As you make changes to your lifestyle that are known to increase your opportunity for wellness and vitality, you want to consider gathering additional information that can help you refine your plan and goals. Doing so can help you target the areas that need the most support using therapeutic food, movement, and supplements as needed. Advanced diagnostic lab testing helps us gather important information in order to do our jobs helping patients uncover underlying areas of physiologic dysfunction that can be addressed with a tailored conservative approach.
Some of these tests include:
- A Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Blood Test
- A Comprehensive Thyroid Blood Test
- DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones)
Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Blood Work
Did you know that nearly 50% of people who present to the emergency room and are confirmed to be having a heart attack have perfectly normal basic cholesterol (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride) numbers? What this statistic demonstrates is that running a basic lipid panel through your primary care physician provides a “weak at best” assent of your overall cardiovascular risk.
In functional medicine, we use an advanced comprehensive cardiovascular panel that gives us a much more detailed look at your current level of cardiovascular risk and can catch dysfunction much earlier and much more precisely than a basic cholesterol panel. Some of these markers include HDL and LDL particle size and number as well as several important inflammatory markers. This information provides our patients with the opportunity to identify specific underlying metabolic and/or inflammatory dysfunction, which require nuanced treatment approaches. With this information, patients are able to make changes early that can change the trajectory of your health in the long run. Check out some of the peer-reviewed research on the benefit of advanced cardiovascular testing on our cardiovascular research article tab. Check out a sample report here!
Comprehensive Thyroid Panel Blood Work
Our advanced thyroid testing can catch dysfunction right where it is happening. We’ve had multiple patients who’s symptoms have been dismissed by their primary care physicians because their TSH was in the “normal” range. Testing simply for TSH is not enough to identify thyroid dysfunction and doesn’t give us the entire picture of how the thyroid is working. You can hear more about why conventional thyroid testing for only TSH is problematic at best here. Our advanced testing not only runs both the active and inactive forms of thyroid hormones, it also tests for thyroid autoantibodies. Often these antibodies can be present for years before you notice a change in your TSH that would alert your doctor. The presence of autoantibodies means your immune system is attacking your thyroid, and if not addressed, can lead to the destruction of your thyroid gland. This information allows our patients an opportunity to make lifestyle changes that will positively affect autoantibodies and slow down, if not reverse, the destruction that is done to the thyroid. Listen to The Functional Medicine Approach to Hypothyroidism here for a crash course in thyroid health.
DUTCH – Dried Urine Testing for Comprehensive Hormones
This comprehensive hormone testing gives us a very detailed picture of what is happening hormonally in the body. From the results we can see how much of each hormone you are producing as well as how they are being metabolized and removed from the body. This can give you and your doctor a complete picture of hormones and help you address dysfunction with precision. Click here to look at a sample report from DUTCH.
Learning more about your body is fascinating and a great way to stay proactive with your health. It also allows you to get precise with what you need to do to intervene when you are already noticing dysfunction. Please contact our office to request a test from your doctor or to discuss this testing further. We can do the blood draw in our office or send you a requisition to take to a lab. For the DUTCH test, we would have a kit shipped to you and you would complete it at the appropriate time according to the testing directions.