Dr. Jen Gentry performs a variety of laboratory services. In addition to routine medical tests such as thyroid function tests, anemia and blood chemistry screening, or the liver function test, the clinic offers specialized testing for heavy metal toxicity, nutrient assessments, digestive stool analysis and salivary hormone panels among others.
When indicated, we will assess hormone status using specialized tests. Such testing can be used to diagnose or rule out, menopause, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal fatigue as well as a variety of other endocrine dysfunctions. The type of sample used depends on the hormone or system we are interested in. There are multiple ways to assess hormones. For many of the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) using salivary tests is preferable.
Adrenal Stress Test
The adrenals are two small glands located above the kidneys. Each adrenal gland secretes adrenal steroids (Cortisol, DHEA(S) and Aldosterone) and catecholamines (adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). Cortisol, DHEA and adrenaline are the three main adrenal stress hormones.
Abnormal adrenal function can alter mood and energy. People who have a hard time waking and who suffer with a low energy level during the day often have abnormal adrenal function. In addition, if adrenal function is disrupted, especially at night, then the immune system is adversely affected. Stress is known to suppress the immune response in the lungs, throat, urinary and intestinal tract due to a reduction in an antibody called secretory IgA. As a result, the resistance to infection is reduced and allergic reactions are believed to increase.
In the Adrenal Stress Index provided by Daignos-Tecs uses four salivary samples collected by the patient at home. This test provides your doctor with four measurements of Cortisol, DHEA, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, gluten antibodies and secretory IgA. These are values helpful to rule out underlying causes of fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, hypoglycemia, and hormonal imbalance.
Sex Hormone Testing
Hormones are chemical messengers the body uses to transfer information from one set of cells to another set. The ovaries, testes and adrenal glands are responsible for the production of the steroid hormones. Steroid hormones in are primarily involved in the regulation of reproductive function, protection against physical and psychological stress and maintenance of the body’s fluid and mineral balance.
Many illnesses are associated with an imbalance in the levels of circulating steroid hormones. Problems with weight, memory, sleep, digestion, blood pressure, high cholesterol, cravings, addictions, sexual dysfunctions, and problems associated with the immune system, are all influenced by the endocrine (Hormone) system. Endocrine problems lead to a wide spectrum of symptoms that in most cases can be reversed using natural methods.
Common conditions associated with hormone imbalance include:
- Peri-menopause and menopause
- Irregular menstruation
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Breast changes (Fibrocystic breast and Breast Cancer)
- Low Libido
- Andropause (Male menopause)
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Erectile dysfunction
- Polycytic Ovarian Syndrome
- Insulin resistance and Diabetes
Men or women supplementing with over-the-counter hormone preparations including DHEA or on hormone replacement therapy can derive great benefit from being tested as it is the only way to gauge adequate, inadequate or over-replacement. Both salivary and urinary testing is available.
Health care providers can accurately measure the levels of neurotransmitters (Brain Chemicals), such as dopamine and serotonin in your urine. Symptoms, including low mood, anxiousness, insomnia, and fatigue may be related to neurotransmitter imbalances. Neurotransmitter testing is a tool for the assessment your nervous system. As such, the ability to pinpoint specific neurotransmitter imbalances may be used to guide your physician in the selection of appropriate interventions. Neurotransmitter testing may also provide insight into why various interventions may not be working, as well as monitoring the effectiveness of current therapies. Currently these tests are covered by United Healthcare, Aetna, Medica, Mutual of Omaha, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Medicare.
Urine Test for Heavy Metals
Urine element analysis is a test used for the diagnosis or confirmation of heavy metals that have accumulated in the body and is also used to monitordetoxification therapy. The test provides diagnostic information on potentially toxic elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, beryllium, arsenic and aluminum found stored in the body. The urine toxic metal test, referred to as a heavy metal challenge testing, is done in conjunction with taking a heavy metal chelator such as DMPS or EDTA. The chelator is taken in the morning and urine is collected over the following 24 hours. Insurance billing is available by the laboratory, however, not all private insurance covers this type of testing. If you insurance denies your claim, you would be expected to personally pay for testing.
Complete Digestive Stool Test
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) 2.0 by Genova Diagnostics evaluates digestion, absorption, pancreatic function, and inflammation, in addition to bacterial balance, yeast, and parasite infection. This profile is recommended for patients with diffuse and non-specific GI-related symptoms, such as indigestion, dysbiosis, constipation, and diarrhea. The new 2.0 profile features exclusive new markers for assessing irritable bowel syndrome, sub-mucosal inflammation, colorectal cancer risk, pancreatic insufficiency, and occult infection.
Food Sensitivity Testing
Researchers estimate that at least 60% of the U.S. population suffers from unsuspected food reactions that can cause or complicate health problems. Symptoms can be diverse, ranging from arthritis to migraines. For that reason, many health professionals routinely consider food allergies or intolerances when evaluating a patient’s health problems.
IgG antibodies are associated a “delayed” food reactions that can worsen or contribute to many different health problems and are considered the most common form of food intolerance. These reactions are more difficult to notice since they can occur hours or even days after consumption of an offending food. These “hidden” food allergies are caused by increasing blood levels of IgG antibodies in reaction to eating specific foods. Foods that are hard to avoid, such as milk, corn, and wheat are often the culprit. Rotation diets and challenge testing have traditionally been used to find offenders, however this type of diet is often difficult for patients and is time consuming.
Immunolabs food sensitivity profile helps to identify those foods that may be causing health problems easily and rapidly. This helps to achieve positive outcomes sooner. Food sensitivities can occur at any age, triggering many different symptoms and contributing to a variety of disorders, including:
- Digestive Symptoms: Irritable or Inflammatory bowel disease
- Energy Symptoms: Fatigue, lethargy, sluggishness, ADD/ADHD, restlessness
- Neurological Symptoms: Migraines, Insomnia, Poor Concentration, Learning Disabilities
- Emotional Changes: Depression, Anxiety, Mood swings, Irritability
- Skin problems, acne, rashes, hair loss, Hot Flashes
- Joint and Muscle Changes: Rheumatoid arthritis, Weakness, Stiffness, Joint Pain
- Immune Changes: Recurrent ear infections, Sinusitis, Asthma, Allergies
- Weight Changes: Excessive Weight, Cravings, Compulsive Eating, Water Retention
Find out now if your symptoms indicate you may need to take the test.
A simple blood test will reveal your personal food sensitivities. Your test report will then be created which includes:
- A list of toxic foods to avoid
- A list of lots of foods to enjoy
- A wallet sized laminated toxic food reminder card to carry with you
- Your personalized food and meal plan
- Helpful hints for food shopping
Nutritional Status Testing
There is overwhelming evidence confirming that nutrient deficiencies suppress immune function contributing to chronic disease process including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s. Functional Intracellular AnalysisT (FIAT) is a patented tests provided by Spetra Cell Laboratory for assessing the function of specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential micronutrients within an individual’s white blood cells (lymphocytes). Unlike traditional serum, hair, and urine tests, it provides a complete picture of an individual’s functional intracellular nutritional status. This testing enables your physician to develop appropriate interventions for patients who are pursuing lasting health. FIAT test components are reimbursable by most private insurance carriers ordered for diagnostic purposes. If components of the FIAT are not a covered benefit the patient will be responsible for payment.