Attending to the physical container of our body is paramount. It is the vessel, the soil, the home to the microbiome and its ability to heal or harm the human body.
I use a wide range of diagnostic tools to assist in this process, such as serum testing to assess overall health, nutritional reserves and organ function, genetic testing, organic acid testing (OAT), stool testing, food sensitivity and hormone testing to identify possible root causes of symptoms which may include:
The Gut-Brain Connection: Dysbiosis and Intestinal Permeability ("Leaky Gut") and chronic GI inflammation from food sensitivities results in neuroinflammation, imbalances in the microbiome, and malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies. This is a primary cause for the neurotransmitter imbalances that result in mental health disorders and symptoms of anxiety, brain fog, low energy, sleep disorders and even pain and migraine syndromes.
Detoxification Pathways: Methylation issues and disruption of hormonal communication from molds, metals and other environmental exposures.
Integrative and Functional Medicine Testing
Integrative and Functional Medicine Testing
patientsFirst, a comprehensive diagnostic psychiatric evaluation of presenting symptoms, mental health history, medical and family history, interpersonal relationships and early childhood experiences, lifestyle habits and spirituality will be completed. Together, a treatment plan will be created with a focus on the Body, Mind, and Soul.
I no longer practice solely in the conventional manner of symptom management with long term use of pharmaceutical medications, without investigation of the root causes. Long-term outcomes are significantly better when an in-depth assessment of the current biological functions is completed. Testing is an important part of making a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Having adequate data to guide treatment is critical for the best long term outcomes. Without data from testing, individualized treatments targeted and root causes of symptoms becomes a guessing game. Testing saves time and improves long-term outcomes. Current conventional medicine practice clusters symptoms to make a medical diagnosis according to the DSM-IV, then a pharmacological treatment is picked by practitioners as a best guess, based on FDA guidelines. Most psychopharmacological research has a 5-45% efficacy rate, established over about a 8-12 week period of time. This system does not provide any explanation to the root cause of the imbalances and dysregulation of neurotransmitters and the symptoms caused by those imbalances. Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Fatigue and Pain syndromes can be caused by genetic and environmental interactions from food sensitivities and microbiome disruptions. The specialty tests are not covered by insurance because they are considered investigational. If you have an HSA, that may be used. A test kit will be mailed to your home and you will ship it back. Serum testing can be done at a lab that may be covered by your insurance, but you will need to verify your benefits and coverage. The initial cost may seem high, but the cost of ongoing medication management of symptoms to quality of life and overall health, without resolution of symptoms is also very high. The investment in these tests are an investment in long term health and wellness and disease prevention.
Through my years of ongoing education and practice, and through the discovery of research that has been deliberately concealed and downplayed. Researchers were forced to expose their data that had been actively hidden. This research data has been the standard accepted by managed care facilities and practitioners and has been used to guide current practice guidelines and policies. I am no longer comfortable with the approach of long term use of medication and seek to help those that would like to begin to taper and eliminate the need for medication. The research that has guided conventional best practice guidelines is mis-leading because negative reports results were not reported and data was skewed. Research does show that antidepressant are not better than placebo, exercise, or the natural course of most episodes of depression. True informed consent would include informing of this data and the acute and long term risks of antidepresasant medication, which results from our body attempting to compensate to regain homeostasis, creating changes in the brain that can have long s long lasting effects.
Neurotransmitter Testing (Urine): $480
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that facilitate the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across a synapse. Neurotransmitters influence and regulate a wide range of processes such as mental performance, emotions, pain response, and energy levels.
Symptoms of neurotransmitter imbalances often overlap other conditions, and can be mistaken for sex hormone imbalances, chronic infections, GI distress, metabolic abnormalities, neurological decline, and chronic fatigue, to name a few.
By testing a comprehensive panel of neurotransmitters, clinicians can determine when symptoms are directly or indirectly related to neurotransmitter levels, recommend treatments specific to an individual, and when additional testing may be appropriate.
Gut Microbiome testing (stool): $480
The gut microbiome resides in your large intestine and is host to more than 1000 species of bacteria that perform certain important functions from shaping the immune system to influencing metabolism of nutrients to fortifying the intestinal mucosal barrier (gut barrier).
It is important to know the abundances of the bacteria that symbiotically live in the human gastrointestinal tract because imbalances in the gut microbiome may lead to anxiety, depression, migraines, gastrointestinal symptoms, skin conditions, immune system imbalances, and multiple inflammatory disorders.
Hormone Testing (Urine and Saliva): $450, or $75 when added to Neurotransmitter Testing
Hormones, especially adrenal hormones and sex hormones, are interconnected with neurotransmitters. An imbalance in adrenal and sex hormones could lead to neurotransmitter imbalances which could revert back to cause hormonal imbalances.
Testing a combination of hormonal and neurotransmitter panels would provide a comprehensive assessment of the hormonal and neurotransmitter dysfunctions and their relationships, that could aid in identifying underlying causes of symptoms.
Complete Food Sensitivity Testing (Blood Spot): $360
Food Sensitivity is an array of 209 commonly consumed food antigens which offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel offers the options to measure an individual’s IgG, IgA, IgG subclass 4, and C3d reactivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Using an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs. Food Sensitivity testing can be very useful to help prioritize an elimination or rotation diet. Usually removing foods that the body has produced antibodies to will alleviate symptoms, because the source of inflammation is removed
Food Peptide Testing (Blood Spot): $220-800.
Vibrant America's Food Zoomer aid in the specific recognition peptides and antibodies that indicate the presence of intestinal permeability. It is a highly sensitive peptide-based array designed to detect autoimmune reactions specific peptides. Tests are done in separate food groups and give the best breakdown to how the body reacts to these foods and reduces false negative to food sensitivity. The prices start at $220 for 1 and decrease with as you add on. After 4 they are $100 each.
Serum Blood Work: Cost varies depending on individuals insurance coverage
Basic blood work is needed to assess organ and nutritional levels:
Thyroid: TSH, T3; T4, Thytoid Anitbodies
Comprehensive Thyroid Testing