Over the course of my career as a nurse, I’ve interpreted many labs. From CBC’s to INR’s, spotting something out of range becomes second-hand. However, just like anything else, looking at blood chemistry from a functional perspective is altogether different than just looking at something to see if it’s out of the “normal” range.
Micahel Rutherford is an expert in blood chemistry and is passionate about helping others take back control of their health and life, as well as focus on educating integrative practitioners how they can maximize their success through the use of functional blood chemistry.
As a young child, Michael struggled with IBS and all the miserable symptoms that come along with that. As a young athlete, he was interested in taking care of his health, but despite cutting out things like dairy, his symptoms persisted.
Into his 20’s, Michael was working long days at a restaurant, which meant eating all of the unhealthy food that came along with that. On top of that, he was taking upwards of 2,000 mg of ibuprofen every day for pain.
At the time, Michael’s father, who was a truck driver, was also struggling with his own symptoms of digestive distress and rheumatoid arthritis. His dad made a goal to read the top 50 books on health and wellness and through that really started to learn that what he was eating ws contributing to his symptoms. It was at this time that he decided to give the paleo way of eating a try. He saw improvement with his symptoms, so if course had to share it with Michael.
Michael had tried everything he knew to do at this point. He figured that he was stuck with his IBS for life/ But in spite of that, he still wanted to be a healthy person, so he decided to give the paleo diet a try. Little did he know, it would change his life.
Before he knew it, he went four weeks without any symptoms of IBS. This was after years of not being able to make it 72 hours without symptoms. Michael knew he needed to learn more about how to heal a body naturally, so he went on to get a certification in nutrition.
After receiving his certification, he went on to work with a practitioner who used the Bredesen Protocol which helps to slow or reverse Alzheimer’s Disease. Through this he was seeing many functional lab tests from blood to stool.
In that practice was a functional nutritionist who also looked at labs and taught Michael how to interpret them. Through all of this exposure, Michael grew very interested in blood chemistry in particular.
At this point, he started working 1 to 1 with truck driver’s through his dad’s company, Let’s Truck, which focuses on helping truckers get healthy. Truckers tend to be a very unhealthy group of people as they travel, sometimes for weeks on end. They also tend to eat on the road which leads to unhealthy choices of food as well.
Truckers are required to have a medical exam anywhere from every 2 years down to every 3 months depending on their health situation. Many of these truckers would come to work with Michael with blood work from their doctor in hand, asking for help. Michael was able to use his knowledge and experience to help these truckers get their health back on track.
After taking several courses in blood chemistry, Michael realized that many courses would teach markers in these labs without addressing how these components interact with each other. From there, Michael’s passion took off and he learned all he could about blood markers and how they interact with each other and what that means for the body.
Michael realized that many health practitioners could benefit from learning the art of Functional Blood Chemistry, so he create a program to help them learn how to interpret blood tests, such as a CBC from a functional perspective.
He goes on to explain that tradition lab values are based on averages of specimens. For example, they would take blood from 100 people and throw out the top 5% and low 5%, and what is left is considered the “normal range”
What this way of looking at labs fails to do is look at optimal outcomes such as they didn’t develop high blood pressure or cancer, etc. So, you could have a lab that falls within “normal range”, but it is not optimal and someone could still be experiencing symptoms because for their body, that value may be too low for them.
Even something such as eosinophils (which are white blood cells) can indicate something like a parasite may be present if they are elevated. And copper and iron are very inter-related and need to be looked at in comparison with one another, rather than just looking at the individual levels of each one.
Michael goes on to talk about an A1C, which is a lab for looking at diabetes, and how it is actually a very poor indicator of overall function of blood sugar and insulin. He explains that if the insulin value was run along with the A1C, it could be an indicator of several types of diabetes I had never even heard of before.
- MODY – Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young. This is basically undiagnosed abnormal glucose intolerance.
- LADA – Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults. This person is usually diagnosed as type 2, but there is an autoimmune component to their disease.
Michael shared a story with me about Nathan, who was a client. He was a truck driver who was about to lose his ability to drive truck because of his health. For most drivers, driving is all they have as many don’t have other skills. If they lose their ability to drive due to their health, they lose their ability to provide for themselves and their family.
Nathan wanted to keep providing for his family and he was so dedicated that when he was home from driving, he would be busy preparing and fermenting food. He could take that food on the road with him so he could eat healthy even while driving for days on end. He went on to lose a lot of weight, get his blood sugar under control, and even handle his gout.
Blood chemistry is a very important biomarker to look at as it is considered the systemic connective tissue of the body. The blood can tell you so much about what is going on and how the body is communicating over all.
We understand that blood is a connective tissue, and it’s how the body communicates. This can tell us a ton about how the body communicates and what it’s doing on a systemic level.Michael Rutherford
Implementing blood chemistry in your practice is usually pretty easy as most clients either have blood work already or they are used to getting blood work for their doctor, so it’s nothing new to have them do it.
Having blood work done is also usually very affordable and often covered by insurance for many people as well. If you are interested in learning more about functional blood chemistry, be sure to check out Michael’s program Master the Art of Functional Blood Chemistry. You can use code “ACTFAST” to save $100 of the 101 intro course.