I just got done reading Ben Greenfield’s book “Boundless”, which is a 700 page compendium of human biohacking. It talks about things as simple as putting olive oil on your face in the morning after a good scrub, to the more expensive and extreme tactics such as purchasing a 10K PEMT machine that runs different spectrums of light waves throughout your body.

It is an interesting book for sure, and I plan to implement the more affordable tactics, but after getting done with the book it occurred to me that there are so many natural and inexpensive tests that we can do for ourselves, and in this brief article I would like to share just a few of them with you so that you can get a basic idea of your overall health without breaking the bank.

Test #1: Blood Testing

This one is relatively cheap and the purpose is to get a basic understanding of your overall nutrient status in your body. A basic test should include but not necessarily be limited to:

-A fasting insulin test (in my opinion this is the most important test because it gives you a good idea of your overall metabolic health. If you are over 5 on this test then you have some dietary work to do and it is a good indication of insulin resistance.

-Fasting glucose

-A lipid profile (cholesterol)

-Triglycerides

-Nutrient profile (this will show you if you are deficient or have toxic levels of vitamins and minerals in your body so that you can make adjustments.

-Thyroid panel. If possible be sure that your doctor/clinician tests for DIRECT T-3 which is the active form of your thyroid hormones. If they are only testing T-4 (the inactive form) it will not give you a good indication of your overall thyroid health.

A good quality blood test offered by a holistic functional medical practitioner will show much more that the above listed, but these will give you a good snap shot of your overall health.

Test #2: Morning body temperature

Take your temperature first thing upon arising. This can be done using an under the tongue thermometer or an under the armpit, whichever you prefer. This test is a fairly reliable way to assess your thyroid health which is extremely important because it is the metabolic master regulator of your body. Bad thyroid health=bad metabolism.

You want to be at least 97 degrees F. before eating and then test after your first meal and you should then be at least 98.5 degrees. If you are significantly lower then it is an indication of low thyroid activity and you should work with your doctor to address it. I also highly recommend the book, The Paleo Thyroid Solution by Elle Russ. It is a great read and a highly comprehensive way to address your thyroid health.

Test #3: Morning heart rate

Take your pulse first thing in the morning while lying on your back in your bed. Simply take it at your neck or wrist. Take it for ten seconds and then multiply it by 6.

If your resting heart rate is greater than 80, it is an indication poor thyroid and overall cardiovascular health. In general you want it in the 60-75 range.

One last thing on this test. If you find that your heart rate shoots up first thing upon arising it could be a sign that you are overtraining. If this is the case, be sure that you perform an unloading phase of your training and give your body a chance to recover. Typically you can accomplish this by significantly scaling down the intensity of your exercise for a week or two, or scraping your usual routine altogether in favor or lighter activities such as walking, or lighter forms of stretching or yoga.

Test #4: “The Hunger Test”

This is a subjective, yet highly effective test. In simple terms you are keeping tabs on how fast it takes you to get hungry, or have a craving after your last meal. If you can’t make it at least 4 hours without wanting to indulging in something to “pick you up”, it is a good indication that you have some level of insulin resistance that needs to be dealt with.

In fact, if there is one thing that I would say is the greatest indicator of your overall metabolic health, it is the presence or absence of insulin resistance. Some experts have suggested that nearly 90% of Americans have some degree of insulin resistance, so please keep an open mind to this.

Test #5: The Toilet Test

This test is a fairly accurate way to assess the health of your gut. In general terms you should have at least 1-2 REGULAR bowel movements per day that are easy to pass. If you have diarrhea or constipation regularly it is a sure sign of poor gut health and it needs to be addressed. A health stool should be a moderately brown color and contrary to popular belief that “every body’s shit all stinks”, it should not be overly offensive in smell and should smell somewhat “earthy” because if you are eating real, whole foods, that is exactly what it is.

In addition, if you have regular gas, indigestion, reflux or abdominal discomfort it is a sign of poor gastric health. A toilet session should never last more than a couple minutes. If you are cracking open a magazine or taking your time to get things done, then something needs to be done about your digestive health.

Well, there you have it my friends! By no means is this a comprehensive health panel of testing, but it does cover some pretty big bases, and if you want to go further down this rabbit hole, I would suggest that you find a well qualified holistic functional medicine practitioner that can help you.

Please let me know how things go and let me know if you have any questions!

Have a great week and remember….Life is Good!

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