edgemontnaturopathic
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:
https://www.meridianvalleylab.com/services/e-95-basic-food-panel/

 

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
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. 

Progesterone
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. 

Testosterone
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:
https://www.diagnostechs.com/our-tests/female-hormones/

 

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?

TSH
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:
Lifelabs.com

 

References:

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.

 

Collagen IV

Collagen IV

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the main structural protein of tendons, bone, connective tissue and skin. This protein naturally decreases with age, leading to wrinkles  Collagen is also an important part of tissue healing.
 

How can you increase your collagen?

Collagen has become a popular supplement and skincare ingredient. Unfortunately, when applied to the skin externally this molecule is too large to pass through the skin barrier?.

When collagen is taken internally as a supplement or as part of food it is digested into peptides and amino acids in the small intestine. These building blocks are then absorbed into the body tissue and taken through the bloodstream to the cells that need them. 

The use of collagen supplements has been shown to improve skin elasticity. Collagen supplements have been postulated to improve the production of collagen dermal fibroblasts which are the cells responsible for collagen production.

Edgemont Naturopathic Clinic is introducing an IV which is designed to support natural collagen production. The IV does not contain collagen itself, what it does include is a combination of the building blocks and nutrients that support collagen formation and skin health. 

Key IV ingredients:

L-Lysine, L-Glycine, L-Proline

  • These 3 amino acids are the building blocks of collagen

Zinc

  • This important mineral is involved in DNA and protein synthesis. It plays an important role in wound healing and immune function. Research has found it may be useful for treating brittle nails, acne vulgaris and more

Vitamin C

  • This vitamin is essential for the creation of collagen. It is necessary for creating the blueprint for collagen, mRNA and for joining small pieces of protein together to form the structure.

Selenium

  • It is an important cofactor for glutathione peroxidase, making it an antioxidant. Antioxidants can help to prevent collagen breakdown.  It may be useful for treating burns, which shows potential in wound healing. 

We offer IV minute consultations with a licensed naturopathic doctor to review whether an IV is the right choice for you. 

      

 

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?

Acupuncture

  • 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

  • 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.

Pharmaceuticals

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

Counseling

  • 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.