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Functional Medicine Labs Can Help Identify the Cause of Your Condition

As a naturopathic doctor with training in primary care practice, I understand the value in ordering certain labs that can help identify the foundational cause(s) of your health condition(s). These labs may include:

  • Adrenal stress index
  • Amino acid analysis
  • General blood work
  • Cardiovascular risk assessments
  • Food allergy/sensitivity testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Hormone testing
  • Neurotransmitter testing
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, digest and gastrointestinal analyses
  • Toxic metal testing
  • Vitamin and mineral assessments

Read on about the benefits that each of these labs can offer, or call my Osseo naturopathic medicine practice today at 612-250-2804 to discuss your specific lab questions with me.

Adrenal Stress Index

Measures DHEA sulfate levels along with four cortisol levels throughout the day

The adrenals secrete many hormones that influence energy, ability to handle stress, kidney function, sex hormone balance, immune function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Adrenal function in adults is often low due to high-stress lifestyles. A test kit is dispensed to collect saliva samples, which are sent into a lab directly.

Amino Acid Analysis

Assesses the metabolism and levels of approximately 40 amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are important for the production of energy, hormones, and neurotransmitters. They are used by the liver in detoxification, they build muscle and repair damaged tissues. This test analyzes your metabolism and will give results of any deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals and trace metals. A test kit is dispensed to take home, collect urine samples and send into a lab directly.

General Blood Work

Recommended annually for preventative purposes

Specific markers are recommended for particular symptoms or health conditions. Blood work can be useful to monitor thyroid problems, blood sugar imbalances, cholesterol, cardiovascular risk, inflammation, nutritional status, genetic predispositions, and more. Lab orders are created and dispensed in the office and blood draws are performed at a local laboratory draw site.

Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

One of the most comprehensive cardiovascular risk assessment tests available

It assesses lipid levels (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides) along with the size patterning of HDL and LDL (what determines their risk to benefit ratio), cardiovascular inflammatory and risk markers, and blood sugar markers. A test kit is dispensed to be taken to a local laboratory draw site.

Food Allergy/Sensitivity Testing

Used to verify food and environmental allergies/sensitivities

Allergies cause immediate reactions and sensitivities cause delayed reactions. Examples of immediate reactions include hives and rashes. Examples of delayed reactions include fatigue, asthma, irritable bowel, colitis, joint pain, headaches, depression, sinusitis, insomnia, and more. Delayed reactions are more common than immediate reactions. If you have food allergies/sensitivities, they may contribute to your symptoms. A test kit is dispensed to take to a local lab for a blood draw.

Genetic Testing

Used to determine, genetically, where your body needs extra support to function optimally

This testing can be helpful to determine the cause of familial tendencies for health conditions such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks, strokes, and more. It can also be utilized to assess detoxification pathways so the most appropriate support can be given to achieve optimal clearance of toxins. A test kit is dispensed to be taken to the nearest laboratory draw site.

Hormone Testing

Recommended with symptoms or health conditions associated with hormonal imbalances

Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are the primary hormones secreted by the ovaries and testes. Imbalances in these may cause menopause, infertility, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, mood swings, fatigue, and loss of sex drive. The most effective way to measure these hormones is to use saliva samples, which contain the unbound or available form of hormones in your body. There are different types of hormone testing kits, customized individually for the patient. A test kit is dispensed to take home, prepare samples and send them into a lab directly.

Neurotransmitter Testing

Recommended for patients with emotional instability and sleeping difficulties

This type of testing may be useful for finding the root cause of depression, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, and lack of motivation. A test kit is dispensed to take home, prepare saliva and urine samples, and are then sent into a lab directly.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Digestive, and Gastrointestinal Analysis

Recommended for patients that have gastrointestinal complaints

This test assesses a variety of gastrointestinal complaints such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, intestinal infections, Candida overgrowth, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, a history of antibiotic use, mal-absorption, and autoimmune diseases. There are several test kits available to test markers of bacterial overgrowth, the presence of parasites or fungi, and to evaluate digestion and intestinal function. The test kit that is dispensed depends on individual symptoms. Stool samples and/or breath tests are collected in the comforts of your home and sent into a lab directly.

Toxic Metal Testing

Used assess heavy metal toxicity

Lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, nickel, copper and other toxic metals accumulate in tissues of the body. If your body has accumulated 1 or more of these metals, they may contribute to your symptoms. Exposure to these metals may include contaminated air, water and food, or they could be from environmental or work exposure. This test uses samples of hair to measure toxic metals that may reflect levels stored in your body tissues. If hair levels are high, treatment to remove the toxic metal(s) from your body is optimal and further testing may be recommended. A test kit is dispensed to take home, prepare urine samples and send into a lab directly.

Vitamin and Mineral Assessment

Used to identify which specific nutrients your body may be lacking

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are often overlooked and contribute to a wide variety of symptoms and health conditions. This test measures the levels of several individual vitamin and mineral levels within the lymphocytes (white blood cells) to determine what your body is actually able to utilize. Instead of just taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, this test allows you to know which individual nutrients you need more of. A test kit is dispensed to be taken to a local laboratory draw site.