Functional Medicine


 

Hormone Replacement Therapy

It is critical hormone therapy is monitored properly. To obtain only serum or salivary levels of hormones is not adequate. You must know how your hormones are being metabolized by your body based on numerous epigenetic factors, such as diet, exercise, genetics, environmental toxins, and medication. For example, estradiol (estrogen) does not cause cancer! It is how you metabolize to various metabolites that increase your risk of cancer. We measure the metabolites by the DUTCH test and adjust the results to the more beneficial metabolite not associated with cancer.


Testosterone Replacement Therapy

The same principles apply to testosterone replacement therapy, regardless of whether it is administered by cream, injections or pellets. If all you know is your total and free testosterone plus your estradiol level, you are not being monitored properly. Certain metabolites increase your risk of prostate cancer. You need a DUTCH test to ensure you have the beneficial metabolites. 


Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is not a Viagra deficiency! Extensive evaluation is carried out to determine the cause.


Thyroid Replacement Therapy

Everyone with low thyroid symptoms should be evaluated for the autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Because of the widespread use of glyphosate (Roundup), the incidence of Hashimoto’s has increased dramatically. Everyone with thyroid disease should have urine test of glyphosate. Increased levels of glyphosate have been associated with numerous cancers, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, birth defects, hypertension, autism, and ADHH, just to name a few. A 1986 study said the thyroid blood test is virtually useless! It is how the person feels that’s most important; the blood test is just a guide to use in conjunction with that.
 

Insulin Resistance

Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, allows cells to absorb glucose so it can be used as energy. The cells of individuals with insulin resistance are unable to use insulin effectively. Insulin levels increase in an attempt to force glucose in the cells. Elevated insulin levels are associated with central body weight gain, cancer, heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few! Insulin resistance is an epidemic worldwide.
 

Gastrointestinal Disorders

The goal is always to determine the cause of any condition we evaluate. If an individual has reflux, it is not caused by a lack of Nexium! A complete evaluation is performed, including testing for H-pylori, ulcers, bowel infection caused by bacteria, yeast, mold, parasites, and food allergies. If needed, we test for leaky gut, histamine intolerance, mast cell activation, celiac disease, and SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth).
 

Cortisol Levels

Salivary levels are determined throughout the day and if they are abnormal, the question is always, “WHY?”

DHEA Levels

The adrenal hormone DHEA decreases by 50% by age 40! Low DHEA is associated with Type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, cognitive dysfunction, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.
 

Neurotransmitter Evaluation

A complete evaluation is performed to determine the cause of depression, anxiety, manic depression, and other disorders.
 

Impaired Cognition

The Bredesen protocol (Dale Bredesen, M.D., the author of The End of Alzheimer’s) determines over 30 different factors that are associated with impaired cognition.
 

Organic Acid Profile

Organic acids are chemical compounds excreted in the urine of mammals that are products of metabolism. Metabolism is the sum of chemical reactions in living beings by which the body builds new molecules and breaks down molecules to eliminate waste products and produce energy.

Organic acids in urine are often present at 100 times their concentration in the blood serum and thus are more readily detected in urine. This is why organic acids are rarely tested in blood or serum. The number of organic acids found in urine is enormous. Over 1,000 different organic acids have been detected in urine since this kind of testing started. The results are invaluable in determining the cause of an individual’s problems.
 

Advance Cholesterol Testing

The result of an advanced lipid panel is more accurate in determining the cause of a cardiovascular problem than a simple total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL test.
 

Mycotoxin Screen

Fungi are able to grow on almost any surface, especially if the environment is warm and wet. Inner wall materials of buildings, wall paper, fiber glass insulation, ceiling tiles, and gypsum support are all good surfaces for fungi to colonize. These fungi then release mycotoxins into the environment, causing symptoms of many different chronic diseases. Diseases and symptoms linked to mycotoxin exposure include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and liver damage.

MycoTOX screens for 11 different mycotoxins, from 40 species of mold, in one urine sample.


Heavy Metal Hair Analysis

Heavy metal toxicity caused by increasing levels of pollution and use of chemicals in industry is a growing threat to our health and development of our children. High levels of toxic metals deposited in body tissues and subsequently in the brain may cause significant developmental and neurological damage.

A Metals Hair Test is ideal for checking current exposure to toxic metals. Hair provides important information that can assist with an early diagnosis of physiological disorders associated with aberrations in essential and toxic element metabolism.
 

Stool Analysis

The Comprehensive Stool Analysis detects the presence of pathogenic microorganisms such as yeast, parasites, and bacteria that contribute to chronic illness and neurological dysfunction. It provides helpful information about prescription and natural products effective against specific strains detected in the sample. The test also evaluates beneficial bacteria levels, intestinal immune function, overall intestinal health, and inflammation markers.The Comprehensive Stool Analysis detects the presence of pathogenic microorganisms such as yeast, parasites, and bacteria that contribute to chronic illness and neurological dysfunction. It provides helpful information about prescription and natural products effective against specific strains detected in the sample. The test also evaluates beneficial bacteria levels, intestinal immune function, overall intestinal health, and inflammation markers.

Many chronic disorders come from digestive problems and inadequate nutrient absorption. Proper gastrointestinal function is needed to eliminate toxic substances, pathogenic microbes, and undigested food particles from the body to prevent health problems. Nutrients require a specific internal environment to be properly digested and transported throughout the body.

Abnormal intestinal microorganisms in the GI tract are widely known to cause disease. Research shows a relationship between the GI tract and the neurological, hepatic, and immune systems. For example, excessive yeast produces toxic substances that can pass through the blood-brain barrier and alter neurological functioning causing “brain fog,” behavior problems, and learning difficulties.

THE COMPREHENSIVE STOOL ANALYSIS INCLUDES:

  • Parameters for digestion and absorption
  • Cultures for bacteria and yeast
  • Parasite testing
  • Sensitivity panels
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Stool metabolic markers
  • Infectious pathogens
     

Intracellular Micro-Nutrient Analysis

SpectraCell’s Micronutrient tests measure the function of 35 nutritional components, including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids within our white blood cells. Scientific evidence shows that analyzing the white blood cells gives us the most accurate analysis of a body’s deficiencies. SpectraCell’s Micronutrient lab results include an overview page with all deficiencies listed, numeric and graphic reports easily identifying deficiencies, and repletion and supplementation recommendations.
 

Intestinal Microbiome Analysis

The gastrointestinal tract harbors a tremendous diversity of microbial life. These microbes, known collectively as the “microbiome,” are directly involved in digestion and immune function, and appear to also play a role in multiple additional human biologic processes. Intestinal dysbiosis refers to an abnormality of the gut microbiota, either due to low microbial diversity, suboptimal levels of commensal microbes, or an abundance of pathogenic microbes. Alterations to the microbiome have been linked to a variety of disorders, including gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.


Food Allergy Panel

IgG (immunoglobulin G) test results can aid in the structuring of elimination diets that may relieve symptoms of many chronic neurological, gastrointestinal, and movement disorders. IgG antibodies are present in all body fluids and serve as a first line of defense against infection, but do not release histamine or produce the familiar immediate hypersensitivity reactions of itching, hives, flushing, or sneezing associated with classic IgE allergic reactions. In contrast, IgG antibodies may have more subtle immune effects, ranging from gastrointestinal bloating and nausea to headaches, mood changes, and fatigue. Unknowingly, people may continue to eat “offending” foods, not connecting delayed reactions to the foods eaten perhaps hours or days before.

By measuring IgG antibodies specific to antigenic food proteins, it is possible to identify which foods may be responsible for hard-to-define symptoms. The 93 foods tested in the IgG Food Allergy Test w/Candida include representatives of major food groups common in the Western diet. Elimination of IgG-positive foods can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, autism, ADHD, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy, according to numerous clinical studies.
 

Glyphosate Testing

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely produced herbicide and is the primary toxic chemical in Roundup™, as well as in many other herbicides. In addition, it is a broad-spectrum herbicide used in more than 700 different products from agriculture and forestry to home use. Glyphosate was introduced in the 1970s to kill weeds by targeting the enzymes that produce the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. The enzymes of many bacteria are also susceptible to inhibition by this chemical, thus altering the flora of many animals. Usage of glyphosate has since amplified after the introduction of genetically modified (GMO) glyphosate-resistant crops that can grow well in the presence of this chemical in soil.

Recent studies have discovered glyphosate exposure to be a cause of many chronic health problems. It can enter the body by direct absorption through the skin, eating foods treated with glyphosate, or drinking water contaminated with glyphosate. A recent study stated that a coherent body of evidence indicates that glyphosate could be toxic below the regulatory lowest observed adverse effect level for chronic toxic effects, and that it has teratogenic, tumorigenic, and hepatorenal effects that can be explained by endocrine disruption and oxidative stress, causing metabolic alterations, depending on dose and exposure time. The World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer published a summary in March 2015 that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in humans. Possible cancers linked to glyphosate exposure include non-Hodgkin lymphoma, renal tubule carcinoma, pancreatic islet-cell adenoma, and skin tumors. Studies have also indicated that glyphosate disrupts the microbiome in the intestine, causing a decrease in the ratio of beneficial to harmful bacteria.

Thus, highly pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella entritidis, Salmonella gallinarum, Salmonella typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens, and Clostridium botulinum are highly resistant to glyphosate, but most beneficial bacteria such as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus badius, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, and Lactobacillus spp. were found to be moderately to highly susceptible. The relationship between the microbiome of the intestine and overall human health is still unclear, but current research indicates that disruption of the microbiome could cause diseases such as metabolic disorder, diabetes, depression, autism, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease.
 

Genetic Testing

The DNA Methylation Pathway Profile allows clinicians to screen their patients for a variety of genetic changes (single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) that may impact the function of important biochemical processes such as methionine metabolism, detoxification, hormone balance, and Vitamin D function. The presence or absence of SNPs may modify disease risk. The risks may be reduced by lifestyle changes, and inefficient biochemical processes can be supported by diet and nutritional supplements to maximize the functions of metabolic pathways.The DNA Methylation Pathway Profile allows clinicians to screen their patients for a variety of genetic changes (single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) that may impact the function of important biochemical processes such as methionine metabolism, detoxification, hormone balance, and Vitamin D function. The presence or absence of SNPs may modify disease risk. The risks may be reduced by lifestyle changes, and inefficient biochemical processes can be supported by diet and nutritional supplements to maximize the functions of metabolic pathways.

Identifying SNPs that may influence health and risk for diseases facilitates clinical support for patients. The DNA Methylation Pathway Profile includes a variety of SNPs known to influence many aspects of health including those for:

  • Insulin Sensitivity
  • Bone Health
  • Cancer Risks
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Detoxification Processes
  • Fertility
  • Mitochondrial Function and Metabolism
  • Methylation
  • Neurotransmitter Balance
  • Genetic testing is also available for APO E4, Factor II and Factor V, Clopidogrel Response (CYP2C19), Statin Myopathy (SLCO1B1), COMT, and many more.

 

Omega-3 Index Complete Test

Many studies have shown that people with higher (vs. lower) Omega-3 Index levels are at decreased risk for a variety of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and depression, to name a few. These people even live longer than those with lower levels. Raising your Omega-3 index and keeping it up should help reduce your risk these conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in fish, especially “oily” fish. The two most important Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. It should be noted that Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA) will have little to no effect on your Omega-3 Index. Therefore, ALA is not an effective substitute for EPA and DHA. To make sure your Omega-3 Index remains in the target range you should re-check it every six months.Many studies have shown that people with higher (vs. lower) Omega-3 Index levels are at decreased risk for a variety of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and depression, to name a few. These people even live longer than those with lower levels. Raising your Omega-3 index and keeping it up should help reduce your risk these conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in fish, especially “oily” fish. The two most important Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. It should be noted that Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA) will have little to no effect on your Omega-3 Index. Therefore, ALA is not an effective substitute for EPA and DHA. To make sure your Omega-3 Index remains in the target range you should re-check it every six months.

FATTY ACID BENEFITS (EPA, DHA, GLA)

  • Lowers LDL and increases HDL cholesterol; decreases blood clotting time
  • Anti-arrhythmic, anti-inflammatory effect that benefits heart tissue
  • Structural in brain and retinal tissue; improves learning and memory
  • Critical in fetal and infant development
  • Improves hyperactivity in children and depression in adults
  • Treatment for autoimmune disorders, kidney disease, PMS, RA, MS
  • Improves skin integrity
     

Blood Viscosity

Blood viscosity is a measure of the thickness and stickiness of your blood. It measures how easily your blood flows through your vessels. It is an indicator of how much friction is being generated between your blood and the walls of your blood vessels; how hard your heart is working to pump your blood; and how easily oxygen is being delivered to your heart, your brain, your muscles, and every other tissue in your body.

Blood viscosity affects the health of every part of your body. Best of all, it can easily be improved with diet and other lifestyle-based interventions.

Blood viscosity is the only biological marker that has been associated with all other major cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, smoking, chronological age, and male gender.

In the largest blood viscosity study ever conducted, nearly 1,600 adults were studied for an average of five years. This study found that blood viscosity was significantly higher in patients experiencing heart attacks and strokes. In fact, elevated blood viscosity is a better predictor of the likelihood of a cardiovascular event than many other risk factors.
 
 

ADMA/SDMA

One of the earliest manifestations of endothelial dysfunction is nitric oxide (NO) deficiency, which promotes atherosclerosis. ADMA (asymmetric dimethylarginine) and SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine), its structural isomer, are metabolites of L-arginine, an amino acid that is catalyzed to L-citrulline and NO by nitric oxide synthase (NOS). One of the earliest manifestations of endothelial dysfunction is nitric oxide (NO) deficiency, which promotes atherosclerosis. ADMA (asymmetric dimethylarginine) and SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine), its structural isomer, are metabolites of L-arginine, an amino acid that is catalyzed to L-citrulline and NO by nitric oxide synthase (NOS).

Both ADMA and SDMA have distinct pathophysiologies and manifestations. ADMA is a competitive inhibitor of NOS, thereby reducing NO production and promoting endothelial dysfunction. SDMA also interferes with NO production, but does so indirectly by reducing the cellular availability of arginine. ADMA is primarily cleared through enzymatic degradation in the bloodstream and identifies subclinical cardiovascular disease. Conversely, SDMA is primarily excreted in the urine and identifies reduced renal function.


Clinical Use

ADMA/SDMA may be measured in individuals with multiple risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease. Fasting is recommended, but not required.


Clinical Significance / Cardiovascular Significance

Elevated ADMA levels are associated with the presence of hypertension1, insulin resistance1, and hyperlipidemia.

Elevated ADMA levels are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis. Elevated ADMA concentrations correlate with internal carotid artery bulb intimal media thickness, a hemodynamically unstable region vulnerable to nitric oxide deficiency and plaque formation.

Elevated ADMA in young adults has been associated with increased coronary artery calcification (CAC) score.

Individuals with established coronary artery disease and elevated ADMA levels have more than twice the risk for adverse events (MI, stroke) than those with normal ADMA levels6.


Renal Significance

Elevated SDMA levels positively correlate with reduced renal function as measured by eGFR.
 

Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a))

Lp(a) is a plasma lipoprotein consisting of a cholesterol-rich LDL particle attached to an additional apolipoprotein called apo(a). Lp(a) levels are genetically determined and not affected by changes in lifestyle. Lp(a) is a plasma lipoprotein consisting of a cholesterol-rich LDL particle attached to an additional apolipoprotein called apo(a). Lp(a) levels are genetically determined and not affected by changes in lifestyle.


Clinical Use

The Lp(a) test may be performed on individuals with a family history of premature coronary heart disease, a genetic predisposition for hypercholesterolemia, established atherosclerosis but with a normal routine lipid profile, hyperlipidemia refractory to treatment, or a history of recurrent arterial stenosis.


Clinical Significance

Lp(a) possesses potent atherogenic and thrombogenic properties. Elevated Lp(a) levels signify increased risk for coronary heart disease and are associated with increased risk for myocardial infarction. Lp(a) levels are elevated in ischemic stroke patients and correlate well with carotid artery atherosclerosis
 
 

Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO)

Gut microbes live symbiotically within the human digestive tract and play important roles in host defense, immunity, and nutrient processing and absorption. This diverse community is unique to each person and influenced by both acute and chronic dietary exposures to various food sources. Gut microbes live symbiotically within the human digestive tract and play important roles in host defense, immunity, and nutrient processing and absorption. This diverse community is unique to each person and influenced by both acute and chronic dietary exposures to various food sources.

Nutrients such as phosphatidylcholine (also known as lecithin), choline, and L-carnitine are abundant in animal-derived products such as red meat, egg yolk, and dairy products. When consumed, these nutrients are processed by gut bacteria, resulting in the release of various metabolites, including TMA (trimethylamine), into the blood. TMA is then transported to the liver where it is converted into TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide). TMAO has been shown to regulate various physiological processes which are involved in the development of atherosclerosis, as well as reverse cholesterol synthesis and platelet function.


Clinical Use

TMAO may be measured in individuals with one or more risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease and/or individuals who may benefit from intensive dietary intervention.


Clinical Significance

There is a dose-response relationship between TMAO and atherosclerotic burden and major adverse cardiovascular events incidence (MACE: MI, stroke or death). In stable individuals undergoing elective cardiac evaluation, elevated TMAO levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease1 and MACE5. Increased plasma L-Carnitine (a dietary precursor to TMAO) is associated with cardiovascular risk only when TMAO is simultaneously elevated via the metabolism by specific gut microbes.

In subsets of this population considered low risk (<65 years old, <100mg/dL LDL-C, normal blood pressure, non-smokers, low levels of MPO), elevated TMAO remained a significant predictor of MACE risk. Elevated TMAO increases 7-year mortality risk in patients admitted to the ER who presented with acute coronary syndrome as well as 5-year mortality risk in patients with CAD receiving optimal therapy and PAD patients.


AspirinWorks®

AspirinWorks is an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) for the quantitative measurement of 11-dehydrothromboxane B2 (11-dhTXB2) levels in urine, which aids in the qualitative detection of aspirin effect in apparently healthy individuals post-ingestion. AspirinWorks is an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) for the quantitative measurement of 11-dehydrothromboxane B2 (11-dhTXB2) levels in urine, which aids in the qualitative detection of aspirin effect in apparently healthy individuals post-ingestion.


Clinical Use

The AspirinWorks test may be used to assess clotting risk in individuals on aspirin therapy.


Clinical Significance

The effectiveness of aspirin therapy varies from individual to individual. Aspirin-insensitive individuals are twice as likely to have a cardiovascular event. High levels of 11-dhTXB2 are associated with increased risk of heart attack and cardiac death in aspirin-treated patients. Hyperlipidemia and diabetes are associated with a diminished response to aspirin. 11-dhTXB2 levels demonstrate a dose-related effect of aspirin treatment and have been shown to correlate with a Framingham Risk Score.
 

Medical Marijuana

The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the “high” people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it. The “high “is negated by the CBD.

Medical marijuana is used to treat a number of different conditions, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Appetite loss
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Mental health conditions like schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Wasting syndrome (cachexia)

It is available in a vape, flower, sublingual, capsules, ointment, or edibles.

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