While going by how your body "feels" can be a great indicator of your health, we can sometimes not realize the effects that underlying inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, gut infections and hormonal imbalance have on our health until more serious problems arise. Or you might be doing everything right but due to adrenal stress from the past, this is affecting your thyroid and sex hormones, which leaves you with that feeling that you should be feeling a lot better than you do, especially with the great lifestyle that you are leading.
Functional Pathology Testing
Often I hear about clients going along to their GP for their yearly health check and when their blood tests return they are told "everything is fine" or just "your cholesterol is a bit high" but often despite the good news from their doctor they feel anything but fine, as the general blood tests that the doctor does are quite basic and can miss underlying hormonal problems, nutritional deficiencies or inflammation. Even the news that their cholesterol is a bit high can be misleading as it does not show things like VLDL, LDL subfractions and apolipoprotein B which are all better indicators of cardiovascular risk factor than just looking at cholesterol, HDL and LDL.
In the U.S it's possible to do advanced pathology testing through companies like Wellness FX and Direct Labs so that you can track your own results in much more detail, and take responsibility for your own health. All these tests are available in Australia through www.planetnaturopath.com and include a consultation to help you understand the results, and a plan to help you get them into the optimal range.
What to get tested
The number one test that I recommend is an adrenal test to measure cortisol and DHEA. If you have been making biohacks to your diet and health, then you understand the importance of good fats in the diet, quality supplementation and stress management techniques. But what happens if despite your best efforts with getting 8 hours sleep every night you are still waking up tired, or having trouble falling asleep despite being exhausted all day, or despite your perfect diet and exercise program you still struggle to lose the belly fat. For women, they maybe getting menstrual cycle problems or issues with hot flashes and fluctuating emotions around menopause.
If this sounds like you then you may have adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can be caused by high levels of stress or low-grade stress which is continuous. Stress is not just having a lot of pressure at work or having emotional stress but it can be physical stress due to overtraining, injury or chronic health issues.
The best way to identify this is through a saliva cortisol test which is done 4 times during the day (6-8am, noon, 4-6pm and 8-10pm). The cortisol needs to be tracked 4 times during the day as your cortisol levels are different throughout the day and a skilled practitioner will be able to identify from your test results, and your signs and symptoms what stage of adrenal fatigue that you are in. This test also includes DHEA which is another important marker of adrenal stress.
The results from the adrenal saliva test will help to determine the best treatment protocol so that you can improve your sleep, energy and really start to improve your performance. There are three stages of adrenal fatigue and the treatment for each will be slightly different.
Adrenal fatigue can also lead to problems with your sex hormones and thyroid problems which won't be picked up on a normal thyroid test which usually only measures TSH. If your adrenal's are under stress this can impair the conversion of T4 to T3 which is your active thyroid hormone while also creating high levels of reverse T3 an inactive form of thyroid hormone, this can make the brain think everything is ok, which is why TSH is normal.
Getting an adrenal, thyroid and your sex hormones tested can help to resolve the cause of many health issues, as well as improve wellbeing and performance.
Testing digestion function
While hormonal problems in the body can cause many problems another area of your body that you want to be running efficiently is your digestive function. While many people can have digestion symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, reflux and gas sometimes finding the cause of the problem is not easy.
A trip to the doctor may lead to a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome after some basic blood testing, stool testing and even a colonoscopy shows up nothing. Getting advanced stool testing can reveal parasitic infections, bacterial infections, candida infections, levels of beneficial bacteria, cancer and ulcer markers, pancreatic function and gluten sensitivity. You can have the healthiest diet in the world but if you have an underlying gut infection it is going to stop you reaching your optimal health.
If you find that you have a "sensitive" digestion and react to a number of foods, there is a good chance that you have an underlying gut infection.
A number of other digestion tests are available including intestinal permeability, liver detoxification profile and an IgG Allergy Test.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the Western world and despite huge amounts of statin medications being prescribed just as many people die from heart disease with low cholesterol as they do with high cholesterol. While cholesterol is essential for health, including the so-called atherogenic LDL cholesterol which is responsible for delivering the cholesterol to your cells around the body to provide essential functions, there are some aspects of cholesterol that can have negative effects on the body. VLDL and apolipoprotein B are not commonly checked in a standard blood test but these markers can be associated with cardiovascular risk, especially when associated with inflammation.
Inflammation is the cause behind most chronic illnesses so identifying inflammation before it manifests as a disease is important. An excellent indicator of inflammation is High sensitive C-Reactive Protein (HsCRP) which is not normally tested during standard pathology testing, the range for HsCRP is 0-5 but you really want to be below 1, and the lower the better. Other important markers of cardiovascular health are Fibrinogen and Homocysteine, this can also indicate how well the methylation cycle is functioning.
If you want more information about what pathology tests would be best for you, then you can contact Michael at http://www.planetnaturopath.com/contact-us
Mention Optimoz for a $30 discount on any test