What is Functional Medicine & Testing?

Functional medicine testing is the answer! Functional medicine seeks for the cause of symptoms: lifestyle (diet, sleep, stress, exercise), environment (career, exposures, infections, chemicals), and the interaction with your genetic vulnerability to understand the source. With a detailed history including environmental exposures, genetic vulnerability, from the comprehensive intake forms, we choose specific testing tailored to your needs. The Organic Acid test panel is the core, foundational panel and then depending on your health needs, the need to add additional testing may assist your wellness journey. Call us to choose the most beneficial test panel for you.

The test results help us develop a personalized plan for the problems you are dealing with. The treatment plans often include a dietary change, exercise potential maximization, and nutritional deficiency replacement. Depending on your symptoms and results we may choose an array of treatment options.

Functional medicine takes advantage of the most cutting-edge discoveries and testing available on the market. The laboratory testing can assess vitamins, minerals, amino acids, hormones, food sensitivities, inflammatory markers, autoimmunity, parasites, mold, fungal, hormone metabolism, and neurotransmitters, to name a few.

We strive to return your body’s healing capabilities back to optimal function. The goal is to minimize external negative influences which can be found through testing and maximize the healthy lifestyle factors that can have a positive impact on your health, all revealed through testing.

The following charts explain the benefits functional medicine:

 

Let’s deep dive into this truly beneficial non-invasive testing.

What is an Organic Acid Test?

The organic acid test is utilized in functional medicine to gain insight into the root cause of illness. Functional medicine, otherwise known as the root cause, is the futuristic approach to providing personalized, scientific-driven, and alternative medicine. The next evolution of treatment aims to identify and solve the actual, underlying cause of illness rather than just band-aiding symptoms with multiple medications. 

More than half of adults over age 18 have at least one chronic condition. Nearly half (approximately 45%, or 133 million) of Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease. It does not have to be this way. Think about what people are missing out on, enjoying their time with loved ones, feeling free of illness, anxiety, and fatigue, and having the motivation and energy to accomplish their dreams! 

People are searching for whole-body solutions to get to the root cause of their health imbalances and get on the right journey to total wellness of mind and body. In addition, people are searching for natural ways to boost their immune system against the next variant or pandemic, and these tests offer many clues. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable, not knowing how your immune system functions and what markers you need to work on to gain a robust immune response.

Rather than blindly treating your symptoms with medications, the functional medicine approach will identify the root cause of your health issues and aim to solve them with personalized treatments. The approach starts with utilizing scientific-driven data from specialized lab testing. 

Let me introduce you to the specialized testing starting with the foundational test, which is the Organic acid test. 

Organic Acid Testing can aid in detecting imbalances, toxicity, and inflammation in one’s health and indicate the functional need for specific nutrients, food modification, antioxidants, and detoxification. 

Human health is a constant stream of chemical reactions on a cellular level. These chemical reactions are the foundation of our physiologic system, and our health is dependent on their optimal functioning. The test checks the organic acids, compounds formed during metabolic processing from the digestion of dietary protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The body uses the resulting organic acids to generate cellular energy necessary for cell function. The test offers a functional assessment of your nutrient status and information on how these chemical reactions in our bodies are functioning.

Since the lab test is a urine test, it is straightforward for you to do it at home. It’s beneficial in pediatrics and adults since blood draws can be challenging and invasive to many. Why is urine the best testing organic acids? Since the kidney does not reabsorb organic acids, they are concentrated and detected in the first-morning urine void. Where else can you obtain many clues on multiple aspects of one’s physiology?

The Organic Acid test offers a peek into many aspects of our cellular health, providing helpful clues as you look for root cause issues in one’s health. It will help identify the root causes of dysfunction and provide a science-based approach to help you overcome chronic conditions, gain insight into your functioning, and live healthier lives to reach total wellness of mind and body.

The Organic Acid Test offers:

  • Nutrient recommendations for crucial vitamins, minerals, and digestive support 
  • Functional pillars to guide treatment around needs for methylation support, toxic exposures, and mitochondrial dysfunction
  • A dynamic explanation for a more precise understanding
  • Clues into a possible metabolic inhibition or block due to a nutrient deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficit, toxic build-up, or a drug effect. How is this possible? Enzymes responsible for metabolizing organic acids are vitamin and mineral dependent, and these markers are included n the test. Any elevations in your organic acids can reflect a functional need for specific nutrients on a cellular and biochemical level, even despite normal blood levels.

The Organic Acid test metabolic sections are:

  • Malabsorption & Dysbiosis Markers
  • Cellular Energy & Mitochondrial Markers
  • Oxalate Markers
  • Neurotransmitter Metabolites
  • Vitamin Markers
  • Methylation Markers
  • Toxin & Detoxification Markers

Be empowered with the priceless knowledge of how your body functions and where the problems are so you can work on them. Let’s dig deeper into what you will learn about yourself or a loved one.

The Malabsorption & Dysbiosis Markers

These markers check for the byproducts of bacterial and fungal activity in the GI tract. They come from the fermentation processing of dietary flavonoids and phenols. In the absence of dysbiosis, these high levels of these metabolites can reflect a healthy intake of antioxidant-rich foods. Still, a stool test may provide further information regarding dysbiosis or other GI dysfunction when multiple markers are elevated. The Organic Acid Test is overall more sensitive for candida analysis because it detects the chemical production in the digestive system that is reflective of these organisms’ metabolic activity and tissue invasion along the mucosal lining of the gut. The organic acid arabinose is linked to this process of mucosal invasion. Some candida toxins can create problems with brain function, including memory, attention, and focus. 

Several bacterial markers include the Clostridia bacteria, such as Clostridia difficile (C. diff.), leading to digestive issues. Did you know that certain strains of C. diff. cause inflammation, diarrhea, and bleeding within the digestive system? Other clostridia toxins work outside the digestive system, such as different strains of clostridia, HPHPA, and 4-cresol. Both strains can inhibit a dopamine converting enzyme, leading to excess dopamine in the brain and nervous system, which is not good. If the bacterial marker is elevated, check if the neurotransmitter dopamine is as well since that combination can cause mood instability and cognitive issues. The presence of these clostridia toxins may trigger aggression.

The Cellular Energy & Mitochondrial Markers

These markers reflect the body’s ability to process dietary macronutrients to feed the Krebs cycle and energy production. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of energy factories of our cells, acting as energy currency for our bodies. When the mitochondria are stressed because of toxins from candida, bacteria, oxalate, heavy metals, and environmental chemicals, then dysfunction may occur. Imbalances throughout the Krebs cycle, fatty acid oxidation, glycolysis, or protein metabolism, may reflect enzyme dysfunction, nutrient insufficiencies, toxins, and underlying diseases. These markers provide insight into health conditions and potential therapeutics to correct mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction is common in chronic health disorders. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of energy factories of our cells, acting as energy currency for our bodies. 

The Oxalate Markers

The oxalate markers may provide insight into abnormal metabolism in the glyoxylate pathway, resulting in higher oxalic acid levels. Oxalates can be produced by candida overgrowth, aspergillus mold, and metabolic imbalances linked to a deficiency in certain metabolizing enzymes. Elevated oxalate is often associated with joint and muscle pain and bladder and bowel discomfort. The oxalates may have specific clinical relevance to anyone suffering from recurrent kidney stones, as high levels of oxalic acid are a vital risk factor in kidney stone development. Also, evidence supports the notion that increased levels of oxidative stress and metabolic dysfunction may ultimately contribute to dysfunctional oxalate metabolism, leading to higher oxalic acid excretion.

The Neurotransmitter Markers

These organic acid compounds are downstream metabolites of neurotransmitter synthesis and degradation. Elevations can represent altered neurotransmitter metabolism due to enzymatic nutrient cofactor needs, genetic predispositions, toxins, chronic illness, and stress. The relationship between dopamine and norepinephrine is vital for attention, calmness, focusing, mood, and other nervous system functions. Another important neurotransmitter metabolite marker is serotonin, responsible for our mood, fine and gross motor skills, being even-keeled, and sleeping. Elevated markers in the neurotransmitter section can indicate toxic stress in the brain and nervous system. A toxic compound is checked with the quinolinic acid marker. Elevated markers are harmful in the brain, triggering increased receptor activity and allowing an increased influx of calcium into a brain cell leading to a host of cell problems, causing or contributing to brain cell death and destruction. 

The Vitamin Markers

These markers are used to assess the levels of specific B-vitamins known for enzymatic metabolism, gaining insight into functional vitamin needs. Specific vitamin markers such as vitamin B6, B5, C, CoQ10, and N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) are evaluated. N-Acetylcysteine is necessary as a precursor for the super important antioxidant, Glutathione. If you have not tested your glutathione levels, you may miss out on a crucial clue to achieving total wellness. Glutathione protects our cells against toxicity. Therefore the lack of Glutathione leads to oxidative stress within the brain and nervous system and may cause poor attention, focus, and cognitive challenges. Furthermore, glutathione deficiency can compromise one’s immune system health and liver health since it is a necessary factor involved in supporting the liver to detoxify chemicals.

The Methylation Markers

These markers check for folate, which is linked to the methylation cycle, supporting the functioning of cells related to DNA function and metabolism. Inadequate folate metabolism can lead to cognitive problems.

The Toxin and Detoxification Markers

These markers reflect exposure to environmental toxins or up-regulation of detoxification pathways in response to exposures. Elevations lead to recommendations to identify the vulnerabilities and minimize or remove them. Treatment may include the use of antioxidants and nutritional support for detoxification pathways.

The Oxalate Markers

These markers provide insight into abnormal metabolism in the glyoxylate pathway, which could ultimately result in higher oxalic acid levels. Oxalates may have specific relevance to recurrent kidney stones, as high levels of oxalic acid are a vital risk factor in kidney stone development. In addition, the increased levels of oxidative stress and metabolic dysfunction may ultimately contribute to dysfunctional oxalate metabolism, leading to higher oxalic acid excretion.

Reference ranges for the testing are age and gender-specific. 

You may ask yourself, who will benefit from this test?

The Organic Acid Test is recommended for individuals with the following disorders:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • ADHD/ADD
  • Mood Disorders
  • Autism
  • Inflammatory Disorders
  • GI Dysfunction
  • Autoimmune
  • Yeast Overgrowth
  • Inflammation
  • Mold Colonization
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  • Weight Management
  • Neurotransmitter Imbalance
  • Detoxification Disorders
  • Kidney Stones/Oxalate Related Conditions
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction

In addition, the Organic Acid Test is great for anyone wanting a Proactive and Preventative Planning to reach total wellness of mind and body. Now more than ever, this is the time to become your best health advocate and discover how your body functions. 

Many diseases are associated with abnormal organic acid levels, such as depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, neurocognitive decline, cancer, diabetes, weight management, and many others. 

I have been blessed to work with individuals for over 21 years utilizing these functional medicine lab tests. I create customized protocols for everyone tested, using the lab results and the data that the client provides in my extensive intake forms. I’ve seen positive results for GI issues, SIBO, parasites, diverticulitis, uveitis, thyroid-adrenal-hormones imbalances, weight loss, mental health issues, special needs children and adults, working with couples pre and post-conception, and for the newborn, dementia and Alzheimers, ALS, MS, liver issues, cancers, mold exposures, drug and alcohol addictions, Covid and it’s variants, and many more. If you want answers, then you have arrived at the right place. I’m not just a practitioner; I will partner with you as you go along this wellness journey. I want to empower you to embrace the journey on your way to total wellness.  

Do you want to get a snapshot of approximately 77 aspects of your metabolic and cellular health and detect alterations in the gut microbiome, vitamin deficiencies, levels of neurotransmitters, and exposures to mold or fungus? Find a functional medicine practitioner that understands how to interpret your test results and create a customized nutraceutical regime for vitamin and mineral cofactors and digestive support based on your biochemical metabolism.  

You can order the lab test here; then, you’ll receive the kit and overnight it back so we can process it to the lab. Make your health a priority by gaining insight into your body’s functioning so you can work on any imbalances. Your total wellness of mind and body is worth it because you are worth it.

Why is the Organic Acid Test beneficial? If the fungal or yeast markers are elevated, it looks like you’ve been exposed to candida or certain molds. If the bacterial markers are elevated, it shows dysbiosis in your GI tract. The test looks at Clostridia Bacterial Markers to evaluate for these toxins linked to neurological and mental health issues. Checking for Oxalate Metabolites is important since elevations are common in people with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. The Mitochondria Markers help determine your mitochondria (energy production part of the cell) functionality. The test checks for Ketones and Fatty Acids markers since they can contribute to high cholesterol, weight mgmt issues, and mitochondria dysfunction.

Last but not least, we look at several Nutritional Markers to check if you have a deficiency in a specific nutrient. An essential maker and rarely checked is Glutathione. This marker helps you gain insight into your detoxification functioning. Amino Acids Metabolites are included to help you know if you have a metabolic imbalance or an inborn error in metabolism. Neurotransmitter health is evaluated and crucial for helping with depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. I’ve been utilizing this test for over 21 years as it offers you so much information about how your body is functioning and where the imbalances are to reset so you can reach total wellness of mind and body.

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