Functional laboratory testing offers the opportunity to dig deeper and truly uncover the root cause of disease. Using functional testing allows us to identify imbalances, deficiencies and underlying physiological patterns for a more targeted and successful treatment approach.
This type of investigation also allows us to detect disease states before they become a chronic issue and hence allows for prevention of disease.
In some cases, functional lab testing will provide a more sensitive and accurate form of testing.
The following are the functional lab tests that we offer:
Saliva hormone testing is very useful for finding underlying hormone excesses and deficiencies but needs to be interpreted with care.
Urine Steroid Hormones
The dried urine test provides a comprehensive profile of hormone metabolites in a dried urine sample.
Measuring both hormone metabolites can give a better overall picture of hormone production for more precise clinical diagnosis of hormonal imbalances (issues with estrogen, progesterone and androgens can be detected using this method).
There are also some metabolites that are important markers for breast cancer risk that can only be measured in urine.
With serum and saliva hormone spot-testing, it's possible to track variations in hormone release throughout the day. In contrast, the standard 24-hour urine collection reflects the total hormone output in a 24-hour period.
IGG Food Sensitivity Test
This tool tests for IgG antibody complexes that form against specific foods. IgG antibodies attach themselves to the food antigen and create an antibody-antigen complex. In a healthy system, these complexes are removed by cells called macrophages. However, if they are present in large numbers and the reactive food is still being consumed, the macrophages can’t eliminate 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.
There is a growing body of evidence to support the clinical benefits of eliminating IgG reactive foods from the diet.
IgG food sensitivities have been implicated in the pathogenesis of migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and eczema. IgG reactions have also been linked to the manifestation of symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, weight gain, inability to lose weight and fatigue.
This test detects IgG antibodies against candida. Candida is a type of yeast normally found in the bowel that requires sugars to grow.
Elevated IgG antibodies to Candida are often found when there is an opportunistic yeast overgrowth. Consuming too many sugar-rich foods and an imbalanced gut microbiome can contribute to overgrowth of Candida. Symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth include:
- clouded thinking
- menstrual pain
- vaginal yeast infections
Hair Element Analysis
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).
Essential elements are essential because they are needed to maintain health. For example, potassium and sodium are essential for proper heart function, while calcium and magnesium are essential for bone development and strength.
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 less strong.
Heavy metal exposure and toxicity can be measured through this non-invasive test.
Heavy metal toxicity has been linked to the following symptoms:
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance
- Kidney Function
- Parkinson's-like Symptoms
- Sexual Impotence or Decreased Testosterone Production
- Vision Problems
- neurological problems
- memory impairment
- learning difficulties
- gastrointestinal problems
Urine Element Analysis
Urine element analysis is another simple and inexpensive way to measure levels of essential and heavy metal toxic elements.
Fatty Acid Profile
The Fatty Acid Profile measures the percentage of fatty acids in red blood cells from a dried blood spot. Measurements include the Omega-3 Index and Omega-3 score to assess for heart disease risk, the ratio of Arachidonic Acid (AA) to Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) as a marker of inflammation, total Omega-3 fatty acids, total Omega-6 fatty acids along with mono-unsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids and saturated fats. Measurement of fatty acid content in red blood cell membranes shows less biological variability than measurement in plasma or serum.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Testing (SIBO)
SIBO is a common clinical condition and can develop in a variety of patient populations.
SIBO Profiles are non-invasive breath tests which capture exhaled hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) gases following patient ingestion of a lactulose solution to evaluate bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine. Symptoms of SIBO are non-specific, including abdominal pain/distention, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Conditions commonly associated with SIBO include:
- Celiac Disease
- Parkinson's Disease
Risk factors for development of SIBO include structural issues, motility disorders, organ system dysfunction, elderly age and various medications (recurrent antibiotics, PPIs) that alter the gut microflora populations.
Organic Acids Test (OAT)
Organic acids are metabolic intermediates that are produced in pathways of energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown, or intestinal microbial activity. Accumulation of specific organic acids detected in urine indicates a metabolic inhibition or block.
The metabolic block may be due to a nutrient deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficit, toxic build-up or drug effect. Additionally, several of the biomarkers in this test are markers of intestinal bacterial or yeast overgrowth.
The organic acids nutritional test is valuable for determining:
- Functional vitamin and mineral status
- Amino acid insufficiencies like carnitine and NAC
- Oxidative damage and antioxidant need
- Phase I & Phase II detoxification capacity
- Functional B-complex vitamin need
- Neurotransmitter metabolites
- Mitochondrial energy production
- Methylation sufficiency
- Lipoic acid and CoQ10 status
- Bacterial and yeast overgrowth
Please speak with your Naturopathic Doctor to get more details about functional lab testing and to understand which tests might be valuable in your case.
The information about the specific tests mentioned above has been referenced from our test providers: