Laboratory / Diagnostic Testing
At the Santa Monica Wellness Center, we use various types of testing to help uncover the cause of your health care concern. These tests help us to determine what type of therapies may best assist you in creating optimal health.
Here is a sampling of some of the testing that is available:
Panels from the basic (cholesterol, cbc, chem panel, etc.) to more complex (hormones, autoimmune markers) are available based on patient's individual needs and health concerns.
According to William Shive, PhD (University of Texas at Austin) - 50% of those taking supplements will remain deficient. MicroNutrient Testing is a next generation blood test for measuring specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential micronutrients within an individual’s white blood cells (lymphocytes). It is the gold standard for this type of test.
Lipoprotein Particle Profile (Extensive Cholesterol/Heart Disease Assessment)
Cholesterol testing has historically been used as the standard indicator for cardiovascular disease classified as HDL (good) or LDL (bad). However, it is actually the lipoprotein particles that carry the cholesterol throughout the body, not necessarily the cholesterol within them, that are responsible for key steps in plaque production and the resulting development of cardiovascular disease.
Measuring cholesterol alone does not provide the complete picture and can be misleading. Approximately 50 percent of people suffering from heart attacks have shown normal cholesterol numbers (NIH - National Heart Blood and Lung Institute).
The Lipoprotein Particle Profile is advanced cholesterol testing technology that accurately measures both the density and number of lipoprotein particles. Measuring the lipoprotein subgroups is the only way to evaluate new risk factors, which is crucial for an accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
Stool Testing & GI Effects
The GI Effects Profile uses DNA analysis to identify microbes including anaerobes. DNA assessment is specific and accurate, avoids the pitfalls of sample transport, reports results as specific numbers, and is more sensitive than classic laboratory methods. Gastrointestinal function is important for general health. The intestinal tract contains significant amounts of bacteria; some beneficial, some neutral, and some harmful. Balancing gut is key to proper digestion, nutrient assimilation, and efficient waste elimination. Poor digestion and malabsorption can lead to immune dysfunction, nutritional insufficiencies, mental/emotional disorders, and autoimmune diseases.
Adrenal Stress Index (ASI)
The adrenals are two small glands, each weighing 3 to 5 grams, that are located above the kidneys. The adrenals have one of the highest rates of blood flow per gram of tissue, and the highest content of Vitamin C per gram of any tissue in the body.
Each adrenal gland is composed of two separate functional entities. The outer zone, or cortex, accounts for 80% to 90% of the gland, and secretes adrenal steroids (Cortisol, DHEA(S) and Aldosterone). The inner zone, or medulla, comprises 10% to 20% of the gland, and secretes the catecholamines adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Cortisol, DHEA and adrenaline are the three main adrenal stress hormones.
The human adrenal gland does not secrete its steroid hormones at a constant level throughout the day. The hormones are actually released in a cycle with the highest value in the morning and the lowest value at night. An abnormal adrenal rhythm can influence many functions of the body, such as:
- Energy Production
- Bone Health
- Immune System Health
- Sleep Quality
- Skin Regeneration
- Thyroid Function
- Muscle and Joint Function
- Blood Sugar Regulation
- Hormone Balance
- Memory and Focus
Hormone Testing (Serum and Saliva)
Both female and male panels are available to assess hormone balances.
Organic Acid Profie
Provides a view into the body’s cellular metabolic processes and the efficiency of metabolic function. Organic acids are metabolic intermediates that are produced in pathways of central energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown, or intestinal microbial activity. Marked accumulation of specific organic acids detected in urine often signals a metabolic inhibition or block. The metabolic block may be due to a nutrient deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficit, toxic build-up or drug effect. Several of the analytes are markers of intestinal bacterial or yeast overgrowth. This test is often helpful to determine what nutritional interventions are necessary for complex health concerns.
Fatty Acids Profile
Measures key omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and calculates key indicators to establish your optimal balance. Trans fatty acid-the "bad" oils in processed food are also measured. Optimal levels of fatty acids are essential for healthy immune function, hormone balancing, anti-inflammatory support, and energy production.
Extronex (Estrogen Metabolism Index)
The Estronex test measures the ratio of two critical estrogen metabolites that give information on long-term risk factors for breast, cervical, and other estrogen-sensitive cancers. Based on the test results, nutritional interventions can often be implemented to reduce risk.
Osteoporosis Prevention/Support (Bone Resorption Assay)
The Bone Resorption Assay measures the deoxypyridinoline fragment of Type I collagen breakdown from a single urine specimen. This is the fragment that contains the cross-linking point and has been demonstrated to be more specific to bone resorption than breakdown fragments measured in some earlier assays. Serial bone scans are costly and do not indicate present bone activity. Also, they can only detect changes in bone density over long periods of time, often up to twelve months. The Bone Resorption Assay detects biochemical markers which reflect present remodeling activity. The relatively low cost of this assay makes it a cost-effective tool to routinely monitor bone resorption rates and the effectiveness of therapy. Repeated measurements every six to twelve weeks will monitor the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions and allow timely adjustments.
There are various types of allergy/sensitivities testing for foods and environmental substances available.
Heavy Metal Testing
Exposure to toxic metals such as mercury can have implications on your health. Sometimes testing is necessary and helpful for a treatment protocol.
This type of testing can provide a window into your cellular age. For more information click here: http://www.spectracell.com/telomere-testing-product-overview/
A urine test that measures levels of serotonin, epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, GABA and dopamine. Still being researched as a clinical tool, this test can provide the clinician with guidance when used as part of a comprehensive assessment.
This test uses gene SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to help identify risks that are modifiable using nutritional intervention and lifestyle changes. Genomic testing is available to identify predispositions to a variety of conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, allergies, and immune challenges.