Take Control of Your PCOS Labs [Podcast] - PCOS Diva
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Take Control of Your PCOS Labs [Podcast]

“If you’re an active participant in your health, everything just goes better. You’re going to have better outcomes.” – Dr. Alan Hopkins

PCOS Podcast 99 - Alan HopkinsI cannot overemphasize the importance of thorough lab work. The more information you have, the better decisions you will make, the better questions you will ask, the better care you can demand. On today’s podcast, Dr. Alan Hopkins discusses labs highly recommended for women with PCOS that you doctor may not have mentioned and explains to gravity of the ones they probably have already recommended. Listen in (or read the transcript) as we discuss:

  • the basic PCOS labs
  • labs to request if you take metformin
  • importance of testing for the MTHFR genetic mutation, vitamin D, inflammation markers, and food sensitivity testing
  • tests to request for thyroid or if planning a pregnancy

Coupon code: PCOSDIVA20 that will give $20 off your order every single time that you visit Yourlabwork.com/pcosdiva

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Full Transcript:

Amy Medling:                    So, today we’re gonna be covering a topic that I know is of interest to so many of you listeners, because I hear from you almost on a daily basis about labs. So, we’re gonna be really diving in kind of deep on labs to ask for and really how to get the lab work that you need, even if you’re experiencing some resistance at the doctor’s office. I want to introduce you to one of my favorite lab experts. His name is Dr. Alan Hopkins. He’s a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and he is a board certified doctor in emergency medicine. He’s completed an A4M fellowship in anti-aging medicine. Dr. Hopkins is also the founder of YourLabWork.com, which I’m gonna tell you a little bit more about in a minute. It’s really an exciting new company, and I know that you’re gonna be really interested to hear about this.

He’s an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas in Austin as well. Dr. Hopkins is really an advocate of innovative medical care, and he believes that when patients understand their medical care and can access it on their terms, they become a motivated participant in their health. I think that’s really about being a diva at the doctor, which I talk about a lot. Welcome, Dr. Hopkins, to the PCOS Diva Podcast.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Hey. Thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be here.

Amy Medling:                    So, we met a couple years ago, and you were talking about this idea of patient directed labs, where a patient can go and kind of order their own labs. It really puts control into the patient’s hands. This was so exciting to me, because I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to the doctor with symptoms of low thyroid and really wanting more than just my TSH checked. With women with PCOS having higher risk of Hashimoto’s Disease, I really wanted to know if I had markers for that, and my doctor refused to test that. I was kind of felt like I hit a wall, and I didn’t know where to turn.

So, I know I’m not the only one out there that has had frustrations around getting the labs that they want ordered from the doctors. So, your new initiative at the time was really exciting to me. I’d love it if you could tell a little bit about your background and your experience working as a clinician, and what you found, and how it was difficult for patients to kind of move forward and take ownership, like you talk about, getting access on their terms, and what led you to start YourLabWork.com.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. So, as an ER doctor, I have to tell you, we don’t necessarily have a bunch of time with our patients. We have these emergency conditions, and we’re trying to stabilize people. One of the big missing things that I’ve found in all aspects of medicine, not only emergency medicine, is that time where we actually sit down and explain the testing to the patient, so that they understand what we were testing, and why we were testing. Were they normal? Were they optimal? What were we looking for? This whole explosion really of information and access to information has really led to a huge pent up demand by people. They just wanna know. They want more information. Unfortunately, the way medicine works these days is we’re pumping through all the patients, and there’s just not that time.

Many years ago, I found it very valuable for patients to take ownership in their information, and if they understood it and they could go and read more about it and learn more about it, they would come in asking sort of better questions, and that would make them more compliant. They would be willing to take this or that for their particular problem. Nowadays, even in the emergency room, when I work, I will print out every lab test and every radiology study, and I will review them with every patient, so that they understand what we test, and why we test it, and what these tests mean to us, in hopes that they’ll have some interest in understanding it.

The idea of direct access lab testing really came not from that. It really came out of a financial need for people. Several years ago, maybe about five years ago, I noticed this huge swing in people’s deductibles. People used to have decent insurance, and all of a sudden their deductibles became very, very high, and the cost shifted to the patient or consumer, and so people, my patients, were really looking for a better alternative. I remember, here I was in Texas, and I had this private practice on the side, which I still have. I had some people in Florida that I order blood test for. They went into the lab there in Florida, and I ordered tests, and they got a bill for like $2,000. I knew that these tests were way overpriced and they could get them much, much cheaper if they could get access to contracts that physicians have, that we could provide them a savings.

It kind of occurred to me, there’s gotta be a better way for people to get access to these tests at a much better price. So, YourLabWork.com is a direct access platform for consumers nationwide, and it was really born out of financial necessity. The beauty of it is that now people can access this information on their own, and maybe their doctor didn’t wanna run specialized thyroid testing, but because the person’s interested in it, they can go to our website now and order it for themselves. So, the idea of the website was really born out of trying to actually save people money and give them access to the health information that many of them so desperately wanted.

Amy Medling:                    So, I would love to take a moment and sort of talk about the basic PCOS labs that you like to run for women that you see in your practice that you suspect might have PCOS, or you know have PCOS. I know I just wanted to just bring attention to the labs guide that I’ve put out. It’s available on my website. It’s a free download. I have a list of labs that I like to see done for women with PCOS, but I’d love to hear what labs you like.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. The interesting thing about PCOS is that we’ve seen more and more PCOS, perhaps more than we’ve ever seen before, and really the theory behind this is it’s born out of insulin resistance. Nobody’s really checking for fasting insulin. You know, what is insulin? It’s a hormone that’s released by the pancreas in response to blood sugar. So, many of us are out there, we’re eating too many carbs. We’re all struggling with our weight, and many of us have developed this insulin resistance. We go to our doctor, and they don’t pick it up, because they don’t necessarily even check fasting insulin. What ends up happening is fasting insulin levels start going high.

The theory is that this actually interferes with releasing hormones from the brain called LH and FSH. These releasing hormones then sort of get messed up in their signaling down to your ovaries. They signal your ovaries to start chopping up cholesterol into testosterone, instead of estrogen. So, we’ll see women with high fasting insulin levels and then high testosterone levels. Women don’t do so well when they have high testosterone levels. It interferes with their period, and of course, as you know probably better than most everyone, they get acne, and they get irritability, and of course with the fasting insulin high they’re very, very much struggling with their weight.

These labs aren’t particularly tested, and so we miss out on testing fasting insulin for many people. By the way, if you have high fasting insulin levels, it’s really the first thing that we see on the road to diabetes. If your pancreas is struggling, it’s having to over make this hormone and over produce it for many years, it can get tired and wear out. Then your blood sugars can rise. Then your A1C, of course this is a three month measurement of your blood sugar, can go higher and higher, until you find yourself in diabetes. When we talk about disease interception, we always like to intercept diseases at the very earliest stages. So, actually finding out what somebody’s fasting insulin level is and actually getting that down not only will help reverse PCOS, but actually can help prevent them from going on to develop diabetes, so it is important.

The other thing that you mentioned that I think that not a lot of people really look into too much is the thyroid. I remember I worked with an endocrinologist for many years, and even he felt only a TSH was necessary. Well, we know that there’s about 15% of the population that has trouble getting that active thyroid hormone, which is called free T3. If we just check a TSH, we’re gonna miss that 15% of the population and therefore miss an opportunity for intervention. Then of course your antibodies, you have TPO antibodies and paraglobulin antibodies listed on your thyroid panel as well. This is so important for women everywhere, because there’s over 20 million women with Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease, which is an autoimmune attack on your thyroid. All thyroid problems can affect the way that we live our lives and also the way that our fertility is and so on. So, it’s super important to think about thyroid testing.

I also see you have nutrients on there. Very important. So many people are deficient, particularly in vitamin D. About 70% of people are felt to be deficient in vitamin D. Then magnesium you have listed. About 80% of people are thought to be deficient in magnesium. So, it is important to get these things checked. Of course, you have B12. So important as a nutrient for evaluation of all kinds of metabolism, including your carbohydrate metabolism.

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. I just wanted to mention about B12 too, so many women with PCOS are on Metformin and the birth control pill, and both of those deplete B12. A lot of times I know that recommendations for Metformin now is that you are supplementing with B12 while you’re on Metformin, but I think it’s still important for women to have B12 checked. It’s not something I think that most practitioners really look for. At least that’s been my experiencing talking to women. The side effects of low B12, so many of them kind of mimic PCOS symptoms, so I love that Your Lab Works … you can get a B12 test really fairly inexpensively.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. You know, I’m really glad you mentioned that about Metformin. I could talk about Metformin ad nauseum, because not many doctors will ever sit down and tell their patients that Metformin depletes the body of all B vitamins, and not only B12, but all B vitamins. I get a little bit frustrated, because we just simply don’t take the time to talk about Metformin enough to make people comfortable in taking it. I’m just gonna mention this, because I just think it’s important for your crowd out there. If you take Metformin and you start having the most common effect, which is GI upset … About 30% of people have GI upset, whether it’s diarrhea, or bloating, or excessive gas, or so on, so many people will stop taking it after three days or so. They just can’t take it.

However, we find that about 90%, even 95%, of people who will just continue to sort of fight through it for two weeks or so, those symptoms will go completely away. If you take it of course with food, that’s helpful. If you take it in low dosing, that’s helpful. But you should never start on super large doses of Metformin and not take it with food, because you’re asking for GI upset. This is why taking Metformin and ramping it up slowly over a period of a month is really important, because you can avoid that really common side effect, which is GI upset. If our doctors would just take the time to explain to us why they’re putting us on the medicine, what’s the most common side effect we can expect, and how we can combat that side effect, and talk about this whole B vitamin depletion issue, our patients would be so much better informed, and they would get a much better result.

I just have to mention that about Metformin, because I’ve just seen that so many times, and I hate for people to discontinue a medicine that they really need, that they potentially are gonna get enormous benefits from. If only they were given just a little more information, they would have fought through it. If your doctor thinks you need to be on Metformin, it is important. That is the number one side effect to expect. You’re gonna get some GI upset. 30% of people will have that.

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. Great tips about ramping up slowly with Metformin. The other nutrients slash, I guess this sort of acts like a hormone in your body too, is vitamin D. I think sometimes that isn’t something that gets overlooked and can make such a tremendous impact in your energy levels and your fertility. Maybe you could talk about just the right type of vitamin D testing to ask for.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Oh, yeah. Yeah. The one thing about vitamin D and its relation to PCOS is that we really think that vitamin D helps insulin work better. Remember, if the leading cause of PCOS is high fasting insulin levels, wouldn’t it be great if there was a nutrient that actually helped insulin become more efficient and work better? We really feel like that nutrient is vitamin D. Again, 70% of people are deficient in vitamin D. So, you really wanna get your vitamin D levels checked. It is important that people get the correct vitamin D testing done. We do have that testing. It’s called 25-OH testing.

We actually report out three different levels of vitamin D, so that you know exactly where you’re at, because normal for us, when I say for us as integrative practitioners, would be to have your vitamin D levels on the higher side. Vitamin D has a very large normal range, from 30 to 100. We really wanna be above 60, because when we get above 60, that’s when you get all the benefits, better function of insulin, which can potentially help with PCOS, lower risk of certain types of cancers, and of course we think it helps with blood pressure, prevention of seizures, mood disorders. We think people have less problems when their vitamin D is optimized. Vitamin D is probably one of the most heavily researched vitamins, because of the extensive benefits we believe it has. We do like to get that tested.

I think we’re starting to see more and more doctors put their patients on vitamin D. It’s kind of different, because it comes in international units, instead of in milligrams, and so people get a little bit confused when I start talking about it. Most of my patients are on anywhere from 2,000 international units per day to 5,000 international units per day. Vitamin D is something that is super, super common for people to be deficient in, so it is important to get tested. Of course, you get your normal vitamin D from sunshine. That sun comes down and hits your skin and converts that prohormone vitamin D into a form that now can be activated by a healthy liver and a healthy kidney into the form that our cells use. Every cell in our body uses vitamin D, so it is important to have.

Nowadays we’re not getting out in the sun as much, and maybe we’re putting on sunscreen, so that’s blocking the conversion. As doctors, we don’t wanna tell you to go out in the sun and expose your risk of skin cancer to go higher, so we tell you to go ahead and supplement with it. Years ago we had such terrible problems with vitamin D that we began fortifying our milk and cereal with this, because our children just weren’t building strong bones, and they were having fractures. So, this is why milk and so on and cereal has been fortified with vitamin D, because we just have been depleted for so long. Chances are you have vitamin D deficiency. If you have PCOS, it could potentially help you. We of course always would advise you to get it checked and see where your level is, and then try to get to optimal, so that you can get all the benefits of vitamin D, not just the helping with the insulin.

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. I think it’s really important to see where you’re at, and then your doctor can help you with the dosage. I know some women have to kind of have some mega doses to kind of get themselves boosted, so they can be optimized, but it’s important to get that kind of baseline.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. By the way the interesting thing about vitamin D is once you start taking the vitamin D supplementation, it doesn’t fix itself over several weeks. I mean, it will take months of supplementation to get you to the levels where you need to be. It is something that getting a baseline test done is good, starting on a treatment plan as arranged by your doctor, and then ultimately getting it rechecked in six months or so for most people is what happens.

Amy Medling:                    I wanna turn to another test that we talk about a fair amount on the PCOS Diva Podcast. That is the MTHFR genetic mutation. We talk about that in relation to making sure that you have folate, instead of folic acid. It could also lead to some miscarriage for women with PCOS, but I think there’s a lot of confusion on how to figure out whether you have that mutation or not. I think that it’s funny. My husband had like a cardiac procedure. He had an ablation a couple years ago. I remember talking to the doctor, and this is a renowned cardiologist. I said, “Well, my husband has both variations of MTHFR mutation.” He didn’t even know what MTHFR was. I feel like if this renowned cardiologist doesn’t know, your primary care physician often kind of looks at you cross-eyed like, “What is that?” Then it’s really hard to get a test to find out, if the doctor doesn’t even know what it is. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that and talk about the lab that you all offer to find out whether you have that genetic variant.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. It turns out that I actually have the MTHFR variant as well. So, the way that YourLabWork.com has worked is we actually listen to the consumer. What tests are you guys interested in? Once we get enough people commenting, or writing in, or letting us know more information, we will add that test. Interestingly, MTHFR was one of those. We just had this huge sort of outpouring of, “Hey. Can you offer this genetic test?” So, we began to offer it on our website. MTHFR is not well known. It’s not well known by your doctor most likely. More people are talking about genetic testing, because we’re starting to see people go and get their own genetic testing done. Because your doctor doesn’t know about it, they’re not gonna ever order the test, so you’re not gonna necessarily know.

The real question is if you have MTHFR, who are the doctors that know about it, and what is the treatment, and how can you avoid problems with your MTHFR? What it tests for is basically two variants, two genetic variants that people get, very common mutations in this particular gene. One of them is 1298. That’s just the location. The other one’s 677. Essentially all you’re doing is you’re chaining one amino acid for another, and that’s the genetic mutation. It can cause all sorts of problems, particularly the 677 type. That 677 type is the type that tends to cause the problems that we see. All of these things require methylation, so they require methylated folate and methylated B12. We love to test for it, because the treatment is natural. You give them methylated B12 and methylated folate, particularly methylated folate.

Methylated folate is inexpensive, and it can fix a lot of problems. We think that the inability to methylate properly … Many people are probably, “What the heck’s methylation?” Methylation is simply where we change one substance into another by adding a carbon and three hydrogen atoms. We do this trillions of times per second in our body. If we can’t do this very well, then we’re not gonna be optimizing our metabolism. Of course if we don’t know about the test and nobody’s ordering it, we’re not gonna ever get the treatment that we need, which is a natural treatment. I do encourage people to look at whether or not they have a methylation problem. When it comes to miscarriages and so on, super important, if you’re trying to get pregnant and so on, that you know what your MTHFR status is. We do offer that testing. It’s under our genetics tab on your page, which your page is YourLabWork.com/PCOSDiva.

Amy Medling:                    I just wanted to make a quick note that both the PCOS Diva Essentials Multi and the Perfect Prenatal contain both methylated folate and B12, so if you do have the MTHFR mutation, you’re safe with those. The other thing-

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             I wanna just say thank you for that, because … Here’s the issue. If you’re taking a nutraceutical, it’s always awesome to know why you’re taking it and what you’re trying to reverse inside your body or what you’re trying to fix. What that does is it really helps you stay accountable to yourself, and it gives you that additional motivation that you need when you understand the reason you’re taking. I’m super happy that you do that, because offering a solution for people is really what we need. It’s one thing to have a lab test, and it’s one thing to have a nutraceutical, but if you have an abnormal genotype and you have a solution for it in that, you fix your lab test with your solution. So, that’s awesome.

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. Oh. Well, thanks. Yeah. I also have MTHFR, so that was really important for me. I also kind of wanna just talk a little bit about inflammation. Inflammation is a root cause of many chronic diseases and certainly PCOS. I know we recommend having inflammation markers tested. We could talk about that for a minute, but I also love that you offer food sensitivity testing. For me that was a real critical piece of the puzzle to get my inflammation under control. Certainly I realized that I was sensitive to gluten and dairy. They caused a lot of inflammation in my body. But it wasn’t until I had some food sensitivity testing done to find out that I was really sensitive to eggs. I remember eating some paleo muffins that I had prepared, and I was just so tired and felt so inflamed. They had a lot of eggs in them, and I never really made …

For somebody who I think I’ve become very sensitive to food and how food makes my body feel, I never made that connection with eggs, until I had that food sensitivity panel done. I think that’s another really important piece of information for women with PCOS to figure out what other foods they’re sensitive too, so I love that you offer that. I was hoping you could speak about that test a little bit too.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Oh, yeah. First of all, inflammation is best measured by a blood test called hs-CRP. What does the hs and CRP mean? Well, it just means high sensitivity CRP. CRP is just a protein that we found elevated in inflammatory states in our body if we measure CRP levels, it can be quite a predictor of who’s gonna go on to develop all kinds of problems, including cancers, and autoimmune diseases, early strokes, and heart attacks. But women who has PCOS oftentimes will have the high fasting insulin, as I measured, and this alone can cause an inflammatory state, because it’s a metabolic disturbance of the body. So, the higher your CRP level is, sort of the worse your problem is.

When we see CRPs, we try to fix problems. If you had a high fasting insulin, we try to lower that. Then the idea of food sensitivity is there’s two ways to measure food sensitivity really in the body. We look at immunoglobulins. These are proteins made by our liver. You know? They’re meant to form reactions to things we’re exposed to. Well, we can check IgE food sensitivity. The issue with that is those are the kinds of things where we take the food, like the nut, or the peanut, or whatever, and we swell up really quick, and we start having trouble breathing. That is an IgE mediated event. This is a sudden, severe problem that now we know we can’t eat peanuts again. Right? This almost always is diagnosed very early on in life, and usually in children we find IgE problems.

So, as an adult, an older person, we’re much more likely to have issues with IgG, or immunoglobulin G. This is sort of the long-term inflammatory response to foods, and we do offer both types of testing on our site. The IgG testing, which is what you’re talking about, food sensitivity, is a popular test that we have when it comes to food testing. It does break down the issue of what is your response to all sorts of things. We look at about 190 different foods and so on. It will print out whether or not you have a severe problem, a mild problem, or moderate problem, or no problem at all. It is something that if you have inflammation in your body, that you look at food sensitivity.

By the way, many women, I mentioned this earlier, have Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease. Over 20 million women do. So, it’s a super common autoimmune disease. We know that about 20% of people with autoimmune thyroid disease can be reversed. One of the things that a lot of the integrative doctors are looking at now is food sensitivity testing and eliminating those foods from that person’s diet that they’re most sensitive to, in hopes of lowering that autoimmune effect on the thyroid. They’re having success with that, and I think that’s sort of why it’s being pushed so widely. You can see that food sensitivity testing is good to resolve inflammation in general by taking certain foods out. Instead of sort of guessing, you’re testing to try to find out what foods you tend to react to.

Amy Medling:                    I’d love for you to kind of guide us through the process of getting your own labs. What does that really mean? Does it require a doctor’s visit or a consult? How does it all work?

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             It’s kind of cool, because all you have to do is go online to our website, and you of course have the link there. You have your own page that you built for people. So, if they are interested in the PCOS Diva labs, they’re able to do that. We’ve built these panels for you. But essentially, it works this way. You visit the website. You go through and you pick yourself what lab offerings you would like for yourself, and you simply order them. You just check out, just as you were checking out of any website. Within a few minutes of checking out you’ll get a confirmatory emailed, which will tell you, “Hey. Thanks for your order. We’re gonna go ahead and process your lab requisition.”

We have people that look at your labs and what you want. We actually have physicians who will order your labs for you. That’s all included in the price of the labs. You don’t pay anything extra. You’re not seen by that doctor. They just put their name on the lab requisition. Why is this important? Well, it’s important, because when your labs come back, we wanna have the physician look at it very quickly, just to make sure there’s not a panic value on there, something that you would need to immediately go to the emergency room on. It’s really done for people’s safety.

Then once there’s no panic value on there, we just release it directly to you, and so that you receive the lab results yourself. With that we will have some suggestions for people, if they wanna follow up. These are third party physicians that are happy to review the labs in person with you via telemedicine. They use telemedicine platforms, so they can talk to clients all over the United States, and world for that matter, if they wanna review their lab tests and if you want really a physician’s recommendations and so on. So, that’s kind of how the process works.

How long does it take? You get your lab requisition from us. You can download it and print it off if you want and take it directly to one of over thousands of locations here in the United States. It’s Quest Diagnostics is who we partner with, and they have a lot of blood draw stations. You just walk in there and you get your blood work done. Within two to seven business days, depending on what test you ordered you will receive the results back.

This isn’t sort of an emergency situation. If you need emergency testing done and you need to have those, because you need to know immediately, you need to go to the emergency room. Right? So, if you’re having severe symptoms, this is really not for you. This is for someone who’s being proactive about their health. They’ve had issues for a while, and they just wanna look deeper into it. Or this is for people that have really high deductibles, you know, and they wanna save some money. Our prices are very good. This is a cash based system. We don’t use any insurance. If people have HSA or FSA, we can give you a receipt, and you can submit it for that, but this is done outside the insurance model, and this is financially cheaper. These labs charge your insurance companies much, much more. The problem is if you haven’t met your deductible, all these costs are then shifted to you.

This is for people really who are looking for a better, cheaper alternative to getting lab testing, but also people who maybe they have good insurance, but they just wanna order their own tests. Maybe they’ve been to their doctor and they’ve wanted deeper thyroid testing, or maybe they wanted to get that insulin level checked or the nutrient levels checked, and they just wanna do it. This is a way to put that power back in their hands. So, they’re able to do so on our website. I hope that answered the question.

The one thing I did wanna mention, there are four states that limit testing. It’s really their state laws that do that. That’s New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maryland. There are no direct access lab companies that operate within these states, because of their restrictive state laws. They require people to go to a doctor first and then go through the whole sort of whether or not that doctor will order the test for you or not. That’s up to them. But this is available in the other 46 states.

Amy Medling:                    So, do you get your results via email, or is it through the mail?

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. You get your results via secure email. It’ll come in password protected, and you’ll have instructions on how to open it. You’ll be able to download them and print them. We are actually building a portal right now, so it will be in the future that all of your results will be available behind our portal. It’ll be a repository for your labs. You’ll be able to see what you’ve done in the past. There also is an app that we will direct people to. On the app you can follow your lab results over time too. It’ll store it on the app on your phone. So, there are different ways to receive your blood work. Of course, if people wanna have their results sent to their doctor, we can do that with their permission. We do follow HIPAA, which is the federal guidelines to protect your private health information. We don’t want anybody to take your health information. It’s really against the law to do so, so we will protect it. So, that’s what you need to know from us.

Amy Medling:                    Can you tell us about the special discount code that you so generously are offering our listeners?

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. Absolutely. There is a place when you check out … You won’t know this until you go, and you order testing, and you actually check out. There’ll be a box there that says coupon code. For your audience we’ve created a coupon code called PCOSDIVA20. That will give you $20 off your order. If you just write that down, that’ll work every single time that you use the site. This is only for your audience.

Amy Medling:                    Great. So, that’s PCOSDIVA20. You can go to YourLabWork.com/PCOSDiva, and you can see the lab groupings that sort of coordinate with my labs guide, as well as some of those specialty labs that we were talking about on the podcast today, the food sensitivity, the IgG food sensitivity, and the genetic … That’s under food tolerance testing. Then under genetic testing is the MTHFR. I think something else that we really didn’t have time to talk about was the different exposure tests to see if you were exposed to heavy metals or mold. I think those are also can often be missing links as to why you’re not feeling well. Those are available on that page as well.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. I think if people just get a chance to go to your page there and look through it, they’re able to order a single test at a time, if they need to do so, or if they wanna bundled it with your suggested bundles, they can do that. The idea here is that now they have the power. The power is in their hands to get the labs that they want. That’s awesome. I highly recommend that people take control of their health. If you’re an active participant in your health, everything just goes better. You’re gonna have better outcomes. That’s really what we all want. We want better outcomes, and we wanna feel healthier, and we wanna reverse our PCOS. Many of us wanna get pregnant. Not me. I don’t wanna get pregnant, but I’m sure many people out there are struggling with that. They really now can take this into their own hands. Don’t feel like you don’t have the power, because you do, and you can contribute extremely strongly to your health journey.

I will tell you just in summary, when someone comes to me as a patient, and they have a lot of information, and they’ve formulated a lot of good questions based on what they’ve learned, you know what? It forces me to spend more time with them to make sure that I’ve properly answered each and every one of their questions. It gets me kind of excited, because they’re extremely motivated in their own health journey. It’s awesome. I love it, and I love what you’re doing with all the information you’re providing to people.

Amy Medling:                    Oh. Thanks so much, Dr. Alan. You know, that’s why I love your company and what you’re doing, because it’s so aligned with PCOS Diva and what I’m trying to teach women with PCOS to do is that we have so much control. When you’re feeling like you don’t have control of your body, you don’t have control of your symptoms, you have to kind of step back and realize that, yes, I do have the control, and knowledge is power. Just take these small steps over time. One of those is really taking control over your lab work. I love that YourLabWork.com allows us to do that now.

Dr. Alan Hopkins:             Yeah. Well, I really, really appreciate you having me on today. If you ever want me back, I’ll come back.

Amy Medling:                    Well, I will take you up on that. I just want to thank everyone for listening today. I look forward to being with you again very soon.

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