Naturopathic Laboratory Testing
at Pacific Wellness Institute
Naturopathic doctors at the Pacific Wellness Institute are registered with LifeLabs and Rocky Mountain Analytical to provide you with the opportunity to have a closer look at your health. This allows access to a wide variety of accurate and informative testing options in order to help identify areas of disease that may have been previously overlooked, or never uncovered in the first place. This is another step toward achieving long-term wellness.
General Routine Laboratory Testing
Our naturopathic doctors are registered in Ontario with LifeLabs to requisition routine laboratory testing via blood samples just as your family doctor would. You will be provided with a requisition form that you will take to any LifeLabs location. These tests include, but are not to: antibody screening, vitamin and minerals, lipids/cholesterol, iron, B12, inflammatory markers, female/male hormones, thyroid hormones, stool cultures, and sputum cultures.
Although these tests are available through your family doctor, not every family doctor will be willing to requisition them if they do not determine a need to do so. Many patients also prefer the convenience of receiving a requisition in their naturopathic visit rather than having to make an appointment with their family doctor separately. These tests are not covered by OHIP, however it can save the patient a lot of time and effort to get the requisition in the naturopathic visit. Results will be sent directly to Pacific Wellness Institute. Then, our naturopathic doctor will discuss with you at your next visit.
Specialized Laboratory Testing
Our naturopathic doctors are registered with Rocky Mountain analytical to requisition specialized laboratory testing for a more in-depth analysis of your health. For these tests, you will be provided with test kits in your naturopathic visit to take home. Instructions for each test will be given during your appointment and also included in each kit. Once you have performed the test at home, you will mail the test kit at your convenience using the pre-paid postage included in the kit. Results will be sent directly to the Pacific Wellness Institute. Our naturopaths will discuss with you at your next visit. You will also be provided a copy of your results.
Adrenal Function Panel
Measures cortisol levels at 4 points throughout the day to determine the body’s ability to cope with stress.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands to help the body deal with stress. Low or elevated cortisol can lead to clinical symptoms including fatigue, frequent illness (cold/flus), weight gain, low mood, inability to maintain focus and concentration, low sex drive, blood sugar imbalances, and an overall burned out feeling.
Non-invasive test requiring the patient to provide 4 saliva samples rather than a blood sample. Saliva represents a more accurate medium to measure cortisol levels, especially when measured throughout the day. Blood/serum cortisol is less reliable as it is only a snapshot of your cortisol level at the time of measurement.
Cortisol levels outside the normal range detected via this test indicates an inappropriate stress response which could lead to chronic disease. Many naturopathic therapies including diet and lifestyle, herbal supplementation, nutritional supplementation, and behavioural modification can be used to improve the body’s ability to cope with stress.
Female Hormone Panel
Measures estradiol (estrogen), progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS, and cortisol to determine the body’s hormonal regulation.
Female hormone imbalances can manifest in many ways including menstrual irregularities, PMS, menopausal symptoms, weight gain, water retention, low mood, bone loss, fertility difficulty, fibroids, and breast cancer.
Non-invasive test requiring the patient to provide a saliva sample. Salivary hormones detect changes in hormones more accurately than a blood/serum sample. Salivary hormones also represent the level of hormone actually in tissues, rather than a blood sample which only measures what may eventually pass into tissues.
Hormone levels outside the normal range a treatable using naturopathic therapies and can often prevent women from having to take pharmaceutical and synthetic hormone medications, therefore reducing the risk of negative side effects.
Male Hormone Panel
Measures estradiol (estrogen), testosterone, DHEAS, and cortisol to determine the body’s hormonal regulation.
Often overlooked, male hormone imbalances are quite common. Symptoms may include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, memory loss, prostate abnormalities, low mood, irritability, and lack of motivation.
Non-invasive test requiring the patient to provide 4 saliva samples. Salivary hormones detect changes in hormones more accurately than a blood/serum sample. Salivary hormones also represent the level of hormone actually in tissues, rather than a blood sample which only measures what may eventually pass into tissues.
Hormone levels outside the normal range a treatable using naturopathic therapies and can often prevent men from having to take pharmaceutical and synthetic hormone medications, therefore reducing the risk of negative side effects.
Thyroid Hormone Panel
Measures T3 and T4 (specific thyroid hormones) and selenium to determine the body’s thyroid function.
T3 and T4 are hormones produced by the thyroid to regulate metabolism. Selenium is required to convert T4 to T3 in the body – T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone. Therefore, low thyroid hormone or selenium can lead to weight gain, fatigue, feeling of coldness, poor concentration, low mood, dry skin and hair, and constipation. Elevated thyroid hormone can lead to unintentional weight loss, anxiety, heart palpitations, oily skin/hair, excessive perspiration, and diarrhea.
Non-invasive test requiring the patient to collect urine for 24 hours (all equipment provided). Urine thyroid is often used when a patient’s blood test comes back normal but there are clinic symptoms of thyroid disease. Therefore, this test can identify inappropriate thyroid function despite a normal blood test.
Thyroid or selenium levels outside the normal range can be treated effectively using naturopathic therapies. The urine thyroid test provides detailed results allowing the clinician to identify the specific hormone(s) or minerals that need to be addressed.
Measures IgG antibodies against various foods to determine if an inappropriate immune response is mounted.
IgG is an antibody in the blood that is released during immune reactions. If an allergenic or sensitive food is consumed, IgG antibodies will be released and attach to the food causing an immune response. This leads to symptoms of inflammation including headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, skin irritation (eczema, psoriasis), bloating, indigestion, weight gain, and fatigue.
Food sensitivity testing is performed via small finger prick or blood sample. Testing is best performed when all foods are being consumed (even those suspected to be causing a reaction) on a regular basis (2 servings per week for 3-4 weeks) in order to get the most accurate result. Food sensitivity testing does not detect anaphylactic allergies, rather foods that cause an immune response leading to clinical symptoms. Therefore, this test can detect underlying food sensitivities. Also, since these food reactions can take hours or days to develop, it is difficult to determine the offending food without performing this test.
A heightened immune response to a food indicates a potential food sensitivity. This allows the patient to learn which foods to avoid in order to prevent symptoms. Food sensitivities can often be the source of disease, however it is commonly overlooked in conventional medical settings.
Environmental Pollutants Profile
Measures phthalates, parabens, and volatile organic compounds to determine environmental chemical exposure.
Environmental chemicals are present in cosmetics, skin care, cookware, toys, and air. This is especially true in areas of significant environmental pollution. Increased environmental burden can cause skin irritation, inability to concentrate and focus, hormonal imbalances, headaches, low mood, and fatigue.
Non-invasive test requiring the patient to provide 1 urine sample. Urine is an accurate method of measuring environmental pollutants since the body eliminates them through the urine.
Elevated urinary metabolites of environmental pollutants suggests increased exposure. Naturopathic treatments to reduce chemical burden, protect tissues, and detoxify the body would be recommended in these cases.
Hair Element Analysis
Measures both essential and toxic elements in the hair to determine nutrition status as well as toxic burden.
Nutrient deficiencies can lead to various health conditions including poor bone health, poor memory and concentration, impaired heart function, impaired immunity, and fatigue. In addition, elevated toxic elements can disrupt nutrient balance and lead to excesses or deficiencies. These can then result in clinical symptoms of disease similar to those previously mentioned.
Non-invasive test requiring the patient to provide a very small sample of hair close to the root (ideally untreated hair). The hair element analysis test represents exposure to essential and toxic elements over the previous 2-3 months. Therefore, the test provides long-term exposure to these elements rather than a 1-time exposure (via urine or blood). Since hair at the root is in contact with blood vessels, essential and toxic elements enter the hair shaft as it grows.
Low essential elements in the hair may indicate a nutrient deficiency which can be simply treated through diet and/or supplementation, especially when clinical symptoms are present. Elevated toxic elements also indicate that nutrient balance is disrupted and therefore could be contributing to nutritional excesses or deficiencies. The toxic elements may be treated by reducing exposure, and compensating for their negative effects.
Measures iodine, bromine, and selenium in the urine to assess iodine status and thyroid function.
Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) which regulate metabolism. Selenium is required to convert T4 to T3 in the body – T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone. Therefore, low iodine or selenium can lead to weight gain, fatigue, feeling of coldness, poor concentration, low mood, dry skin and hair, and constipation. Bromine interferes with iodine metabolism and therefore excess bromine can lead to an iodine deficiency.
Non-invasive test requiring the patient to provide 1 urine sample. Urinary iodine is an accurate measure of iodine status, and can indicate how well the thyroid is functioning.
Low levels of iodine and selenium or elevated bromine can lead to iodine deficiency and produce symptoms of low thyroid function. Naturopathic therapy to improve thyroid function through supplementation is warranted in such cases, especially in pregnant women and those who live in areas with iodine-deficient soil.