Liam (L) sat down with David O’Brien (D), 5EW’s Wellness Director, to discuss blood analysis and stool testing.
L: G’day, Dave. Now, let’s try and keep it simple. Why should people get their blood analysed?
D: Simply speaking – I believe prevention should be the approach we take to help people avoid serious ailments and diseases.
Unfortunately, a majority of the time we only really investigate what’s going on when we’re already way down the path of illness.
So, what are we trying to assess?
Well, with blood markers we’re looking for trends in diseases. If the markers don’t match serious health issues then the markers aren’t investigated further for nutrient deficiencies, digestive problems, and bacterial complications. Nothing major is wrong, so we basically stop looking. But we need to look at a big picture when assessing bloods.
What’s the real underlying problem here? What has caused this cascade effect in the body?
I’m definitely not taking anything away from serious health ailments, because they 100% exist, except they themselves are always symptoms of a bigger problem. Considering that all compounds must come from somewhere, would it be fair to say this is no different from your blood compounds?
Let’s take a red blood cell marker like Haemoglobin for example, which from a function perspective is to transport oxygen and nutrients around the body. Where does the compound come from? It requires micro-nutrients like iron, copper, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12 and a key amino acid glycine.
What happens if the food I put in my body is not good enough quality? What happens if I have issues metabolising these key molecules? What if I have too much inflammation that depletes these nutrients and bacterial problems that impact absorption?
Well… you guessed it, I’m going to be deficient and missing key building blocks.
L: What about stool testing. Why would anyone want to do that?
D: It’s true the body works in synergy. Therefore your bloods correlate heavily with what’s going on in your gut. What impacts one particular area is going to have a knock-on effect to other functions.
I’ll give you an example. Have you heard of Secretory IgA? It’s an immunoglobulin, meaning it’s a glycoprotein (made up of carbohydrate molecules and protein molecules). In fact this immunoglobulin is the most abundant immunoglobulin in the body. It’s a sticky-like substance that helps to bind to pathogens and nasties that could potentially harm the body. Think of it as the body’s natural vaccination.
But you won’t get an accurate IgA reading with blood work.
Which means we need to have a look at the stool (laughs).
Your microbiome and your good bacteria are great tools to analyse how hormones and neurotransmitters are fairings. And because these chemical compounds are derivatives of food, would it not make sense to check the gut – considering this is where it all gets broken down?
L: Do you recommend both tests for all clients – or must they be suffering specific ailments?
D: I personally think we need to use a two-prong approach when trying to heal the internal environment of an individual.
I’ve developed correlations within the blood markers that are a reflection of different types of bacterial issues, stress-related problems and also deficiencies in macronutrients (an inability to assimilate protein, fats or carbohydrates properly). Therefore, the problems we find in the blood work tend to be reflected in the results that come back from stool analysis.
Most people say, ‘Why not just do the stool testing straight up then, get it all out of the way with one swoop?’
The reason is pretty simple: we need to reduce inflammation in the body first.
When we have too much inflammation in the body, we need to produce more anti-inflammatory mediators to mitigate it, and the load can become overwhelming! The more inflammation, the more we continue to damage the gut lining.
Through analysing blood work first, we can realign the biochemistry, reduce the inflammation and improve detox pathways for a potential gut protocol. If we take this approach, the body is in a far better place to clear by-products from bacteria and far more likely to handle the process for repairing the gut!
L: How does a healthy microbiome or healthy blood work relate to training?
D: Easy question! When are you going to ask me something tough? (laughs) Let me set the scene:
Did you know that about 49% of magnesium should be within our cells to help with ATP and energy? Did you know that B12 helps with the synthesis of taurine which is a precursor for GABA, a key neurotransmitter that helps to relax and calm our brain? Did you know that a bacteria called clostridia plays a pivotal role in the production of serotonin in the gut? Did you know that Lactobacillus strains of bacteria are carriers for estrogen and help to recirculate it through the bloodstream helping with clearance?
I could go on like this for a very long time!
If your microbiome and key compounds within the body are depleted then the ramifications can be severe. Our energy systems are dependant on how we assimilate nutrients. Say that back to yourself ten times. There are markers in your blood that tell us everything we need to know about your energy levels. And when we know this we can ascertain the optimal type of training you should be doing for this particular phase.
L: How does this relate to everyday life?
D: How does it not?!?
Most of us have different goals that we want to achieve in our lives. Our optimal ranges have a much smaller range, which means when it comes to prevention there’s a lot less room for error. When athletes need to perform in the sporting arena we need them primed and ready to go, and their blood markers can give us some insight into whether they’re in a good place to compete or not.
But you don’t have to be an athlete.
If you want to be the best parent that you can be, if you want to excel in your field of work, or maybe you just want to have a higher brain capacity, doesn’t it all entail functioning at an optimal level? Or are you happy with sub-par?
This is where blood and stool testing come in. We can restore deficiencies, reduce the inflammatory load and put the mechanisms in place to get you ticking over like a well-oiled machine!
L: Why did you come to planet earth?
D: I want people to know what they are truly capable of. If this means taking the hard path then I am willing to crawl on my hands and knees the whole way if necessary!
L: How did you become David O’Brien?
D: Ask my mum.
If you’re interested in looking under the hood and getting your blood work or stool testing done with a 5EW Holistic Health Coach – click here.
And if you’re interested in being educated by Dave then check out our mentoring and educational seminars – click here.