideTracker was different than how even I look at labs and to be honest it is WAY DIFFERENT. I look at normal ranges in a lab chart just like those physicians above and it isn’t way off normal then I move on. Your Family Doctor or me personally in the Emergency Room doesn’t have the time to dissect labs that was within normal and figure out what is optimal within the normal range b/c labs don’t do that. Its very black and white in medicine. HIGH – LOW – NORMAL. Thats it. Then you take the black and white and add it up to the big picture to see if someone is “healthy”. Someone like me and my viewers reading this is going to be “healthy” to every physician. Because you are compared to the hundreds of other patients they see with numerous comorbid conditions and countless medications. InsideTracker does that step farther and shows you whether you are “HIGH-LOW-OPTIMAL OR NORMAL RANGE”. This is important because even though you may be in the normal range you can always makes little tweaks to be in the optimal range by just switching something in your diet. You are what you put in your body. Nutrition is a key disipline in athletic success and inside tracker bridges the gap so that you can tailor your nutrition to optimize your heath which in turn leads to optimal peformance.
For the most part as per my doctor I am “healthy” haha. I am lucky in that I have always been pretty healthy. This is not a given and being in the health care field I realize everyday it is a blessing. To say I was terrified some of these tests would be crazy of and I would have to be tested for XYZ crazy disease I see everyday was an understatement. When you see the worst daily its hard not to have anxiety everytime you get your blood tested. I got the InsideTracker “Ultimate” Package with 42 Biomarkers. The Biomarkers are broken down within various catagories and I will share my results for each.
Metabolism and Weight Control:
- This Panel was mostly optimal except my Glucose and TG were slightly above the “optimal range” but were still within normal range. Glucose Normal is 70-99 Fasting and TG anything under 150 is normal. However, I am going to pay attention to my TG a little bit more often because I have genetic high TG that run strong on my mothers side of the family. The PCP was SUPER PROUD of my HDL – Thank you Endurance Training!
Bone and Muscle Health:
- My Calcium was lower than optimal for this test with normal Vitamin D. Thank you summer for returning cuz I am sure this looked different during Winter. I am going to try and work on improving my calcium because as a smaller framed white female I am predisposed to osteoporosis just by genetics and also I have had a stress fracture in the past so optimizing your bone strength to me is always important.
Electrolytes and Fluid Balance:
- These were in optimal range and my mom and husband were shocked because when I eat its like would you like some food with your salt. But hey I guess my body enjoys it! 🙂
- I kinda smacked myself in the face when I saw that my Magnesum was not optimal after I threw away the unused magnesium suppliment when I moved after failing to take it last year after I ordered it. Guess I am going to have to see if that in a gummy form lol.
- This was all pretty normal which I was thrilled about because of course my fear for the past 6 years I havent gotten bloodwork is that my CBC will be way off and Ill have some sort of cancer. To be honest I had these fears prior to being in medicine but its only gotten worse after you have to be the one to tell patients of all ages this horrible news. All joking aside I am so thankful and grateful to have those greens. However my one yellow is a High CRP which is a marker for inflammation. I am not shocked I feel my body is a constantly inflammed state – thank you Ironman! 🙂
Liver Function and Toxicity
- These were all normal. GB is staying in this lady! 🙂
Oxygen Transfer and Blood Function
- This was one of the “HIGH ALERT RED” Catagories. My TIBC was High “Red” and my Ferritin was “low yellow” but trending closer the to low “red” section and my Iron was normal. I personally reviewed my labs and then discussed them with my physician and it was determined we felt that I was trending towards an early Iron Deficiency Anemia and that we are going to recheck the levels in 1-2 months and see if there is improvement before we start suppplimentation. But I am going to start incorporating alot of the inside tracker suggestions so hopefully that will not happen. Iron deficiency is very common in atheltes and runners especially marathon runners so you have to pay close attention to your diet in terms of iron and I know that I havent because I am not the biggest fan of meat in general.
Strength and Endurance // Sex Hormones
- Well you would think in Ironman Training this section should be like “GOLD STAR” but nope its was “WHOA STOP” you get “RED STAR”! lol. Well here is the obvious that I knew but was waiting on just how bad it really was – Cortisol was in the “red”. Whomp whomp hop on the adrenal fatigue train. I didn’t need a lab to tell me I already knew as I said above but what I did need was ways to help fix it besides the obvious of I need to “take a break” which I am very soon. It makes me question that if my Cortisol was 25 after a month off work what is was like 2 months ago in the midst of Ironman, Moving, New Job, Buying a House – EEEEKKKK!!!! Shockingly not shockingly of course my PCP didn’t care about my cortisol level – lucky for me I know medicine so I can help fix it myself in the interum and see if it improves. 🙂 My CK was also elevated out of the optimal range and the suggestion was to switch out high impact running for lower impact activites like biking and swimming. Thats switch is coming real soon as this posterir tendon tear needs some rest. The last thing that was red was the SHBG and the DHEAS both of these can be highly affected by birth control as well as your time in your cycle and I have been on birth control for close to 16 years. My GYN said she was not concerned with the value and its affect on future pregnancy but we would readdress it when the time comes for babies.
Once you have all the information you can create a grocery list through “food basket” customized to your preferences and calorie intake per day to help plan your meals to optimize your labs and performance – Example Below.
I know this was lenghty but I had ALOT of questions on instagram when I posted my InsideTracker Lab draw! I hope this was helpful and also insightful that I shared my results. I am very thankful for InsideTracker for giving me the opportunity to look outside my own medical box and gain the insight onto how to better care for myself instead of always taking care of other medical emergencies. If you have any questions feel free to reach out!
Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post. However the words, thoughts, and opinions shared on this blog are entirely my own and in no way influenced by the sponsor.