Close your eyes and imagine your doctor entering the room with a grim look. That’s what happened when Daren got a cancer diagnosis last year.
A construction manager in his mid-50s, Daren had been struggling short-term memory loss, brain fog, lack of focus and stomach cramps.
Daren had recently had a long vacation in Cyprus, which gave plenty of time to reflect. He decided he finally wanted to do something about his health that had dogged him for years.
At his wits end
The brain fog, lack of focus and poor memory were negatively impacting Daren’s life. No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t concentrate on tasks for more than 10 minutes at a time.
Whenever he had a conversation it was like his mind was in a distant land far away. And now his boss was breathing down his neck at work.
In addition, his stomach cramps meant he sometimes couldn’t eat for days on end. He became increasingly anxious about eating in case his body rejected the food, leaving him in agony.
Eating big meals, especially ones with carbohydrates, were an ordeal for him. After eating a meal with potatoes or rice he would feel puffy, bloated and wanted to take a nap.
His stools were watery and bowel movements were erratic, often resulting in multiple trips a day to the bathroom.
The combination of bowel issues and poor reaction to carbohydrates led me to suspect a parasite infection.
I had even more reason to believe this was the case when he said he hadn’t “felt right” ever since a trip to Cambodia two years ago. Traveling to exotic locations increases the likelihood of developing an infection.
Daren had exhausted every avenue prior to contacting me. His doctors told him, despite his obvious symptoms, that everything was ‘normal’ according to his blood tests.
This is because nowadays doctors treat patients on lab numbers, rather than taking their symptoms into account – which is the most important factor after all.
What’s happening inside your body?
I suggested that we run a blood test before we talked about coaching.
Now for most people, a blood test is something your doctor orders when he suspects something’s wrong.
But, blood testing is not something you only do when things go wrong. In fact, it’s an incredible preventative tool that helps us identify things before they become serious problems.
Taking a test is not for everyone and there's a lot you can do with lifestyle and nutritional changes alone.
Nevertheless, blood tests provide much more data to work with so we can be very precise in the nutrition and lifestyle changes that we do make.
Blood testing is also an incredible tool that identifies problems before they become serious.
I’m a big believer in the old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Now Daren had taken blood tests in the past, however, I explained to him that typical lab tests are very basic. Each marker they test (e.g. testosterone) has only one reference range that doesn't distinguish between ‘normal’ and ‘optimal.’
The “Normal Range” is found through purely statistical means; it has absolutely nothing to do with health and happiness. —Dr. John Crisler
The blood test my clients do is not any old test, mind you. It’s an 80 page report that tests over 100 biomarkers and gives us a staggering amount of information on your health.
And instead of one reference range, like run of the mill lab tests, there’s five reference ranges. This way you have a much more accurate picture of your overall health.
We got Daren’s results back and it was clear there was significant work to do.
His hormones were imbalanced and his adrenals were shot to pieces, which came as no surprise given his job was stressful.
Adrenal fatigue can contribute to brain fog, low energy and mood swings, and Daren was struggling with all of these.
He was also exercising too much, especially for a man in his 50s, which contributed to his adrenal fatigue.
If you’re a man in his 50s, I recommend ditching the marathon workouts.
Many older men train classic bodybuilding style, four to five days per week, not recognizing their bodies and recovery ability have changed.
Most training these days plans are designed for guys in their 20s. In your 50s your recovery ability has slowed down a fair bit, so training less is more productive for you.
(I’ve put together a list of weight training tips for men in their 50s here)
As suspected, the report also indicated a high probability of parasitic infection. This gave me the green light to come up with a protocol to get rid of it.
The report also indicated that Daren had a high likelihood of prostate dysfunction (i.e. benign prostate hypertrophy or BPH). Therefore, I recommended he visit his local GP to get his prostate checked. This is something you should do every year if you’re over 40.
Not the result he expected
Daren went to visit his GP for a prostate check. Basically, this is where they poke a finger up your backside to check the health of your prostate.
The doctor examined his prostate and discovered that it was hard and enlarged, as opposed to small and soft.
The doctor was worried, so he ordered further tests, which included an MRI scan. It took a few weeks for the test results to arrive and they revealed shocking news:
Daren had stage 2A rectal cancer – specifically, squamous cell cancer.
When he got the result he was in a state of disbelief and it took him several days to process it.
He is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment. According to the oncologist, the treatment plan has an 80% success rate.
The downside, of course, is that chemotherapy and radiation therapy is extremely taxing on the body.
Subsequently, the focus of our work together has gone from optimizing his health, to supporting his cancer treatment.
You may have a hunch about what’s causing your brain fog, fatigue and low sex drive, but you won’t know until you take a blood test.
What you’ll find in most cases won’t be life-threatening. However, the chances of something being life-threatening are greater if you’re under-nourished, fatigued and stressed out.
And just because it’s not cancer doesn’t mean it’s not life-threatening. For example, obesity and diabetes won’t kill you straight away, but they’re just as deadly.
A blood test allows us to create a coaching plan with laser precision, because we have a clear idea of exactly what you need.
And not only that, it can save your life.
I hate to imagine what would have happened if Daren didn’t take the test. By the time his symptoms became obvious, it may have already been too late.
If you're ready to escape the quagmire of perpetual exhaustion, head-steaming stress levels, a sex drive running on fumes, and potentially add decades to your life, a blood test may be right for you.
Find out more about blood testing: