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Lab Tests

lab tests lab testing blood tests stool tests blood work
Lab tests provide vital information that guides treatment

Lab Tests and Blood Work

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

What lab tests can a naturopath do?

As a naturopathic doctor, I can order almost any blood test you may want.  I can order conventional lab tests like thyroid, iron, and detailed hormone analysis.  Also, I have access to specialized testing for anything else you may be wondering about.  I can order in-depth stool analysis for irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, colitis or SIBO, blood testing for food sensitivities, heavy metal testing, fertility testing, 24-hour urine hormone analysis, vitamin and mineral analysis, and many others.

Is lab testing 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 you can make an informed choice about the best course of action.   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, c peptide), testing for anemia (iron/ferritin, B12, folic acid), autoimmune (ANA, anti-dsDNA), urine testing for bladder infections or most of the other tests 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. I can also access mould toxin or mycotoxin testing in partnership with a nurse practitioner.

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.

MTHFR Testing

How to access MTHFR testing in Ontario

Naturopathic doctors in Ontario are not allowed to order genetic testing of any kind, including MTHFR testing.  Here’s how to access this information on your own:

You can order genetic testing yourself through Important: Confirm with them that MTHFR results will be included in the raw data from this test; I’ve been informed lately that they may not.

After your results return, contact 23andme and ask for your raw data. Input that information into the Found My Fitness app, Sterling’s app, or Genetic Genie for MTHFR interpretation. Book an appointment for guidance on how to manage your test results.

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 and/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.

Do you have to be in Toronto to do lab testing?

No. In order to provide treatment advice, you must be in Ontario at the time of our visit. I can do virtual visits either over the phone or by secure video call. If you choose to do a virtual visit, I can email you a requisition for any required tests.

Suggested Tests for Optimal Health or Specific Health Problems

Cardiovascular Health:

Who Should Have These Tests:

Everyone, especially those who have a family history of heart disease or diabetes, eat a poor diet, have been diagnosed with heart disease, have weight management issues, have high LDL-C, have low HDL-C, smoke, or have high blood pressure

Test: Lipoprotein Particle Plus Profile –

Lipoprotein Particle Numbers

Lipoproteins are proteins in the blood that carry fats (lipids). They cause heart disease by getting into the artery walls, oxidizing, and forming plaque. Measuring lipoprotein numbers helps doctors target treatment effectively.

Remnant Lipoprotein (RLP)

RLP is a harmful lipoprotein that can cause blood clots and reduce blood vessel flexibility. Unlike other LDL particles, RLP can form plaque without being oxidized. Omega-3 fatty acids can help treat high RLP levels.

Dense LDL III and LDL IV

These small lipoproteins easily damage artery walls and are strongly linked to heart disease.


This beneficial lipoprotein shows how well cholesterol is cleared by the liver. It starts as HDL3 and becomes HDL2b as it collects cholesterol. Higher levels indicate better heart health.

Lipid Panel

A lipid panel measures cholesterol, not lipoproteins. Since half of heart attack patients have normal cholesterol, lipoprotein numbers provide a better health assessment. High triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol increase heart disease risk.

Vascular Inflammation

Heart disease is linked to inflammation, and certain markers can indicate cardiometabolic risk.


Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar. Insulin resistance requires more insulin to lower blood sugar, leading to fat storage and pre-diabetes. Stress can also raise insulin levels.


High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) shows body inflammation. High levels are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.


Lipoprotein(a) raises the risk of blood clots and heart disease by preventing blood clot dissolution and forming plaque.

Apolipoprotein B (ApoB)

ApoB is found on all LDL particles, indicating the level of harmful lipoproteins in the blood.

Apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1)

ApoA1 is on all HDL particles and helps transport cholesterol to the liver for removal. Low levels increase the risk of heart disease.


High homocysteine levels damage blood vessel linings and are linked to heart and kidney disease, stroke, and dementia.

Heavy Metal Testing – Doctor’s Data

Who should do this test: Anyone with autoimmune disorders, Insulin Resistance, Inflammatory diseases, Chemical sensitivity, Many food sensitivities or intolerances, Extreme tiredness or fatigue, Muscle pain or weakness, Fibromyalgia, Chronic, Complex Illness, known or questionable heavy metal exposure.

Gut Health and Digestive Disorders

These tests may help anyone with IBS, IBD, Crohn’s, Colitis, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, GERD, acid reflux

Blood Tests

Celiac disease testing
IgG or IgG and IgA Food Sensitivity Testing – 96 foods
IgG or IgG and IgA Food Sensitivity Testing – 240 foods

Stool Testing:

Microbiology Profile: This test checks your stool for good bacteria, bad bacteria, and yeast. If bad bacteria and/or yeast are identified, the lab will attempt to culture yours and determine the most successful treatment.
Culture, PCR and Parasitology: This is the same as the above test, but in addition the lab will check for parasites.
GI360: This is the most comprehensive stool test. It checks all of the above as well as a variety of digestive markers to see how well you digest fats, protein, vegetables, whether there are traces of blood in your stool, whether there is inflammation in your gut, whether there are enough short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in your gut.

Complex Chronic Illness

These tests may all help understand and treat complex, chronic illnesses and other medical mysteries.

  • Lyme testing
  • MycoTox
  • GPL-Tox
  • Environmental Pollutants Profile
  • Food Sensitivity Testing
  • OAT
  • Hormone Testing

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

These tests are appropriate for people who may be experiencing extreme tiredness or fatigue, muscle pain or weakness, fibromyalgia

Tests for Mitochondrial Dysfunction:

Complete blood count (CBC), organic acid analysis, amino acid analysis, thorough thyroid function studies, lactate, creatine phosphokinase, albumin, uric acid, glutathione, Heavy Metal Testing, MycoTox

Hormone Imbalance

These tests may be appropriate for women with painful periods, PMS, cramps, PCOS, acne, hair loss, hirsutism, infertility, endometriosis, PMDD, and premenstrual migraines.

Day 3 of your period (day 2-4 is ok) at 8-9 a.m: LH, FSH, estradiol, DHEAs, total testosterone, prolactin, TSH, free T3, free T4, anti-TPO, anti-thyroglobulin, 8-9 a.m. cortisol, vitamin D, DHT/dihydrotestosterone, HbA1c, fasting insulin
7 days after ovulating: progesterone 

DUTCH Testing

Tests for Menopause/Perimenopause

LH, FSH, estradiol, DHEAs, total testosterone, androstenedione, 8-9 a.m. cortisol, 17-OH progesterone, prolactin, TSH, free T3, free T4, anti-TPO, anti-thyroglobulin, HbA1c, fasting insulin, if still ovulating – 7 days post-ovulation progesterone, otherwise this progesterone test is unnecessary

Poor Immune System Function

  • MycoTox
  • Heavy Metal Testing
  • Zinc
  • CBC
  • HbA1c
  • Food Sensitivity Testing
  • Micronutrients (Comprehensive Panel) – Spectracell – I can access this test for you through a partnership with a Nurse Practitioner

Mental Health Tests

These tests may help someone who suffers from anxiety, depression, PMDD, Bipolar disorder, or Cyclothymia.

OAT Testing
Comprehensive Hormone Testing

Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes Tests

Lipoprotein Particle Plus Profile – Spectracell, HbA1c, Continuous Glucose Monitoring, Oral Glucose Tolerance Test with Glucose and Insulin Measurements at Fasting, 1 hour and 2 hours after the glucose drink.

Malnourished, restricted diets, optimize comprehensive vitamin and mineral status, elite athletes:

Micronutrients (Comprehensive Panel) – Spectracell – I can access this test for you through a partnership with a Nurse Practitioner

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

Picture of Toronto Naturopath Doctor Dr. Pamela Frank, Best Naturopath in Toronto many times over
Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Pamela has practiced as a naturopathic doctor in Toronto since 1999. She has received numerous “Best Naturopath in Toronto” awards. She is registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

Dr. Pamela Frank uses a natural treatment approach that may include acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, diet, vitamins, supplements, and other natural remedies to restore balance and provide long-term resolution to almost any health problem.

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