Have you ever wondered what types of testing are available to you? In general, I try not to overuse testing but in some cases, it makes sense to dig a little bit deeper into why you feel the way you do. If you have made progress but it has stalled or you want to fine-tune your plan you may consider certain types of testing.
I want to make clear that testing is NOT required. Often we can start effective treatment plans based on your symptoms, no testing needed. Don’t feel that you have to spend more money on testing if you aren’t able or don’t want to. We will only recommend a test if we feel it would be of benefit to you.
Food intolerances and sensitivities
The Carroll Food Intolerance Method is a way to determine if there are any foods that your body does not break down properly. Many patients have already chosen to find this out and the results don’t change over time. If you want to go even further we offer food sensitivity testing as well. This test figures out if there is a food you are making antibodies to. These antibodies can cause any symptom in your body. This test may make sense if you know your intolerances and have been working on your gut health but are being held back by something. This test changes based on what you have been eating and can change each time you check them.
We offer the DUTCH test for your hormones. This is a dried urine test that measures your hormone levels on a given day of the month. It is the new gold standard and is a better option than saliva. It also looks at adrenal glands. There is a portion for Organic acids – B12, B6, glutathione, and other markers that can indicate health status. I love the way the test breaks down the hormones into their metabolites – so you know that your estrogen is low AND maybe that good estrogen isn’t being made the way it should. If DUTCH testing isn’t in the cards for you then a simple blood test is a good starting point. FSH (day 3 of your cycle or anytime if you aren’t having cycles) can indicate if you are in perimenopause, progesterone if your cycles are changing and others can give you a snapshot to work with.
Your digestive health is HUGE. 80% of your immune system is in your intestinal lining. If you have learned what your food intolerances are and are starting healing your intestines, you may not need to consider further testing. But if you are still having gas and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, or any other digestive symptoms it is worth checking for SIBO or gut bugs (which can include parasites and candida). Viome is a test from the states that you do yourself- it indicates some of the right foods and probiotic strains for your system. It can be complicated but with the help of an ND, it can be interpreted to benefit you.
D levels can be checked by basic blood work. Because everyone is low in Nova Scotia this test isn’t being run as much as it was and most people are being asked to take 1000IU/day all year long. But what if your levels are low and you need more than that? A test to determine the appropriate level for you can improve your health. Vitamin D has been shown to improve PMS, support the immune system, improve mood, support the prevention of cancer and so many more things. It’s worth getting looked at.
This is a starting point to have a look at heavy metals and mineral status. A more thorough investigation can be done through urine heavy metal testing if needed. What if your water has too much lead? Do you have enough selenium? Have you been exposed to toxins at your workplace? These questions can be answered.
Mold and Chronic Infections, including Lyme Disease
This is a hot topic. We are learning through research that a lot of chronic illnesses are being caused by a bug of some sort. If you haven’t found an answer to your symptoms or there are some things that aren’t resolving, this could be the type of testing you need.
It’s a great idea to get blood work done by your MD at least once a year. B12, thyroid, iron and iron stores, cholesterol, blood glucose, liver enzymes, inflammatory markers and more. If this isn’t a possibility for you (or some tests are challenging to obtain) then there is a private clinic that we can refer you to for additional blood testing that are paid for out of pocket.
This can be used to determine if you have a low-grade urinary tract infection. This is common in perimenopausal and menopausal women who also have digestive concerns. But it can indicate many more issues as well. It can be done quickly at the clinic and more specifically through your doctor.
Many of these tests are available through Natural Choices Health Care but some of the testing we refer out for. We are always happy to discuss whether or not a test is right for you.