In this final post in my series on bloodwork – on basic and advanced markers to test and what you can learn from your bloodwork – we’re going to look at another of my favorite bloodwork analysis tools, Bloodsmart.
Like the Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis (FBCA), Bloodsmart gives us a lot of really valuable information from a fairly basic and inexpensive set of bloodwork.
With the Bloodsmart analysis, we can forecast infections and inflammation, xenobiotic and heavy metal toxicity, hormone imbalances, and metabolic health – all without directly testing these. So we can learn a lot – while saving time and money – to guide decision making about treatment priorities and methods.
And to get even more info, the FBCA and Bloodsmart reports pair really well together, because they cover different areas from each other.
What Bloodsmart Tells Us
While the FBCA tells you the likelihood of dysfunction in a number of main and accessory bodily systems, and tracks your changes in your overall bloodwork and in those systems over time, Bloodsmart uses your current bloodwork to give you details on the likelihood of the sources of many adverse health conditions and influences, and ranks each area in order of importance for you, in bar chart format and then in list format.
Let’s take a closer look now at each of the areas that Bloodsmart assesses.
One of the main root causes of illness today, environmental pollutants are ever-present but typically invisible, sneaking into our bodies through our air, water and food without us realizing it, and wreaking havoc.
For most people with health issues of any kind, environmental pollutants are playing a role, and addressing them effectively, both in the short term and as a regular part of your ongoing health care – such as by doing Dr. Emily’s 10-Day Detox – is essential to achieving and maintaining optimal health.
The Bloodsmart reports assesses the level of likelihood that your body is struggling with environmental pollutants, as a general category, and then also tells us which individual pollutants are specifically an issue for you, and how likely each individual type of toxin is to be a major culprit for you. This personalized breakdown includes dozens of individual toxic heavy metals and xenobiotics.
- and more
Xenobiotics are chemical substances (typically human-made) which do not occur naturally or normally within organisms or ecosystems. These compounds have a variety of possible hazardous impacts on the environment and ultimately on humans, in part because they are “sticky” – ie. they last a very long time and are particularly difficult to get rid of.
Xenobiotics come in many forms, including
- food additives and preservatives
- artificial flavors and colors
- petroleum-based toxins such as exhaust fumes
- pesticides, herbicides and fungicides sprayed on food crops
- plastics such as BPA,BPS and BPAF, found in plastic food and beverage containers
- parabens in cosmetics, lotions and other beauty products
- PFAS in stain- and water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, cleaning products, paints, cookware, food packaging, and food processing equipment
- phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products such as perfume, nail polish, hair spray, soap, shampoo, and skin moisturizers, medical tubing and fluid bags, wood finishes, detergents, adhesives, plastic plumbing pipes, lubricants and solvents
- and more
(Click this image to download, save and print out this handy infographic.)
Bloodsmart gives us an idea of which of these many toxins are the most likely culprits for you, personally, which can not only help motivate treatment, but make treatment more efficient and effective.
Bloodsmart includes hormone imbalance predictions – without having to do separate, expensive hormone testing – including insulin, testosterone, and thyroid hormones, as well as the likelihood of elevated Thyroid Antibodies, a major factor in many thyroid disorders that are rarely checked for in normal blood testing. The Bloodsmart predictions can alert us to the need for more in-depth testing, as well as guide treatment.
The Bloodsmart reports include an assessment of your likelihood of deficiency for several nutrients that aren’t predicted by the FBCA, including
- Vitamin A
- Beta Carotene
- Vitamin E
Along with environmental pollutants, latent infections are one of the main threats to health, and are, surprisingly, incredibly common. The majority of the 1,000s of people I’ve done testing on over my 25 years as a holistic doctor – have some type of infection that is straining their system and getting in the way of them reaching optimal health.
Side note: It is my strong belief – based on my clinical experience – that this is in large part because of the weakening effect of our ongoing exposure to environmental toxins, which makes us all more vulnerable to infections and also makes it harder to fully clear them out of our systems. (Long Covid is a perfect, and unfortunate, example of this).
Infections that can weaken our systems and keep us from having optimal health include:
- Fungal (mold)
And the Bloodsmart reports tell us which of these are likely affecting you, and how likely each type is, so we can focus treatment accordingly.
Another very important piece of your overall health picture is your metabolic health. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy (largely through your mitochondria, the “powerhouses” of your cells), and that energy then runs every system in your body. Your food choices, digestive enzymes, gut flora, immune system, hormone balance, exercise, sleep, stress, and mental health — as well as your age, gender, and genes — all shape your unique metabolic health.
Bloodsmart can give us a window into the overall state of your metabolic health, using indicators of fatty liver, elevated insulin, and elevated apolipoprotein-B (apo-B) cholesterol*, letting us know if metabolic health is an area of concern for you.
*Apo-B is a more accurate marker of the risk of heart disease than total cholesterol, LDL, or non-HDL cholesterol, and many researchers believe it should be the primary marker to assess cardiovascular risk.
Your True Age
Another aspect of Bloodsmart that is very valuable is that it assesses your “true age”, aka Pheno Age, which tells you how well you are aging, in comparison to your chronological age. It also shows you how you compare to others of your same age group.
Tracking your Pheno Age is an easy way to quickly assess how you are progressing over time – as you make changes to your diet and lifestyle, and follow a treatment plan with herbs and supplements to address various imbalances (such as what I provide to my patients), your Pheno Age will change to reflect improvements, giving valuable feedback and encouragement to continue.
Here’s an example from a patient of mine of using Pheno Age to track improvements – note that her Pheno Age went down almost 5 years over the course of 14 months (Oct 2020 to Dec 2021) because of the work she did in that time with her diet, lifestyle and supplements, following the treatment plan that I created for her based on her initial Bloodsmart and FBCA reports:
Your Overall Wellness Score
And finally, the Bloodsmart gives us an assessment of your overall wellness. This is another very helpful metric to track over time, to assess the overall efficacy of the efforts that you are making to improve your health. And the overall wellness score also shows you how you are doing compared to others within your 10-year age group.
Using a fairly basic set of bloodwork, the Bloodsmart report provides us with a lot of really useful information for assessing what the most likely root causes of your health issues are, on a macro as well as micro level, while also helping track your progress over time as you apply changes to your diet, lifestyle, and supplement regimen.
For a more complete picture of your overall health and the likely issues that are keeping you from optimal health, getting both the FBCA and the Bloodsmart reports is your best bet when using basic bloodwork as your primary assessment tool.
However, if you need to choose between one or the other of these two reports to begin with, then start with the FBCA, and add the Bloodsmart later on, for a deeper dive into the potential root causes that you likely need to address.
Next time, we’re going to look at some easy ways to address and improve one of the main problems behind most health issues, chronic inflammation. Stay tuned!