How to incorporate blood testing into your nutrition programme


As a nutritionist, it can be difficult to know how to incorporate blood testing into your programmes. In this article we offer some advice on how to get started, which tests to offer and suggested testing schedules to help you to support your clients in reaching their goals and improving their health.




Dr Natasha Fernando

Fri Nov 13 2020

As a nutritionist, it can be difficult to know how to incorporate blood testing into your programmes. In this article we offer some advice on how to get started, which tests to offer and suggested testing schedules to help you to support your clients in reaching their goals and improving their health.

Here are some reasons to include blood testing in your nutrition programme.

Increased client motivation

Studies have shown tracking markers such as weight and physical activity increases the likelihood of participants sticking to a diet, and results in greater weight loss at the end (1). This is because tracking increases motivation and accountability, and what better motivation is there than seeing improvements in health over time through tracking blood markers? Monitoring your clients’ health during a nutrition programme will help them to stay motivated and keep on-track to reach their goals and improve their health.

Proof your programme works

Measuring health markers will also help remove any guesswork from your programme. And seeing health improvements in test results will help ensure you build up a trusted client base who stay with you, and even recommend you to others.

Test, tweak, repeat

Blood testing will also show if any adjustments need to be made to a programme to help a client see even better results. As different body’s absorb vitamins and minerals differently, some may require even more of a certain food to get their levels up. Markers such as cholesterol also have a genetic component so levels may change for people differently.

Having the blood measurements will give you an extra source of information about your client so you can adapt your programme to their specific needs and ensure they see optimal results.

Opportunities to recommend other products and services

Offering blood testing to your clients will also give you the opportunity to offer bespoke services based off their individual needs. Knowing exactly what areas of health your client needs to improve will allow you to recommend additional products and services, such as supplements.

So how do you start offering tests to your clients? Here’s how Medichecks testing service works.

How it works

You will be set up on Medichecks practitioner portal where you can easily browse our range of tests. From here you can order the tests you need for your client. Many of the tests can be done remotely with a home finger-prick kit, or your client can visit one of our partner clinics across the UK to have a blood draw. The sample is then posted to the lab and results are delivered securely online with comments from one of our team of Medichecks doctors.

Which tests?

Medichecks has a comprehensive range of tests for health practitioners, testing everything from diabetes, cholesterol and hormones to vitamins, minerals, and heart disease risk.

Here is a summary of some of our most popular tests.

  • Nutrition Check

This finger-prick nutrition test looks at 5 essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, B12 and folate, as well as cholesterol and inflammation to make sure the body is getting the necessary nutrients it needs for health and well-being.

  • Nutrition Check Advanced

For a more in-depth look into how diet is affecting a person’s health, this test includes everything in the Nutrition Check plus zinc and HbA1c, a marker for diabetes. 

  • Ultimate Nutrition Check

Our most comprehensive nutrition profile includes everything in the Nutrition Check Advanced with the addition of red and white blood cells, clotting status, copper, vitamins E and A, and a full iron status.

  • Health and Lifestyle

This is a great all-round health check that includes key markers affected by lifestyle such as liver and kidney function, cholesterol, vitamins D and B12, muscle health and inflammation. This test is a great starting point to establish your client’s current state of health and where any areas of focus need to be.

  • Ultimate Performance

One of our most in-depth health checks containing 58 blood markers, this test offers a comprehensive health assessment. It includes markers for cholesterol, diabetes, key vitamins and organ function, as well as thyroid function, hormones and autoimmunity.

Other tests

As well as our more in-depth health checks, we also have a number of tests looking at specific markers. 

  • Male and Female Hormone Checks - our comprehensive range of male and female hormone checks can help establish whether a hormone imbalance is present.
  • Cortisol - our cortisol saliva tests measure levels throughout the day to indicate whether stress levels could be reduced.
  • Thyroid Checks - thyroid disorders can cause a number of symptoms including weight gain, fatigue and low mood. Our thyroid tests check whether thyroid function is normal.

 

Testing schedule

The timings around testing will vary depending on your clients first set of results and whether any markers need improving. Testing at regular intervals will indicate how health markers are changing over time as a result of your plan. Our doctors will always recommend a retest at an appropriate time if necessary. Here are some suggested testing schedules for our health checks.

  • Health and lifestyle –test every 3 to 12 months
  • Nutrition Checks – at least every 3 months
  • Ultimate Performance – every 3 to 12 months


Here are some individual blood markers which may require a retest if abnormal.

  • Vitamin D – NICE guidelines discourage regular monitoring of vitamin D levels due to limited clinical benefit, but for those wishing to track levels for own interest we would suggest checking every 6 to 12 months
  • Vitamin B12 – every 3 to 6 months
  • Folate – every 3 to 6 months
  • Cholesterol – every 3 to 12 months
  • HbA1c – every 3 to 12 months
  • Ferritin – every 1 to 3 months
  • Hormones – every 3 to 12 months
  • Calcium – every 1 to 3 months
  • Magnesium – every 1 to 3 months


Why Medichecks?

Here are some of the benefits in choosing Medichecks as your blood testing provider:

  • Order tests easily as-and-when you need
  • Competitive prices and practitioner discounts available
  • Reporting and support available from Medichecks’ team of doctors
  • Remote testing possible - patients can take the test at home and you can discuss results online


If you are interested in providing Medichecks tests for your clients, please get in touch at business@medichecks.com.

Sources
(1)    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25220777/