Hey everyone, I want to go a little more in-depth on my discussion of common health problems that I see in the office each day and how to get tested!
If you haven’t read the previous articles, either Part 1 or Part 2, I would suggest doing so before reading along. Patients often want to know the reason behind evaluations, tests, and measurements. Not only that, but they also want to know the meaning of what those tests represent. Provided below is a more comprehensive look at what we have discussed previously!
Basic Blood Work and Urinalysis
This can give you information about your hormone levels, blood proteins, and liver enzymes. The only concern that many doctors have with basic blood work is that it does not take into account the nutrients or hormones within the cells themselves. That is why many times a person will feel fatigued or sick and the blood levels are normal. So if that occurs, I would investigate intracellular lab work. Labs such as Spectracell have the technology to look within the cells and give you a deeper reading – something worth checking out.
Knowing these levels are very important if you are facing a health crisis. These are the indicators which tell us if your body can actually produce, sustain, and continuously create energy.
Thyroid – T3, T4, TSH, and TRH
These levels allow you to see how well your thyroid operates, which tells you how efficient your body is in creating energy. This in turn allows the body to stay oxygenated, burn fat properly, metabolize sugar efficiently, and keep the body temperature around 98.6°. T3 is the more bioavailable than the T4 hormone (thyroxin). T3 hormone turns your energy cycle (Kreb Cycle) within the cells much faster than T4. The problem is that 94-97% of thyroid hormone produced naturally is in the T4 form. It has to be converted to T3 in the liver and small intestine with the help of minerals such as selenium, zinc, or copper and vitamins. If you have a chronic sickness or condition, high stress, and low mineral / vitamin intake you will have a hard time producing adequate amounts of T3 hormone to produce energy. You will be tired and fatigued all the time, especially in the morning.
Adrenal – Cortisol and Adrenaline
These levels are indicative of how stressed your body is. The more stressed you are, the higher your cortisol and adrenaline levels will be. The more stress means your adrenals have to produce more of these hormones to keep up with the demand you place on them. Eventually the adrenal glands can get very fatigued and shrivel up and stop producing these hormones; this is known as adrenal burnout. When this occurs, the levels of the hormones will drop and get very low. The patient then cannot handle any stressful news, hardly get out of bed, or cannot expend energy for very long before they get weak and shaky. There is a direct correlation between low adrenaline and testosterone, and even vitamin D. When you have burned out the adrenals, you will find low testosterone and low vitamin D, especially in men. Adrenal hormones are made to give you stamina and to produce the fight or flight syndrome to handle stress, a.k.a. Hans Selye or General Adaptation Syndrome.
Testes and Ovaries
Testosterone, Progesterone, and Estrogen. These hormones give you sex drive and stamina. Testosterone helps you with stamina and strength, progesterone helps ladies keep eggs implanted long enough for conception and embryonic growth, and estrogen helps with fat deposition and fertility. Burn out or low levels of these hormones could result in the following:
- Fertility problems in both sexes
- Breast tissue inflammation in both sexes
- Testicular and prostate issues in men
- Obesity problems
- Low sperm count in men
Vital to our bodies in times of sickness, simply because proteins help with the immune support, transportation of hormones and other important substances in the blood, tissue repair and growth, and many more roles.
- Albumin – is the major protein within the blood which carries substances in blood, maintains osmotic pressure within the blood vessels, and acts as a scavenger of free radicals within the blood. Low albumin means you can have lowered immune response.
- Globulins – help with immune system function, hormone transport in the blood, and clotting factors. High Globulin = chronic inflammatory conditions such as liver or kidney disease, bone marrow disease, autoimmune disease (rheumatoid or lupus), or carcinoid tumors. Low Globulin = can indicate liver disease, improper digestion, inflammatory bowel disease, crohn’s, or ulcerative colitis, forms of cancers, or hemolytic anemia.
- Fibrinogen – helps the body clot, which can indicate that there is chronic injury in the body which requires the body to make clots and to bandage wounds. Infections have been known to hide out in fibrinogen and to burrow into old clotting tissue.
Proteins in the Urine
This is usually indicative of kidney problems or disease. Kidneys are filters of our water soluble toxins, just like an air filter or oil filter in your car. You must have proper kidney function to get rid of water soluble toxins in the body. The liver pushes water soluble toxins to the kidneys so that the toxins can then be eliminated through the urine. If protein is being allowed to get into the urine, such as albumin, you know the kidneys are not doing their job to filter out the proteins. This is more than likely an indication that the kidneys are weak or there is disease involved. It also could be a breakdown of the actual kidney tissue in the body.
Two of the primary enzymes within the blood that are checked regularly are the liver enzymes – ALT (Alanine Transaminase) and AST (Aspartate Transaminase). High amounts of these enzymes within the blood can show that the liver is swollen, infected, or failing. When liver cells are injured, they leak the enzymes into the bloodstream. Chronic liver disease is more prevalent than most people realize. Remember the liver is one of the major detox organs of your body, along with the lymph glands, kidneys, colon, and skin. If these levels are high, you need to start a liver detoxification program, simply to reduce the inflammation and heal liver cells.
Liver detoxes can be done quarterly. Supplements that have been know to help the liver flush are: N-Acetyl Cysteine, Glutathione, Milk Thistle, Selenium and Zinc. Your liver is involved with the breakdown of all your past medications, old vaccinations, alcohol, food preservatives, bad fats, trans fats, rancid fats, hormones, etc. Along with your lymph, colon, and skin, it is one of the most important detoxifying organs you have. It is also responsible for the synthesis (breakdown and utilization) of vitamins and minerals, cholesterol for hormones, and the list goes on and on. Your liver is Important!!
Genetic testing not only can give your ancestry, but it can also give you a large amount of info about your genetic variants, a.k.a. mutations. Variants within the genetic code are suppressed from becoming active by the amount of CH3 molecules (methyl groups) within the body. Genetic codes themselves do not give you disease or cancers; it is the activation or expression of the variants that gives you the disease.
The liver is involved heavily with the suppression of these mutations by the natural detox cycles in the liver, known as cytochrome P450 pathways. If your liver is congested with toxic overload and unhealthy, along with low mineral and vitamin content in the body, it can result in a variant or mutation expressing itself. Mutations are known as the study of genetic SNIPs (singular nucleotide polymorphism). The information they give about the prediction of our health is pretty amazing. These SNIPs selectively pass on from generation to generation, and our bodies work continuously to suppress them. You must have minerals, vitamins, and certain spices to keep the variants from expressing themselves.
Genetic information gives you information on what diseases or sickness run in your family line, but it also tells you what metabolic pathways are compromised in your genetic line. If you know which pathway is susceptible to blockage, then you know which supplementation you need to keep the pathways open. For example, your whole body is run by enzymes that either help speed up processes or break down old substances; if those enzymes are absent because of low minerals and vitamins in the body, the pathways clog up. I like using websites like 23andMe or Ancestry to uncover genetic ancestry. However, if you like your anonymity then you need to research how to keep your identity separate or protected. Placing your results in the websites mentioned in the last blog can give you information about what diseases or health concerns you are susceptible to, what biological weakness you have inherited, and how well you detox daily. There are other genetic tests you can do separately through different labs, just research them and find a reputable one and get to researching!
Lyme and all its co-infections are very tricky. They can hide out in the brain, joints, muscles, scar tissue, liver, bile, and old fibrin / clotting tissue in the vascular system. Relying on blood analysis alone is not always the most dependable. Igenex takes samples and reads what is going on within the joints and synovium to see if you have any antibodies to lyme, plus it investigates if lyme bodies and co-infections are present. Lyme usually incubates within the joints first then spreads out after the first few months of infection. That is why testing the synovium and joint areas are pretty significant. Western Blot and Elysa tests are sensitive, but sometimes miss the diagnosis. Remember lyme and co-infections can create symptoms such as:
- Headaches / migraines
- Vision problems
- Digestion problems / nausea
- Anxiety-panic attacks
Microbials are very invasive and evasive to treatment. Never underestimate their elusiveness and detriment to your health.
This can help identify the mineral amounts in your body. Remember, your body runs off minerals and vitamins, but the top three in my opinion are magnesium, zinc, and selenium. These minerals alone help run over 20,000 different metabolic pathways in your body, they are not something you should take for granted. Hair analysis can give you the amounts of minerals you average in your body, which can then tell you what you should supplement with.
Heavy metals can also be read from your hair analysis. Aluminum, Nickel, Mercury, Arsenic, etc. can be hiding in the body. They are detrimental to the thyroid, heart, and most of the body. They hinder your natural enzymes from breaking down toxic substances in the liver because they bind to receptor sites in your cells that are vital in signaling the production of the enzyme development.
Parasitic and Viral Testing
Testing for these microbials can be tricky. In my last article I suggested a couple labs to perform these tests. They are great labs to get a basic reading if you suffer from parasites or viruses. Many times the medical community overlook these pests only because the symptom is what is focused on. Giving a medication for nausea or diarrhea is more available and simple than deeper investigation for the cause. These microbes rob the body of nutrients and give off toxins that can create all types of symptoms. Please do not overlook the infectious agents, if you suffer from any symptom listed in the last article– LINK, then this type of testing must be considered.
Emotions are at the base of most all conditions. Don’t let anyone make you think that what you feel or think doesn’t affect your health. There are thousands of studies that show that emotions create heart problems, anxiety, adrenal exhaustion, immune deficiencies, digestive problems, and the list goes on.
Techniques that I have seen help individuals process stress in the mental and emotional forms are NET (neuro-emotional technique), EFT (emotional freedom technique), EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), and acupuncture. They all work very well, but it does depend on the particular person. Certain people work well with different techniques, not one technique works for everyone.
I cannot stress this enough. I believe everyone should have a trusted acupuncturist in their health team. I have great acupuncturists that I work with and myself have benefited greatly from acupuncture. Acupuncture monitors the energy reservoir within the body. If there are blocks within the acupuncture pathways, you will lose vital energy. Think of the acupuncture system as a small highway system flowing around your body 24 hours a day. If there is a block in the highway, the energy backs up just like a traffic jam. Energy then can pool in certain areas / organs / muscles in the body from the jam and then create a deficiency down the highway. Either way, the organs and muscles will either become overactive or underactive. I have seen many patients go to an acupuncturist and see great benefits for PCOS, psoriasis, allergies, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, etc.
The techniques I use at the office are heavily based on the acupuncture system. The body is a holistic mechanism; it is not reduced to its parts alone. Treating the body as a unit would be similar to getting a full car checkup and tune-up. We don’t take a car in and expect that just changing the battery solves all the problems. Mechanics are holistic in that manner, why not doctors?
I hope this synopsis helps, please let me know what you think in the comments below!