Evaluating how organ systems are functioning, rather than looking for a specific disease, is a basic principle of functional medicine.
The tests listed below are designed to paint a physiological “road map” of what is going on in your body at a deeper level to better understand how to restore you to a healthful and vibrant state. These are cutting edge evaluations that are generally not available through conventional laboratories. Laboratory testing is an essential part of your work up at Premier Integrative Health. It helps us get a clear picture of your unique physiology and guides our treatment plan.
These are the tests that we routinely use to evaluate our patients.
- Comprehensive Stool Analysis – Diagnostic Solutions Lab
This test is a thorough look at gut health using DNA PCR technology. It assesses levels of good and bad bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. In addition, it tests for markers of inflammation, barrier function and malabsorption. This is an essential test for those with IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune issues and weight problems.
- Advanced Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Profile – Vibrant America
1 out of 7 Americans suffer from a wheat related disorder. This test is designed to distinguish how your body reacts to wheat—whether it is celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, non-gluten wheat sensitivity or other autoimmune responses triggered by gluten. This profile also includes markers of intestinal permeability (leaky gut) including zonulin, actin and LPS. (The intestinal permeability portion is also available as a stand alone test). These tests are run on advanced microchip technology which ensures 99% accuracy.
- HPA Stress Profile (Adrenal Testing) – BioHealth Labs
This test measures the effect of stress on your body. This includes emotional, dietary, infectious or inflammatory type stress. It is an important tool for evaluating adrenal imbalances that may be impacting a patient’s health. This test assesses 6 cortisol levels, and DHEA-S. Adrenal imbalances are often at the root of many other hormone imbalances such as sex hormones and thyroid hormone. It is also crucial in fatigue, mood disorders and autoimmune disease.
- Organic Acid Testing – Genova Labs
The Organix Comprehensive Profile provides a view into the body’s cellular metabolic processes and the efficiency of metabolic function. Organic acids are metabolic intermediates that are produced in pathways of central energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown, or intestinal microbial activity. Marked accumulation of specific organic acids detected in urine often signals a metabolic inhibition or block. The metabolic block may be due to a nutrient deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficiency, toxic build-up or drug effect. Several of the analytes are markers of intestinal, bacterial, or yeast overgrowth.
- Micronutrient Testing – Spectracell Labs
Micronutrient testing is an innovative assessment of a patient’s nutritional status. Core nutrients are measured in in 5 key areas: antioxidants, B Vitamins, digestive support, essential fatty acids, and minerals. Nutritional deficiencies are often at the root of many chronic diseases and symptoms such as: mood disorders, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, fibromyalgia, and fatigue, diabetes, and heart disease. It can also be used to optimize health and fitness for athletes.
- Advanced Cardiometabolic Testing – Boston Heart
Traditional cholesterol testing is not adequate to assess an individual’s true risk factors for heart disease. It’s been found that about 50% of patients who have heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol and furthermore high cholesterol in most populations is not always cause for alarm. The other risk factors include the types and size of cholesterol particles, markers of inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and metabolic function. Advanced cardiometabolic testing can reveal these risk factors and direct preventive care.
- Toxic Metals Testing – Doctors Data
We live in a very toxic world where we encounter chemical and toxins daily. In some occupations, the risk for heavy metals and toxin poisoning is much greater. Evidence suggests that chronic toxic element exposure can adversely affect: energy levels, reproductive function, cancer risk of all kinds, neurological development and function, respiratory, cardiac, liver, and immune functions, cognitive and emotional health and degenerative conditions. Chronic toxin exposure may masquerade as many different diseases.
- IgG Food Sensitivity Profile
This test measures levels of IgG antibodies specific to anywhere from 30-200 foods causing patient reactions. IgG antibodies are associated with “non-allergic” or “delayed” food reactions that can worsen or contribute to many health conditions. It may also indicate the presence of leaky gut syndrome and other digestive issues.
- Specialized Genomics Testing
The PathwayFit nutrigenomics profile provides you with an individualized report with powerful information to help you understand how your genetics and lifestyle may affect your diet, nutrition, and exercise. With your genetic information, you can gain insights into how your body may process sugar, fats, nutrients and vitamins. In addition, PathwayFit screens for muscle potential and how your body responds to exercise as well as your potential to maintain a healthy weight.
In addition to nutrigenomics, we also test for MTHFR and COMT gene mutation as well as ApoE status.
Many of these tests are take home kits that are provided to you in the office and are completed and sent off in the comfort of your own home. Blood tests are drawn in our clinic lab or in some cases can be drawn remotely at your home or office. (The above is NOT an exhaustive list of testing available at PIH).
How does Functional Medicine Lab Testing differ from traditional blood work, as done by my physician?
When a traditional physician runs standard blood work, they are looking for an already established disease process. Generally, action is taken only when the lab results are out of the normal range. The trouble with this is that many people might not have an actual disease yet, but they are suffering from chronic symptoms already. Why wait until damage has been done? Functional medicine lab testing aims to prevent disease before it happens by assessing patterns of imbalance that, without intervention, will end up yielding chronic disease. When a known disease is already present, these tests can help us understand what may be causing your disease on a more personalized level.
Why doesn’t my insurance always cover these tests?
Insurance companies base their coverage on diagnosis codes for established disease processes. They are happy to cover tests that lead to the use of pharmaceuticals, expensive procedures and hospitalizations but often won’t cover innovative testing that can save the patients and insurers millions of dollars. We will work with you to order only the tests that are necessary for treatment and will provide a “superbill” to provide to your insurance for reimbursements or use with a health savings account.