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Additional Labs You Should Be Asking For: Here’s Why

 

For a long time Medical Doctors have held the power in deciding what lab tests you need, the opinion of how the results should be interpreted and the ability to take action or not. While I appreciate the insight laboratory tests provide, the way I use these tests is little different then most.

  • I aim to optimize: I don’t want my patients results to just be “fine” I want them to be “fabulous!” You are a high achiever, and so am I.  I know you wouldn’t setting for just “fine” elsewhere in your life so let’s not settle either when it comes to your health. 
  • I combine laboratory findings with clinical findings: Although most doctors practice this way, I believe everyone has their own ideal measurement where they feel  best. What is classified as normal for the “majority” might not be right for you.
  • I aim to teach: When I receive your lab work,  we book an appointment and I take the time to discuss the results fully with you. I firmly believe in “doctor as teacher”. After all, this is information about you and I want you to understand what is going on inside your body.

 

When I order lab tests I am not just looking for disease or deficiencies. I want to know important details like how your body is preforming. I want to know what makes you, you. I look for thing like how your body responds to stress, how you metabolize and excrete toxins and how your body processes food. The tests that are recommended are highly variable based on many factors such as age, family history, and presenting symptoms. Having a baseline analysis of your state of health also allows me to detect changes–a  fundamental aspect to preventative medicine.

 

These are pretty awesome tests:

Hormone Testing (The Dutch Test): This simple urine test tells provides me with a significant amount of information about your hormones and hormone metabolites over the course of a day. This test allows me to discover the underlying cause of weight gain, fatigue, mood disturbances, glucose control, infertility & miscarriage, menstrual complaints, libido and more.  This insight is provided by the ability of the Dutch test to detect imbalances in androgens (Testosterone, DHT, and DHEA), Estrogens (E1, E2, E3), Cortisol, Progesterone, and Melatonin. This truly gives me a complete picture of hormone production, breakdown and excretion.

It is not enough to just know you are low or high in a specific hormone. I need to understand the WHY. Is there a production issue, breakdown issue or excretion issue? Specific estrogen metabolites have been associated with breast cancer risk while others protective. Knowing these allows for individualized, targeted treatments. To view a sample report click here.


Vitamin D: “Do I need to take vitamin D in the summer?” “Its’ winter so how much should I take?” Both those questions can be easily answered if we know what your current vitamin D levels are! Did you know  7 out of 10 Canadians do not meet the suggested minimum vitamin D level for optimal health (1). An even more alarming statistic is that it has been estimated that 37,000 deaths could be prevented every year if the Canadian average vitamin D level was 105 nmol/L (1). This is absolutely unacceptable! Vitamin D cannot be overlooked! Check out my post on Vitamin D to find out more.


Full Thyroid Panel  With the increasing cutbacks, very few MDs are ordering a full thyroid panel. Often what happens is physicians will run your TSH but not your active hormones T3 and T4 or thyroid antibodies. If only TSH is being tested, an opportunity to understand the full picture is lost.  

TSH is the hormone produced by the pituitary which tells your thyroid to produce thyroid hormone and T4 is the primary hormone secreted by the thyroid. T4 is the inactive hormone that acts as a reservoir to be convered to the active hormone, T3. T3 is the dominant hormone that runs your metabolism.

It is important to consider the ratio of T4 and T3 to fully understand how well the body is at conversion. Even in your TSH is within normal range if you are not converting enough inactive (T4) to active (T3) you will still experience hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and mood changes.  

Anti TPO (anti thyroid peroxidase) and Anti TG (anti thyroglobulin) are two antibodies that we see elevated in the autoimmune response. When high levels of these antibodies are found Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is diagnosed and essentially the thyroid gland is under attack by the immune system.  It should be evident now that when a full panel is not run the opportunity to detect small changes and intervene with preventative or supportive strategies is missed. 


IgG Food Sensitivity Testing: There is a growing body of evidence to support the implication of IgG reactive foods in migraine headaches, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating/gas, skin conditions as well in those experiencing difficulty with losing weight.  Is poor gut health draining your energy, taking over your mood, and sabotaging your weight loss… all without you even knowing it? To find out, download my Gut Healing Guide Here.


High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP): CRP is a marker of inflammation in the body which is produced by the liver. This being “high-sensitivity” has the ability to measure inflammation at the microvascular level.  This is important as inflammation has been associated with an array of conditions such as autoimmunity, PCOS, cardiovascular disease and weight gain.


Have these tests been left out of your current treatment protocol?  

It’s possible laboratory results are the missing link holding you back from reaching your maximum potential.  Without comprehensive testing we may not fully understand the nature of your complaint and thus may be missing out on an opportunity to present to you BEST treatment plan. 

I believe you deserve the best possible health outcomes and can achieve greatness! Are you a highly motivated individual, ready to take your heath to the next level? If so, Let’s get started.

 

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References:

1. Statistics Canada, Health Reports. Vol. 21, no. 1, March 2010.

2.  Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010;54:172-74

 

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