Oftentimes traditional Labs come back as normal, but the patient does not feel well.
This is when Extensive Lab Testing can help uncover missed diagnoses and get them on a path to better health.
These labs include and are Not Limited to:
Food Sensitivity Testing (IgG/IgA)
Food Sensitivity is a term that usually refers to delayed immune reactions to foods. For example, Iggy and IgA (2 different antibodies in your blood) reactions to foods are commonly referred to as food sensitivities. Food sensitivities have been associated with migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and indigestion, fatigue, skin conditions such as eczema, weight gain, difficulty losing weight and many more.
IgG and IgA antibodies are easily collected in-office via a small finger prick. The blood sample is then sent away to a lab for processing. Results generally take between 2-3 weeks to process at which point you will receive a printout explaining all the foods that you are sensitive too and the degree to which you are sensitive to them. This information helps us tremendously in making appropriate changes to your diet and how to best support your digestive and immune systems.
In an IgG reaction, the IgG antibodies attach themselves to the food antigen and create an antibody-antigen complex. These complexes are normally removed by special cells called macrophages. However, if they are present in large numbers and the reactive food is still being consumed, the macrophages can’t remove them quickly enough. The food antigen-antibody complexes accumulate and are deposited in body tissues. Once in tissue, these complexes release inflammation causing chemicals, which may play a role in numerous diseases and conditions.
Of the five major antibodies circulating in the bloodstream, IgA is produced in the greatest quantity in a day. IgA antibodies are the first line of defense against suspected disease causing agents like viruses and bacteria. IgA antibodies to specific foods may form when the lining of the intestinal tract, the mucous membrane, becomes inflamed or damaged due to stress, alcohol, medications or other inflammation-causing conditions. This test is important to assess for individuals with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, or leaky gut syndrome.
Candida Antigen/Antibody Profile
Chronic exposure to Candida, particularly when it has colonized or invaded the gut lining, can result in the elevation of IgG, IgA, and IgM specific antibodies.
Through a simple finger prick the Candida Panel measures levels of IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies to Candida plus Candida antigen in a blood strip sample. Measurement of Candida antigen in blood indicates widespread infection, which can occur in immune compromised individuals.
Overuse of antibiotics, too many carbohydrate rich foods and sugars, compromised immune systems, use of oral contraceptives, and chronic stress all can increase your susceptibility to candida overgrowth.
Symptoms of Candida overgrowth may include the following:
- Persistent vaginal yeast infections
- Foggy thinking
- Food cravings especially for sugars and refined carbohydrates
- Menstrual discomfort
Adrenal Function Panel
Since cortisol is the major stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands, measurement of cortisol levels may be a useful means of assessing ability to cope with stress.
The adrenal function panel takes a saliva sample at 4 specific times throughout the day in order to assess fluctuations in your cortisol levels. Cortisol should fall within specific parameters at different times of the day, falling above or below these normal parameters is abnormal and can lead to a plethora of symptoms including increased susceptibility to infection, decreased recovery from exercise, allergies, low blood sugar, burned out feeling, depression and low sex drive.
Hair Cortisol Test
Hair cortisol provides an objective measure of stress over time. Because it reflects cortisol production over a month or more, hair cortisol is less likely to be influenced by acute situational or individual stresses. In other words, hair cortisol measure the long-term impact of stress, rather than just ‘a day in the life’.
Female Hormone Panel
Saliva hormone testing is simple, accurate, and easily obtained. Five hormones make up the Female Panel: cortisol, DHEAs, estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. Interactions between these hormones are fundamental to health – which is why imbalances can have a significant impact on well-being.
Hormone issues can affect women of all ages. Women who still have menstrual cycles may experience infertility, premenstrual syndrome, mood swings, anxiety, painful periods, weight gain, depression, breast cancer and other symptoms as a result of hormone imbalance. Women in peri-menopause and menopause often experience debilitating sleep disturbances, night sweats, hot flashes, accelerated bone loss and many other symptoms related to hormone changes. The Female Panel helps healthcare professionals sort out the specifics of the hormone imbalance.
Male Hormone Panel
Saliva hormone testing is simple, accurate, and easily obtained. Four hormones make up the Male Panel: cortisol, DHEAs, estradiol, and testosterone. Interactions between these hormones are fundamental to health – which is why imbalances can have a significant impact on well-being.
Men are susceptible to hormone imbalances as well. Low testosterone for example can be related to irritability, grumpiness, apathy, depression, low motivation, increased weight gain, memory loss, erectile dysfunction and more.
Hair Mineral Analysis and Heavy Metal Assessment
Good health depends in part on having adequate amounts of essential nutritional elements, and low levels of toxic elements. Hair element analysis shows nutrient status (essential elements) and toxic element exposure for the length of time it took to grow the hair supplied for testing (usually about three months).
Toxic elements usually cause damage by taking the place of essential elements and interfering with their usual function. For example, calcium helps strengthen bone, but lead can take the place of calcium in bone, making bone more porous and less sturdy.
Hair element analysis is an easy and inexpensive way to assess the levels of essential and toxic elements. Less than one gram of hair is needed to test for 45 essential and toxic elements.
Blood Testing through Gamma Dynacare Labs
In my book, “From Understanding to Knowing”, unlocking your path to optimal health, I discuss the difference between “normal” levels for lab results and “optimal” zones for lab results. For example you may have “normal” levels of vitamin D if you fall between 70-250 nmol/L (Canada) or 30-80ng/ml (USA) but the optimal zone where you get to truly reap the amazing benefits of vitamin D doesn’t happen until you reach over 125nmol/L or 50ng/ml.
10 key tests are discussed in particular that almost everyone should get checked. Getting into in to your optimal health zone can prevent chronic diseases, clear the picture of many annoying symptoms and find out what is still left to treat. I often find that once people get tested and we balance out the deficiencies and optimize their levels many symptoms that have been nagging at them for years often fall away as their body achieves a more optimal state.
When necessary, our clinics provide extensive laboratory testing through blood, saliva, urine and stool. This testing requires that a sample be taken and then sent off to an external lab in either Canada or the United States for more specific diagnostics. This type of testing is not immediate and results may take a few days to 3 weeks to be received.
Below is an example of just some of the more common tests that are routinely done at our clinic but there are literally hundreds of potential tests available depending on your individual concerns.
Naturopathic and Osteopathic visits are covered under most extended health care plans in Ontario.