Despite many blood tests for my elderly mother they cannot seem to get it right

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Hello Dr. Doctort,

My 92 year old Mom has been in the hospital for heart, brain, kidney, and stomach tests. They’re having a hard time of it lowering her B.P. from around average systolic of 200.
Do any of the tests that her cardiologists, intern, nephrologist, and lab perform in the hospital adequately measure levels of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, individual deficiencies in B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin D3, etc.? I have read where magnesium stores inside the body cannot be measured adequately by blood testing. Is this true for all vitamins/minerals/nutrients? If so, then where does one get the correct tests performed?

Thank you greatly!


At age 92 the focus of medical care should be on comfort measures, no longer on trying to reach the perfect numbers. At that age, many patients cannot tolerate a lower blood pressure and become confused when their BP goes down to a more ‘normal’ level. Unless she has side effects I would not be all that aggressive.
Likewise, our body is built to take care of itself w/o blood tests. So often normal blood levels can be achieved with a proper diet alone! I’d guess, if her blood levels are abnormal, it is caused by the many pills she takes for this, that or the other thing, very common in the elderly.
Most blood levels can be tested for, but it is expensive, and managed easier by limiting her medications (and their side effects).
Don’t get me wrong I am all for fixing what is reasonable: I have done heart surgery on a number of patients in their nineties!
Read more here about this:
Your mother might benefit more from a delicious meal plan and an age adjusted exercise program, than what usually happens, living from one pill to the next.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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