Physician, heal thyself: Dr. Tommy Wood reviews his own blood test results

Nov. 6, 2015

Blood testing is an underutilized way in which you as an athlete can improve your performance. Think about a car that's not running smoothly. Sure, you could make some guesses as to why it's not running right, but you're probably going to need to do some tests to understand the underlying root causes. Your body is similar, but rather than spanners and wrenches, our toolkit consists of diet, sleep, movement, stress reduction and supplements.

I have for you today a unique episode of the podcast. Dr. Tommy Wood is an athlete, a medical doctor, a research scientist, and the director of our clinical coaching programme O2 Boost. Tommy practises what he preaches, but his work life balance is far from ideal, and his test results are far from perfect.

The O2 Boost process is simple. First, place an order. Shortly after, you'll receive a PDF requisition that you take directly to LabCorp, no need to visit your doctor. If you’re lucky enough to be in the UK, the process is even simpler: the test can be done at home from a fingerstick. Choosing the organic acids option enables us to make a more detailed diagnostic--that test is easy to do, you collect a sample of urine first thing, freeze it and send it to the lab using the pre-paid FedEx mailer. Once all the results are in, Tommy and I will gather some appropriate information from you and then analyse your results. Then I'll get you on the phone to discuss what to do next. We thought it'd be fun to record and broadcast our discussion of Tommy's results, and what you'll hear in this episode is not unlike what you can expect from your follow-up appointment.

Perhaps you already have some blood test results you’d like us to look at? No problem, choose the “Send you own” option.

Everything is important, but nothing more so than stress. I would argue that cortisol is the king of hormones, and I suspect that stress, both good and bad, may be the underlying cause of most of the imperfections that we've found in Tommy's biochemistry.

Click the image to download a PDF version of Tommy’s results:

Here’s the outline of this conversation with Tommy Wood:

  • [0:03] The idea that lead to recording this O2 Boost consultation.
  • [0:56] Tommy’s response to his blood results.
  • [2:26] The situation Tommy is in that may have impacted his test results.
  • [3:57] Christopher’s assessment of Tommy’s situation and the issues that may be reflected in Tommy’s results.
  • [5:06] The possibility of “adrenal fatigue” in Tommy’s results and the possibility of dehydration.
  • [8:17] Fasting blood glucose of 97 and Hemoglobin A1C of 5.7 - a bit elevated - and Tommy’s response to those results.
  • [12:25] What does Tommy’s low liver enzyme results suggest?
  • [14:26] Ferritin levels are high - and Tommy’s thoughts on that.
  • [16:20] Tommy’s suspicion that he might be heading toward iron overload.
  • [18:58] Tommy’s cholesterol level: 228 - above the normal level and in increase from the last time he measured.
  • [20:07] Fasting glucose levels below 5… a very good result.
  • [20:44] TSH of 1.0 - free T3 of 2.7 - Thyroid function appears to be a bit low - and Christopher wonders if Tommy is eating enough food.
  • [22:38] Tommy’s homocysteine readings: a bit elevated and a possible additional clue that Tommy is headed toward iron overload.
  • [26:05] Red blood cell size reading is inconclusive.
  • [28:07] Vitamin D levels are 29.2 - quite a bit low (and he hasn’t been supplementing).
  • [31:25] Total white blood cell count was 3 - low as well - and reasons why the test could be reading that way.
  • [35:42] Christopher’s assessment of Tommy’s lifestyle and how he’s handling the stress load and busy-ness.
  • [37:11] Should Tommy adjust his diet because of these results?
  • [39:00] Tommy’s attempts at managing the stress load.
  • [40:01] How results have to be considered in light of a person’s baseline.
  • [43:31] What Tommy’s done to deal with sleep issues he’s having.
  • [46:10] Creatinine levels are outside the normal range, which is likely a result of Tommy supplementing with creatine.
  • [47:29] Tommy’s views on supplementation with creatine and cautions about getting a better quality creatine..
  • [50:52] What Tommy’s blood results show and how you can get your own O2 Boost test.


O2 Boost Testing

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