Blood tests you should do on yourself once a year

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 24 October 2017

One of my favourite quotes is, "It's easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble." Another more visual way of putting it, courtesy of a patient who was a high level accountant, is it's easier to avoid stepping in s#*t than trying to remove it once you've done so. This could not be more true, especially when it comes to our health.

So here are 5 blood tests that I consider worthwhile checking every year to make sure you are on the right track and identify if you need to get serious about cleaning some s#*t:

  1. Highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP): This is a marker of inflammation that is particularly specific for the cardiovascular system. The higher this number the more likely the incidence of a heart attack. This number will also be increased with food allergies, and chronic infections in the teeth, and other chronic inflammatory conditions.
  2. Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c): This is a marker of how well your blood sugar has been controlled over the last 3 months. The higher this number is the more often your blood sugar is too high and attaching to tissue proteins. An abnormality is an early warning sign of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.
  3. Vitamin D: This is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in Canada. Low levels will increase your risk of inflammation, auto-immune disease, depression, and hormone imbalances, just to name a few. I have had several people show up low despite spending lots of time outdoors and/or taking Vitamin D already.
  4. Gamma-glutamyl-transferase (GGT): This is one of your liver enzymes and will be elevated when your body has a high exposure to toxins. Studies have shown that even in the high normal range people can be at higher risk of developing diabetes as a result of toxin exposure. If this number is low you could have a deficiency in detoxification enzymes.
  5. HDL:TG ratio: This can be calculated from a conventional cholesterol panel. The HDL, on it’s own, represents how well your liver is producing the useful and healthful "good" cholesterol. But if you have high TG, your HDL usually drops. Conversely, as you move toward a healthier metabolism, your TG will reduce and your HDL will go up. The ratio between the two is important. The optimal range: 0.5–1.9 and heart disease risk is found at ratios >3.0.

Now I would love to hear from you! What is your favourite strategy for staying out of trouble when it comes to your health? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

6 Replies to “Blood tests you should do on yourself once a year”

Candice Woodard

Will a GP do these tests or can your office? I used to be a patient of Dr. Bates but havent been for a year.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Hi Candice,
You can still have them done at our office through Dr. Bates. It is unlikely that your GP will do hsCRP, GGT, or Vitamin D. None of them are covered through OHIP for general screening.

Deanna Dulmage

How much would it cost to have the blood work done on an annual basis – can you refer us to life labs for this blood work.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Yes, patient’s would pick up a requisition from me and then they would go to Life Labs. Current pricing with the lab is $83.52 for this blood work.


Are the blood tests covered by most extended health plans?

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Every extended health care plan is a little different. You would have to check with yours to be sure but most of the time blood tests are covered.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Do you like these posts? Sign up for Dr. Durkin's Apple a Day ....

Apple A Day is where you can find small, digestible, practical action steps to help you feel your best, one apple at a time.

Apple a Day

Quinte Naturopathic Centre

173 Church Street

Belleville, ON K8N 3C1


Hours of Operation:

Monday 10am - 7pm

Tuesday 9am - 6pm

Wednesday 9am - 6pm

Thursday 9am - 6pm

Friday 9am - 2pm


NOTE: Our building is not wheelchair accessible