As a licensed Naturopathic doctor & Functional Medicine practitioner with extensive training in functional lab analysis, Dr. Sarah will often integrate one or more functional labs into your initial assessment depending on your specific health issues. Functional testing is the best way to determine the root cause of your symptoms, and while these tests do represent an upfront investment in your health, you’ll save hundreds of dollars in care, supplements, and time by starting your health journey with a solid understanding of what’s going on inside your body. These tests are critical to determining the most your most effective nutritional and lifestyle interventions as well as strategic supplementation to support your individual biochemistry. Dr. Sarah interprets and thoroughly explains each lab result in a way that you can understand, and provides practical naturopathic/functional medical advice that will allow you to optimize your life-long health:
DUTCH Comprehensive Hormone Testing:
This test uses urine to measure levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA-S and their respective metabolites. DUTCH is Dr. Sarah’s favourite test for establishing baseline hormone levels in menstrual issues, infertility and hormonal acne as it’s by far the most comprehensive hormone panel available on the market. The advantage of this specialized urine test is that it measures both parent hormones and metabolites. Metabolites are an important addition to your overall hormone picture since they can help us to understand what underlying pathology is causing your hormones to become imbalanced in the first place. As an added bonus DUTCH testing can also look at stress hormones and sleep hormones, giving you the most complete picture of your overall health. If you’ve been experiencing stubborn hormonal acne that won’t clear or have been given a diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility’ than the DUTCH test is your best bet to get to the root cause of your hormonal issues. Once your hormone levels are analyzed with DUTCH testing Dr. Sarah will explain your results and provide you with a completely individualized hormonal health program along with customized tools for balancing hormones and altering the way you metabolize hormones. A thorough understanding of how your body makes and uses hormones can also help you uncover the tools, foods, and supplements that can help decrease your lifetime risk of hormone-related illness, improve your fertility, clear your skin and help you finally balance your hormones.
Food Sensitivity Testing:
If you experience frequent digestive pain, gas/bloating, low energy, weight-gain & skin conditions, it is likely that you have an undiagnosed food sensitivity. Food sensitivities occur when your digestive system becomes inflamed from ingesting aggravating foods over long periods of time. This allows small food particles to leak through the digestive system into systemic circulation. When these particles enter your blood stream your body sees them as foreign and produces immune cells (immunoglobulins) to attack them. Your body then forms immune complexes with these aggravating foods leading to digestive and systemic inflammation. Food sensitives can present differently among patients, but the most common symptoms are:
- Acne, itching & rashes (including eczema)
- Mood and memory disturbances and behavioural problems
- Asthma symptoms
- Autoimmune diseases
- Migraines & headaches
- Unexplained weight-gain, or difficulty losing weight
At Replete wellness we reject unscientific ‘energy-based’ food sensitivity testing methods in favour of scientifically validated IgG food sensitivity blood testing. There are over 20 randomized controlled studies showing that IgG testing + subsequent elimination can improve weight loss, clear your skin and reduce frequency and severity of migraines and digestive issues. At your appointment Dr. White will interpret the test results with you and formulate an individualized elimination and reintroduction plan to help reduce your symptoms and support the body in healing. Health begins in the gut, which is why it’s important to identify and treat these sensitives in order to improve your overall state of health.
Complete Thyroid Testing:
TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) has long been considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of low thyroid function. However, an abundance of new studies are beginning to question this methodology due to the fact that normal TSH levels do not necessarily equate with optimal thyroid function. All of our patients with suspected hypothyroid (low energy, acne, weight gain, infertility) are given a requisition for a full thyroid panel, testing TSH, free thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4), reverse T3 (an inactive storage form of thyroid hormone) and antibodies against the thyroid gland. Using a more thorough approach to thyroid testing Dr. Sarah has helped hundreds of women that were dismissed as having ‘normal thyroid function’ after their lab work failed to show elevated TSH levels. Upon further investigation, over 90% of these women with complaints of fatigue, infertility, low temperature and weight gain had low free thyroid hormone levels and elevated antibodies against the thyroid gland.
Salivary Hormone Testing:
While most family doctors and specialists will agree to test your hormones with a blood test the problem lies in the fact that hormones are not biologically active in the blood stream so this method of testing does not always give accurate results (free testosterone is the exception here, since studies show that serum levels of this one particular male hormone can accurately reflect physiological levels in women). Salivary testing reveals your functional hormone levels since saliva results will accurately show us hormones concentrations at their biologically active sites in the tissues of the body. This test is preformed around day 21 of your cycle (Dr. Sarah will help you determine the best day to test based on your cycles) and measures levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and DHEA.
Well Women Functional Lab Packages:
Our signature Replete Wellness functional medicine testing packages were designed to help you get the most out of your initial laboratory investment. These Naturopathic doctor-curated lab bundles will give us the most comprehensive analysis of your current health status to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. Speak to you insurance company about your coverage, as many extended health benefits will provide some coverage for the following tests:
Complete Female Fertility Panel:
While proper blood work is critical to diagnosing infertility issues, very few MDs or fertility clinics actually take the time to preform the proper testing required to thoroughly rule out all of the potential cause of your infertility. Additionally, any limited testing that is preformed is rarely explained to patients or even treated properly in most cases. At Replete we’ve seen an alarming amount of “unexplained infertility” cases where a patient’s fertility clinic has failed to run some very critical blood tests. Have you ever heard the saying “if the only tool you have is a hammer, you treat everything as if it were a nail”? This concept, unfortunately, applies to the standard model of fertility care in Canada. When you sign up to work a fertility clinic their “tool” is IUI and IVF, and their business model focuses billing you / OHIP for these expensive procedures. While fertility clinics are great at running the blood work required to make sure that you’re a candidate for IUI & IVF, 90% of the time they leave out essential tests that make a huge difference when it comes to your ability to conceive naturally. The Replete Fertility lab panel includes the following key lab tests that will help you get to the root of why you’re having such a tough time getting, and staying pregnant:
- Salivary hormones testing – day 21
- Complete thyroid panel
- Vitamin D
- Serum B12
Skin Health Assessment Package:
While we’re clear on how acne forms, the why is not always so obvious. There are numerous root causes of acne and understanding the reason behind your acne can help you treat breakouts successfully and permanently. Acne is a signal from the body that something you’re doing isn’t working for you and is creating dis-ease within your physiological systems. A naturopathic approach to lab testing seeks to uncover the imbalances that are at the root of your acne. All humans are unique and there are many causes of acne, which is why it’s so important to look at the following tests in order to determine what specifically is causing your skin problems:
- Fasting insulin + Fasting glucose
- Serum zinc levels
- Liver enzymes
- Salivary hormone panel / Food Sensitivity testing: This will be determined based on the location and appearance of your acne, as well as associated symptoms and the timeline for when your skin began breaking out. Dr. Sarah will discuss both options with you at your visit to determine which test is most appropriate for you.
Preconception Functional Testing Bundle:
This test provides a comprehensive assessment of levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and even essential fatty acids to establish your baseline health prior to trying to make a baby. It enables us to examine not only whether you’re deficient in a particular nutrient that can impact fertility and pregnancy, but also whether you’re actually absorbing and utilizing nutrients in your cells. Research tells us that deficiencies in key nutrients like EFAs, zinc and vitamin C can all interfere with your ability to conceive a healthy baby and can even increase your likelihood of giving birth to a child with developmental delays. This package also includes thyroid antibody testing since research shows that babies born to mother with undiagnosed autoimmune thyroid disease have a significantly lower IQ than babies born to mom’s with great thyroid numbers. At Replete we believe that lifelong health begins with mom’s health status prior to getting pregnant and we want to help you give your baby the best chance to thrive. Tests included in the Preconception Testing package include:
- Spectracell nutrient testing
- Vitamin D blood testing
- TPO + anti-TG thyroid antibodies
Looking to connect with a Naturopath in Oakville to discuss functional medicine testings? Book your appointment online here.