Lab Tests

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Lab Testing and Blood Work

As a naturopathic doctor, I believe in thorough lab tests to find the root cause of disease.  This is particularly true with hormonal imbalances (hair loss, acne, dysmenorrhea, infertility, irregular periods, weight gain). Thorough testing is often not done by anyone, including fertility clinics.

What lab tests can a naturopath do?

Everything imaginable.  Conventional lab tests like thyroid, iron and detailed hormone analysis.  Also, I have access to specialized testing for just about anything else.  In-depth stool analysis for irritable bowel, Crohn’s, colitis or SIBO, blood testing for food sensitivities, heavy metal testing, genetic SNP testing, fertility testing, 24-hour urine hormone analysis, intracellular vitamin, and mineral analysis and many others.

Are lab tests mandatory?

Absolutely not, as with any of my recommendations, I will discuss all the testing and non-testing options. We’ll discuss the pros and cons so that you can make an informed choice about the best course of action for you.   While tests can provide specifics about where exactly the problem lies, there are always alternatives to testing.

List of Tests Through a Naturopath

Here is an overview of the types of lab testing that I can order and interpret for you:

  1. 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.
  2. 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, etc.

Testing removes the guesswork from your treatment.  It 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.  Therefore, these are not ordered by medical doctors, even specialists. This includes tests for yeast, food sensitivities, detailed hormone/thyroid/infertility testing, Lyme disease etc.

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.  I will also help sort out 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 provide you with a kit or a requisition.  You then take this to the lab for them to draw the blood.  They send the sample to the appropriate lab for testing. Stool samples you 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 go 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 Contact Us, we’re always happy to help.

For help with this or any health problem, book an appointment here or call the clinic for more information at 416-481-0222.

by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

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