Lab Testing and Blood Work
By Dr Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND
As a naturopathic doctor, I am a big advocate for having thorough lab tests done to unearth the root cause of disease, particularly with hormone imbalances (hair loss, acne, dysmenorrhea, infertility, irregular periods, weight gain). Thorough testing has often not been done by anyone, including fertility clinics.
Here is an overview of the types of lab testing that I can order and interpret for you:
- Conventional laboratory testing – hormone blood tests (LH, FSH, estradiol, testosterone, DHEAs, androstenedione, DHT, progesterone, HCG), liver function tests (ALT, AST, GGT, bilirubin), kidney function tests (urea, creatinine, creatinine clearance), thorough thyroid testing (TSH, free T3, free T4, anti-TPO, anti-thyroglobulin), adrenal function tests (cortisol – a.m. and p.m., DHEAs, testosterone), cardiovascular (CK, CK-MB, homocysteine, cholesterol, triglycerides), diabetes testing (fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, glucose tolerance test), testing for anemia (iron/ferritin, B12, folic acid), autoimmune (ANA, anti-dsDNA), urine testing for bladder infections or any other test that you may normally have done by your family doctor.
- Specialized lab tests that conventional medicine doesn’t offer – IgG and IgA food allergy blood testing, comprehensive digestive stool analysis and parasitology, micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) testing, Lyme disease testing, 24 hour urine heavy metals, and MTHFR or more extensive genetic testing (23andme).
Testing removes the guess work from treatment and helps to narrow down the almost infinite natural treatment options.
What lab tests can you do that my doctor can’t?
Several. There is a wide range of specialized tests that are not covered by OHIP and therefore not ordered by medical doctors, even specialists. Tests for yeast by stool culture, food sensitivity blood testing, detailed testing for parasites, detailed testing for hormones/thyroid/infertility, Lyme disease and many more.
How do I get lab tests done through you?
In order for me to order tests for you, you need to be a patient of mine. I cannot justify ordering tests for someone I’ve never seen. Typically at the end of the initial visit, we’ll discuss which tests are most appropriate for you and how to go about getting them done. In some instances, we try to recruit the help of your family doctor or specialist if the tests are ones that may be covered through OHIP.
Currently, the Ontario government requires me to send you to a Specimen Collection Centre (lab) for them to collect blood samples. We will provide you with a kit, which you then take to the lab for them to draw the blood, they’ll then send the sample to the appropriate lab for testing. Stool samples you can collect yourself at home and send directly to the lab.
Which labs do you use?
We use LifeLabs, Dynacare and Hospitals-in-Common labs. Depending on the test, samples may then be forwarded to specialized labs for testing (such as Meridian Valley, Rocky Mountain Analytical, Igenex, Great Plains and Alletess. Check out the vast array of integrative medicine testing available through Hospitals-in-Common if you are wondering about a specific test that we can run for you or Contact Us, we’re always happy to help.