Getting to the Root of the Problem: Functional Lab Testing
The research is clear: evidence-based lifestyle and nutritional therapies are transforming the practice of medicine. There is solid clinical evidence of a relationship between inflammation in the body and chronic complex health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stomach and intestinal disorders, cancer and neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease. Nutrient poor soil can lead to critical vitamin and mineral deficiencies that cause and contribute to mood disorders, depression, anxiety and troubling insomnia. Lack of restorative sleep robs the body of the opportunity to undergo cellular restoration and build immunity.
At Seva Health our commitment is to help our clients change their lives not just their symptoms. For that reason, we utilize the tools of functional medicine–a personalized, collaborative model of care that empowers our clients to achieve the highest expression of health by addressing lifestyle factors that cause and contribute to life-altering disease. Our advanced functional laboratory testing helps uncover root causes of symptoms; highly specialized tests not routinely offered in traditional primary care.
A few of the tests our clients commonly request include:
GI Comprehensive Profile
This comprehensive test assesses three critical areas of gut health: digestive function, gut inflammation, and the gut microbiome—areas affecting not only GI health, but overall health as well. For patients with symptoms that may have gastrointestinal dysfunction as their root cause, comprehensive stool diagnostics provide an effective tool for gaining clinical insight into next steps. In addition to performing critical digestive functions, the intestinal tract contains significant amounts of organisms — the gut microbiome. Imbalances in this internal ecosystem have been associated in the scientific literature with a wide variety of common illnesses including, but not limited to:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Diabetes and Obesity
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Celiac and Other Malabsorption Disorders
- Mood Disorders
- Autoimmune Disorders
Assessing and normalizing GI function can have profound effects on overall health, leading to improvement in these and other conditions. The GI Effects® Comprehensive Stool Profile is a critical clinical tool in the management of patients presenting with symptoms that can be associated with compromised gut health.
The NutrEval test is one of the most comprehensive nutritional evaluations available and is designed to assist with management of symptoms related to nutritional deficiencies. Studies suggest that even a balanced diet may not provide all essential nutrients. NutrEval supports assessment of a patient’s nutritional needs by identifying nutritional deficiencies that may be associated with complex chronic conditions. This profile assesses numerous metabolic pathways and synthesizes this complex biochemistry into actionable treatment options. The results of your test help your provider to develop personalized supplement recommendations, adjusted for the age and gender, and guide therapeutic protocols to achieve optimal health.
Critical nutrients that are functionally assessed on this nutritional profiles include:
- B Vitamins
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Digestive Support
Complete Hormones™ Profile
Complete Hormones™ is one of the most comprehensive urinary hormone tests available, designed to assist in the clinical management of hormone-related conditions in males and females. It is ideal for establishing a baseline assessment of parent hormones and their metabolites in addition to valuable insight into the impact that shifting hormone levels may play in men (andropause or male menopause) and women (peri/menopause). This hormone test assesses parent hormones, their metabolites, and key metabolic pathways.
Imbalanced hormone production affects a wide range of body functions, producing symptoms that negatively affect the quality of life and may increase the risk for hormone-related diseases (breast, prostate cancers and osteoporosis). Identification and targeted treatment of hormonal imbalances using customized hormone and/or nutritional therapies improves symptoms, quality of life, and may reduce disease risk.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalances may include:
- Weight gain
- Muscle mass loss
- Muscle weakness
- Low libido and sexual performance issues
- Hair loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Brain fog
- Mood instability
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
Adrenocortex Stress Profile
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is a convenient, noninvasive at-home salivary hormone test that evaluates the key stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA. Four samples collected throughout the day allow for circadian rhythm assessment. Salivary adrenal hormone tests in this profile serve as an insightful tool for uncovering biochemical imbalances that can be associated with anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, obesity, dysglycemia, and a host of other clinical conditions.
Salivary adrenal hormone testing may uncover biochemical imbalances, which can adversely affect:
- Immune Defense
- Thyroid Function
- Weight Control
- Resistance to Stress
- Cardiovascular Health
Food Sensitivity Testing
The Allergix® IgG4 Food Antibodies 90 is a food sensitivity test which helps identify those with IgG–mediated food intolerances. The incidence of food sensitivities has increased dramatically over the years. It is estimated that up to 20% of the population have adverse reactions to foods. IgG4 antibody is related to delayed or non–atopic food reactions that exacerbate or contribute to many different health problems. This antibody food sensitivity test is ideal for patients who may suffer from delayed reactions/sensitivities to specific foods.
What Is An IgG4 Food Sensitivity Response?
An IgG4 response to food is actually more common than the IgE response, which causes an immediate reaction. These food sensitivity reactions are more difficult to notice since they can occur hours or even days after consumption of an offending food. In some cases, a person’s reaction to a food may occur several days after eating the offending food and the link between the food and their symptoms may not be connected. These hidden food “allergies” are actually food “sensitivities” and are caused by increasing blood levels of IgG4 antibodies in reaction to specific foods. This profile measures the IgG4 levels in serum that react to 90 different foods, including commonly eaten foods such as corn, milk, egg, and wheat.
IgG–Mediated symptoms may include:
- Ear Infections
Cardio/Ion Comprehensive Profile
Clinical research shows that 1 in 3 American adults has some form of heart disease that may be silent. Heart disease remains the number 1 cause of death in men and women in the United States.
The Cardio ION is a combination of nutritional tests that gives a nutritional assessment and identifies risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Specifically, this nutritional test measures levels of fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, organic acids, and risk factors for CVD.
An evaluation of standard lipid markers does not provide optimal assessment of risk. The Cardio ION nutritional test goes beyond conventional serum lipid markers! This nutritional test identifies critical CVD risk factors, including: testosterone, RBC Magnesium, EPA and DHA levels, CoQ10, Insulin, Fibrinogen, C-Reactive Protein, Homocysteine, Lipoprotein(a), Vitamin D and Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol and gamma tocopherol).
The Cardio ION nutritional test identifies modifiable risk factors for CVD, including:
- Fatty acid imbalances which can lead to chronic inflammation. Current research finds levels of specific fatty acids to be strongly correlated to CVD.
- High fibrinogen is associated with increased risk of clots and CVD
- Homocysteine is an important risk factor for not only CVD, but stroke and dementia as well
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is essential for proper mitochondrial function and energy use. It also acts as an antioxidant. Cardiac cells have high mitochondrial demand. Statins can decrease CoQ10 levels.
- Fasting insulin is an indicator of insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinaemia has been associated with a cluster of CVD risk factors.
- Insufficient antioxidant status is associated with increased oxidation. Oxidative damage is believed to play a role in heart and vascular disease by promoting inflammation.
The Cardio ION nutritional test can guide treatment of many conditions and symptoms, including:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Immune Disorders
- Mental/Emotional Disorders
- Learning and Behavior Disorders
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
- Inflammatory Conditions
Functional lab tests are available only by written order of licensed healthcare providers through a limited number of clinical laboratories. The specialty laboratory that we collaborate with at Seva Health is a fully accredited medical laboratory, certified by six regulating agencies including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services which oversees clinical labs in the United States under the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment. Our designated lab holds certification in the areas of clinical chemistry, bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology, microbiology, non-syphilis serology, general immunology, hematology, toxicology as well as molecular genetics.
Depending upon the test, many of the lab profiles can be completed from the comfort and convenience of your own home using supply kits that we ship directly to you. Each kit contains a complete set of directions, including instructions for any necessary fasting or withholding of medications and supplements. Once your sample is obtained you use the enclosed pre-paid Fed Ex mailer to ship your sample to our partner lab. Once your results become available, Angel will consult with you either by phone or video to review your results and discuss next steps. We will also provide you with patient portal access so that you may retrieve your results at any time to share with other members of your health care team.
For profiles that require a serum blood sample, we will provide you with the name and location of a certified laboratory in your area, equipped for functional lab phlebotomy. Insurance coverage for functional labs varies and will be discussed during the time of your Discovery Call.