Nutritional and lifestyle factors are always the first option when considering corrective treatment plans. In some situations, even when recommendations have been followed, complex cases require further investigation. In theses situations laboratory testing can provide a fast method to understand deficiencies, imbalances or genetic predispositions.
FOOD SENSITIVITY TESTING
Many people have hidden underlying food intolerances that they are not aware of. The more common ones are wheat, dairy products and eggs, but some are unexpected and surprising, such as garlic, bananas and cranberries.
Foods that may be seemingly “healthy” foods may not be healthy for a specific individual. One way to identify food sensitivities is by doing an elimination and challenge test, which involves following a very restricted diet for 21 days (no eggs, dairy, nuts, shellfish, citrus, gluten, soy etc.) then reintroducing one food at a time to see what triggers symptoms. This is a long and tedious process and few have the patience for it.
Doing a finger-prick test shortcuts this, and assesses for over 90 different foods. These are not full-blown food allergies, which are mediated by IgE cells which might manifest as anaphylaxis, rashes, swelling etc occurring immediately after the food is eaten. Those are typically known about already. What we are looking for are IgG reactions which are delayed (up to 72 hours after eating the food), subtle and may manifest in any way from general fatigue and malaise to skin break outs to headaches. Most people who do this test find it fascinating, and avoiding their food sensitivities has allowed them to get to a higher level of health.
HEAVY METAL TESTING
Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and aluminium are neurotoxins, and can impact neurological function profoundly. Given that so many disorders today have their basis in the central nervous system (MS, Parkinsons, Alzheimer's, autism), or impact the nervous system secondarily (Lyme disease is a great example), anything we can do to release toxins from that system will help significantly in overall health.
Even in the absence of “disease”, heavy metals may impact memory, ability to focus and concentrate, and the senses such as sound and vision.
Many other tests are available for complex cases that require further investigation, typically these include;
Gut microbiome status