Laboratory Testing and Analysis
Laboratory tests may be used to evaluate a wide range of issues that cause disease. These may include adrenal, hormone evaluation, food sensitivities / intolerances, parasitic or infection screenings, and immune function.
Evaluating organ and systems functions rather than looking for a specific disease is a basic principle of Chinese and Functional Medicine.
Practitioners using functional saliva and blood chemistry principles are able to look at the functioning status of your cells, organs and biological systems. These tests compliment the standard testing protocols and can detect underlying imbalances, including disease tendencies before “customary” testing, as standard healthcare laboratory ranges are very broad, designed to identify advanced diseased states, not optimum health.
Blood values can reveal dysregulation in the immune system, organ function, deficiencies in electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional imbalances. When key nutrients become deficient, many metabolic processes are affected. if prolonged, they may contribute to hormonal issues, metabolic disorders, increase in toxic load, oxidative stress, organ weakness, etc.
One of the best ways to identify nutritional imbalances is to have your blood test evaluated by a trained healthcare practitioner. A comprehensive blood test is affordable and results are normally received within a few days.
Saliva Testing can reveal hormonal and glandular deficiencies and excesses, identify food sensitivities, gut infections, and more.
Lab Testing/Adrenal Hormone Test
Adrenal Stress Index
Abnormal adrenal rhythm can influence:
• Energy production
• Bone health
• Immune system health
• Sleep quality
• Skin regeneration
• Thyroid function
• Muscle and joint function
The Adrenal Stress Test can:
• Explain excessive feelings of tiredness and an inability to cope.
• Help your physician understand how to eliminate craving for excessive calories and to help you build and maintain muscle mass.
• Reveal the strength of your immune system.
• Help you to reduce chronic stress by avoiding food allergens
• Help you to balance blood sugar by folowing a balanced diet.
The panel utilizes four saliva samples. Salivary cortisol measurement reflect the free (bioactive) fraction of serum cortisol. The test report shows the awake diurnal cortisol rhythm generated in response to real-life stress.
The test results facilitate the diagnosis of stress maladaptation and adrenal fatigue. With this data, you can narrow your choices to the most appropriate modalities of treatment.
The panel measures the average DHEA/DHEA-S* level for the day using multiple samples.
The cortisol-to-DHEA (cortisol/DHEA) relationship highlights the many facets of stress maladaptation. The cortisol/DHEA ratio helps determine the projected time for recovery, and the substances (hormones, supplements, botanicals) that promote this recovery. The cortisol/DHEA ratio regulates a multitude of functions.
*Salivary DHEA-S is found in about 0.1% of its plasma concentration. Serum fluctuations in DHEA-S concentrations are accurately and rapidly reflected in salivary levels. DHEA-S indicates free fractions of both DHEA and DHEA-Sulfate.
The panel measures P17-OH levels in order to evaluate the efficiency of the conversion of adrenal precursors into cortisol. Certain adrenal fatigue patients who are genetically predisposed to low production of cortisol will not beneﬁt from exogenous supplementation of pregnenolone or progesterone.
By identifying the subpopulation of maladapted and adrenal-fatigued individuals who show impaired P17-OH conversion to cortisol, two things are avoided:
1. Treating patients with precursors (when instead they need cortisol supplements to restore adrenal health).
2. Pursuing further pituitary-related tests and treatments (when they are not needed in this subpopulation).
The panel includes fasting and non-fasting insulin measurements. The insulin values are used to diagnose insulin resistance-functional insulin deﬁcit (pre-diabetes), as well as to correlate elevated cortisol with insulin to help explain glycemic dysregulation problems.
The combined results of insulin and cortisol can help in designing an effective glycemic control treatment plan that may include lifestyle modiﬁcations, nutritional support and botanical supplementation.
Secretory IgA (SIgA)
The panel evaluates mucosal immunity by using SIgA as a stress impact biomarker. SIgA values are sensitive to increased cortisol/DHEA ratio and sympathetic tone.
By detecting the depressed mucosal immune function in certain patients, a number of therapeutic modalities may be invoked, ranging from botanical supplementation to the control of heart rhythm variability.
The panel includes a gliadin antibody measurement that allows detection of subclinical grain intolerance in affected individuals, even in the absence of overt celiac disease.
This test allows objective identiﬁcation of grain-intolerant patients, who should restrict their gluten intake to reduce inﬂammation and adrenal stress.
An adequate adrenal response can maintain a higher pain threshold. The ASI™ is used to evaluate the stress impact of chronic pain and inflammation on adrenal adaptation. A proper diagnosis of low cortisol or DHEA with circadian rhythm disruption is imperative. Subsequent hormone replacement and rhythm correction will improve the individual’s pain tolerance.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
A common HPA axis defect in CFS is impaired corticotrophin release. As a result, low cortisol and eventual adrenal atrophy may be observed. Depleted adrenals with flat rhythms are often seen on the ASI™ panel. Simultaneous use of several therapies can help improve the debilitating effects of CFS.
Chronic hypoglycemia can impair normal adrenal function by repetitive overstimulation of cortisol production. Recurring exposure to high cortisol will impair insulin activity, and invariably lead to insulin resistance and beta-cell exhaustion (diabetes). The ASI™ panel investigates the insulin-cortisol relationship under real-life conditions to allow targeted and meaningful interventions. This panel is useful in the following clinical situations: rapid weight gain and obesity, deranged blood lipids, sugar blues, early diabetes and associated emotional disturbances.
More than fifty years ago, Dr. W. Jefferies (author of Safe Uses of Cortisol) discovered that patients with environmentally triggered allergies and autoimmune diseases dramatically beneﬁted when given cortisol for other purposes. More recently, German researchers reported that disruption of the adrenal axis and cytokine relationships lead to predisposition and aggravation of autoimmune diseases. The ﬁndings of the ASI™ help identify patients with autoimmune diseases and adrenal problems who can beneﬁt from cortisol supplements.
Several recent publications report a hyperactive HPA axis in depressed patients. Elevated midnight salivary cortisol is now considered one of the best tests in diagnosing endogenous depression. Other anomalies in cortisol rhythm usually accompany the midnight elevation. On the other hand, cortisol elevations and rhythm disruptions throughout the day are typical of attention deﬁcit disorders (ADD). The anomalous cortisol ﬁndings in depression and ADD can be diagnosed successfully with the ASI™. Subsequent interventions to rectify the time-speciﬁc cortisol elevations (during the day or night) are usually effective when applied under proper supervision.
Female Hormone Panel
Eleven saliva samples are collected during speciﬁed time periods throughout the menstrual cycle.
With saliva testing the profile of the patients estrogen and progesterone can be viewed simultaneously. Diagnostic guesswork is minimized, and hormonal balance evaluation and customized treatment becomes a reality. In addition, we report the cycle average for testosterone and DHEA. The expanded panel also includes five FSH and LH measurements to see if brain control and stimulation of the ovaries are optimal.
Detection of Luteal Phase Deficit There are at least three luteal phase-deficit patterns which are characterized by a progesterone/estrogen imbalance. This imbalance is usually associated with PMS, infertility, ﬁbroids and other female hormone-related problems and can be readily detected by our panels.
Hormonal Imbalance and PMS Many women suffer from hormonal imbalance in the estrogen to progesterone ratio. Our panels can define the hormonal state with accuracy which, in turn, provides speciﬁc insights for appropriate intervention to relieve hormonal imbalance and PMS-related symptoms.
Customized Hormone Therapy Presently, female hormone therapy is not individualized to the needs of each woman, because current diagnostic tests do not provide sufﬁcient data. Consequently, most women are treated without regard to their individualized physiology and speciﬁc needs. The FHP allows a clinician to customize therapy to each female patient.
• Functional infertility
• Influence of diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors on the cycle
• Menstrual problems originating in the brain
• Early pregnancy problems, such as spontaneous miscarriage
• Cycle irregularities, following the use of birth control pills
• Dysmenorrhea, that is painful and heavy periods
• Migraine headaches
• Cystic ovarian disease
• Early osteoporosis
We utilize your saliva as a sample for measuring hormones, such as testosterone, DHEA, progesterone, estriol, estrone, estradiol. The brain-derived regulating hormones FSH and LH, are also measured to help assess efficacy of control and feedback between the brain and ovaries. Saliva hormone values reflect the tissue concentration of your hormones. Blood and serum contain the total hormone, but your tissues are only bathed with the active or effective fraction as found in saliva. Active fraction measurements are superior to blood and urine measurements both in diagnosis and treatment when it comes to female hormones.
Hormone imbalances can produce one or more of the following symptoms:
• Bleeding irregularities
• Vaginal dryness
• Hot flashes or sweats
• Changes in sex drive
• Nervous system
• Nervousness or irritability
• Mood changes
• Metabolic changes
• Skin aging or cosmetic changes
• Altered fat and carbohydrate metabolism
Male Hormone Panel
The male hormone panel measures six hormones: DHEA, Androstenedione, Testosterone, Dihydrotesosterone, Estrone, and Progesterone.
This test is used for men having:
• impaired libido
• erectile dysfunction
• baldness and/or extremity hair thinning
• fat accumulation around the waist
• urinary symptoms
• lack of enthusiasm for life
• change in sleeping habits
• high cholesterol
Food sensitivities can be found looking for antibodies in saliva or more extensive blood testing. The relative frequency of food sensitivity or food intolerance and food-related complaints in the general population is very high. Many food intolerances produce minimal symptoms, yet the long-term consequences are astonishing and include thyroid disease, neurologic disorders, increased cancer risk, and accelerated aging.
Food intolerance (or sensitivity) is an abnormal response in the intestine to certain foods in genetically susceptible/predisposed individuals. The result is irritation and inflammation every time the particular food is consumed. Food intolerance is different from food allergies in that intolerance is a lifelong condition. Food allergies are transient and usually fade when our intestinal tract is healthy.
Food intolerance is caused by a food that triggers a toxic reaction on contact with our intestinal cells. Contact with susceptible cells produces inflammation that can result in intestinal damage. The inflammatory cells release chemicals that cause our immune system to release antibodies against the offending food.
Gut Manifestations of Food Intolerance
• Intestinal hyper motility—vomiting or spasms
• Gastroesophageal reflux
• Changes in intestinal wall integrity, “leaky gut”
• Mouth ulcers
Food intolerance Symptoms Beyond the Gut
• Skin: Hives, dermatitis, rash, eczema
• Respiratory: Runny nose, asthma, nasal congestion, sinusitis
• Heiner syndrome: A chronic pulmunarydisease caused by hypersensitivity to cow’s milk
• Brain: Headache, migraine, sleeplessness, irritability
• Anemia: Weakened red blood cells and/or reduced counts, which may result in fatigue
Manifestations of Grain Intolerance
The Stress Connection
The stress of gluten intolerance triggers cortisol elevation, which can reduce immunity, especially secretory antibody production
Liver and bile problems, type 1 diabetes, and arthritis
The Thyroid Connection
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, resulting in hypothyroidism
The Osteoporosis Connection
Low bone-mineral density; osteopenia and sometimes osteoporosis
GI Panel Advantages and Benefits
• Non-invasive sampling using saliva and stool
• Home collection – No office visit
• Comprehensive – Detects a broad spectrum of common pathogens and includes digestion efficacy evaluation
• Improved wellness – General GI complaints identified and resolved
Common Applications of this Panel include:
• frequent bloating
• unexplained weight loss
Choosing proper antibiotic as using antibiotics without an evaluation can result in using an inappropriate antibiotic. This can actually strengthen the offending microbe and make it more difficult and expensive to treat.