While symptoms are an important piece of the health picture, they have many potential causes. Testing can help to focus treatment and streamline healing by helping to identify underlying cause/s.
Some patients choose to allow dietary and lifestyle changes to take effect and then use testing to fine-tune or finish up the healing process.
Some, having tried and failed in the past, want to ensure they don’t waste effort/time. Motivation to get well can wax and wane, as can optimal times in our lives that allow for this focus, so it can be critical to make the most of that motivation when it is present.
Many underlying issues may still be present even after changing diet and lifestyle, based on your specific lifetime exposures and genetics. Testing can help to resolve these underlying issues that you may or may not “feel”, thereby preventing illness or disease later in life.
Whether and/or when to use testing, as well as what test/s to choose, are very individual decisions that should be made with your healthcare practitioner’s guidance. Listed below is a description of the different types of testing we have found to be helpful, and some of the reasons we utilize them.
Genetic Testing | Collected at Home/Saliva
Whether you are healthy and want to stay that way or are working on regaining balance, literally everyone can benefit from genetic testing. Genetic mutations impair our ability to perform specific biochemical actions necessary for optimal health. Knowing precisely where we are genetically fragile makes it possible to target nutritional support to optimize functioning of crucial biochemical pathways, and thus restore or maintain health. Sensitivity/tolerance to particular medications and elevated risk of particular disease processes can also be determined, allowing for the selection of a different class of drugs when medications are needed, or for preventative care.
Hormone Testing | Collected at Home/Saliva
Sex hormones Estradiol, Estrone, Estriol (collectively referred to as estrogens), DHEA-Sulfate, Progesterone and the adrenal hormone Cortisol are best measured in saliva, which reflects
Particle Size Cholesterol | Collected at a Lab/Blood
Standard cholesterol testing is not a good predictor of risk for cardiac events. Approximately 50% of those who suffer a cardiovascular event have normal or low cholesterol, while 50% with elevated cholesterol never suffer a cardiovascular event. The best predictor of risk at this time is a test that measures the size of cholesterol particles. Larger particles are unable to worm their way into the vessel walls to form plaque, while smaller particles can. Testing may also include other cholesterol indices that can help to guide specific lifestyle and diet changes to lower risk (highly sensitive CRP, Lp(a), insulin, Homocysteine, HDL2b, ApoB100).
Vitamin D | Collected at a Lab/Blood
Made from cholesterol in the skin in response to sun exposure, vitamin D is crucial for prevention of heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune conditions, osteoporosis, seasonal affective disorder, many types of cancer, and much more. According to numerous studies, to obtain all the benefits of vitamin D, blood levels of 50-80 are required,
Genova Stool Analysis | Collected at Home/Stool
Customizable to include beneficial microbes, opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria, parasites, fungus/candida, IgA, anti-gliadin IgA (gluten sensitivity), short chain fatty acid production, pH, digestion markers, human-specific pancreatic enzyme production, presence of mucous or blood and whether inflammation is present. It has been said by many in the integrative health field that disease begins in the colon. GI health is key for good digestion, nutrient absorption, toxin elimination and normal immune response. Poor digestion and malabsorption leads to immune dysfunction, nutritional insufficiencies, food sensitivities/allergies, toxicity and contributes to numerous disease states.
NutrEval/Organic Acid Testing | Collected at Home/Urine and Lab/Blood
Metabolic Analysis assessment providing information on 45 key organic acids that can point to malabsorption and dysbiosis, cellular energy errors, neurotransmitter metabolism, vitamin deficiencies, toxin exposure and detoxification need. Vitamin, mineral, amino acid and fatty acid status are also reported.
SpectraCell MicroNutrient Testing | Collected at a Lab/Blood
T-lymphocytes (the longest lived white blood cells) are used to determine Individual status of vitamins, minerals, specific amino acids and antioxidants, as well as to evaluate insulin sensitivity, immune functioning, cell resistance to free radical damage and fructose sensitivity. Testing is performed three times to confirm results and takes about 3 weeks to complete. Because the body “triages” nutrients to life-saving functions when levels are not optimal, optimizing nutrient status can help reverse or prevent chronic and degenerative diseases over the long-term.
Neurotransmitters | Collected at Home/Urine
Neurotransmitters are the emotion transmitters that help determine mood and personality. Options include epinephrine (adrenalin), norepinephrine (noradrenalin), serotonin, dopamine, DOPAC, 5HIAA, glycine, taurine, GABA, PEA, glutamate, histamine. When past therapies targeting mood disorders have been ineffective, measuring urine metabolites and levels of neurotransmitters can guide therapy. Patients with poor absorption/digestion or who are not eating a balanced diet are more likely to have an imbalance since amino acids from protein are building blocks for all neurotransmitters, and vitamins, minerals and healthy fats are required for their manufacture.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel | Collect at a Lab/Blood
Includes ALT, AST, LDH, iron, glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, hemoglobin, hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, platelets, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, EOS, basos, BUN, creatinine, GFR, sodium, potassium, chloride, CO2, Calcium, Phosphorus, Total Protein, Albumin, Globulin, Bilirubin, Alk Phos. These basics are typically included in most routine yearly or twice yearly labs. It’s important to watch for trends and recent changes in these values.
Urine Elements Thyroid Panel ZRT | Collect at Home/Urine
Hypothyroidism has become increasingly common in our country and is seen more frequently in women. In our country, the most significant inhibitors of thyroid function are arsenic, bromine and mercury. Selenium and iodine are necessary for thyroid hormone production and conversion of T4 to T3 and are also commonly deficient in the US. This urine test measures circulating levels of these 5 elements.
Urine Toxic Elements | Collect at Home/Urine
Levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and more are measured post provocation using DMSA. Elevations in these toxic elements impair many body functions and contribute to chronic health conditions.