Available Lab Testing
Sometime there’s just no better way to uncover your vibrant goddess than by doing a little lab testing! My philosophy on lab testing is simple, test don’t guess! I use lab testing often in my practice because it helps my clients understand their health on a deep level while, at the same time, provide valuable information so we can create a super targeted healing protocol. Lab testing may not be required in every situation, but it can be very beneficial. Here is a summary of lab testing services offered at VGN.
GI MAP via Diagnostic Solutions Lab
Ideal if experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- irritable bowel
- constipation and/or diarrhea
- indigestion, acid reflux, heart burn
- lack of energy
- unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- autoimmune disease
- psoriasis/eczema (any skin issue)
- infertility, any female hormone issue
- family history of GI disorders
I often recommend that the first lab test you invest in be the GI Map because when we understand what’s happening in the gut we can address a wide range of symptoms affecting the entire body.
The GI MAP is the most accurate stool test on the market today. You only need ONE stool sample to complete this test. This stool test uses DNA stool analysis to detect micro levels of pathogens, bacteria, parasites, viruses, fungi, and other immune and digestive markers. This comprehensive stool analysis will tell us what the terrain of your microbiome (gut) looks like, what inhabitants have taken up residency there and if they’re helpful or harmful. Your digestive system is a delicate balance of bacteria and if we know what bacteria are present, or not present, it can explain why you’re having certain symptoms.
Because the gut is your most potent immune system fighter, it’s vital that it be optimized. If the gut is out of balance, or in a “dysbiotic” state, then the immune system can’t do it’s job well and over time, will lead to chronic inflammation – from which all disease thrives. Good gut flora facilitates the processing of estrogens as well. If your gut bacteria is healthy, it will thus help keep a healthy level of estrogen in the body. Obviously estrogen affects fertility health and to much estrogen can contribute to estrogen sensitive cancers. Hormone imbalance is closely connected to your gut, imbalanced micriobiome/gut affects your hormone balance!!!
Along with providing this valuable information, this test will also tell us how well you’re digesting proteins and fats, whether your body can handle wheat products, degree of inflammation, and whether or not you have “leaky gut.” I consider the GI MAP test to be a foundational test in my practice. Before any really deep healing can occur, GI function must be optimized.
Food Sensitivity Testing:
MRT – Mediator Release Testing via Oxford BioMedical Labs
The MRT blood test is the most accurate way to uncover hidden food and chemical sensitivities that may be causing you inflammation and unexplained symptoms. If you eat something that doesn’t agree with your body, a “mediator” is released from the immune system. Unlike allergies, where the immune system releases an “antibody” and it’s measured via an IgE value, sensitivities to food are more complex and trigger the immune system in a different way. The MRT test can measure these mediators and help us create a customized food eating plan that reduces your level of inflammation, allowing the body to focus on healing.
“Inflammatory reactions to naturally occurring or artificial food-chemicals are another area of consideration. Conditions like migraine, ADD/ADHD, and others, in addition to food sensitivities, often have clinically significant reactions to food-chemicals. These reactions are not antibody mediated and thus cannot be identified with IgG, IgA or IgE testing.
These inflammation-provoking and symptom-provoking reactions are as clinically relevant as reactions to gluten, and continued consumption of offending foods and food-chemicals is a major obstacle in achieving optimal outcomes.” Source: nowleap.com
I often have my clients do the GI Map and MRT test at the same time; this allows for a potent customized protocol to be created that will put you on the fast track to healing! Optimizing the gut truly is the way to create long term healing and vitality in your life!
DUTCH test via Precision Analytical Labs –
Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones
The DUTCH test uses urine samples and saliva samples to accurately assess specific hormone levels. I really enjoy the DUTCH test for many reasons, one being that it’s super easy to collect samples for this test (urine is way easier to collect as opposed to blood). Another reason I prefer the DUTCH for hormone testing is the multiple viewpoints it provides; in other words, we can assess hormone levels but also learn how hormones are being utilized in the body, if the liver is processing them well, and what pathways need to be optimized for improved hormone metabolism.
The most common hormones evaluated via the DUTCH test are those affecting your fertility like estrogen and progesterone; hormones that reflect adrenal health like cortisol and DHEA (which also affect your fertility). Additional hormone markers include melatonin and testosterone; and some DUTCH tests include key organic acid markers for additional insight into nutrient needs.
Testing hormones can be done via blood, saliva and urine. While all three offer data, urine testing provides a more in depth picture of what’s going on in the body. For example, testing your cortisol level via blood is 1% of your total cortisol. Cortisol found in the blood is considered “bound” while cortisol outside the blood is considered “free cortisol.” That free cortisol is doing something in your body and testing it via urine will give us more accurate assessment. Testing with the DUTCH test is more comprehensive than blood or saliva testing because it tells us how your hormones are being used – not just the levels. This allows for pinpoint protocol and customized support.
The DUTCH test is ideal for goddesses on the go because collection can be completed in one day. DUTCH also offers a 30-day “cycle mapping” test to assess your fertility hormones and their monthly rhythm. This test, of course, takes one month to complete but is exactly what we need to know when struggling with infertility. Each goddess will be different so it depends on your specific goals.
Reasons to perform the DUTCH test:
- Menopausal symptoms
- Irregular periods; increased monthly bleeding, painful/crampy cycles, etc.
- Irregular/difficult sleeping patterns
- Family history of hormone-sensitive cancers like breast or endometrial cancers
- Decreased or lack of libido
- Chronic stress