Working with a functional medicine professional can be exciting and rewarding. At the beginning of your journey your doctor may start with a few simple tests to see what contributing factors are responsible for your current situation. Later on if you find that you have implemented lifestyle changes and you are not seeing the results your doctor expects, testing may be exactly just what the doctor orders!! Below are the four tests most frequently used by Dr. Jordan Leasure at her clinic in Illinois. If you’ve completed any of these please share your experiences below.
1. Organic Acid Test
This is one of Dr. Jordan’s favorite tests for a variety of reasons. It’s easy to complete - just pee in a cup at home! It gives a TON of information - Dr. Jordan calls it the “poop of the poop”. Essentially it measures metabolites - a fancy word for the end products of your metabolism - when you create energy and eliminate waste. It gives an overall look at your health. People with chronic illnesses often have an imbalance in the acids they excrete. This test also shows us a few vitamin and mineral levels, neurotransmitter levels, and even markers for yeast, fungus and bacteria! After addressing the imbalances that are found by using dietary modifications and possibly including some Salutogenic Life supplements patients see an improvement in sleep, energy, concentration, improved bowel function, and even decreased abdominal pain.
2. Spectracell Micro-nutrient Panel
Are you feeling tired? Stressed out? Have you taken supplements are not seen the results you expect? They might not be getting into the cells - where all the action takes place!! Spectracell offers a micro-nutrient test that is “the most accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing nutritional deficiencies” (Spectracell.com) They measure 35 nutritional components including vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and minerals located within the white blood cells which gives the most accurate measure of a body’s deficiencies.
At a minimum, vitamin deficiencies can impact your immune system, energy level, and cognition but more seriously can contribute to chronic illnesses and long term problems. “What gets measured gets managed”. This test can be completed twice annually to determine if dietary changes and supplementation are having their anticipated effect.
3. The FIT22 (Food Inflammation Test)
If your physician has prescribed an elimination diet and it’s outside your comfort zone you’ll find it worth the nominal expense to run a food sensitivity panel. We like the FIT22 because it tests for the top 22 most inflammatory foods including cows milk, whole wheat, gluten, chicken, corn, beef, peanut, salmon, etc. It tests for IgG antibodies and compliment antigen to paint a more complete picture of what’s causing inflammation in the system.
Foods can cause additional inflammation even if you’re trying to make good decisions. If you’ve experienced psoriasis, stomach discomfort, mood issues, or even joint pain it may be your dinner that’s contributing! Let’s find out in a simple blood spot test.
4. Genetic Profile Including 23&Me & Genetic Direction
If 85% of disease is based on Epigenetics (Lifestyle Factors) then why are our Genetics important? Think of it this way - we all have genes for disease; maybe the gene for breast cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Picture them as tattoos on your forearms. If you make healthy lifestyle choices, including eating your 9 servings of fruits & vegetables daily, practice daily mindfulness and gratitude, exercise and limit inflammatory activities you are essentially rolling down your sleeves and covering or limiting the expression of those genes (tattoos). On the other hand if you are extremely stressed, engage in harmful activities including an inflammatory diet, live a sedentary life and don’t regularly supplement you may be rolling up your sleeves - showing off your tattoos and essentially saying “come get me” to those disease processes.
Knowing the groundwork of those genes can be helpful to your doctor and yourself in your functional medicine journey. They can help you understand how your body detoxes from not only medications but environmental toxins in food, water and air. They can show how you absorb or don’t absorb different vitamins. These tests can even help your physician prescribe the best diet and exercise plan for you to reach your health goals!!
Feel free to contact Dr. Jordan Leasure if you have further questions on these tests or other tests you’ve been considering. While some of the above are not covered by insurance you’ll realize that the information they provide is priceless.