Our Most Common Tests

Our Most Common Tests

To help identify the cause of your symptoms, our naturopathic doctors can order a wide range of tests. These can include blood tests through lifelabs, or functional testing through a wide variety of labs. Lab tests are always recommended based on your individual health history. Keep reading to learn about the three tests our naturopathic doctors recommend most often:


IgG Food Sensitivity Testing


How is the test performed?

An easy in-office blood test.

Why is it tested?

Food sensitivity testing may be recommended if you experience chronic digestive complaints such as bloating, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea. Other symptoms of food sensitivities include weight gain, water retention, headaches and skin concerns such as eczema or acne. 

What is tested?

This test looks at the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to 94 of the most commonly eaten foods. Eating these foods can increase IgG levels. IgG can bind the food, creating an antigen-antibody complex that is deposited in tissues. This can increase inflammation and cause a wide variety of symptoms. It is important to note that food sensitivities are distinct from food allergies, which are caused by immunoglobulin E (IgE). 

Link to the lab’s website:


Post Menopause Hormone Panel


How is the test performed?

This is an at-home saliva test. Only 1 sample is required.

Why is it tested?

Hormonal imbalances can be the cause of hot flashes, sleep disruption, fertility challenges, fatigue, irregular cycles, mood changes, acne, weight changes, low libido, and migraines.

What is tested?

Estrogen is important for the maintenance of healthy bones and vaginal tissues. Low levels of estrogen may cause depression, low libido, fatigue and hot flashes. This test looks at three unique forms of estrogen; estrone, estradiol and estriol. Elevated levels of estradiol and estrone in postmenopausal women may be linked to an increase in breast cancer risk. 

In the menopausal period progesterone plays an important role in calming the nervous system. For many women, sufficient progesterone is the key to a good night’s sleep. 

Often viewed as ‘the man’s hormone’ testosterone has a role to play for women as well. Too much can cause facial hair growth, acne, and libido changes. Too little and women may struggle to gain muscle or experience fatigue, low libido, weight gain, and insomnia. 

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
This test looks at two forms of DHEA. These are DHEA and the form bound to a sulphur molecule, DHEA-S. In postmenopausal women, 100% of estrogen is made from DHEA. As a result, testing DHEA can provide a fuller picture of her hormonal health. In addition, healthy DHEA levels may play a role in preventing depression, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.

Link to the lab’s website:


Thyroid Panel


How is the test performed?

This test is a simple blood draw done in our clinic. 

Why is it tested?

Many men and women in British Columbia have thyroid concerns. These vary from autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease to a mildly underactive thyroid, often linked to long term stress. 

Decreased thyroid function is seen most commonly in British Columbia. This may present as weight gain, fatigue, recurrent miscarriages, dry skin, constipation, always feeling cold, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, thin hair, depression or a swollen thyroid gland. 

What is tested?

This hormone is the signal sent from your brain to your thyroid gland to promote the formation of thyroid hormone. 

Free T4
This hormone is produced by the thyroid gland in response to TSH stimulation. It’s less active than T3.

Free T3
T3 is made from T4. This occurs mostly in the liver, thyroid, and kidneys. 

Thyroid peroxidase antibody, TSH receptor antibody, Thyroglobulin antibody
One or all of these tests may be included to test for autoimmune thyroid conditions.

Link to the lab’s website:



Coe C. Food Sensitivities – Are you eating the right foods for YOUR body? | Marine Drive Naturopathic Clinic. Marine Drive Naturopathic Clinic. http://marinedrivenaturopathic.com/2019/07/food-sensitivities-are-you-eating-the-right-foods-for-your-body/. Published 2019. Accessed October 25, 2019.

Dehydroepiandrosterone | You and Your Hormones from the Society for Endocrinology. Yourhormones.info. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/dehydroepiandrosterone/. Published 2019. Accessed October 19, 2019.

Female Hormones – DiagnosTechs, Inc. DiagnosTechs, Inc. https://www.diagnostechs.com/our-tests/female-hormones/. Published 2019. Accessed October 19, 2019.

Samavat H, Kurzer M. Estrogen metabolism and breast cancer. Cancer Lett. 2015;356(2):231-243. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2014.04.018

Thyroid Antibodies. Labtestsonline.org. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/thyroid-antibodies. Published 2019. Accessed October 20, 2019.

You and Your Hormones from the Society for Endocrinology. Yourhormones.info. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/oestriol/. Published 2019. Accessed October 18, 2019.


Surviving Stress

Surviving Stress

Some phases of life are more challenging than others. This could be because of an intensive workload, final exam season, a family crisis, life transition or recovering from an injury. The increased mental, physical or emotional fatigue can leave your body feeling like it needs a little additional support.

What can you do?

Make time to relax. This could be extra sleep, reducing your day-to-day commitments, or even a Netflix binge. Try to set aside at least one hour a day to do whatever feels right for you.

Say no, or ask for support as needed. Do you need alone time? Or some help with groceries? Be honest with your friends and family on how they can best support you.

Meditation. The research is in! Meditation can increase resilience, decrease burnout, improve emotional regulation, and decrease stress.

Exercise.  Exercise has been shown to improve cognition, memory and mental health. This is partially due to its ability to increase dopamine.

Nature time.  Time spent in natural settings has been found to decrease anxiety, anger, depression, and decrease blood pressure.

Eat a healthy diet. Aim for a diet which is 80% whole, unprocessed foods.  Neurogenesis, the formation of new brain cells, is partially regulated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Early studies show BDNF is increased by eating carenoid-rich fruits and vegetables. Neurogenesis is decreased by diets high in fat and sugar.


How can a health professional offer support?


  • A preliminary study found combining acupuncture with an anti-depressant, may result in better psychological health, compared to the anti-depressant alone.
  • Acupuncture may decrease perceived stress and improve energy.

Myers’ Cocktail IV

  • A blend of B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as magnesium, are administered intravenously and are tailored to an individuals specific needs.
  • Taking these nutrients as an IV, allows for a rapid increase in cellular levels. This can reduce fatigue, support immune function and decrease migraines.


  • Supplements contain herbs, nutrients, homeopathic extracts or other natural substances.
  • Your naturopathic doctor can chose supplements specific to your health needs.
      • Periods of stress can disrupt digestive function, alter mood or cause hormonal imbalances. Specific nutraceuticals can be prescribed as a part of a treatment plan.

Tailored diet plans

  • Skin concerns? Digestive upset?
    • IgG or IgA food testing may be recommended to assess for foods that are causing inflammation.


  • Can be prescribed as needed as part of a well-rounded healthcare plan.


  • Can provide a space to process and allow for self-reflection.
  • Can promote a healthy relationship with challenging emotions.

Massage therapy

  • Promotes relaxation and may decrease anxiety.
Prostate Health:  A Naturopathic Approach

Prostate Health: A Naturopathic Approach

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is caused by the gradual enlargement of the prostate gland. By the age of 70 nearly all men will have some prostate enlargement. About half of those over 75 will experience symptoms.

The prostate is a gland located in the pelvis. It wraps around the urethra, which transports urine or semen to the outside of the body. It secretes a portion of semen during ejaculation. The symptoms of BPH are caused by the growing prostate placing pressure on the urethra.

Symptoms can include:

    • Frequent urination
    • Sudden urge to urinate
    • Needing to urinate at night
    • Weak urine flow
    • Incomplete bladder emptying
    • Straining to urinate
    • Urine stream which starts and stops
    • Blood in the urine

Even though BPH is a growth, it is not cancerous, it will not spread, or metastasize to other tissues. Further, it does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. For most men, BPH only causes irritating urinary symptoms. However, in some instances, BPH can lead to kidney problems, bladder enlargement or urinary tract infections.

What causes BPH?

It is thought that increased levels of a hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) may cause the prostate to grow. DHT is created from testosterone by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. DHT has a much stronger stimulatory effect than testosterone on prostate tissue.

How can naturopathic medicine provide support?

Naturopathic medicine focuses on treating the person, not the diagnosis.  As a result, treatment varies based on the patient’s individual symptoms and illness severity. It can also include addressing other health concerns that may worsen symptoms, such as constipation, stress or poor sleep quality.

General Lifestyle Counseling:

  • Dietary Changes
    • Reducing your consumption of red meat and animal fat may prevent BPH.
    • An increase in organic vegetable consumption supports overall health.
    • Avoid drinking fluids before bed to decrease the urge to urinate at night.
  • Exercise
    • Increasing physical activity can improve blood flow to the prostate gland.

Botanical support:

Serenoa repens

    • Fatty acids extracted from this plant can inhibit 5 alpha-reductase. Research had found this very safe extract can reduce prostate enlargement in some men.

Ganoderma lucidum

    • Early research suggests this mushroom may reduce symptoms of incontinence and urinary urgency.

Allium sativa

    • A recent study found garlic extract taken daily for a month reduced prostate size.

Urtica diocia

    • This nutrient-dense plant can provide symptom relief but has no effect on prostate size.

Ammi visnaga

    • This herb acts as an antispasmodic, which means it promotes smooth muscle relaxation. In some men this can decrease nocturnal urination.


    • Soy contains a compound called isoflavones that can modulate the effect of estrogen in the body. Studies have shown consuming soy isoflavones can reduce the severity of BPH symptoms. Regular consumption of soy has also been researched as a strategy to prevent BPH.


    • This pollen extract has been shown to significantly decrease urinary symptoms though it’s an anti-inflammatory effect. It is also believed to improve bladder contraction, helping to decrease urinary retention.

Pumpkin seeds

    • Pumpkin seeds are an excellent dietary source of zinc.
      • Zinc is believed to decrease the conversion of testosterone to DHT by reducing the activity of 5 alpha-reductase.
      • According to research zinc may play a role in preventing the onset of BPH.


    • Cranberry extract may be recommended to reduce the likelihood of a urinary tract infection.