[00:01:05] Detective Ev: What is going on my friends? Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by FDNthrive. My name is Evan Transue, AKA Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show about why blood tests don’t always work.
Well, we have a guest making her second appearance all the way back from Episode five. Her name is Jenn Malecha and she’s a very special guest. I don’t mean this to discriminate our other guests.
Jenn is the one who introduced me to Functional Diagnostic Nutrition so many years ago. Now here we are doing a podcast for FDNthrive. I think that’s pretty cool. If you want the full bio and story on Jenn, I will say it a million times. Just go back to Episode five.
When we have someone on, as a repeat guest, we like to jump right to it. We’ll re-introduce them quickly with their bio. Then we jump into the topic of the day. This one is a great one. It’s very validating for so many of us out there who have dealt with chronic health issues. We’re talking about what to do when blood tests come back as normal, and the doctor doesn’t know what to do. Also, why blood tests don’t always show what’s happening in the body when we feel pretty darn sick. A great topic.
Now, a little bit about Jenn really quick. Jenn Malecha helps career-driven, results-focused, functional health entrepreneurs who are feeling overwhelmed about getting their business going or growing. She gives them a roadmap to success so they can confidently achieve their business goals and live their dream life. Through her Wholistic Health Boss health coaching brand, she also supports busy health-minded professionals in taking back control of their health. She gives them access to the right lab tests and resources so they can find the missing pieces of their health puzzle. This actually helps fix what is wrong, which gets them back to feeling like themselves again.
Using over a decade of business and project management experience, training in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and transformational coaching, she guides functional health practitioners on setting up solutions to create multiple six-figure practices that allows them to heal hundreds of people while working less and taking better care of themselves.
Well, that sounds pretty cool to me. Sounds like everyone wins and Jenn gets results for her clients. If you don’t believe that, just know I sent a family member of mine to Jenn. That is a pretty big compliment out of a group of individuals that has thousands and thousands of graduates.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the episode.
Jenn & Evan Meet
All right. Making her second appearance on the Health Detective Podcast we have with us, the person who recruited me into the wonderful world of FDN, Mrs. Jenn Malecha. How are you today?
[00:03:38] Jenn Malecha: I’m good. I’m excited to be here. It’s so funny to hear you say that, that I recruited you in FDN, but I guess it’s true.
It’s so funny how our paths had crossed at that point in time.
[00:03:49] Detective Ev: Absolutely. Yeah. We talk about it a little more on Jen’s first appearance. We’ve had a couple people come on as a second appearance guest. We’re going to be having more of that as the new year continues. Just so you guys know how this is going to work.
First appearance is where you’re really going to get to hear a lot more about their story. So, if you like this episode and want to hear more from Jenn, she’s in episode five of the Health Detective Podcast. Go check that out.
That’s her full story there. But we will summarize it a little bit here. Basically, I was out in California just looking for answers for my health stuff. I’m an East-coaster, and there’s just a stereotype on the East Coast that the West Coast has more people that are hippies into natural health whatever.
And it’s funny because FDNs, “hippy” wouldn’t be the right word, you know? Cause we’re so science-based but definitely we’re into natural stuff. I met Jenn and she was throwing it down in a coffee shop with20, 30 people in there. It’s crazy, now she’s throwing it down for huge names in the functional health space. So, always progressing, always fun to be around her.
Let’s give a little background though just on your story. We’ll keep it brief, just a few minutes. What do you think got you into the world of functional health anyway? Because very few people wake up at five years old and say, mom and dad, I’m going to be a functional health coach. It’s not what we really choose to do. It’s something that chooses us.
[00:05:03] Jenn Malecha: Exactly. I think as probably most of our listeners all have this in common with us is that it’s usually our own health story that gets us here. Kind of like the story that you were just sharing. I had a background in fitness, nutrition, and health.
So, I actually have always kind of been a health-minded person. But over time, my health just progressively got worse as I got older, especially when I got into college and into my 20’s. This was kind of funny because, at that point in time, I was literally going to college to study kinesiology, which is the study of the body and fitness, nutrition, and health.
Coming out of that, I got into personal training, moved up really quickly in the corporate fitness world, and thought I was doing all of the right things at the time. But again, my health just progressively was getting worse over time. That’s when I really started to question what I had learned in school. Was this stuff really working? Was this the truth or not? I started seeking external resources and tools to figure out what was going on with my body.
And at the time I was friends with Sean Croxton, who’s an FDN old-timer. He was really big in the biz back in the day in 2012 when I was going through this process. He actually was the one who introduced me to FDN and Reed Davis, because they were hosting a webinar together. I sat on that webinar, and I was like, this is it. This is everything. The light bulbs went on.
I just remember sitting in that webinar as Reed’s talking about adrenal dysfunction and the physiological aspects of what’s going on in the body with detoxification and all this other stuff. I was just like, why did my physiology teacher in college never talk about these things? When I was in biology or OCAM or human anatomy, we never discussed things the way that we talk about them as FDNs.
And I just knew at that moment that it was a life-changing moment. I always say that becoming an FDN was the best move I ever made career-wise, as well as health-wise. I mean, even if I would have never done anything with it in terms of a career, it’s changed my health for the better.
And here I am. We were just talking about this before we got on, this is my ten-year anniversary. I enrolled in FDN in 2012 and I’ve been a practitioner ever since. I’m about to turn 39 in March, and I feel better at the cusp of 39 than I’ve ever felt in my entire life health-wise.
[00:07:29] Detective Ev: It’s amazing.
And we hear that so much. I’ll never forget who it was, Justine Altman, and she posted it publicly, that’s why I’m shouting it out. I know, you know, Justine. She posted a photo from 20 years old to 40. It looked like she reversed aged because she’s that much healthier now. That’s what happens because we’re living in such a toxic world. You get the right information, and you know what’s cool about FDN.
The functional medicine thing let’s be honest, that started becoming cool maybe five, six years ago. The functional medicine doctors let’s call it ten for the really innovative ones. I mean, Reed was doing this twenty-something years ago. We have a lot of the stuff figured out; I think. We sorted through a lot of the BS because when you’re getting into this, it’s overwhelming. You know you’re onto something just like I did. Then you find yourself doing extreme things sometimes or spending a lot of money.
I mean, for God’s sake, I drove out to California because I was so desperate. But I knew I was on the right path. It’s awesome to be able to hear from people like yourself. Ten years of experience, been through the wringer with health stuff, feeling the best at 39 than you ever have.
Definitely Something to This
That’s saying something and I do believe that’s possible for people. There’s something to be said about longevity in all of this. Most FDNs you know are probably between 30 and 50, I assume. What are they going to look like at 70, 80 years old?
Because Reed Davis ain’t going anywhere anytime soon, you know? And that guy’s almost70. So, I think there’s something to this, right?
[00:08:47] Jenn Malecha: Oh, there’s definitely something to this. I mean, in the in-between over the last ten years, I have had mold twice in my house. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and was estrogen dominant.
Lifetime Tools for When Life Still Happens
That all came after going through the FDN course and correcting the original stuff that was going on with my health. So, I think what’s really cool about that is, as I tell my clients, life continues to happen. We can’t predict when you’re going to have mold or when you get in a car accident or when something like a pandemic strike. Right?
The tools that we learn when we go through the training course and give to our clients are tools that will last you for a lifetime. They’re the tools that will help you to overcome no matter what life throws at you. That’s what I am eternally grateful for. Even though I had these encounters after healing myself, after going through the course, I was able to do it again repeatedly because of the knowledge I had behind me. That is so incredible.
[00:09:46] Detective Ev: It’s such a key point. Let’s say someone’s an accountant, and they come to FDNthrive, or they come to someone like you, or someone else on the podcast. They’re not going to be an FDN afterwards, that’s not how it works. But are they going to be really well-equipped and really well-educated to take on things that might get thrown their way?
Because life happens, you know. You can be the healthiest person in the world and get stuck with mold in your home. That’s just a rough situation. You gotta know what to do during those situations. You will have the tools. You will have the education to kind of adapt in those situations.
Are Normal Blood Tests Showing the Full Picture?
Speaking of which, not knowing what to do or just being stuck, this is such a perfect topic today. I can’t really believe that it’s taken over a hundred episodes to actually get to this in full. But we’re talking about how normal blood tests might not be a hundred percent telling the full picture.
They are really valid in their own right, which we’ll talk about later. I know that this is something that you’re super passionate about. Then actually showing people what may be more optimal tests are for their situations.
Let’s keep it super basic to start out. Why do you believe that the whole blood test thing might not always be the most accurate or first route? What has been your experience with that? And then I’ll even share mine with it. Cause I know I’ve had some interesting experiences with blood work.
[00:10:57] Jenn Malecha: Yeah, definitely. I think this goes way back. I even remember having to do all those physical fitness type of testing and things like that in high school.
We would have to be measured against our BMI. BMI is this standard of health, for example, which is body mass index. For those people who may not know, that has been used for ages that’s completely outdated. And if somebody as myself, I’m 5′ 5″, by the way.
I’m not super tall. I’m not super short. But I have a very muscular build. I’ve always been an active individual, played sports in high school. I’ve always been considered overweight on the BMI scale. But I’m probably, compared to the population, one of the healthiest people.
Growing up, we had a garden. My parents were really good about making sure that we had balanced meals. We didn’t eat fast food very often. There was always protein, like chicken or steak on our plate with a healthy starch, like rice or like potato. Then some type of green vegetable always, and just being active. So, that’s just a simple, basic example of how these typical measurements/testing we’re using to measure health are a little outdated.
Odd Symptoms Popping Up
Then we can get into the fact of, okay, well, let’s look at some of that regular blood testing. This is actually what really started to trigger this curiosity within me about is this stuff really legit. Like I said it, my health started to decline when I got into my 20s when I was in college. The things that were happening to me were allergies that started to develop, like seasonal allergies that got worse and worse over time. I’d never had any allergies or anything like that in high school or growing up.
It was when I moved from Northern California to San Diego, all of a sudden, these things started to pop up. Then I started to get ear infections as a result of that, and then downstream, onset of fatigue. I remember being a trainer, in the afternoons I would get a double Americano from Starbucks, of course, full of cream and artificial sweeteners at the time.
And I would still be struggling to keep my eyes open to train my afternoon clients. I just had this fatigue that was really getting to me. And I had chemical sensitivity type of stuff, which I didn’t know what to call it back then. But an example of that is back in the day before we had electronic calendars and whatnot, as part of the personal training team, we had this massive paper scheduler that we used, and it had to be filled in manually. Because I was the assistant manager, it was my job.
So, I got out this sharpie marker, had to put all the trainers’ names in there, and put their schedule so that we could schedule their appointments for them. I was doing that one day at the beginning of the month. And after sitting there for about 20, 30 minutes inhaling this Sharpie marker, I got so nauseous and sick and a headache that I had to have somebody drive me home. And I was out for the whole day basically.
So, these odd things started popping up. But every time I would go to the doctor, I was really religious back then about going to the doctor, getting my annual physicals done. Literally, all of my blood work would come back normal.
My cholesterol was perfect. My blood pressure was perfect, all the stuff. And the doctor would literally sit there and ask me all these questions about my eating habits and my exercise. They would tell me, man, you’re the picture of perfect health. I wish all of my patients were like you. So that was kind of the beginning of it.
Testing That Looks at the Full Picture
When I started to question these things, as I mentioned earlier, eventually got introduced to FDN and Reed. The light bulb went on and all these missing pieces of the health puzzle just started to fall into place that the type of testing we do as FDNs, we talk about in the course, looks at all of these physiological aspects of the body.
How are the systems of the body actually functioning? What is actually going on internally that can be then correlated back to some of the symptoms and the things that we are experiencing essentially. That was very enlightening to me. Then as I got further into my practice as an FDN practitioner, other stuff started coming to light.
I had other clients that would come to me, and they would have the same experience. They would say, I’ve had my doctor run all these blood tests. They keep saying that everything looks normal. I don’t feel that way. I can’t lose weight. My thyroid feels like it’s out of control. I’m losing my hair; my menstrual cycle is irregular.
When we do the functional lab testing that we do as FDNs, all these clues come out, all these pieces of the puzzle that we can’t see in blood testing starts to reveal itself. This also became very obvious to me later on down the road in my health journey. As I said, we had mold, and I ended up being estrogen dominant and diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.
It was a two-year process of not knowing that we had mold and this stuff going on. I was just gaining weight for no reason, having breakthrough periods, even though I was on the birth control pill, sick, like breast tenderness. Then I had cystic acne that was popping up.
Figuring Out What’s Actually Going On
Eventually I had breast tenderness that was so bad that you could feel the inflammation, the heat coming off of my breast through two layers of clothing. I was going to every specialist in San Diego – women’s health specialist – possible. They did mammograms and they did blood tests, and nothing ever came back.
I was like, okay, I got to treat myself basically like a client. That’s when I got down to business and ran some more of those functional lab tests and figured out what was happening, what’s actually going on in the body. So, that’s kind of a high-level overview. We can definitely dive into more of the nitty-gritty details, but I’ll just pause there for a second. Cause that was a lot of information to share to start with.
[00:16:34] Detective Ev: This is crazy because this is happening to so many people where they’re exhibiting real symptoms that are actually quite severe and it’s not showing up on the blood work. That’s not to say that blood work is bad. It’s actually one of the most scientifically validated types of lab work that we have.
The problem is it’s looking for a specific thing. We’re looking at people with very specific types of diagnoses. This was a whole separate podcast probably in and of itself, but I know one of the issues is the reference ranges that are being used in conventional medicine versus functional medicine.
My parents took me to get blood work at around age seventeen. I was not doing well. That was probably the worst time of my life health-wise. They wanted to get my thyroid checked since my mom did have known thyroid issues at the time. Long story short, do you guys think a full thyroid panel was run?
Poor Blood Tests Reference Ranges
Absolutely not. It was just TSH. Now my TSH was a 4.5. In normal reference ranges, that was actually okay because their reference range went up to a five or whatever at that time. We know in the functional space though, that would be more than enough reason for any of us to justify going for a full thyroid panel.
Cause we’re actually already seeing a trend there of a bit of a sluggish thyroid. We’ve all had these experiences. I mean, my God, my poor mom had it for seven years before getting a diagnosis. So many of us have this.
And I also want to bring in the man himself, founder of FDN and FDNthrive, Reed Davis. He just joined us actually. How you doing my friend?
[00:17:58] Reed Davis: Fantastic, Evan and Jenn, of course. Very nice to speak with you guys.
[00:18:04] Detective Ev: This is a hell of a trio, I will say. I’m so excited to finish this up with you three. I actually kind of almost want to make this, at least for this question, something that I’d love both of you guys to address.
And I feel like you’ll have probably a similar answer, but maybe unique takes. I want to know why aren’t the blood tests; because I kind of even gave my version of this, but why do you guys believe the blood tests aren’t finding the stuff that we’re experiencing? Cause Jenn, you were sick and it’s not showing up.
So, Jenn, we’ll start with you. What’s your take on why the blood tests, they’re obviously good for some stuff, but why aren’t they so good for this?
Reasons Blood Tests Miss the Healing Opportunities
[00:18:37] Jenn Malecha: Yeah. I think there’s three fundamental reasons why things get missed with blood tests. I also want to just note here that we’re not bashing blood tests cause they do serve their purpose.
And there are times when, even as FDNs, we go back, and we look at things with them. So, I think one is, that you kind of already mentioned, Evan, is that their reference ranges are really wide and from a conventional perspective or from a traditional perspective, we could even say.
When you’re going to your doctor and they’re telling you that everything looks fine, you don’t feel that way, it’s likely because they’re referencing the typical reference ranges, which oftentimes are established based on average highs and lows and taking into account people that are sick. They’re not necessarily reflective of what an optimal state of being is. That’s something that’s a different lens that we definitely look through as an FDN that can make all the difference in the world.
Just as the example of your thyroid, looking at TSH and your TSH coming back at 4.5. That’s almost two and a half times higher than what I would consider optimal or normal for somebody to have healthy thyroid function in balance with everything else.
So, the reference ranges are a fundamental issue. I think the other fundamental issue is that oftentimes when they’re looking at blood markers, they’re being interpreted based on an algorithm almost of like, if Y and Z are this, then it equals this. They’re not necessarily looking at the whole picture of correlations because, for whatever reason, there’s these algorithms that have existed for a period of time.
Blood Tests only Look Through One Lens
They say, okay, these are the things that equal hypothyroidism. Or these are the things that equal metabolic dysfunction. The reality is that we are all uniquely bio-individual people. We may not always follow the algorithm as it was originally designed because we have this uniqueness about us.
Another piece Reed has taught us so well is to treat the person not the test results. This is why it’s really important to correlate test results back to a person not just through an algorithm to see what’s amiss here. What can we correlate back to them?
Then the third fundamental issue is that it’s looking through one type of lens. When we do some of the other types of functional testing, we’re looking through a different lens. For example, we do something like a DUTCH test to look at cortisol and sex hormones.
We’re looking at the active available version of the hormones in some of those cases versus a blood test where we’re looking at bound hormone, like estrogen and progesterone that’s not available for use from the cells. It’s just different lenses. Just because a blood test tells you one thing doesn’t mean that that’s the absolute truth.
When I run a DUTCH test and I’m looking at things like active, available, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen, testosterone is a really great example. When testosterone comes back really low, in some cases, we always want to go run a blood test to actually see what it looks like on blood tests.
We can compare these two markers. The blood tests are being looked at as an absolute truth when it’s actually just one lens. And we have these other lenses that we can look through to collect clues.
Investigate All the Clues
I think, Reed, you actually gave us an example one time in, I don’t know, one of the million trainings that I’ve sat in with you where you said something to the effect of, if there was a burglary in your house, would a detective come in and look at the basement and look at the attic, but not look in the living room?
Sometimes we’re running a blood test, that’s a great example of well, you’re looking at one element of the crime scene, but you’re not looking at all elements. That doesn’t give you all the clues that you necessarily need, and that’s why it’s so important to correlate it back to a person.
Just because that one type of test didn’t give you the answers that you were looking for, doesn’t mean that that’s the truth. Maybe we should actually seek out some other types of testing to collect more clues and get a different view on the perspective, basically.
[00:22:34] Detective Ev: Yeah, Reed, just so you know, I did have to throw you on mute again, cause there was a little background, but do you have anything to throw into that?
[00:22:40] Reed Davis: Yeah. Thanks. You know, blood works fine for what it can tell you, and physicians use it all the time because their job is to save lives and if things are way out of whack, they’re going to want to diagnose and treat. So, one of the things about us is we work at the subclinical level, so we’re kind of pre-disease and where it just might not show up in the blood work yet.
Blood Tests Don’t Look at Bio-Available Levels
That’s why we use other fluid. We use saliva. We use urine. We use stool, of course. Like Jenn just said, we’re looking for clues and there’s a whole constellation of markers that we use to find dysfunction that could be very far removed from the symptoms. We’re just looking in places, the rooms of the house, like Jenn mentioned, that other people aren’t.
It’s now becoming more mainstream in functional medicine, but when I started, it was considered quackery to look at saliva and some of the urine testing and the stool testing and things. The blood work just isn’t going to give up enough information about a person for us, for our way of thinking.
Again, there’s a whole constellation of data markers that we look at within the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, and so on – all these functions. We’re looking at things functionally, and some of the labs we use aren’t for the purposes of diagnosing specific diseases. They’re just looking for imbalances or any area that could be improved.
And you know the term we use is ” healing opportunities.” We’re not trying to diagnose a specific condition or disease, which is why doctors look at blood work. That’s important to go get screened out by a physician. So, good on you for doing that.
Another thing about blood work, Jenn alluded to this, it’s not always the bioavailable levels. So, some of that hormone, for instance, might not be usable. It could be bound up. When we do saliva testing, we’re looking at the exact bio-available levels. How much is there that your body can and is using? That’s a really important consideration.
Blood Tests Aren’t Time Specific
Another thing about blood work is it’s not time specific. For instance, we measure cortisol. We want to know about these rhythms going on in their body. In the body, things are going up and things are going down according to a circadian rhythm, for instance, like cortisol. No one’s going to stand going to get their blood drawn four times a day and just going and getting venipuncture.
It will change the results, if it was giving you time specific. It just isn’t done. You can’t get there from here, if “here” is only using blood work and standard reference ranges.
Cycle of Trial and Error
But I wanted to go back just a second to say that if you didn’t use this phrase, what Jenn experienced was metabolic chaos. She was caught in a cycle of trial and error where you just go try this and try that and try this and try that. That’s how FDN was founded, by the way, was I realized all of the patients coming in the clinic over 20 years ago; they were all caught in a cycle of trial and error. There was no antidote for what they’re doing.
They’re out there searching for an anecdote – just anything. Please tell me anything that will help me, and they would try it. That creates opportunities for practitioners just to invent things and say, try this, try that, try mine, try my therapy, try my product, try my whatever.
So, I decided that was not how we were going to operate in our clinic. We were actually going to find the underlying causes and conditions. The more of those that we started discovering, as more lab work was developed and we were discovering more and more healing opportunities, I realized that there was never one, that there were many.
In every person there’s many, and those upstream causes are all crashing into each other, having an effect upon one another. They’re not singularly measurable in many cases and they’re not directly measurable. We had to come up with a new system and a new way of thinking.
Blood Tests Need to Look at This New Way of Thinking
That was that the problem is metabolic chaos, it’s generally going to fall into just a few categories of healing opportunity, again, the hormone, immune, digestive, detoxification, energy production, autonomic balance. Those are what ails people. You start sorting that out and people get very encouraged, and they get very dedicated to their taking control of their own health, which is even more important today – being in control, and not just trying some voodoo, whatever it is they think they’re so good at.
[00:27:30] Detective Ev: Well, I think we’ve done a good job establishing why the blood work might not be always the only tool or only thing that we could be using. In addition, I mean, Reed, I love the way that you said it as well because blood work’s made to do a specific thing.
It’s trying to diagnose these diseases, then treat it. We’re not doing that. It’s not necessarily our first tool. Jenn, I want to throw this one back to you because obviously the whole point of today, and we’ll spend the last 15, 20 minutes of the podcast doing this, is to talk about what lab tests are the right ones, and we’ve alluded to this multiple times.
I think it’d be cool to break it down specifically. I’ll just preface by saying for myself, at the time I was a 21-year-old guy going into FDN. At 17, I had gotten this blood work. The only thing that they found, mildly high cholesterol and then they didn’t mark anything else down despite my TSH being what I consider high now. My blood glucose was high.
Blood Tests Don’t Usually Find the HIDDEN Stressors
There was both an issue there with the overall picture that we were looking at, because it didn’t really find everything going on in my body. And there was an issue with the reference ranges. So, I’ve certainly experienced both sides.
Yet here I am, when I get into FDN, and every single one of the foundational labs that I was asked to run, not only found one thing, but found multiple things that was going on in my body – H pylori, Blastocystis hominis, my hormones were so bad that I was considered in the exhaustive phase of HPA axis dysfunction as a 21-year-old male, multiple food sensitivities. I could go on and on.
So, Jenn, what are some of the labs that really do help find the issues or imbalances going on in these people where blood work might not be showing the full thing?
Tests That Reveal HIDDEN Stressors
[00:29:00] Jenn Malecha: So, as Reed said, what we’re doing is we’re looking for healing opportunities. The way that I want to kind of frame this and preface it is, one of the things that I teach my clients when I first work with them is I give them a new definition of stress. Stress is anything that burdens the body that results in dysfunction and inflammation. That’s definitely not things that are going to be picked up in a blood test, for example.
I explain to them that stressors can then be things like foods that you’re eating that are causing these reactions that you just alluded to, or it can be dysfunctions in your cortisol rhythm, which is essentially your circadian rhythm, which affects the whole hormonal balance of your system. It can be internal gut bugs, parasites, bacteria, yeast overgrowth that are creating internal inflammation and toxicity. It can be clogged detoxification pathways; toxins are building up and they’re not getting out.
So, when we start thinking in the bigger picture of what some of these things can be, toxins, for example, or physical stressors, mental, emotional stressors, we then can start to see how blood testing isn’t necessarily gonna be picking some of this stuff up. That’s where we then as FDNs and knowing that the body is this complex network of systems, we then are looking to run lab tests that are going to explore all the different systems of the body.
Blood Tests Don’t Look at The Whole Crime Scene
Just like the analogy that we gave earlier, a detective doesn’t come over and just look in the basement and the attic and not in the living room, knowing that that’s all part of the crime scene. We actually want to look at the whole body. So, from a simple perspective of lab tests, we are running a lab test to look for, what we call H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors, and these healing opportunities.
And H.I.D.D.E.N. is this great acronym that Reed has come up with that stands for hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy, and nervous system. The combination of tests that we run with somebody ideally are going to be exploring each of those different areas of the body.
So, for me to get specific into what those lab tests are, I like to run, for example, a DUTCH, which is a urine cortisol hormone panel that also gives us some nutritional markers along with some neuro-transmitter insights. We get to see these hormone pathways, we get insights into the endocrine system, specifically their circadian rhythm or their cortisol rhythm. We get even insights about gut and detoxification from this panel.
Then along with that, I’m usually running a Diagnostic Solutions GI MAP, stool sample test, so we can evaluate digestive health, potential stressors, like some of those gut bugs that we just mentioned.
Removing Food Sensitivities Gets Results
I’m always running a food sensitivity test. There’s a lot of chatter out there about the validity of food sensitivity tests, but I can tell you the ones that we run as FDNs are very valid in terms of how we interpret them and what we’re looking for and the process and the method in which we’re testing. Every single time I run one of those tests and that client eliminates those food sensitivities, they immediately feel better, and they start seeing results. So, it correlates back to their experience.
And then sometimes I’ll do a hair, tissue, mineral analysis test to dive a little bit deeper into nutrient balance and potential toxic elements.
Then my other really favorite one to run is a Metabolic Typing test to assess their food needs basically because that can create dysfunction in the body. When we’re not eating the right fuel for what our body needs, it actually creates internal stress, or we’re not getting the nutrients that we need for the body to actually function at its potential. That’s a really easy test to do.
For me, that was a life-changing test personally, cause I was one of those people that was eating boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, and broccoli all the time, but still struggling with my weight, for example. Come to find out, I was just eating the wrong foods for my body and the Metabolic Typing test really brought that to light for me.
And once I changed my foods to eat the right fuel for what my body needed, combined with eliminating things that I was sensitive to, it made all the difference in the world for how I was feeling.
MRT Food Sensitivity Test
So, I know FDNs, all of us, will run maybe a slight different combination of tests, but ultimately the core and the foundation of it is looking at the hormones, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy, nervous system to get that full picture, I think.
[00:33:25] Detective Ev: Yeah. I know that this isn’t the point of today necessarily, but I think really the only one of those that is sometimes challenged is the food sensitivity test, like you said, and I think that’s relevant. I just like to tell people, yeah, the technology that we’re using is not only patented, but it has a 93.6% replicability rate, the last time I checked.
Do yourself a favor and I won’t name any brands, right? We don’t want to get controversial here but go ask the other food sensitivity tests out there what their replicability rates are if they’ve even been willing to show that or publish it. It ain’t 93%, that’s for sure. There’s a time and place for it.
Can you maybe survive without it? I guess, but why would we not want to know what’s really aggravating the body in any given moment? You know what I mean? And I would say that’s one of the quickest tests in terms of providing people real relief. That’s what they want. You get someone off the foods that they’re sensitive to, they’re going to be feeling pretty different, usually in three to seven days, sometimes even faster.
I’ve heard amazing turnarounds with the MRT and stuff like that. I guess this would be an interesting thing to pose to you Reed, and we kind of touched on this on the hundredth episode special, but it’s relevant for today and people are probably going to click on it for this specific topic.
Why These Tests Were Chosen
Maybe they’re buying right now. Okay, great. You know, I don’t necessarily need the blood work per se or, you know, not for this kind of work. I’ve already ruled that out with my physician. I don’t have some diagnosis, but how did you even come to the conclusion of using these tests?
Why these ones that Jenn and I are mentioning versus anything else because they really worked and they’ve worked for a lot of people, but I mean, how do you come to that conclusion at all? Let alone almost 15, 20years ago?
[00:34:58] Reed Davis: Well, there are a lot of things not the same as they were back then now, but in the early days it was experimentation, just trying things.
That’s why the volume of work I did is so important. So, I ran thousands of labs on thousands of people. You learn something if you do that. I had a very good mentorship at the time. So, what I did was recognize patterns and FDN is about recognizing patterns. The people who got better were the ones working closest to the underlying causes and conditions.
Now that’s no surprise to anybody, but what’s completely counterintuitive or not intuitive is the fact that people with the exact same signs and symptoms had completely different causes and underlying conditions. That’s what’s weird. So, that’s why I run the labs on every person, no matter what, they don’t have a choice.
If you want to get to the constellation of data we need, the entire span of healing opportunities, you have to run all the tests. So, with food sensitivities, I learned about it and there’s different types now as there was back then, but one of my mentors recommended the Mediator Release Test.
Depressed and On Meds
He said that was the best screening for now. So, I started running it on people and one lady very, very early on, something that was really encouraging, the first person I had any kind of fantastic results with was a food sensitivity test. She came in the office; she was coming in for chiropractic care. I was walking her back to the treatment room, and she was looking depressed.
I asked her what’s wrong. She said, it’s this weight, I’m 40 pounds overweight and I’m just not happy with it. I said, what are you doing about it? She said, well, there’s nothing I can do. I’m on this medication for the hives. She gets the hives – these blotchy marks on her skin. So, this medication, she has to be on it, or she gets the hives.
She had just been to her doctor, and she told me she complained to him about the weight. He said, lady, you can be fat, or you can, well, you can have the hives, take your pick. She said, and I told him that was very depressing.
And he says, well, I can write you a prescription for antidepressant. I thought well, no wonder she feels so crappy today. It’s really a burden and frustrating. But I said to her, well, why don’t you try to find out why you get the hives?
And her jaw dropped and her neck, she spun her head around so fast I thought she wouldn’t need the chiropractic adjustment that day. She said, what do you mean? I said, well, we’re going to send you home with a couple of kits and see if we can discover why, maybe, maybe we can.
Eliminating the Food Sensitivites
Sure enough, ran the test, got the results back, gave her some advice on eliminating certain foods and things. Within a couple of weeks, I think I remember her saying 13 days later, she was off her medication, which she’d been on for two years. She hadn’t been able to take a hot shower or workout to the point of perspiration. She couldn’t sweat or take a hot shower, or she still got the hives.
And she was within 13 days taking hot showers, working-out to perspiration and off of her medication. It was just a few simple changes in her lifestyle. That’s when the food sensitivity test became a part of our package. Everyone gets tested because we can’t tell who it’s going to help that much, but we know looking forwards, you just don’t know, but looking backwards, it’s helped so many people.
That’s just one story. That was the first story that I have, but there’s been so many since, like hundreds and hundreds of stories. Now everyone in FDN, just, well you run that test. I’ll just finish with this, to whatever degree those foods are contributing to metabolic chaos, you’ve that much less your contribution or stress to metabolic chaos. When you remove a huge factor, people do get better. When you get better, you feel better. Life is looking up a little bit and you’re more likely to follow the rest of our recommendations. Diet’s huge.
Jenn mentioned Metabolic Typing. It’s the only way I know to figure out the right diet for someone minus the food sensitivities. So, we’re changing lives. We don’t vary much from our investigation. We gotta find those healing opportunities.
[00:39:38] Detective Ev: And when you hear it laid out like this it makes so much sense.
FDN Finds the HIDDEN Stressors
I always have loved the phrase of the cycle of trial and error. We try to bring it up on here as much as possible because people identify with that when they hear it. They realize that they’re in it. I was certainly in it. It’s cool to have a system where every now and then, it’s rare, but you get someone that maybe one of the core labs didn’t show much.
I have never, in almost five years of being involved in FDN, seen someone that did all the foundational labs that we recommend in FDNthrive and not find the H.I.D.D.E.N. healing opportunities that we really need to start working on. You’re gonna find something when you address it from these angles.
For those listening, ask yourself, do you want to be playing the cycle of trial and error on yourself or would you rather utilize what’s already been done 15, 20 years ago and refined over this time period? Because, Reed, I love your honesty. It more or less was an experiment in the beginning, figuring out what works. Sometimes that’s what we need to do.
You guys got to remember, there was nowhere near the focus on functional medicine back then that there is now. You got to figure out what’s more worth it. Do you want to spend the years like all of us who try to figure this stuff out? Or do you just want to go in directly and really just get it under control?
I mean, we got one life to live. I spent way too many years of my life being sick. I’m never going back to that. So, I think it’s important to do what’s been working for a while and we have great success here.
Jenn, we’ll start with you just to keep it in order here. We’re not on video today, so a little confusing to go back and forth. Do you have any final thoughts for people and then of course, please too, where can people find you? Because not only do you work with clients personally, but since, as you’ve mentioned earlier, you’re a ten-year veteran almost of FDN, you actually help FDN coaches as well.
So, please shout out both of those things. I’d love for people to know about them.
[00:41:21] Jenn Malecha: Yeah. Reed you missed that part in the beginning. This is my ten-year anniversary. I took the course in 2012. Isn’t that crazy?
Reed Davis: Oh, my goodness. That’s amazing!
Blood Tests May Warrant Further Investigation
Jenn Malecha: It is amazing. One more thing I just want to add here that goes along with this conversation, as we start to wrap it up, is that in the instances that clients do bring me blood tests, or I might run blood tests, when somebody knows how to properly interpret and correlate those back, oftentimes they point back to the need to run some of these tests that we’ve been talking about.
So, a perfect example just popped in my inbox yesterday, actually. A client of mine said she just got some blood work back and her white blood cell count was flagged as being out of range.
Well, what does that mean exactly? Well, white blood cell count being out of range like that can indicate some type of infection potentially going on in the body. And then you want to, on a blood test, for example, run other markers like monocytes and lymphocytes and eosinophils, for example, to see which other things correlate with that, which might give you some indications as to what those infections might be.
Then those blood markers, monocytes, leukocytes, eosinophils can also then correlate back to parasitic infections, bacteria, infections, yeast infections, so that compliments.
Then we would want to run something like a stool sample test to look at, are these gut bugs existing? What are those healing opportunities that we have, some of those infections, things that are going on creating that internal stress on the body that’s knocking the white blood cell count out of alignment? So, anytime I’ve run a blood chemistry test of any kind, it always points back to these other tests can help us do that further investigation.
Your Situation is not Hopeless
The other thing that I just want to leave the listeners here with is, because I know a lot of people listening here are seeking solutions for their health problems, is that there is an answer out there for you. Hopefully you’ve gotten a lot of insights of what we’re talking about, and you guys will seek out FDNthrive as an opportunity to get some help with the stuff that we have discussed today and just know that your situation is not hopeless.
Hopefully our stories themselves have been inspiring and we’ve enlightened you to know that there are other opportunities to investigate what’s going on with you and to figure it out.
Where to Find Jenn
I like to say as FDNs, we’re in the business of making the impossible, possible, basically. So, anybody who wants to personally connect with me, my brand is Wholistic Health Boss, which is with a “w” like whole foods, whole body, Wholistic Health Boss. You can go to wholistichealthboss.com.
I’m also very active on Instagram. You can connect with me over there. In both of those places, you can find information about the health coaching, the FDN work that I do, as well as some of the business mentoring that I do for practitioners to help them get out there and help more people.
in the way that we’ve been talking about today.
[00:44:12] Detective Ev: Excellent. Of course, folks we’ll have that in the show notes.
Mr. Davis, any final words?
Control Over Your Own Health
[00:44:17] Reed Davis: Mr. Davis was my father. I’m Reed. I think that this conversation will go on forever. Evan, I’m really happy that you’re doing the podcast for us. It’s been remarkable getting the word out.
Jenn, congratulations on the ten years. I didn’t realize that. I know time goes by, but you are really at the top of the game. If anyone listening wants to hire an FDN, you couldn’t do better than Jenn Malecha.
Not only is she a really amazing FDN practitioner, she’s created some programs for FDN practitioners – how to run their businesses, how to set themselves up, and how to get going and marketing the whole thing in a system of how to handle clients. She’s a teacher now too. You just couldn’t do better than Jenn.
Final words for today, just being an ongoing conversation, control over your health belongs to one person and that’s you. For me, it’s me. That’s the other thing, I noticed not only the cycle of trial and error, and it took us a while to discover metabolic chaos is the real problem, don’t diagnose and treat anything specifically, treat everything, every cell, tissue, organ non-specifically.
We have this amazing system, but it came out of trying to help people get control over their health. They were just struggling – the cycle of trial and error-try this, try that, here try me. Only you can be in control. Don’t give it up to anyone.
There is a system, at least one because we created one, that’ll allow you to do that. It’s the steps that you need to take. We know what the first step is, the second step, the third step. And when you have help like that, then you can get back in control.
[00:46:12] Detective Ev: All right, folks, thanks for tuning into another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by FDNthrive. As always, I’m your host Evan Transue, AKA Detective Ev. We’ve been talking to Jenn Malecha and Reed Davis himself, all about why blood testing, while amazing, and while the most scientifically validated lab tests in general, is not always effective when it comes to the many modern symptoms and diseases that we are dealing with in today’s world.
So, we hope that makes sense. As always, if you have questions, go to our Podbean channel, just type in the Health Detective Podcast by FDNthrive.
When you are on there, you can actually sign in and leave us a comment and we will make sure to get back to your question. We hope you guys enjoy this content and we will be back soon with yet another interview. Take care until then.
[00:46:58] Intro Voice: Thanks for tuning into the Health Detective Podcast.
If you are ready to finally work with a real health detective on your health journey so that you can get well and stay well naturally, visit us at fdnthrive.com and click the “Get Started Here” button.