Comprehensive diagnostic testing provides our patients with information and knowledge about the function of their body that they typically may not receive from their conventional doctor visits. These tests are performed to get to the root cause of the symptoms or disease. We focus on identifying risks of cardiometabolic disease by proactively screening for and attacking the underlying causes rather than just treating abnormal lab values. The cause of increased cardiometabolic risk is often due to decreased physiological resilience and metabolic reserve caused by chronic inflammation and insulin resistance stemming from poor lifestyle choices such as obesity, physical inactivity, stress, nutrient deficiencies, and environmental toxins.
Physiologic Resilience is the capacity of your body to immediately respond to changes in need. Metabolic Reserve is the long-term capacity of your body to withstand repeated changes in need.
In addition to helping resolve health issues, we perform testing to optimize health. Perhaps you are feeling good, but you want to feel and function even better. We have testing that analyzes the factors involved in increased health risk and then allows us to modify these factors. The goal is to function optimally and to thrive, not merely survive.
Comprehensive Functional Blood Testing
Comprehensive functional blood testing measures your blood sugar level, electrolyte balance, kidneys, thyroid, liver, lipid levels and many more areas. These tests will provide important information regarding various conditions such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic disorders, thyroid, liver and kidney function, inflammation, as well as key vitamin and mineral levels. It can also be customized to include additional markers that are specific to your individual health issues.
All of us need balanced levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to maintain optimal health. The ratios are a little different in each of us, but all the sex hormones are players and when they get out of balance (either too much or too little of any of them), this can lead to many seemingly diverse symptoms, including weight gain, anxiety, depression, mood problems, low sex drive, infertility, acne, and more. A salivary, urine or blood panel may be utilized.
Hormone testing can also determine imbalances which can cause fatigue, insomnia, PMS, headaches, hot flashes, and many more. The results help determine what treatments are best for each patient.
Some of the symptoms of adrenal gland dysfunction can have you feeling like your hormones are out of whack. If hormone testing comes back saying you are ‘normal’, but you feel as if you are dragging all day, and then cannot sleep at night, it may be your adrenals.
You may have heard of your Adrenal Glands referred to as the “stress glands”. The adrenal gland function determines and is affected by your exposure to chemical, emotional, and physical stress.
Some of the common symptoms of adrenal dysfunction include insomnia, fatigue, depression or anxiety, weight gain or inability to lose weight despite dieting, low blood sugar (shakiness between meals), and low blood pressure. Prolonged stress can not only stress the adrenal glands, but over time can result in deficiencies of other key hormones, such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Keeping your intestinal tract functioning correctly is imperative for your overall health. Your intestinal tract has specific amount and types of “good” bacteria. When that bacterium becomes unbalanced, a condition called dysbiosis, there are many common illnesses that can ensue. This includes but is not limited to diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders. Gut dysbiosis also affects your body’s ability to absorb and digest food and nutrients. You could be eating all the right food, but your body is not utilizing these nutrients.
The health of your intestinal tract is important in overall health. Research is revealing the intimate connection between your gut health and your brain health. If you are concerned about your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other age-related cognitive decline then keeping your gut healthy is one factor to consider. Other brain related issues include depression and ADD/ADHD.
Urine Organic Acid Testing
Urine Organic Acid testing (OAT) provides a comprehensive look at the overall metabolic health of the individual. There are over 70 individual markers that show potential signs of oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and intestinal yeast and bacterial infections.
Abnormally high levels of intestinal yeast and bacteria can worsen behavior and mood disorders as well as immune function. People with these disorders emit several irregular organic acids. The root of these high levels of intestinal yeast and bacteria are often due to oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, contaminated foods, immune deficiencies, and genetics. If the OAT indicates abnormalities, treatments could include taking supplements or a dietary adjustment.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition in which invasive bacteria is present in the small intestine, or there is an overgrowth of good bacteria developing too much fermentation, inflammation, or malabsorption. SIBO is commonly linked with bowel symptoms including chronic diarrhea or constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, and IBS. The SIBO breath test is a noninvasive technique commonly used to determine if you have SIBO.
Your body produces enzymes (lactase) to help breakdown and digest milk products. Without enough lactase, your body will not be able to properly breakdown lactose resulting in abdominal bloating, cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. Fructose intolerance is similar to lactose intolerance as it makes your body unable to efficiently breakdown fructose (sugar) in your body resulting in abdominal symptoms. Breath testing can be used to test people who experience IBS and common food intolerances to determine if they are lactose or fructose intolerant.
Food sensitivity testing is a laboratory method that identifies cellular immune reactions to foods, chemicals, and other substances. There are many labs that perform food sensitivity testing and among these labs there are various testing methods. The most common tests examine the IgG and IgA immune response.
One function of the immune system is to protect the body from foreign invaders. But due to various reasons, such as medications, environmental toxins, stress, etc., the immune system can lose tolerance and react in an abnormal manner. The immune system’s reactions can range from mild to severe. When the immune system reacts to a food in the gut or to food proteins that have entered the body, this is a common but abnormal reaction. This reaction can lead to many different symptoms and conditions. These potential food and chemical triggers have been linked to health issues such as type 1 and 2 diabetes, neuropathy, gastrointestinal problems, hyperactivity/ADD, obesity, eczema, migraines, joint pain, auto immune conditions, depression, and lethargy.
Food sensitivity tests can check for things like gluten sensitivity and cross-reactivity, which reveals if your immune system will respond to the ingestion of typical gluten-free foods as though they are gluten-containing. Other food testing can identify hyper-immune reactions to almost 200 common foods herbs or spices, as well as many common environmental toxins, heavy metals, and other chemical.
Emerging science has allowed development of DNA tests designed to assist in the safe and appropriate selection of pharmacologic treatment for individuals, as well as to determine specific types of diet and exercise based on one’s own unique genetic makeup.
These tests identify patient-specific genetic markers that affect how patients may react to medications, protein, carbohydrates, types of exercise, and other treatments. It is an easily administered cheek swab test that analyzes up to many genes. These genes were selected based on FDA prescribing information, consensus expert guidelines, and data derived from hundreds of studies showing that variations in these genes may inform treatment decisions.
Your genetic makeup, or genotype, is your inherited DNA code. It serves as the blueprint of your body. This information, along with a clinical assessment of your current health and family history, compose the trifecta of information that doctors now use to drive individualized treatment decisions. This is at the heart of precision or personalized medicine.
Vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, fat, and protein deficiencies underly many health conditions. At-home supplementation with over-the-counter vitamins and minerals may not be correct for you or even necessary. If you have questions about whether you need to supplement your diet, then micronutrient testing is the test for you. Micronutrient testing measures the functional levels and deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, and amino acids. We can use these results to determine if there are deficiencies in your body, or if you are over-supplementing in an area.
When it comes to health issues, there is no one size fits all. Comprehensive blood panels are one way to catch any underlying causes of health problems a patient might have that are overlooked in a more conventional medical practice. These tests ultimately provide information on your body’s chemical stability and metabolism.
Mycotoxins are some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment. Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by fungi like mold, which can infest buildings, vehicles, and foodstuffs. Most mycotoxin exposures are through food ingestion or airborne exposure. In the European Union, 20% of all grains harvested have been found to be contaminated with mycotoxins. Unfortunately, mycotoxins are resistant to heat and many processing procedures.
Fungi can grow on almost any surface, especially if the environment is warm and wet. Inner wall materials of buildings, wallpaper, fiber glass insulation, ceiling tiles, and gypsum support are all good surfaces for fungi to colonize. These fungi then release mycotoxins into the environment causing symptoms of many different chronic diseases. Diseases and symptoms linked to mycotoxin exposure include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and liver damage. With our mycotoxin testing, we can identify mycotoxin exposures and make recommendations for detoxification treatments that have been effective.
Leaky Gut Testing
Leaky gut is a condition where the intestinal lining of your GI tract breaks down, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria and other pathogens to compromise the immune system (75 percent of which resides in the gut) and seep into the bloodstream, causing inflammation and immune responses resulting in issues such as allergies, food and/or chemical sensitivities, fatigue, chronic GI problems, autoimmune disease and other health challenges. You will likely not feel well if you have leaky gut.
Leaky gut testing provides an assessment of your intestinal permeability and determines how well your gut lining is or is not helping to safeguard you from these toxins and pathogens, including gluten, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This type of testing primarily looks for zonulin and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in blood or urine.
Advanced Lipid Testing
A standard lipid panel alone may not predict your true risk for cardiometabolic disease. Recent studies show that lowering your LDL cholesterol reduces your risk for a cardiovascular event by only 25 percent, and at least half of people who have experienced a cardiac event had cholesterol levels in the “normal” range.
To gain a more comprehensive look at the risk, we recommend advanced, specialized testing for some patients, particularly those with other risk factors, to evaluate lipids, inflammation, metabolics, and genetics.
From a better functioning heart to healthier blood vessels, there are many reasons why people with higher omega-3 blood levels have better health. Omega-3s play a role in brain health during every phase of life – from infant brain development to maintaining cognitive function as we age. Omega-3 DHA is a main component of eyes and having higher levels of omega-3s is related to better eye health and visual development. There are multiple benefits to the mind and body in having a higher Omega-3 Index as well, all of which contribute to slower aging.
Approximately seven percent of breast cancer cases are caused by mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. People who carry a mutation in either of these genes are at increased risk of developing a condition called Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) syndrome. They have an up to 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer by age 70. In addition, mutation carriers who have already been diagnosed with cancer have a significantly increased risk of developing a second cancer in the future.
About three to five percent of colon or rectal cancers (colorectal cancers) are believed to be caused by mutations in the MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2 and EPCAM genes. When someone carries a harmful mutation in any of these genes, they are at increased risk of developing a condition called Lynch syndrome, which is also called Hereditary Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) syndrome.
People with Lynch syndrome are at higher risk of developing several different types of cancer, including:
- Colorectal cancer
- Endometrial (uterine) cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Gastric (stomach) cancer
- In addition, rarely, urinary tract, renal/pelvic, biliary tract, small bowel, pancreatic, and brain cancers
We offer genetic testing that can be used to identify people who carry these genes and mutations and provide counseling about treatment options when they are identified.
Cologuard Colon Cancer
Cologuard is an easy to use colon cancer screening test that you do in the privacy of your own home. It identifies altered DNA and/or blood in stool, which are associated with the possibility of colon cancer or precancer. Cologuard uses a molecular biology process to capture specific pieces of DNA for further analysis.
Cologuard is not a test to confirm or deny a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on colon cancer. Cologuard identifies DNA mutations that are acquired over time in cells lining the colon; these mutations can be associated with the presence of colon cancer or precancerous lesions.
Cologaurd is FDA approved. In a clinical study of 10,000 participants ages 50-84 years old, of average risk for colon cancer, Cologuard found 92% of cancer. Cologuard was negative in 87% of participants without cancer or advanced precancerous lesions.
Heavy Metal Testing
Heavy metal exposure is on the rise. Common sources include cigarettes, seafood, rice, well water and dental fillings. These toxic elements can increase our risk of developing conditions like dementia, infertility, diabetes and cancer. They are also known to cause damage to the liver, kidneys and brain, as well as the cardiovascular, nervous and endocrine systems.
Essential elements are abundant too and only healthy when they are within optimal ranges. Nutrients like copper, iodine, magnesium, selenium and zinc are critical for enzymes that synthesize neurotransmitters and activate hormones. Bromine and lithium are not currently classified as “essential” elements, but they have been shown to play a positive role in health and are also potentially toxic at excessive levels.
Getting too much, and sometimes too little, of various elements has consequences for our overall health. You should consider heavy metal and essential element testing if any of these apply to you:
- Have exposure to private well water or aging pipes
- Are concerned about heavy metals in foods like vegetables, rice and seafood
- Have mercury dental work
- Live in an older home or near an industrial area
- Have thyroid-related health issues
- Have or have had exposure to MRI contrast agents
A neurocognitive assessment captures an objective view of eleven basic brain functions: composite memory, verbal memory, visual memory, executive function, processing speed, psychomotor speed, reaction time, complex attention, cognitive flexibility, simple visual attention, and motor speed. If your memory, problem-solving, or attention span seems to have decreased, this test may be for you. This test is designed to assess cognitive brain function and monitor improvement or worsening.
The testing consists of seven subtests which, in different combinations, compose the above eleven cognitive domains. Combining parallel tests of verbal memory (word list learning) and visual memory (figure learning) gives us a complete picture of cognitive functioning for both a baseline and over time. The tests are virtually identical, but one uses words as stimuli, the other, geometric shapes. The Finger Tapping Test generates relevant data about fine motor control, which is based on motor speed as well as kinesthetic and visual-motor ability. The Symbol Digit Coding Test generates processing speed data and is included in a composite score for psychomotor speed. The Stroop Test gives important data about information processing speed. The Shifting Attention Test measures a subject’s executive functions (rules, categories, rapid decision making) or their ability to shift from one instruction set to another quickly and accurately. The Continuous Performance Test is a measure of vigilance or sustained attention or attention over time.
The technical term for sleep study or sleep test is polysomnography. Polysomnography is a series of tests that evaluates the quality and quantity of sleep stages. It consists of continuous recordings of brain waves, eye movements, chin and cheek muscle tension, chest and abdomen breathing effort, leg movements, airflow, snoring and blood oxygen level within the sleep test. It is an effective way to diagnose conditions such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and is the fist step in diagnosing narcolepsy.