There are hundreds of diagnostic tests provided by the major laboratories that are funded by government health insurance. But these are just the beginning of what is available. There are many third-party labs that conduct tests which can be very helpful to us. These are sometimes more accurate or more sensitive than routine tests, but they usually involve measuring completely different things. In many cases, they have helped us solve health problems that have plagued our patients for years.
We offer the same routing laboratory tests as your doctor. In addition, we have developed relationships with trusted labs throughout North America to provide specialized tests that are not available in Ontario.
Why would I want other kinds of tests?
We work with many leading-edge laboratories in the US and Europe that test for things that have not yet found their way into routine medical practice. These tests can help us identify what is causing your health problems. Toxins, deficiencies, hormone imbalances, genetic defects, hidden infections, food allergies and chemical sensitivities are things that doctors brush off as irrelevant and useless to consider. Identifying these problems has helped us turn our patients' lives around.
What kinds of tests are these?
Some examples are:
- We measure total body burden of toxic metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum and cadmium using DMPS and EDTA chelation challenge tests. We have demonstrated that hair testing is often misleading and do not recommend it.
- Trace mineral testing for deficiency in whole blood samples
- Food allergy testing can be done in several ways, such as measuring levels of IgG4 antibodies or watching what your immune cells do in the presence of specific food antigens. Using these techniques, hundreds of foods can be tested using a single blood sample, often with more accuracy than regular skin-prick allergy tests.
- Hormone function is measured using a variety of techniques. In most cases, a 24-hour urine collection is used to measure levels of many breakdown products of hormones. In other cases, saliva is more appropriate.
- Leaky gut syndrome can be diagnosed with a standardized test called a lactulose:mannitol ratio.
- Heidelberg stomach acid testing is the only way to measure how much acid your stomach is producing. Many problems are caused by deficient acid production.
- comprehensive stool analysis allows us to identify problems with yeast, parasites, bacterial imbalances, gut inflammation, digestive enzyme function and other intestinal imbalances.
- 2:16 estrogen ratio in urine measures good and bad estrogens - it is a powerful predictor of breast cancer risk that is validated in large clinical trials but has gone unnoticed in Canada.
- Testing for Lyme disease is done using the IgeneX laboratory, which measures a large panel of IgG and IgM antibodies which are used by the CDC and which are much more accurate than standard tests.
- Measuring DNA of viruses and bacteria can identify previous infections that may still be a problem. Because many of these are commonly found in healthy people, our interpretation is particularly important in determining whether a hidden infection might be affecting your health.
- Organic acid analysis measures the levels of over 50 substances in urine that tell us a great deal about the body's inner workings. Specific biochemical reactions that are overworking or underworking can point to very specific problems that would be otherwise missed.
- 24-hour blood pressure testing done with an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor.
Why aren't these tests used by other doctors?
One reason is economics. Every time a new test is made available by the Ministry of Health, health care costs increase. This is a simple reality of a public health care system, but it limits our access to the best tests available.
Another reason is that in many cases, the problems we are looking for are simply unknown to the average physician. The specialized tests we use are not simply diagnosing diseases, they are measuring how your body is working. The factors that may be placing a strain on your body will limit its ability to function normally - and heal itself.
How do I know these are reputable tests?
Alternative medicine is big business. Within the industry, there are hundreds of companies that offer every test imaginable. We belong to an extensive network of integrative physicians who share information about which of these tests is most valuable in real-world practice. Our background in medicine and research allows us to be very judicious about which tests we use and why.
What can I do with the results?
That depends on the test, but we do not order tests unless we can do something with the results. If there are toxins in your body, they can often be removed. If you are deficient in something, we replace it. These steps will not necessarily cure your disease overnight, but by reducing the burden your body carries, we allow it to function better. To heal better.