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Laboratory Testing

 

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.

Mineral Hair Testing - Non-invasive health check for fatigue, hormone imbalances, joint pain and muscle cramping, ideal for all ages

Minerals, including iron, play an important part in managing metabolic health – cardiovascular function, insulin control, weight balance and liver function.  Some minerals are essential, and some are toxic, knowing you have optimum levels can provide an easy fix for long-term problems of:

  • Fatigue that fluctuates during the day

  • Headaches and migraine

  • Muscle cramping

  • Joint pain

  • Weight gain and loss

  • Increased frequency of urination

  • PMS

  • Dry skin, thinning hair, or hair loss

 

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Many gastric conditions particularly IBS can prevent or slow down the normal absorption rate of minerals and over time this can contribute to minor symptoms such as muscle cramping, food cravings, temperature fluctuations and dry skin.  Longer-term deficiencies can develop and interfere with the normal function of the production of insulin for blood sugar management, the release of hormones such as thyroxine for thyroid function, and energy metabolism. 

  • Energy production requires adequate levels of magnesium, selenium, manganese, copper, and zinc.  Low levels of iron can also be a cause of fatigue. 

  • Hormone function requires an equal balance of copper and zinc, and adequate levels of selenium, zinc and chromium

  • Thyroid function can become suppressed by abnormally high levels of calcium within soft tissue and low availability of selenium and iodine

  • Normal muscle function requires adequate levels of calcium for muscle contraction and relaxation, particularly in the bladder

  • Joint pain is often experienced with excessive levels of calcium accumulating in soft tissue

 

Mineral assessment is often considered to be more of a sensitive test compared to blood or urine testing.   Minerals obtained from the hair shaft indicate consistent levels accumulated over a three to four-month period.     

Toxic metals that accumulate in our body as a consequence of exposure or slow or inadequate elimination via the liver, are also highlighted on the Hair Mineral test.  Toxic metals such as mercury, arsenic and lead can dramatically interfere with normal levels of supportive minerals particularly those considered to be antioxidants such as selenium, zinc, copper and molybdenum.

Mineral testing is not a diagnostic tool but can help to detect risks of:

  • Osteoporosis

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Hypoglycaemia and pre-diabetes

  • Hypo or Hyper functioning thyroid, and corresponding weight gain or weight loss

 

The results from the mineral test are often helpful in highlighting the need to engage with your GP for further testing of blood glucose, iron levels, thyroid markers or a complete blood panel.  A referral letter will be prepared for this purpose if required. 

 

The cost of the test is £97.00 and requires a small sample which will be sent to and tested by a laboratory in the US.  Results are emailed within 12 days.  A follow-up call or in-person consultation is always recommended to get the full value from the results and will cost between £40 - £65.00.   Recommendations will be emailed in a report with any supplements specific to symptoms and deficiencies detected.

 

This test is suitable for all ages but specifically beneficial for children who may not like standard blood draw testing.

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; 

  • Genetic profiling

  • Hormone panel 

  • Thyroid function

  • Gut microbiome status 

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