95% of the population will fall into a “normal range” on a standard lab test. We all know that 95% of the population is not in good health! The ranges were set to flag things when you already have a problem. They are then usually addressed with conventional medicine. Functional ranges look at smaller ranges so something can be addressed before it goes out of the standard range (this is called prevention!). We also look at algorithms that help us see patterns. By looking for optimum function of our client’s body we are able to detect dysfunction long before a problem manifests when it may be too late. Think of the person who appears healthy and exercises and when they all of a sudden become sick, we all think…but he/she was so healthy! Were they? Could we have seen something if we had not been handed back the lab slip with no (H) or (L) from our doctor saying you are fine keep up the good work? Often we can, and these are some of the markers with their optimal ranges that you can look for with simple blood tests from your doctor that you should have run each year at your exam.


Blood Glucose Regulation:                                                                        Optimal Range (female)


Glucose                                                                                                            75-86

Hemoglobin A1C                                                                                              4.5-5.5

Insulin – Fasting                                                                                                 2-5


Renal Markers: (kidney function)

BUN                                                                                                                  10-16

Creatinine                                                                                                          0.80-1.10

BUN/Creatinine Ratio                                                                                        10-16

eGFR Non-Afr. American                                                                                   90-120

eGFR African American                                                                                     90-120

Uric Acid                                                                                                            3-5.5



Sodium                                                                                                              135-142

Potassium                                                                                                          4-4.5

Chloride                                                                                                            100-106

CO2                                                                                                                  25-30



Anion gap                                                                                                            7-12





Protein, total                                                                                                      6.9-7.4

Albumin                                                                                                            4-5

Globulin, total                                                                                                   2.4-2.8

Albumin/Globulin Ratio                                                                                    1.4-2.10



Calcium                                                                                                            9.2-10

Phosphorus                                                                                                       3-4



Liver and Gallbladder:

Alk Phosphatase                                                                                               70-100

AST (SGOT)                                                                                                       10-26

ALT (SGPT)                                                                                                        10-26

Bilirubin – Total                                                                                                   0.10-0.90

Bilirubin – Direct: (only run if total is high)                                                            0-0.19

Bilirubin – Indirect: (same)                                                                                  0.10-0.70

GGT                                                                                                                   10-30


Iron panel:

Iron – Serum                                                                                                       85-130

Ferritin                                                                                                                30-70

TIBC                                                                                                                   250-350

% Transferrin saturation                                                                                      20-35



Cholesterol – Total                                                                    160-200 (particle size most important)

Triglycerides                                                                                                     70-80

LDL Cholesterol                                                                                              <120

HDL Cholesterol                                                                                             55-70

Fibrinogen                                                                                                      200-300

Cholesterol/HDL ratio                                                                                      <4.0

Triglyceride/HDL ratio                                                                                       <2.0


Lipoprotein subfractions:

An expanded lipid profile measuring lipids, lipid sub-fractions, particle size and number and APO (B) companies: (choose one)


Lipoprotein particles – Spectracell labs

Nuclear magnetic resonance testing – Liposcience (NMR)

Berkely Heart Labs test – Berkely heart labs

Vertical auto profile – Atherotec (VAP)




Full Thyroid panel:

TSH                                                                                                            1.3-3

Free T3                                                                                                        3-3.5

Total T3                                                                                                      90-168

Free T4                                                                                                       1-1.5

Total T4                                                                                                      6-11.9

T3 Uptake                                                                                                 27-35

Reverse T3                                                                                                10-25

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Abs                                                                    0-34

Thyroglobulin Abs                                                                                       0-1





C-Reactive Protein                                                                                    <4.5

Homocysteine                                                                                           5-7


Nutritional Panel:

Vitamin D (25-OH)                                                                                   40-70

Vitamin B12                                                                                           450-800


Hormone Panel:

DHEA-S                                                                                                275-390

Testosterone, Free                                                                                 1-2.2

Testosterone, Total                                                                                 35-45

Estradiol                                                                                                150-350

Progesterone                                                                                         18-27



Total WBCs                                                                                           5.5-7.5

RBC                                                                                                      3.9-4.5

Hemoglobin                                                                                          13.5-14.5

Hematocrit                                                                                             37-44

MCV                                                                                                      82-89.9

MCH                                                                                                      28-39.10

MCHC                                                                                                   32-35

Platelets                                                                                                 155-385

RDW                                                                                                      11.7-13

Neutrophils                                                                                             40-60

Lymphocytes                                                                                          24-44

Monocytes                                                                                              0-7

Eosinophils                                                                                              0-3

Basophils                                                                                                 0-1



How do you compare? If you would like help optimizing your blood work and therefore your health, or learning more about what these markers mean, please contact me. I have male ranges too! (Their ranges are a little different). Most naturopathic doctors and preventative medicine doctors will run all of these. If your doctor says they are unnecessary you can work with me on picking the most important ones, or there are on-line labs where you can order your own blood work. It is not covered by insurance but is very reasonable and after considering how much your co-pay for an appointment is sometimes even less!


My other favorite Functional Medicine tests I recommend people run to see a bigger picture: 


  • DUTCH Hormone test – this uses dried urine at 4-5 points throughout a day. Hormones fluctuate a lot so a point in time blood marker may not be as accurate as a daily average. It also provides useful markers not found in blood. Includes sex and adrenal hormones.


  • Individualized Optimal Nutrition (ION) test – The ION Profile is a nutritional analysis that measures over 125 key nutrient biomarkers and ratios that can help identify nutritional shortfalls that may be a root cause of complex chronic conditions. The ION Profile evaluates organic acids, fat-soluble vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, homocysteine, oxidative stress markers, nutrient and toxic elements, fatty acids, and amino acids.


  • If you suspect food allergies or intolerances run an IgE panel (immediate immune response) and an IgG panel (a delayed immune response)

(remember if your food intolerance test comes back with more than 10 foods you may just have an impaired gut lining).


  • A stool test (yep you poop in a cup) can show us the type of bacteria present with ratios, abnormal bacteria, fungi or parasites (If you have parasites your baso, mono and esonophils on your CBC will normally all be elevated) yeast markers, inflammation markers, immune markers, and digestion markers. As these tests use DNA they can also tell us what conventional antibiotics or botanical medicines will work against whatever dysbiosis they find.


  • A DNA test – 23 and me has taken away some of the markers I like to look at but still has a lot we can work with. I find it very helpful with eating psychology, weight, mood, and other things like when we can see “why we are the way we are.” A few examples of nutritional related things we can look at: If you are a vegetarian does your body convert ALA (found in flax) to the EPA/DHA that our bodies need and that is only found in animal products? Will a ketogenic diet work for you to lose weight? Some genes predispose us to not doing well on a keto diet. Do you have high homocysteine? We can look at the enzymes used in this pathway and see where we might supplement. Do you clear your caffeine slow or fast? If you are a slow metabolizer and drink coffee in the afternoons you are probably impeding sleep. And so on and so forth there are so many things we can look at and confirm with nutrigenomics!


*Lab ranges taken from Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis, Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective by Dicken Weatherby, N.D. and Scott Ferguson, N.D. as well as Dr. Weatherby’s blood chem software which I use in my practice to analyze results.  My analysis looks at prevention and nutritional support it does not diagnose.