Over 2,000 years ago, Roman philosopher Lucretius stated “What is food to one man is bitter poison to others.”Diet plays a very critical role in preventing a wide range of degenerative diseases and premature aging. The immune system is a double-edged sword. Its role is to react appropriately to infectious agents and harmful invaders, but unfortunately, exposure to certain foods and chemicals may trigger chronic activation of the immune system. This chronic activation of the immune system is implicated in many medical conditions such as chronic fatigue, obesity, skin disorders, migraines, digestive problems, achy joints and autoimmune disease. We use a simple blood test that measures the changes in size and volume of white blood cells in response to ex vivo challenges with food, chemicals and various environmental stimuli.
Hormone activities have a profound effect on nervous system and immune function. Hormone imbalances can lead to many symptoms including insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, hot flashes, emotional ability, acne, skin problems, infertility, depression, headaches, weight gain and sexual dysfunction. Salivary hormonal testing is utilized to assess baseline hormone levels. (see BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES section for more detail about hormones).
Lipoprotein Particle Profile (LPP)
Standard cholesterol testing only gives you part of the picture leaving many people with what they consider “normal” cholesterol numbers and unaware that they are still at risk for a heart attack. According to the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, 50% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels. Research has shown that there are different sizes of HDL and LDL particles and some are much more dangerous than others. Having a detailed LPP will give the doctor in- depth information needed to create a plan for more effective treatment decisions. LPP is a blood test.
Telomeres are sections of genetic material at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become so short that the cell cannot replicate anymore, so it stops dividing and ultimately dies. Though this is a normal biological process, it is important to see age adjusted telomere length, so you can compare how rapidly you are aging as compared to a normal population. An inflammatory diet or high oxidative stresses will shorten telomeres faster. Diets high in refined carbs, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners and saturated or trans fats are culprits. Conversely, a diet high in antioxidants and one that reduced oxidative damage will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fruits and uncooked fruits and vegetables, mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3-fatty acids and vegetable proteins will help preserve telomere length. Telomere testing is a blood test.
Gut Health Profile
70-80% of our immune system is located in the gut , and functional GI disorders affect 2 out of every 5 Americans. There are about 100 trillion bacteria in the gut which total about 3-5 pounds in a person. IBS affects about 20% of Americans, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis affect 7%, celiac disease affects 2-3% and functional dyspepsia and constipation affect up to 15%. The GHP evaluates the GI tract on a genetic, antibody and cellular level and tests for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Research has shown that hidden food allergies and “bad” bacteria in the gut can cause abdominal obesity, thus making it hard to lose weight despite diet and exercise. GHP is a simple blood test.
Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed. Doctors can have difficulty diagnosing Lyme disease because its symptoms mimic other diseases, namely the flu and chronic fatigue syndrome. Also, doctors were previously limited to Lyme tests that measured antibody responses (the ELISA and Western Blot.) When your body is invaded by Lyme bacteria, your immune system makes antibodies to fight the infection. Tests that measure this antibody response, rather than detect the presence of the bacteria themselves, can produce falsely negative results in 50-70% of patients tested because during the first 4-6 weeks after exposure, most people have not developed the antibody response that the tests measure. In addition, Lyme disease is known to avoid immune detection necessary to create antibodies against it. Lyme disease mimics the symptoms of many other diseases such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ALS, mental illness, ADHD, MS, hypochondria, migraines, insomnia, and food allergies. If a patient actually has Lyme disease, the underlying infection will progress unchecked until the patient’s infection is treated. Another condition that is coming to the forefront is Candidiasis. Overgrowth of this fungus is implicated in many conditions like chronic sinusitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, recurrent oral/mouth sores, spastic colon, and chronic antibiotic use. iSpot Lyme and Candida testing are comprehensive blood tests. Please ask the doctor about viewing the Lyme disease documentary Under Our Skin.
Apolipoprotein E is a component of plasma lipoproteins like VLDL, HDL, chylomicorns, and it determinesan person’s genetic risk associated with the Apo E gene. Apo E is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol and triglycerides, and variants in the gene can have clinically relevant implications for cardiovascular disease risk, as well as one’s response to statin therapy and dietary fat and risk factors such as smoking or alcohol use). About 45% of people carry one or more of the high risk variants of the Apo E gene. The Apo E genotyping is a blood test.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that facilitate communication between nerves and this has an effect on every cell, tissue and organ in the body. When Neurotransmitters are imbalanced, the communication gets interrupted which leads to non- optimal functioning between the body and brain thus producing a wide variety of clinical symptoms such as anxiety, sleep difficulties, fatigue, depression, memory & attention & concentration problems, appetite & weight changes and adrenal depletion. Abnormalities in the nervous and endocrine system biomarkers may signify physiological imbalances related to many common health problems. Nervous system dysfunction is responsible for ADD, autism, depression, anxiety, constipation, head- aches/migraines, compulsions/addictions, and hyperactivity. HPA (hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal) dysfunction results in fatigue, weight issues, chronic illnesses and cognitive/learning problems. Endocrine system dysfunction is responsible for PMS, menopause, andropause, hirsutism and libido problems. Neurotransmitter testing is done through urine and saliva.
Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress the immune system which can contribute to a decline in one’s overall health and give rise to diseases such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, autism, celiac disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity. People think they may eat a balanced diet and take a multivitamin, but 50% of people who take multivitamins are nutritionally deficient. Everyone is metabolically and biochemically unique, so the micronutrient requirements that work for one person may not necessarily work for another. Many nutrients are not adequately absorbed even though one may think they are eating a well-balanced diet. Micronutrient requirements at age 30 are different than from ages 40 and 50 and beyond. Lifestyle habits also greatly impact micronutrient demands such as taking prescription drugs, smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity. Micronutrient testing is a blood test.
MTHFR is short for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, an enzyme responsible for converting 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to the product 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate, which is involved in the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. The product of the reaction catalyzed by MTHFR converts the toxic amino acid, homocysteine, to methionine, a useful and necessary amino acid. MTHFR genotyping is important to see if there is reduced activity of MTHFR which can lead to elevated levels of homocysteine, especially if folate is low. Many medical conditions are affected by variant copies of the MTHFR gene and these include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, MS, clotting disorders, depression, bipolar, ADD/ADHD, addictive behaviors, schizophrenia, infertility, recurrent miscarriages, allergies, chronic viral infections, diabetes, increased sensitivity to chemicals & drugs, fibromylagia, chronic pain, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, and certain birth defects. MTHFR genotyping is a blood test.