Standard lab work is not always able to identify the underlying causes of patients’ symptoms. Because of this our doctors use a variety of innovative diagnostic tests that can help us find the root causes of your health challenges.
Please note that not all these tests are appropriate for all patients. Which tests are necessary and useful will be determined in consultation with your doctor based on your medical history, symptoms and risk factors.
In addition to recommending appropriate conventional screening tests, such as mammograms or bone-density scans, we also use AlfaDiagnostics Thermoregulation Scans. This scan provides detailed information on health or potential dysfunction in all major organ systems in the body.
Comprehensive Digestive Analysis
From mental health to chronic pain and inflammation, the health of all tissues and organs is dependent, to a great degree, on the health of the digestive system. We use a number of tests that go far beyond the standard occult blood test or even what can be revealed by a colonoscopy. Comprehensive digestive analysis assesses the adequacy of the digestive process itself. In addition, it can reveal the presence of inflammation within the digestive tract, can distinguish between inflammatory or irritable bowel conditions, can identify bacterial, yeast or parasite overgrowth or the likelihood of leaky gut syndrome.
Food Sensitivity Testing
Most people know if they have an actual food allergy, which produces itchiness, hives and breathing problems. There are a number of other ways, however, that specific foods can activate the immune system and cause difficult to explain symptoms from fatigue and headaches to acne, eczema, diarrhea and even behavior problems in children. Our assessment of potential problem foods goes beyond food allergies and includes several test panels that reveal non-classical adverse reactions to foods.
Adrenal Stress Testing
Ongoing stress can deplete our reserves and leave us feeling tired, anxious, burnt out or unable to sleep. It can also activate inflammation in the body and lead to low blood pressure or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Adrenal hormones, including cortisol, are central to our ability to meet the demands of stress. Deficiencies or excesses of these hormones can wreak havoc on our health and our ability to meet the demands of our lives. Unlike blood cortisol testing which, in our experience, is not a reliable indicator of adrenal function, multi sample saliva testing produces consistently useful information about adrenal function and can be a key factor in helping patients with stress related illness recover.
Balancing Brain Biochemistry
Proper brain function is an intricate and highly coordinated dance of electrical and chemical signals. A disruption of chemical balance interferes with electrical signalling and can have profound effects on our moods, emotions and behavior. Assessing chemical imbalances in the brain presents special challenges. Obviously, we cannot sample brain tissues directly and levels of these chemicals and their break down products in the blood or urine do not necessarily reflect levels in the brain itself. Our approach to assessing brain neurochemistry is a result of over 30 years of research and is highly successful in revealing underlying imbalances and guiding successful treatment.
Advanced Cardiovascular Evaluation
Patients with high cholesterol or a strong family history of cardiovascular disease are often left wondering how great their risk actually is and what they need to do to prevent a future heart attack or stroke. While conventional testing relies heavily on total cholesterol and a few cholesterol sub-fractions, we utilize several advanced panels which provide far greater detail on individual risk factors. Some of these include genetic, inflammatory and markers atherosclerotic plaque production, cholesterol overproduction vs. recycling and the status of protective factors, such as levels of key nutrients. This can be extremely useful in guiding a risk reduction program and in normalizing high cholesterol levels themselves. These tests are frequently covered by insurance (PPO).
Conventional lab tests are often covered by patients’ insurance plans (PPO plans). In situations where insurance coverage is not available, we belong to several doctors’ co-ops which have very affordable rates for most common labs. Further, while MediCal does not pay for our office visits, they will cover conventional blood tests and imaging prescribed by Dr. Greta D’Amico.