Back when my health was falling apart, I went to my doctor. I was scared there was something really wrong with me. I was freezing cold all of the time, I caught every cold that came my way, I had PMS-induced bouts of low depression and my cramps were out of control. I was bleeding in between my cycles, which freaked me out. I never went poop and I could barely get out of bed in the morning, yet I laid awake at night for months on end, unable to fall or stay asleep. That caused anxiety and occasional full-blown panic attacks.
One summer, we went on a family vacation to Kentucky and Ohio to see some friends. We took a detour for the grand opening of The Ark Encounter, which should have made my nerdy little heart sing. There was exhibit after exhibit showing the history and science of Creation, and it was thrilling.
But I remember standing in the belly of this giant Ark and being overcome with such fear and dread. I couldn't breathe and I was sure the Ark was going to collapse or get bombed. I don't know why I was thinking these things. It was irrational. But I was terrified, and that is not like me. I had to grab Beau, have him lead me out, get some water, and sit down. He was just as befuddled as I was.
What the heck was wrong with me?!
This was at the height of my over-dieting, over-exercising, over-caffeinated, compulsive pushing-myself-to-the-limits-with-four-babies days.
Now I know I had tanked my endocrine system and I had no reserves left in my body to deal with any stressors at all. Traveling and caring for a family on the road is a stressor. And all of the other things I was doing were stressors. On that trip, I remember I made myself work out for an hour a day- on freaking vacation.
Oh little one, I want to tell my former self. Rest a bit. Relax. Eat more food and sleep more.
No wonder my doctor and my OB and my naturopath couldn't find anything wrong with me. Nothing was wrong with me.
But everything was wrong with me.
This is a concept I try to work with my Type-A clients on. It is hard for us drivers to understand that the intense pressure we put on ourselves is slowly killing us, physically and mentally.
Here is what I tell them: Nothing and Everything is wrong with you.
Your doctor-run labs probably look normal. Your thyroid is normal, your hormones are normal, your blood work is normal.
But you're like, nope.
So when the Lord led me to Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and a new world of functional lab testing opened up to me, I was blown away.
Finally, I was able to find some of the root causes of the weird things my body was doing. I learned the concept of Metabolic Chaos, which essentially says that when stress is too much for the body to handle, the body uses physical symptoms to get your attention.
And that is what was going on. And really, the only way to find out the issues that are contributing to this Metabolic Chaos is to get your hands on tests like these.
Let's go over my favorites.
The DUTCH is my baby. I love the wide array of data that we can get off of a single piece of lab testing.
The DUTCH is a urine test that you take at home, from the privacy of your own bathroom. It's super easy. You'll pee on a little strip of lab paper at 5 pm, 10 pm, in the middle of the night if you wake up, at 6 am, and at 8am. Then you slap some stamps on an envelope and send that puppy in! It takes about 10 business days for me to get your lab results back, and then we will discuss in our client session.
These are things we can screen for on the DUTCH:
why you're depressed
why you're anxious
why you can't fall asleep
why you can't stay asleep
why you have PMS
why you have blood clots
why your boobs hurt
why you're stressed constantly
We can look at estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, adrenaline, DNA stress, B vitamin status, and more. I've learned a lot of things about a lot of clients based off of this lab alone. Learn more about the DUTCH.
Check out this sample from a client who has been on bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy:
She is struggling with many symptoms of estrogen dominance and we are working through a few persistent issues, but check out that estradiol. It's through the roof, and her progesterone and testosterone are soooo low! Despite this hormone imbalance and her lack of quality sleep, she is one of the happiest, most balanced, most intuitive, and sweetest women I've ever met. We have a ways to go on balancing things out, but the bioidentical estrogen she has been taking has been pushing her further out of balance. The DUTCH gives us far more information than traditional blood work.
The DUTCH is the panel included in my basic package. Find out more here.
The GI Map is a second very telling piece of information. This is the functional lab you wish your provider ran on you when you went in with the following symptoms:
cramps and pain
weight loss resistance
If I had a nickel for every time a client told me that they had a colonoscopy at age 30, only to be told they were normal,
I would have a lot of nickels.
The GI Map gives us lots of answers to the weird and wonderful world of the gut. It's easy to take at home. You poop in a bag, take a sample, and send the sample via FedEx to our lab. About 2 weeks later, we have your results and we get to work making your gut (and you) better! Find out more here.
Here's a sample of a GI Map. We're looking at the opportunistic bacteria, or they-that-should-not-be-present.
I'll usually see 3-4 of these markers lit up, meaning the gut has a moderate amount of critters living in it and can be causing havoc on digestion.
This poor dear's opportunistic bacteria was out of control, and the awful digestive symptoms she was dealing with correlated with what we saw on the GI Map.
The E. faecium is associated with urinary tract infections, of which this client used to continuously suffer from.
The methanobacteriaceae being present correlated with her decades-long constipation.
The rest of the panel shows that there are not enough good bacteria to fight off the bad, opportunistic bacteria. She needs lots of work on her gut, and traditional lab work would miss these more sensitive markers.
The GI Map is included in my Intensive and Total Transformation Packages.
The Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is the very easiest test to take, and gives a lot of bang for your buck. You cut a tiny bit of hair, put it in an envelope, and send it through the mail. I get the results back in about 2 weeks, and then we will go over your test.
When I took this test myself, I was shocked. While my traditional lab tests run by my MD showed that my thyroid numbers at the time looked normal, I had every single symptom of low thyroid function, including being freezing, low heart rate, low body temperature, constipation, depression, not sweating, exercise intolerance, and more.
The calcium/potassium ratio is what Dr. Lawrence Wilson calls the Thyroid Ratio. The ideal ratio is 4.00. Mine was at 56- 1400% higher than it should be! This indicates low thyroid function. Along with this, I had super high hair calcium levels. This effectively put a "shell" of calcium around my cells and blocked thyroid hormone from being effective. This is why, even when I was on high doses of thyroid hormone, I felt no different.
I had to break down my calcium shell in order for my thyroid hormone to work better. To do this, I had to greatly increase my potassium. Lots of good salt for me! And fruits, and veggies. As my shell started to decrease, I began to get warmer and could exercise again. I slept better and my low mood lifted. There are so many healing opportunities to be found on the HTMA.
The HTMA is included in my Intensive and my Total Transformation Packages.
Food Sensitivity Panel (MRT)
I love this test. Have I said that about the other tests? I guess I just love testing- like, the right kind of testing. The food sensitivity panel is the only test that is a little harder to take. You'll have to get to a lab to get your blood drawn, but then you just take your sample and send out to the lab via FedEx. Easy!
The food sensitivity test can really move the needle for a lot of my clients. A lot of times, we eat foods we think are good for us. All of the books and blogs and instagram gurus say these foods are good for us. So we should eat them.
What happens when those foods are causing inflammation in the body? That inflammation can lead to a whole host of symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, skin problems, brain fog, and period problems.
I myself found that I was highly intolerant of spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
WTF, body?! Those foods are the four darlings of Paleo, and I was eating them all of the time because I thought they were good for me. But they weren't! Most of my stomach problems- bloating, cramps, pain, and slow stomach emptying- went away when I removed the foods that I was sensitive to.
But look at this one:
Many women don't want to give up vestiges of civilized life like cheese and sourdough bread. But according to the blood, this dear should not be doing cow's milk, wheat, or even yeast! And turkey either, apparently.
Having the labs gives you the knowledge and confidence and power to remove these foods from your diet and introduce a wide variety of new foods that can broaden your exposure to micronutrients. Each body is different, and I love finding the patterns of intolerance each body shows me on the MRT.
The MRT is included in my Total Transformation Package.
Organic Acids Test (OAT)
The Organics Acid test was created to look at the internal terrain of children and adults with autism. It's a great way to look further into the gut and also look for markers of candida and yeast.
The OAT is a urine test- it's easy to take at home. You send your sample to the lab via FedEx. Pee and poop comin' at you, FedEx!
What is an organic acid?
Organic acids are a broad class of compounds formed during fundamental metabolic processes in the body. Metabolic reactions produce these compounds from the digestion of dietary protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The resulting organic acids are used by the body to generate cellular energy and provide many of the building blocks necessary for cell function. Urinary organic acid measurement offers a functional assessment of nutrient status.
I like the OAT for looking at reasons behind digestive issues, energy issues, mood disorders, vitamin status, and detoxification capacities.
Check out a piece of an OAT here:
You can see that B vitamins are pretty low. With B6 being as low as it is here, I would guess right away that this client had pretty awful PMS with some possible depression. She did.
CoQ10 status looks low as well. This can account for the fatigue and muscle weakness that the client was struggling with.
These are just parts of a whole- it's not like you would take a supplement for every low or high marker that is seen. It's more of a pattern.
The OAT is included in my Total Transformation Package.
I wanted to share just a bit about the labs I use in my practice, and how the data we get from these tests can really help move the needle in your health journey.
If you want to know more about working together and running these labs, you can set up a Discovery Call below.