(Specialty) optional lab testing will optimize our outcomes together
Precision labs allow us to find and address root causes
While traditional labs provide important clinical information, some questions can only be answered using specialty testing. This testing allows us to play detective so that your nutrition therapy will be highly personalized and effective.
Specialized testing allows us to get a fuller assessment, so that you can get the best possible outcomes.
Specialized testing can be discussed at any visit and is a component of step 4 of our process HERE.
Ultimately, we combine your labs, preferences, lifestyle, and clinical picture to create a highly individualized and effective plan.
Here are some of the specialty tests we use most often:
Food Sensitivity Testing
While no food sensitivity test is perfect, they can provide valuable insight into immune function and possible inflammation triggers. Unfortunately, common food sensitivity tests use IgG antibody testing which is not accurate. Instead, we a mediator release test that has shown clinical effectiveness in published research. Learn more about the MRT test and LEAP diet protocol.
Gluten has an effect on the lining of the intestine in all people. Your body can create antibodies against gluten and wheat which can indicate a sensitivity or allergy. Your body can also develop an autoimmune reaction to gluten, which we know as Celiac Disease. If you are tired of guessing if you have a gluten or wheat problem and want to really know if you have leaky gut, this is the test for you: the Wheat Zoomer from Vibrant Wellness:
Hormones can be tricky to measure correctly, so I stick to the gold standard functional hormone test – the DUTCH test by Precision Analytical . DUTCH testing measures urine hormone metabolites, so that you can see the entire hormone cascade, both adrenal (i.e. cortisol) and sex hormones (i.e. testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone). Many factors such as genetics, nutritional status, and stress can impact hormone production, metabolism, and clearance. Thus, this fuller picture is necessary for a truly effective hormone balancing plan.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a leading cause of IBS and GERD. It is always preferable to run a breath test for SIBO before an intervention protocol. We use the SIBO breath tests from Genova Diagnostics.
Specialty stool testing is incredibly helpful for quantifying a number of things that impact digestive and overall health: microbial dysbiosis, gut permeability, yeast or parasite infection, and malabsoption to name a few. This testing assesses microbiome helath, digestive function, and immune function in the gut. Without the knowledge gained with a functional stool test, it’s easy to do the OPPOSITE of the needed interventions for improved gut health. So, this testing is the gateway to an effective gut healing plan. We use the at-home functional stool tests from Genova, the GI Effects:
We use micronutrient testing that measures the amount of nutrients inside your cells, rather than in the serum. This is where most are needed for optimal health. The test also measures extracellular nutrients (blood levels). A total of 32 different vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and antioxidants are measured. This is a better indicator of nutrient status than routine serum blood work.
Think of organic and amino acids tests as a look under the hood. They measure the metabolic compounds in your urine, providing many important clues. These tests can be used to evaluate cellular and mitochondrial energy production, gastrointestinal function, nutrient utilization, and neurotransmitter processing. They also give clues to possible nutrient deficiencies.
We use an organic acids test that is combined with blood assessment of heavy metals, environmental chemicals and lipids as our ‘optimal’ initial work-up: the Genova NutrEval and Metabolomix+.
There are gene variants, or single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that can contribute to a variety of conditions and nutrient deficiencies. For example, methylation is effected by SNPs of the MTHFR and COMT genes. In another example, carbohydrate tolerance and risk of developing type II diabetes is effected by genetics.
In the case of both of these examples, knowing the genetics would change the nutrition care plan. Although the science around genetic testing and its clinical implications is still evolving, a good genetic panel can provide important insight. We use 3×4 Genetics because of their uniquely patient-friendly reporting and commitment to following closely to the science:
Environmental exposure (heavy metals, mold, environmental toxins, and viral infections)
Environmental exposures and infections can have extremely profound physical symptoms, and are often missed in a traditional medical setting. For example, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can arise from these exposures. The testing we use depends on the presentation and plan of care, as there are many options. We order most of our environmental exposure testing from Great Plains Labs:
Want to get started with a precision plan based on testing?
We’ll discuss specialty testing during your initial consult, and any additional time when it might be helpful. No patient is ever pressured to get specialty testing – we work with you preferences. You can learn more about our test offerings HERE. To get started, jump on a free call with us to discuss your specific challenges HERE.
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