Special Labs and Functional Diagnosis
The myriad of lab tests available today provide practitioners the ability to assess physiologic function like never before. Many of these special studies help us pinpoint the exact source of bio-chemical imbalances, giving us a more defined target for your personalized care plan. Other tests use markers to determine your relative risk of developing certain diseases, so we can address any problems before they become symptomatic. Below are some of the labs we may order for you.
Comprehensive Blood Chemistry
There is much to be learned about a patient’s state of health through a comprehensive blood panel. Looking at 67 different markers, we check blood sugar regulation, cardiovascular health, thyroid function, lipid levels, liver and gallbladder integrity, nutrient and mineral status, while also screening for any inflammatory processes, infections or anemia. This is a great starting point for all patients, whether they suffer from chronic health challenges or simply want to minimize certain risks.
Adrenal Stress Index
The Adrenal Stress Index is a powerful and precise noninvasive salivary hormone test that evaluates the effects of stress on your body. It includes ten tests for six different hormones and immune markers that may be affected by chronic stress or other conditions. This “stress test” serves as a critical tool for uncovering biochemical imbalances underlying anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, dysglycemia, and a host of other clinical conditions. This hormone test examines 4 saliva samples over a 24-hour period for levels of cortisol, DHEA, insulin, secretory IgA, 17-OH progesterone and gluten antibodies. Click here for more information.
Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology
Gastrointestinal complaints are among the most common in any clinic. A comprehensive stool analysis pinpoints the causes of gastrointestinal symptoms and chronic systemic conditions, and measures key markers of digestion, absorption and inflammation. This thorough profile also evaluates the status of beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms including aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, yeast and parasites. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing to prescriptive and natural agents is also performed for appropriate bacterial and fungal species. Click here for more information.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP’s, pronounced “snips”), are the most common type of genetic variation among people. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. SNPs occur normally throughout a person’s DNA, and roughly 10 million SNPs can be found in the human genome.
When SNPs occur within a gene or in a regulatory region near a gene, they may play a more direct role in disease by affecting the gene’s function. Researchers have found SNPs that may help predict an individual’s response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors and toxins, and risk of developing particular diseases.
I encourage everyone to get their DNA analyzed through 23 and me, which offers a thorough list of your SNPs for just $99. However, there are many that aren’t analyzed, and if we have reason to believe you may have a genetic variation contributing to your condition, there are more specific tests available.
The gluten/gliadin issue is complex, to say the least. Traditional testing for Gluten-Reactivity and Celiac disease measures antibodies against gliadin and tissue transglutaminase-2. These antibodies are measured against minor components of a wheat protein called alpha-gliadin. However, wheat consists of multiple proteins and peptides including, alpha-gliadin, omega-gliadin, glutenin, gluteomorphin, prodynorphin, and agglutinins. Any of these antigens has a capacity to challenge the immune system.
Gluten reactivity is a systemic autoimmune disease with diverse manifestations elsewhere in the body. Symptoms such as brain fog, depression and chronic fatigue are six times more prevalent than the gastrointestinal complaints many associate with wheat reactivity. Therefore, earlier identification might result in earlier treatment, better quality of life, and an improved prognosis for these patients.
The test we recommend measures antibody production against 9 wheat proteins and peptides and 3 essential structure enzymes, making it the most comprehensive analysis of gluten reactivity available. Learn more about this test from Cyrex Labs here.
Increased Intestinal Permeability
Research confirms that the root cause for many undesired immune reactions originates in the gastrointestinal tract. GI tract abnormality can compromise the integrity of the gut barrier and increases the entry of undigested antigens into circulation, thus challenging the immune system. Reaction to these antigens creates a pro-inflammatory state, which further contributes to increased intestinal barrier permeability (or “ leaky gut” syndrome).
The test we use is designed to not only determine if leaky gut exists, but also identifies the means by which the intestinal barrier is being damaged. Cyrex labs looks at three specific markers. The presence of anti-bodies against bacterial endotoxins suggests intestinal permeability and dysbiosis. Identifying anti-bodies against specific cellular proteins reveals cell damage. Lastly, measuring for anti-bodies against the proteins responsible for maintaining narrow nutrient channels reveals damage to the tight junctions in between intestinal cells. Each of these markers, whether positive or negative, collectively illustrate the pathophysiology behind leaky gut.