Does the following sound familiar? You have no energy, fall sick easily, your joints hurt, you can’t sleep, the scale won’t budge, your stomach is continually bloated, sometimes you’re gassy. Like clockwork, you find yourself wide awake at 3 am, with anxious thoughts running through your mind, awake half the night, finding it hard to function the next day? Something is clearly off, so you go to your doctor. Blood work is drawn and you feel relieved, surely they can identify the issue. At your next visit, the doctor walks in, glances at your lab results, and states that your blood work is “normal” and you have nothing to worry about. You look healthy on paper so why don’t you feel 100%?

Let me share something profound with you: “Normal” blood work does NOT mean your health is “Optimal”. Many people who feel unwell will show up as “normal” in the medical reference ranges. Those reference ranges given by labs are reflective of 95% of the population, but because most of the population have chronic health problems like obesity, diabetes, stress-related conditions and cardiovascular disease, they’re not the best measure of your own personal vitality. As the general population has become sicker, the reference ranges are incorporating more and more of that info into guiding what’s acceptable or “normal”. A broad reference range of “normal” won’t give us an accurate idea of what is ideal or optimum for you. 

Let me get a little clinical, and I will share a perfect example of normal vs optimal lab ranges. A lab’s reference range for normal vitamin D levels is typically 20 to 80 ng/ml. While this is the range found in the lab’s testing population, this is NOT the range for optimal health, and here is why: many research studies recommend achieving at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) but even better is 80-100 for optimal health. This is based on overwhelming evidence associating and linking low vitamin D levels with many diseases, including osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, as well as suboptimal immune function. 

Consider the following ranges of vitamin D levels associated with the decrease in disease: with vitamin D levels in the 30’s, breast cancer rates begin to decline, and colon cancer rates are cut in half. With rates in the 50’s, studies show breast cancer rates are cut in half. And when levels reach 60, autoimmune conditions begin to improve. Those numbers are dramatic; however, they are only looking at disease prevention. Optimal levels of vitamin D provide so much more, including immune support, mood enhancement, improved energy, and protection from the sun’s aging effects on the skin. So while someone is clinically ‘normal’ with a vitamin D level of 20, that reading does not support your a goal of optimal health.

The above is applicable to all lab results, normal readings are not optimal. This includes cholesterol, iron, thyroid, vitamin B12, fasting blood sugars, inflammation markers and female hormones are equally critical to get to optimal levels in order to live your best life and become free of debilitating symptoms, like fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, digestive issues and an overall sense of not having the energy to live life with gusto. 

Optimal labs are one part of the path to your best achievable health so you can be your best self, feeling yoru best, living your best life. Join me on a journey of discovery to live at your highest potential. Contact Lynn Woods at Vitalynn to find out more.

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By Lynn Wood, Founder & Owner of VitaLynn, a Family Nurse Practitioner, focused on holistic healthcare and wellness programs. Lynn Wood’s can be contacted at