There are a wide variety of standard and specialized tests to facilitate diagnostic assessments and monitor treatment progress. Listed here are a just a few of the more specialized tests that can be offered. When indicated, the right diagnostic and functional test(s) assist in determining the causative nature of the disease or presenting illness and help guide the best course of action for specific health concerns in the most effective and efficient way possible.
Together with a detailed health history intake and physical examination, physicians believe lab testing is an important element of comprehensive evaluation and provides valuable insight into patient progress and healing.
NUTRITIONAL & METABOLIC ANALYSIS
Diagnostic assessment of nutritional status, such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids provide insight to the functioning of the body. Oxidative damage from toxic exposure, inflammation, and overgrowth of yeast and bacteria can affect the ability of cells to work optimally, reducing the efficiency of pathways for energy production and detoxification.
COMPREHENSIVE DIGESTIVE ANALYSIS & PARASITE TESTING
Dysfunction of our intestinal system can result in decreased absorption of food and nutrients, causing symptoms such as fatigue, digestive upset, heartburn, and impaired immune function. Using a stool specimen, the health of the digestive tract can be determined by assessing markers for inflammation, oxidative damage, and bacterial overgrowth or imbalance. These markers may be contributing factors to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) food sensitivities, and skin conditions. This diagnostic testing is non-invasive, and can also be used to identify possible parasitic infections that can be affecting intestinal health.
CIRCULATING TUMOR CELLS (CTC)
CTC testing isolates tumor cells if present in the blood. The presence or absence of CTCs in the blood before or after treatment with radiation and/or chemotherapy, provides valuable information in the prognosis (high risk or low risk of recurrence) after treatment and can help guide further treatment planning.
COMPREHENSIVE THYROID TESTING
The thyroid gland is responsible for many vital functions in our body, from regulating metabolism and heart rate, to digestion and energy. Comprehensive thyroid testing provides insight on levels of all thyroid hormones, not just Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). The panel requires a blood specimen. Included in the panel are: TSH, T4, T3 (the active form of thyroid hormone) and auto-immune antibodies to the thyroid (as seen in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis).
THE MEDIATOR RELEASE TEST (MRT®)
Despite all of the clinical and immunologic complexities associated with food sensitivities, the single common component of all diet-induced inflammatory reactions is proinflammatory and proalgesic mediator release from white cells. It’s the release of cytokines, histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, etc., from neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils and lymphocytes that lead to all the negative clinical effects a food sensitivity sufferer endures. This is true under all of the numerous immunologic circumstances and clinical circumstances associated with food sensitivities. Because of the vast array of potential mediators and reacting cells, measuring volumetric changes in all circulating white cells after antigen challenge is the most logical, direct, comprehensive and functional measure of food sensitivity reactions.
Research on MRT® confirms this. Studies with the University of Miami and research presented at major medical conferences show that MRT® is able to distinguish between symptomatic and asymptomatic populations, that MRT® correlates with inflammation and symptoms, that diets based on MRT® show significant symptom reduction, and that MRT® has excellent real-world reproducibility.
Mediator release is the key event that leads to every negative effect you suffer. What matters clinically is that mediator release, and thus an inflammatory response has occurred – not that a potential mechanism is elevated.
This is the clinical value of MRT®. MRT® is a functional measurement of diet-induced sensitivity pathways. MRT® simplifies a highly complex reaction and translates that into the most useable clinical information you can get – quantifying the inflammatory response to foods and food-chemicals.
Not only does MRT® give insight into inflammation provoking foods and food-chemicals, but more importantly MRT® identifies your BEST foods – the foods that form the basis of their LEAP Eating Plan.
Simply put, MRT® gives you information you can’t get any other way, and that information directly translates into targeted therapy that matters.
MRT® is the foundation of fully addressing food sensitivities and achieving the maximum outcomes in the shortest period of time. This is our goal.
IGA FOOD REACTIONS
IgA is a type of antibody that is found in mucous membranes, most prominent in the intestine. IgA antibodies are the first line of defense against suspected disease causing agents like viruses and bacteria. IgA antibodies to specific foods may form when the mucous membrane (lining) of the intestinal tract becomes inflamed or damaged due to stress, alcohol, medications or other inflammation-causing conditions.
IgA food reactivity testing is useful in determining whether a person may have Chron’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease or another inflammatory condition of the digestive tract known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. Identifying and removing IgA-reactive foods may have minimal therapeutic value, with the exception of gliadin (an antigen found in wheat gluten).
The IgA food reactivity test requires a blood sample. Information obtained from IgA food reactivity testing helps confirm the diagnosis of an inflammatory and nutrient malabsorption condition of the gastrointestinal tract.
ENVIRONMENTAL INHALANT ALLERGY TESTING
Allergens in the environment can trigger symptoms such as seasonal or year-round hayfever, chronic rhinitis (runny nose), chronic sinusitis, asthma and chronic post-nasal drip. Like food sensitivities, inhalant allergens can weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility to infection.
Unlike foods that can be avoided, inhalant allergens can be minimized in certain controlled environments, but they are generally impossible to avoid. Centres may use a specialized dermal test (skin test) to first identify the inhalant and environment allergens that trigger a histamine-mediated response. Then, based on your reactivity profile, they can customize an oral serum (liquid) known as Sublingual Immunotherapy or SLIT. The SLIT serum is a natural, dilute form of the environmental triggers, designed to de-sensitize your immune system to the offending agents. Taken overtime, SLIT is a powerful and permanent solution to your environment allergy concerns.
No blood is required for the SLIT test. The allergens are applied to the skin while you are comfortably seated in a chair, while you are monitored for 20 minutes to observe a skin reaction (challenge) to the various allergenic substances such as molds, weeds, ragweed, dust mites, cat, dog, grasses and pollen.
NEUROTRANSMITTER TESTING FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Neurotransmitters are the chemical signalers in our brain. Common neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and epinephrine. Imbalance of these chemicals can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, loss of libido, increased food cravings, and sleep disturbances.
Available via urine, saliva, and blood, hormone testing for both males and females can help solve the mystery behind menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction, premature aging and infertility. Symptoms such as low energy, insomnia, anxiety, and inability to lose weight may be due to dysregulation of our adrenal glands, which produce the stress hormone, Cortisol. Testing of this hormone as well as many others can help uncover the underlying cause of your symptoms and provide clinical insight for targeted treatment.
COMPREHENSIVE CARDIOVASCULAR TESTING
Cardiovascular disease caused by risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity affects millions of men and women in North America. Markers identifying damage from oxidation and inflammation in our blood help assess the risk level of cardiovascular disease, and allow for targeted treatment protocols.
Increased exposure to toxic elements can be the underlying issue behind neurological impairment, chronic fatigue, and digestive disorders. Simple urine analysis can reflect the body burden of toxins (such as heavy metals) before and after treatment.
TESTING FOR LYME DISEASE (& CO-INFECTIONS)
Lyme disease can cause debilitating fatigue, migrating joint pains, chronic fatigue, depression and neurological symptoms. We offer several different methods for testing, including: IgG & IgM western blot, PCR serum and others. The best test method depends on the presenting illness and subsequent treatment is individualized, based on a comprehensive assessment.
VITAMIN D TESTING
Commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D has many important functions in our body, such as balancing calcium levels in our blood for bone health, as well as maintenance of our immune system. For most people, sun exposure does not provide enough vitamin D, especially throughout the winter months, so supplementation may be required. A simple finger prick will test your levels of vitamin D, and determine if you require further supplementation.
STANDARD BLOOD TESTS
This may include tests such as your Red and White blood cell counts, iron levels, Vitamin B12 levels, liver and kidney function, electrolytes, tumor markers and other lab tests.
Screening for cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia and diabetes gives you the power to be proactive and prevent some of the most debilitating chronic diseases. Various centres offer a multitude of screening tests and personalized risk assessments to determine which tests are most appropriate for you, at what age you should begin screening and how frequently you should screen based on your individual profile. They also provide specialized testing (not accessible through mainstream healthcare) that provide clinical insight for diagnosing and treating certain ailments – everything from digestive disorders to cancer treatment and prevention.
Examples of some of the screening tests offered:
FECAL IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY TEST (FIT)
A simple stool sample is used to screen for colon cancer.
PAP & PELVIC EXAM
Generally performed every 1-2 years, this exam screens for cervical and other pelvic cancers, infection, anal cancers and provides a general assessment of below-the-belt female health.
PROSTATE EXAM (DRE)
A digital rectal exam performed annually for men who wish to participate in regular prostate screening, or on an as needed basis when symptoms indicating prostate dysfunction are present. Along with prostate examination, general below-the-belt male health is assessed.
CLINICAL BREAST EXAM (CBE)
Used to assess breast health, cysts and other abnormalities. Generally included in the annual PAP/Pelvic exam or performed on an as needed basis. Suspicious findings on CBE will require further workup with mammography and/or ultrasound and/or MRI.
CIRCULATING TUMOR CELL (CTC)
Used to monitor cancer treatment response and prognosis, as well as risk of reoccurrence.
CANCER RISK INDICATORS
A blood sample is used to screen for tumor markers, antioxidants, and reactive species (indicate oxidative stress), which is useful for monitoring cancer as well as other chronic diseases.
CAROTID DOPPLER ULTRASOUND
This tool assess the degree of stenosis or narrowing of the carotid arteries, which determines the risk of stroke and/or vascular dementia.
CORONARY CALCIUM ASSESSMENT
Used to assess the degree of atherosclerosis (plaque build up) in the coronary arteries (supply blood to the heart), as well as detecting the degree and severity of cardiac disease.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)
Ranging from site-specific (i.e. brain imaging) to whole-body MRI, this tool shows tissues located deeper in the body to assess for various types of injury, organ dysfunction, tumors and malignancies (cancers).
This scan is used for diagnostic accuracy of malignancy in cancer, using a method to measure uptake of FDG or Choline (depending on the primary concern) in metabolically active cancer cells, combined with a low-dose CT scan to provide a highly comprehensive imaging assessment.