Finding the Cause of Disease with Specialty Alternative Medical Lab Tests
by Ronald Steriti, ND, PhD
What Are Alternative Lab Tests?
Specialty lab tests are diagnostic tools used primarily by holistic medical doctors and naturopathic physicians to assess the functional status of the body. Functional testing assesses the dynamic inter-relationship of physiological systems, thereby creating a more complete picture of one's health.
Why can't my medical doctor order these tests?
Conventional medicine uses lab tests specifically to diagnose the disease. According to this method, once the disease has been identifies, the treatment (drugs or surgery) is clear. Medical doctors are taught to use standard lab tests solely for the purpose of diagnosing diseases, and insurance companies will only pay for lab tests used for that purpose.
Why do I need these specialty lab tests?
Specialty lab tests were designed to determine the underlying cause of disease, which is often due to nutritional deficiency or environmental toxicity. Identifying and treating the underlying cause of disease is a fundamental principle of naturopathic medicine. Specialty lab tests are available to help identify the underlying cause of disease so that a specific nutritional protocol can be developed to address that cause. Many people are dissatisfied with the drug and surgical treatments used by conventional medicine. They are concerned about the side effects of their medications and are looking for alternatives. Specialty lab tests and functional assessments are primarily used by natural health practitioners that offer alternatives to conventional medical treatments.
Are these tests covered by my insurance?
Unfortunately insurance companies are set up specifically to reduce the cost of medicine. One of the major ways that this is accomplished is by not paying for what they consider to be unnecessary lab testing. Since specialty lab tests are not accepted by conventional medicine, most insurance companies will not pay for them.
Which specialty lab tests do I need?
There are over 100 specialty lab tests that are available, including
Digestive Function Tests
Naturopaths consider proper digestion to be an esential component of health. There are many tests of digestive function, including: The Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, The Digestive Function Analysis, The Intestinal Permeability Assessment, The Comprehensive Parasitology Profile, Bacterial Overgrowth of the Small Intestine Breath Test, Anti-Gliadin Antibody Assay, The Helicobacter pylori Antibody Assay, and the Lactose Intolerance Breath Test.
There are tests specific for candida: The Candida Antibody Test, The Anti-Candida Antibody Test, and The Candida Intensive Culture.
There are several tests of endocrine function, including The Adrenocortex Stress Profile, The Comprehensive Thyroid Assessment, The Glucose and Insulin Tolerance Test, The Comprehensive Melatonin Profile, and the DHEA tests.
The Comprehensive Allergy (Antibody) Profile assays blood for immediate and delayed reactions to 96 combined foods or 100 vegetarian foods, and 36 region-specific inhalants. The Cotinine Assay examines urine to determine the presence of cotinine, a nicotine metabolite, which is an indicator of exposure to second-hand smoke. This test is useful in cases of recurrent infections or allergy in children of smokers.
There are several hormone panels that measure a variety of hormones, including all three estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, sex-hormone-binding globulin, and hydroxyestrogens. Hormone panels include:ÊThe Female Hormone Profile, The Menopause Profile, The WomenÕs Hormonal Health Assessment, The Estrogen Metabolism Assessment, and The Male Hormone Profile. The IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 or Somatomedin C) test is a valuable tool to evaluate growth hormone status. The Bone Resorption Assessment is a simple, direct urinary assay of pyridinium and deoxypyridinium crosslinks, useful in identifying current bone loss, lytic bone disease, and efficacy of bone support therapies.
The Comprehensive Cardiovascular Assessment
The Comprehensive Cardiovascular Assessment analyzes blood for levels of HDL, LDL and total cholesterol, ratios, triglycerides, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein B, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein. Together, these markers provide a thorough assessment of cardiovascular health status.
Detoxification is a cornerstone of naturopathic therapies. The Detoxification Profile assesses the body's capacity to carry out detoxification. The Oxidative Stress Analysis identifies markers of hydroxyl radical activity, urine lipid peroxides, reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase. The Anti-Chemical Antibodies Profile assays blood for systemic exposure and sensitivity to formaldehyde, tremolitic anhydride, toluene, phthalic anhydride and benzene ring.
The Metabolic Analysis Profile assesses urine metabolites to evaluate four critical areas of metabolism: gastrointestinal function, cellular energy production, neurotransmitter processing, and amino acid-organic acid balance. Test results can be used to address chronic systemic complaints: fatigue and mood disorders to headaches, muscular/joint pain, and digestive problems.
The Cellular Energy Profile evaluates organic acids that play a pivotal role in the generation of cell energy. The test can reveal metabolic distress associated generalized pain and fatigue, which may arise in response to toxic exposure, nutrient imbalances, digestive dysfunction and other causes. Plants synthesize and store energy from sunlight and nutrients. How efficiently the human body recovers this energy from plants or animals that eat plants can have a profound effect on physiological function.
Heavy Metal Testing
There are several lab tests for heavy metals. The Hair Elemental Analysis examines hair samples for levels of toxic and nutrient elements. The Total Element Clearance Profile measures urinary excretion of 9 nutrient elements and 20 toxic metals, including "classic" toxics such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, as well as newer technology toxics such as niobium and gadolinium. The Elemental Analysis, Provocative Challenge evaluates urine for 10 toxic and 8 nutrient minerals before and after administration of chelating agents. This test is used to evaluate mineral levels and to monitor the effectiveness of chelation therapy.
Several nutritional panels include The Vitamin Profile, The Amino Acids Analysis, and The Essential and Metabolic Fatty Acids Analysis. Finding the Cause of Disease with Specialty LabÊTests The selection of which lab tests are appropriate for a specific person is the focus of my book Finding the Cause of Disease with Specialty Lab Tests. It describes many of the alternative medical tests and contains information on over 100 diseases, including a comprehensive list of the causes of that disease, and a list of the alternative lab tests which can be used to identify the specific cause underlying the disease.
Finding the Cause of Disease with Specialty Lab Tests
This book contains descriptions of each of these specialty lab tests, followed by information on over 100 diseases, including
You can order Finding the Cause of Disease with Specialty Lab Tests from my web site, Bookstore The cost of the Ebook is only $9.99.
I also recommend The Naturopathic Treatment Notebook, which is a brief summary of the vitamins, herbs and nutritional supplements that may be useful for a particular disease.
Where can I order these specialty lab tests?
These specialty lab tests are available only to naturopathic and alternative medical doctors. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians has a database on their web site (www.naturopathic.org).
About the Author
Ronald Steriti graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, a four-year full-time Naturopathic medical school.
Fantastic new books!
Complementary and Alternative Medical Lab Testing is chock full of references for over 100 diseases.
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