Sometimes diagnostic testing is recommended to help you uncover the cause of your health problems as they provide both you and your practitioner with invaluable information about how your body is functioning.
Nutritionist, Kamila Bloch, explains how these can be of help.
Why and when would I recommend testing?
Testing is one of the tools I consider during the consultation. In many cases we can link symptoms and root causes or at least have a well-grounded hypothesis regarding underling health problems. In those instances I’d move straight into initiating your nutritional and lifestyle plan without recommending unnecessary testing. However, there are situations when testing is a valid and desired option. I’d consider and discuss it with you in the following cases:
- For more complex conditions, having multiple possible inputs, it can be a great tool to make our investigations much more accurate and speedy.
- To monitor the progress and ensure the efficacy and appropriate duration of the protocol.
- For clients interested in detailed evaluation of their health status and individual nutritional needs. This will allow me to create a personalized plan for you to support your general wellbeing, increase your performance and prevent future health problems. Without testing it’s often difficult to evaluate the individual susceptibility, prolonged suboptimal nutrition or other inadequate lifestyle factors, which don’t produce specific symptoms until more serious damage is done.
I’m absolutely aware that private tests can be expensive and also take time from your schedule. I’m always happy to work alongside of the conventional medical care and rely on the tests results you bring with you when possible. I also try to refer my clients to their GPs if I consider it feasible.
What tests do I recommend?
I carefully select the tests I recommend to my clients taking under consideration the methodology used to produce reliable results. I also evaluate the true value of the test (the scope of information I can gather) versus its cost for the clients. I value tests that give useful information I can put into practice and actively do something based on the results.
I describe some of the areas I can evaluate through testing below but this is not a complete list and it can change with new research as new tests emerge. Please contact me directly if you want more information on testing I recommend. My recommendations are always considered on the case by case basis and individual circumstances.
Digestive health evaluation
Comprehensive analysis, which is an invaluable assessment of the health of the digestive tract including absorption, metabolism and inflammation, beneficial and imbalanced commensal bacteria, yeast, and parasites. Impairment of intestinal functions can contribute to the development of gastrointestinal complains like persistent diarrhea/constipation, bloating, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and malabsorption but also food allergies and other systemic problems, which may be otherwise difficult to link to the gastrointestinal health. Proper digestion of food, assimilation of nutrients, elimination of pathogens and waste products is a real cornerstone of good health. According to the newest research as well as traditional naturopathic knowledge many health problems start in the gut. Hence, I focus a lot of my attention to the gastrointestinal health of my clients.
Comprehensive nutritional assessment
Nutritional therapy is not about general dietary recommendations but discovering your individual needs instead. Broad nutritional evaluation can be extremely helpful in ensuring you are meeting your needs through the diet and adequate supplementation when necessary. It can help to manage complex and chronic conditions but also to improve your performance and prevent any problems from occurring later in life. Optimal nutrition means you are less likely to suffer from chronic conditions resulting from suboptimal nutrients levels maintained over the years but rarely producing symptoms till significant damage already exists.
The test I recommend provides a framework of core nutrients in 5 areas: Antioxidants, B vitamins, Digestive support, Essential Fatty Acids, and Minerals. It evaluates functional needs (not just a serum levels) for vitamins, minerals, and cofactors. Apart from nutritional deficiencies it also includes important markers to assess digestion, absorption, metabolic impairments and oxidative stress –invaluable in designing a truly personalized healthcare program that will bring results.
If you present with unexplained symptoms whether gastrointestinal, neurological, dermatological or behavioural in nature, I often recommend testing for food sensitivities.
Food sensitivity testing is problematic. Let’s use gluten as an example. Many labs only test for antibodies to a portion of gluten called ‘alpha gliadin’, which is extremely limited and often produces false negative results. I use complete gluten antibody screen called Wheat/Gluten Proteome Sensitivity and Autoimmunity Panel. If going gluten free proves not very helpful, it’s important to consider other foods likely to cross-react with gluten and test for it if necessary.
I also use unique panel measuring reactivity to 180 food antigens in the cooked, raw, modified or processed form.
Comprehensive overview of sex and adrenal hormones to help to get to the bottom of the hormone-related problems.
Advance Adrenal Assessment –a complete overview of adrenal hormones including DHEA, cortisol and cortisol metabolites tested throughout the day to assess the diurnal patterns. Imbalances related to these hormones are associated with many symptoms ranging from obesity, fatigue to immune deficiency and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Comprehensive Hormone Profile – combining the Hormone Metabolite Assessment and the Advanced Adrenal Assessment.
Thyroid screen –complete thyroid health status evaluation to assess central and peripheral function, as well as thyroid auto-immunity. Thyroid imbalances are implicated in fatigue, depression, coldness, constipation, poor skin, headaches, PMS, dysmenorrhea, fluid retention, weight gain, anxiety/panic attacks, decreased memory and concentration, muscle and joint pain, and low sex drive.
Genomic testing evaluates genetic variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), that may be associated with suboptimal function and potentially increased health risks. Areas to evaluate, depending on the individual case and family history, include:
- Detoxification capacity, especially when exposed to environmental toxins. It also identifies susceptibility to adverse drug reactions.
- Cardiovascular function, blood pressure modulation, lipid balance, nutrient metabolism, inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Oestrogen metabolism, also coagulation, bone health and inflammation.
- Chronic inflammation.
Genetic testing may be controversial. In my view it can be helpful if it provides actionable information i.e. can be used as a basis for a personalized, targeted protocol. It can help to identify genetic susceptibility leading to development of symptoms or formulating preventative strategy when well-founded concerns exist e.g. showed by a family history.
Contact Kamila for further details firstname.lastname@example.org
Practitioner Profile Kamila Bloch