This may sound a bit over the top, but when I first met the folks at SpecialtyHealth, I thought I was dreaming. Here was a cutting edge medical clinic looking for how to better help people navigate our modern world of processed foods, sedentism, poor sleep and inadequate exercise. The philosophy SpecialtyHealth uses draws heavily from the Ancestral Health model which might prove to be the most important addition to medicine since the development of antibiotics. I’m incredibly excited that you and your family can now benefit from this amazing program.
Complete the online health questionnaire
No single test can tell us everything we need to know to make truly informed decisions about our health and wellness, what we need is context. The online health questionnaire provides this context by incorporating a number of factors such as familial history of various conditions, as well as some more subjective elements of your current health status. All of this information is used to better interpret lab testing.
Get your blood drawn
After you fill out your online questionnaire you will be able to pick from a list of local (US only) LabCorp locations to get your blood drawn and analyzed. This is quick and easy.
Get results that you can understand
You will receive a customized report which reflects the information gathered in your questionnaire and the results of your blood work. This process involves a combination of machine learning algorithms and good ol-fashioned “meat bots” (real, live people, including doctors and dieticians) with the result being an easy to read and understand report that will help you make better decisions TODAY.
The Wired To Eat panel is designed to help you navigate the program detailed in the New York Times bestselling book, Wired To Eat. The panel helps you to understand if you are insulin sensitive (or resistant) as well as understanding your metabolic health and what this can mean for your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Here is what the Wired To Eat panel includes and why these tests are important:
The hemoglobin A1C test (abbreviated A1c) is a measure of one’s average blood glucose levels over time and is concerned with the development of Advanced Glycation Endproducts on the surface of red blood cells. The higher the score the higher the average blood glucose. This is a powerful tool for assessing metabolic health, but it is not infallible. Some people who eat a lower carb diet may appear to have a relatively high A1C. This is why SpecialtyHealth uses more than one blood marker to better understand each individual situation.
Fructosamine is somewhat similar to A1c in that it is a measure of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGE’s). Fructosamine however is a measure of AGE’s which accumulate on blood proteins other than red blood cells. We use fructosamine as a way to better understand the average blood glucose levels over time.
Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP)
The CMP is made of of several biomarkers which you are likely familiar with:
Cholesterol, which is a combination of LDL and HDL cholesterol. These numbers can be important for a variety of reasons but all too often most screening starts and stops at this point. We have found that only looking at cholesterol can miss some people who have serious problems, while unduly worrying people who appear to have “high cholesterol.”
Triglycerides (TRIG’s) are a measure of circulating blood fat and can provide insight into one’s relative metabolic health and insulin sensitivity. For example, an insulin sensitive, healthy individual will generally have low TRIG’s and a good TRIG/HDL ratio, however there are exceptions, which is why we rely on other tests to better understand this story.
The fasting glucose test is what the name implies: A measure of one’s blood glucose level after an overnight fast. Although valuable, we do not exclusively rely on this test to assess metabolic health and potential risk for conditions such as type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Factors such as poor sleep or stress can adversely affect fasting glucose levels, so again, this measure is used to build an overall picture.
LDL-P (NMR) W/IR SCORE
One of the most important markers we use in our assessment is the LDL-P test which is a direct measure of LDL particles. There has been much confusion surrounding cholesterol testing, however the LDL-P score helps to make sense of this complex process. In most cases LDL-P and LDL-C (cholesterol) track together (if one is high/low, both are high/low) however there are cases of “discordance” in which one may have what appears to be “normal” LDL-cholesterol, but upon advanced testing the LDL-Particle count is quite high. These individuals are often missed in general screening and appear to be at exceptionally high risk for heart disease and other metabolic complications. As part of the LDL-P test we also receive an IR (insulin resistance) score. Studies suggest this is a much more accurate and consistent method for assessing relative metabolic health and disease risk.
Taken in total, the WTE panel allows us to gain highly informed insights into the relative metabolic health and disease risk for a given individual, all with comparatively few tests. We strongly believe one should test what matters, not more, not less.
What Others Are Saying
The wellness program has been a great assistance to myself. I must thank the staff that has provided the assistance and guidance for the benefit of my own health. They were there for me and never pushed me, but showed me how to use their tools and ideas at my own comfort to accomplish better health. Thank you!Ed T.
Since learning about a Paleo lifestyle while at a leadership course at Quantico, I have reduced my carb and sugar intake by 95%. I feel better, lost weight and have no doubt that my learning about insulin resistance (IR) and the advanced blood tests SpecialtyHealth does and the evils of sugar, I have changed my health!Keith E.
The program was very successful. Shanti and Sharon were great to work with and made sure to explain EVERYTHING in a way that I understood. I cannot thank them enough for all the valuable information I learned. Getting their advanced testing is a must!Paul E.
Having the advanced blood tests offered through SpecialtyHealth’s Wellness program and the baseline medical data and a goal for improved fitness helped keep me motivated to improve my overall health and fitness. The staff and trainers were the real motivating factor. They learned your name immediately, had a great variety of workouts, just the right amount of gentle nudging to push harder and created a great nurturing yet competitive environment (not to mention the reminder that you missed a workout when you got lazy); this all helped to keep me working out and staying on a food plan.Carl C.
The SpecialtyHealth wellness team followed up with their exercise specialist and dietician was invaluable in maintaining the momentum to better health and eliminating conditions that have or will arise without behavioral change.Mary C.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my insurance cover this?
In most situations, no your insurance will not cover this testing. We will not accept insurance for this offering, it is “cash & carry.” In some instances you may be able to submit this to your insurance for reimbursement. Additionally, we encourage everyone to participate in a Health Savings Account as this provides a number of benefits, not the least of which is YOU are ultimately in charge of how your health resources are allocated.
Can’t my doctor order me these same tests?
Yes, of course! However, few doctors are familiar with this type of testing and many are reticent to order these tests, particularly if your interest is “only for health reasons.” Keep in mind that when you order this test through SpecialtyHealth you will receive a customized written report and interpretation. If you do get this testing via your doctor the interpretation will be largely left up to you.
What happens if my results indicate a health problem?
If any of your values are considered dangerously high, Specialty Health physician will call you within 24 hours and discuss options for seeking out a local healthcare provider to assist you.
How will my results be sent to me?
Results are emailed to you via secure email.
I live outside the United States. Can I participate?
This offer is for US Residents only for the time being.
DISCLAIMER: This is not an insurance product. Many of the items may not be covered by your insurance company and therefore will be your responsibility. Healthcare professional availability for certain services may be dependent on licensure, scope of practice restrictions, or other requirements in the state. The information provided is not a substitute for your doctor’s care and should be used as a practical guide to better health through lifestyle choices.