Laboratory testing, using blood, saliva, stool or urine samples are invaluable tools that help us understand the symptoms that you are experiencing and understand the root cause of the problem. Some tests are used to diagnose disease or dysfunction, while others are used to give us an in-depth understanding of the metabolic processes that are occurring in your body. I use various forms of testing to help identify specific problems and tailor specific treatment plans to target the underlying cause. Some tests are run through Life Labs, while others are outsourced to special laboratories. Some examples of testing that I use include:
General Screening Tests through LifeLabs
As a Naturopathic Physician, I can write LifeLabs blood test requisitions to have general and diagnostic screening performed (ex. cholesterol, thyroid screening, blood sugar, celiac screening, iron testing, etc.). Unfortunately, at this point in time, MSP does NOT cover LifeLabs testing requested by Naturopathic Physicians. You may seek this testing from your MD or a walk-in clinic, or if you prefer, you may pay “out of pocket” for Life Labs testing if you would like to save time.
Adrenal Stress Index Testing
Our adrenal glands are small glands that sit on top of our kidneys and secrete several hormones, including cortisol, one of our “stress” hormones. Cortisol levels normally vary throughout the day, with highest values early in the morning (6am-8am) and lowest levels in the evening (10pm-11pm). During periods of prolonged or high stress, our cortisol levels can become dysregulated, contributing to symptoms such as: difficulty falling or staying asleep, difficulty getting out of bed, fatigue, feeling “burnt out”, blood sugar dysregulation, weight gain around the midsection, low libido, or hormone imbalances. By testing your cortisol levels at 4 points during the day using saliva samples, we can gain information about how your cortisol levels may be contributing to your symptoms. This test may also include other adrenal hormones, such as: DHEA, estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone.
Functional Hormone Testing for Females
Standard blood testing can give you a snapshot of your hormone status which can be useful, but has limitations. Hormones are secreted in a pulsatile fashion throughout the day, exhibiting peaks and valleys in concentration. A quick blood test may not capture an accurate picture of your hormone status in order to adequately explain your symptoms. Using functional hormone testing with either saliva or urine samples, we can assess your hormones in greater detail. A month-long saliva hormone assessment allows us to see the fluctuations and changes in estrogen and progesterone that occur over the course of a woman’s monthly cycle. A one-day saliva test depicts the rise and fall of cortisol (our stress hormone) throughout the day. Urine testing depicts over 35 hormones and their metabolites, giving us thorough insight into hormone metabolism and enzyme function. These tests are helpful in identifying the cause of hormone imbalances and fast-tracking an appropriate and targeted treatment selection.
Functional Hormone Testing for Males
Similar to above, by using saliva testing over the course of a day, we can assess cortisol status and testosterone in men. This gives us insight into how stress is affecting the male body, and how natural testosterone production can be supported with diet, nutrients, training and stress reduction.
Comprehensive Thyroid Panel
This panel is a blood test to thoroughly assess thyroid function. It includes TSH, free T4, T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies (ATPO). It is performed through LifeLabs.
Food Sensitivity Testing
This is a blood test that assesses the body’s production of IgG antibodies to 100+ types of food. IgG antibodies are associated with “delayed onset reactions” to food, such as bloating, indigestion, foggy brain, among many others. They differ from allergic reactions, which are mediated by IgE antibodies. Allergic reactions involve immediate responses to food, such as swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, or feeling itchy.
Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology
This comprehensive profile helps identify the causes of gastrointestinal symptoms, and measures key markers of digestion, absorption and inflammation. This profile evaluates the status of beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms including aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, yeast and parasites. It also tests antimicrobial susceptibility to prescriptive and natural agents to help guide treatment decisions.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Test
Patients with chronic digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, heartburn, burping or cramping may have a condition called Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). The SIBO test involves a ‘breath test’ taken over 3 hours after drinking a lactulose solution.
On-Site Clinical Testing
I offer in-clinic testing for urinary tract infections (urinalysis), strep throat (rapid strep test), pregnancy testing, or skin scratch allergy testing for environmental allergens.