Ask Leyla: When should I get follow-up bloodwork?

| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Three blood sample vials resting on a laboratory form.

Q: I’ve just embarked on my therapeutic diet and supplement program to help correct metabolic abnormalities pertaining to inflammation, blood sugar, and my lipid profile (which is out of whack), as well as micronutrient deficiencies that were found like B12 and vitamin D.

At what point do I follow up with new blood tests to monitor my progress?

A: Congratulations on deciding to take your health into your own hands—where it belongs—by implementing the Diet Rx prescribed to you by your qualified nutritionist. It is gratifying to witness those choosing lifestyle changes for real improvements in health rather than submitting to pharmaceuticals for mere symptom suppression with their ensuing side effects.

Follow-up blood tests are an important way to assess where you are in your journey of improving metabolic abnormalities. After starting your new plan, wait a full three months before rechecking important labs like Hemoglobin A1c, cholesterol and triglycerides, and inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein along with a metabolic panel. The same goes for micronutrient deficiencies.

Too often I see patients get follow-up labs only a few weeks after implementing diet changes where no improvements are yet observed, only to be told by their doctor that their diet isn’t working—or worse—is dangerous! This couldn’t be farther from the truth! It took time for those metabolic abnormalities to develop and will take time to see changes in a positive direction—at least three months in my experience.

Be aware that if you suffer an injury or have a cold or infection, inflammatory markers like CRP as well as blood sugar may be high. Best to wait until you feel better before testing.

Moreover, and this may be something your doctor may not be attuned to, you should not get any of the above blood tests including a CBC (Complete Blood Count) after receiving a vaccine of any kind (i.e., COVID, flu, shingles, pneumonia, etc.) until at least three months have passed. The reason is inflammatory markers and CBC are definitively impacted by the jabs. For example, we have seen false positive Anti-Nuclear Antibodies especially within a couple of months after a vaccine(s). A positive ANA is a marker of autoimmunity and your doctor may send you down a rabbit hole of further tests based on a possible false result. Be sure enough time has passed after taking any vaccines before testing.

To your health!

Leyla Muedin, MS, RD, CDN


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