My Kind of Checkup

I had a minor fight with my wife over the breakfast table today. She said it was time again for us to see the doctor for our annual physical and blood test. She meant well, but: as I wrote last year, our doctor orders blood tests full of irrelevant markers, like cholesterol, syphilis, and vitamin D (I’m a sun worshipper in Miami); he requests no data on meaningful benchmarks, like fasted insulin, ferritin, and testosterone. I told my wife I’m not going.

Now I could ask the doctor to prescribe these additional blood tests — insulin, iron, sex hormone — but it would be for vanity purposes only. I have no lifestyle changes to make.

My fasted insulin would reflect my consumption of just one or two meals per day, in a tight eating window, of only foods with a low glycemic index. My ferritin levels would show the results of my twice per year double red cell blood donations. My natural testosterone potential is maxed out — I lift heavy weights, optimize sleep hygiene, supplement with boron, avoid phytoestrogens like beer and soy, and I’m cool with the knowledge that if you’re horny, you’re healthy. Here’s my kind of checkup: Once when my wife’s phone call with her mother turned to the intimacy in our marriage, my mother-in-law was at a rare loss for words.

One trend in the health Twitter space is for folks selling one-on-one coaching to recommend various blood tests.

Example #1:

The thing is, if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, none of these tests are necessary on a routine basis. If you’re not prioritizing health, the solution to any bad scores would be to get back on the wagon.

Example #2:

I wish there was a naturally occurring source of B vitamins available to sufferers of high homocysteine … something you could put on a grill and season with salt; or some raw material that you could crack over a hot pan coated with butter and scramble.

Alas. Until these mystery substances are discovered, maybe I’ll have to follow my wife’s advice and go with her to the doctor.   

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