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Many people have food sensitivities without even realizing it. Often gluten, dairy, and egg sensitivities are an underlying reason for a range of symptoms. There are also lesser-known sensitivities to foods such as garlic, bananas, pineapple and cranberries. And if you have had leaky gut, you could very well be sensitive to many foods whose particles have leaked through the digestive tract into the blood. Gluten intolerance is well recognized and affects millions of people. For most people, gluten intolerance is not severe however it can produce symptoms including arthritis, skin rashes, fatigue and brain fog.
To test for these issues, I perform a Food Sensitivity Test – “KMBO FIT Test”. This test is a simple dry blood spot (finger prick) and is used to screen for specific foods that cause an immune reaction in the body. These foods can be hard to identify without testing because of the time between consumption and the physical reaction of symptoms. Generally, an IgG reaction occurs hours to days after exposure to food antigens. Symptoms commonly associated with food sensitivities are IBS symptoms, headaches, brain fog, fatigue and skin conditions such as eczema.
We can learn so much from stool testing to address your symptoms and overall health. This type of testing is not used only to evaluate GI symptoms, but also to provide insight into sources of ongoing inflammation which affect everything in the body. This means that “silent” gut dysfunction can manifest as anything: depression and anxiety, joint or back pain, autoimmune conditions, eczema and psoriasis, allergies, etc., as well as the primary symptoms of bloating, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea.
Leaky gut is a condition where the intestinal lining of your GI tract literally breaks down, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria and other pathogens to compromise the immune system (80 percent of which resides in the gut) and seep into the bloodstream, causing inflammation and immune responses resulting in issues such as allergies, food and/or chemical sensitivities, fatigue, chronic GI problems, autoimmune disease and other health challenges. It is hard to feel optimally well if you have leaky gut. This test provides an assessment of your intestinal permeability and determines how well (or not) your gut lining is helping to safeguard you from these toxins and pathogens, including gluten, bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Organic acids are metabolic intermediates that are produced in our body’s pathways of central energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown, or intestinal microbial activity. These can be measured in a single urine collection at the start of the day. Measuring organic acids allows us to understand whether your body is getting and using the nutrients needed for optimal health and function, and guide us in making a plan for diet, supplementation, and lifestyle changes to restore your body to its intended balance. This testing can be especially helpful in the evaluation of the causes of fatigue, GI issues, difficulty losing weight, hormone balance, and issues with mood.
Toxic heavy metals like lead, aluminum, mercury and other toxins like PCBs and pesticides are increasingly present in our food, medications and environment and can wreak havoc on all body systems including the central nervous system which when damaged can adversely affect focus, memory, and concentration.
Many diseases today, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis (MS) are diseases of the central nervous system. Functional medicine doctors aim to release these toxins from the body to improve overall health.
Other tests such as neurotransmitter testing, cortisol testing, toxin/mold screening, or other tests may be indicated in more complicated situations, or if you would like a more complete picture of how your body functions, or what toxic stressors are ongoing for you.
Functional practitioners adopt a holistic and personalized approach, first by taking a very detailed history that includes diet, lifestyle and genetics. From there they are able to recommend functional tests that may look at blood, urine, stools and/or saliva to better understand you.
This context is referred to as Functional Diagnostics and provides a holistic view of:
When we are trying to optimize how your body is functioning, we need to know how your body is digesting and absorbing the vital nutrients required for your cells and the hundreds of enzymes to operate efficiently. Important vitamins, minerals, and amino acids need to be available to keep the lining of your gut healthy, especially vitamin A and D, zinc, glutamine, and omega 3 fatty acids.
We need fat to absorb Vitamins A and D and we need adequate pancreatic enzymes to break down protein into absorbable amino acids. We can check stool for pancreatic enzyme level, fat and bile acids. Then, we want to know about the microbes that are either protecting our gut lining or causing inflammation and disrupting our gut lining.
We check for a good diversity, and balance of bacteria. Too much of one kind of bacteria, or of bacteria known to create more inflammation is called dysbiosis. By knowing your balance, we can target diet and botanical recommendations. We also want to know about overall inflammation present in the gut.
This is important not only in evaluating for potential harmful diseases of the gut, but we can also use this value to measure and track improvement.
Using personalized lab recommendations together with your story and clinical symptoms allows us to optimize your wellness plan. We take the time to explain and interpret the results of this advanced testing using our functional medicine training.