Naturopathic diagnosis and evaluation frequently utilizes some basic testing methods to assist in the diagnosis and then to monitor the progress of treatment.
Lab testing by an ND in Manitoba, is not covered by Manitoba Health. For this reason, Dr. Bryk, ND suggests that patients bring in a copy of their most recent lab results to their initial appointment to help speed up the process. Blood tests may still be requested for patients who find it more convenient on a pay for service basis.
Some of the most common blood tests ordered include:
There are multiple forms of food sensitivities and allergies. A food allergy is an abnormal response by the immune system to a food trigger The one most of us are most familiar with is a Type 1 hypersensitivity reaction (anaphylactic). The symptoms are usually seen immediately after ingesting or even inhaling an allergenic substance. Symptoms may include hives, itchiness, mucous production or even a life threatening constriction of the airway. This reaction is mediated by an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). Testing for this type of food allergy is usually done through your family doctor or allergy specialist with a scratch test or by testing serum IgE.
The second type of food allergies which are less well known but far more common are called Type 3 delayed hypersensitivity reactions and are mediated by Immunoglobulin G (IgG4). When IgG4 binds with a large amount of antigen (in this case, food) thesecomplexes can be deposited in a number of tissues resulting in a wide variety of symptoms including: Headaches Asthma Recurring upper respiratory infections Skin conditions Joint pain Digestive issues Chronic inflammation / pain
IgG food testing is done through Meridian Valley. Results are usually back in approximately 3 weeks and show levels of IgG4 to 95 of the most common offending foods. There is also a more comprehensive 190 food test. Custom allergy reports are provided.
Stool and Digestive Analysis
The GI tract is the building block on which good health grows. This test is a comprehensive stool analysis useful in a wide range of clinical issues. It consisits of a macroscopic and microscopic examination with staining, chemical assays, and aerobic cultures. CSDA is beneficial in the assessment of the digestive and absorptive capacities of the gut and for the identification of pathological states (food allergies, gastic acidity, liver and gallbladder, presense of inflammation, microbial flora)
Salivary Hormone Testing
Salivary Hormone Testing is a simple, non-invasive way to effectively test for hormone levels in men and women. Hormones must pass through the cell membranes of the salivary glands tissue in order to get into the saliva.
As a result, a saliva hormone level is a very close approximation of what actually gets into the tissue rather than what might be theoretically expected from a serum sample. The reason for this is that serum samples measure the levels in the blood and NOT what has actually made it into the tissue.
By assessing hormones in saliva, we are able to get an accurate measurement of the hormones that are available to bind to cells of the body, that is, those hormones that are not bound to proteins. This is because hormones must pass through the salivary gland to get into the saliva. In other words, blood measures hormones that may eventually reach the tissues whereas saliva measures hormones that are actually reaching the tissues.
There are several options for salivary hormone panels:
This panel measures the hormones DHEA-S and Cortisol at 4 points throughout the day. This test allows us to map out the diurnal variations and identify individuals whose stress adaptation is compromised. By recognizing the pattern of adrenal dysfunction a specific treatment plan can be formulated.
Measures Estradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone, Cortisol and DHEA-S.
Imbalances between these hormones can negatively impact health as well as assisting in determining the course of treatment. This test is useful to assess a wide range of female health complaints. It can be used in the assessment of most menstrual disorders, thyroid dysfunction, menopausal symptoms, stress adaptation, weight gain and bone health.
For a pre-menopausal woman, the ideal time to asess hormone levels is approximately 1 week before menstruation, or approximately day 21 of your previous cycle.
Post menopausal women are not subject to the same ups and downs in monthly hormone levels and may be assessed at any time.
Measures Testosterone, Estradiol, Cortisol and DHEA-S.
This panel can be used to detect hormone imbalances in men who suffer from symptoms such as low energy, decreased libido, loss of muscle mass, enlarged prostate (BPH) or enlarged breasts.
Urinary Thyroid Assessment
The UTA measures unconjucated non-protein bound T3 and unconjugated non-protein bound T4 and selenium in a 24 hour urine collection. A 24 hour collection period may better reflect average thyroid output as it diminishes the variation in thyroid activity over a course of a day. Higher quantities of the hormones are present in the 24 hour urine sample versus a serum sample.
The UTA also provides a more quantitative view of thyroid function by assessing both free T3 and T4 as well as the main selenium which is the main cofactor for 5`-deidinase which is the main enzyme needed to convert T4 to T3. Although the serum TSH test is an excellent test to determine primarily hypothyroidism it often does not detect subclinical hypothyroid states or conversion issues of T4 to T3.
Common Symptoms: fatigue, depression, feeling cold, weight gain, constipation, joint pain, headaches, and dry skin and hair.