The Four Fundamental Functional Labs

Something I hear a lot from business owners is that they find it hard to put more time and effort into their business because of nagging symptoms.  They suffer from fatigue, digestive issues, brain fog, joint pain, poor sleep, allergies, etc.

While symptoms can be very disruptive in your life, they are not a disease.  In today’s society, we tend to be more focused on taming the symptom, but in doing so, we are not addressing the actual dysfunction in the body. It’s far more effective -- and longer lasting -- to look for what’s causing your symptoms. 

Imbalances in the body (i.e., in the gut, hormones, minerals, etc) show up as symptoms which is your body’s attempt to reestablish balance and restore function and health.  Functional lab work can help reveal imbalances by assessing how your systems and pathways such as neuroendocrine, metabolic capacity and reserve, diurnal sleep cycle, digestion, etc., are functioning.   My skill is being able to connect the dots between your lab results, correlate them with your symptoms and create a roadmap for how to best support you.  

The four functional labs that I use (see below) provide important pieces of information in assessing “Balance” in the Asset Zero BlueprintTM  model.  But that’s only part of my approach.  You are more than just a group of symptoms or test results.  That’s why I also look at “Body” and “Being”.  Having a coach who truly listens, cheers you on and provides accountability is also an important a part of your healing journey.

All four of these tests are non-invasive and can be done in the convenience of your home.  Kits will be mailed directly to you. 

The four fundamental functional labs are:

  1. Hair Test for Mineral Analysis (HTMA)
  2. Organic Acids Test (OAT)
  3. Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH)
  4. GI Map Comprehensive Stool Test

I have provided details on each test.  You can read each "snapshot" to get the importance of each one, or geek out and continue reading on with the "bigger picture" for even more detail.

Hair Test for Mineral Analysis (HTMA)

This test is helpful for anyone struggling with:

  • High Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Overwhelm
  • Mood disturbances
  • Highs/Low in energy
  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes
  • Tingling/numbness
  • Poor sleep

The Snapshot:  The HTMA is considered to be one of the most valuable screening tools available in everyday and preventative health care.  It’s a test in which a sample of your hair, typically from the base of the skull, is used to measure the body's mineral and heavy metal content. By analyzing hair, we are seeing what’s been happening inside the cell over a period of three to four months.

Why should you care about minerals? Minerals are considered the “spark plugs” of the body. They are needed for the entire body to run. They are needed for millions of enzymes as cofactors, facilitators, inhibitors, and some of them even make up the enzymes themselves. Without enzyme activity, life does not exist. The foundation of health lies in adequate mineral intake and ideal mineral ratios. Anything else you do for your health is great, but minerals must be the foundation and priority. Once those are balanced and replenished, it can solve the majority of health issues people attempt in vain to correct by other means.

HTMA is one of the most commonly misinterpreted tests by practitioners. You want to work with someone who is trained to understand the nuances and understand that it’s more about the balance between the mineral markers and not the individual marker results themselves.  

The Bigger Picture:  Many factors contribute to mineral deficiencies and imbalances such as stress, toxic metals and chemicals and chronic viral and bacterial infections.  Balancing minerals with a hair mineral analysis is imperative to achieve proper mineral ratios. All the minerals have a complex interaction and affect each other. Excess intake of a single mineral can decrease the intestinal absorption of another mineral. For example, a high intake of calcium depresses intestinal zinc absorption, while an excess intake of zinc can depress copper absorption. Low copper availability can cause fatigue. Zinc and sodium, on the other hand, are involved in the production of stomach acid. Low stomach acid can contribute to a number of health issues, including the inability to break down protein (leading to further nutritional deficiencies) and killing off invasive pathogens (ie., bacteria, parasites, etc).  See where I’m going?

The other area the HTMA tests is heavy metals.  Everyone has metals in their body; the question is how much do you have? If elevated, removing them from the body can improve health, mental functioning, energy and performance.  The issue is to work with a knowledgeable practitioner to remove them safely, while working to balance minerals.  Many health conditions are caused or exacerbated by heavy metal toxicity. Metals can contribute to any imaginable health ailment or condition including cases of diabetes (iron), cancer (cadmium), multiple sclerosis (mercury), Alzheimer’s disease (aluminum), and others.

 

Organic Acids Test (OAT)

This test is helpful for anyone struggling with:

  • Sleep issues
  • Multiple chemical sensitivities
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating, gas, distention
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Acne, eczema, skin rashes
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Brain fog
  • Blood sugar dysregulation

The Snapshot:  The OAT Test can provide a comprehensive metabolic snapshot into your overall health.  Urinary organic acids are the by-products of metabolism – your body’s way of producing energy and eliminating waste.  Abnormal concentrations of organic acids provide functional markers for the metabolic effects of micronutrient inadequacies, toxin exposure, neuroendocrine activity, enzyme deficiencies, and microbial activity.  If you have a chronic health condition or want to evaluate your health for the prevention of disease or illness, the OAT is one of the most valuable tests you can perform.

The Bigger Picture:  At the heart of it, organic acids testing provides insight into cellular energy production. This is important not only for experiencing vitality and high energy living, but also because cellular energy production is necessary for every other system in the body to do its job.

For instance, it takes energy (i.e., cellular energy production) for the gastrointestinal tract to work optimally to digest and absorb our food. It takes energy to circulate oxygen and the nutrition from our food and bring waste products away from cells. It takes energy to run our immune system. It takes energy to detoxify undesired substances. All of these things are directly affected by cellular energy production.

With organics acids testing, you have a unique opportunity to get feedback on all of these elements at one time and to make connections in between body systems.  Because the OAT looks at complex biomarkers from various metabolic pathways, it can show us what's missing and where there is a blockage.  It can also help us make the necessary connections between internal systems and tie the results from your blood work, hormone and stool testing together.

 

Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones by Precision Analytical (DUTCH Test)

This test is helpful for anyone struggling with:

  • Estrogen Dominance (for men and women)
  • Difficult menopause
  • Low energy
  • Weight Loss Resistance
  • Infertility
  • PMS/ Period problems
  • Insomnia/Poor sleep
  • Brain fog
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Skin issues

The Snapshot:  The DUTCH test, is the most comprehensive, cutting-edge stress and hormone panel you can do. It provide can more effective insights than mere blood or saliva testing because it measures hormone metabolites. In a nutshell, this means that we can see how your body is using its hormones. This is particularly valuable when looking at estrogen and testosterone levels because we can see if they are being metabolized in a protective or harmful way.  Equally important is we can see how your body is using cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone).  This is key to understanding why the term “adrenal fatigue” is an oversimplified way to describe HPA Axis Dysfunction.

The Bigger Picture:  Business Owners can be subject to an extraordinary amount of physical, mental and emotional stress. As you may know, stress triggers the release of hormones such as cortisol, which help us fight or run from our perceived threats. Without it our Stone Aged ancestors wouldn’t have been able to high tail it away from that Saber-Toothed tiger. Cortisol also regulates the sleep/wake cycle (a.k.a. circadian rhythm), provides energy, and is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Too much of it, though, can cause some of the most common medical conditions including anxiety, depression, digestive disorders, hormone imbalance, skin issues, sleep disorders and autoimmunity. You name it, stress is associated with it. Stress is epidemic in our modern life, and it depletes our resilience and constitutional reserve. This dynamic makes us susceptible to all kinds of chronic inflammatory modern diseases. Measuring the cortisol hormone via the DUTCH test is key to the health of your stress response and circadian rhythm.

Why do we want to know about the metabolites of hormones? Those found in urine give us insights into how the body is processing (i.e., detoxing and metabolizing) its hormones. For instance, both men and women should know whether their estrogen is being metabolized into “good” metabolites that protect against cancer or “bad” metabolites that damage the DNA and promote the growth of such diseases.

For men, this can result in male pattern baldness, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and prostate cancer. In women, these metabolites can cause PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and hirsutism (unwanted, male-pattern hair growth – dark, course hair on the face, chest and/or back).  When we see these patterns on the DUTCH results, we can easily correct these imbalances with diet and lifestyle changes and targeted supplements, thereby reducing further downstream problems.

 

GI Map Stool Analysis – it’s not just for digestive issues!

This test is helpful for anyone struggling with:

  • Autoimmune condition (i.e., Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s, Lupus, etc)
  • Chronic digestive complaints
  • Joint pain
  • Skin issues (i.e., hives, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, etc)
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Mood and hormonal issues
  • Poor sleep
  • Brain fog
  • Allergies

The Snapshot:  The GI-Map (by Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory) is a comprehensive stool test that uses Polymerase Chain Reaction technology to amplify the DNA of organisms that are located in your gut.  This test is more sensitive to other types of stool tests because the PCR technology will detect a pathogen even if it is dead or in its dormant phase. The panel includes all the critical markers used to evaluate gut function. It can detect intestinal parasites, bacteria overgrowth, candida and other fungal infections, inflammatory markers, secretory IgA, and calprotectin. Other markers it finds include your degree of gluten sensitivity, balance of beneficial gut flora, and the toxicity marker beta-glucuronidase (marker of estrogen and phase 2 detox). 

The Bigger Picture:  Approximately two-thirds of the immune system is housed in our gut. This is where nutrients are absorbed, and where mood-balancing hormones such as serotonin and dopamine are made (among many other important things). Our daily environment exposes us to different types of organisms, such as parasites, bacteria and yeast. Plus, your defense system can be suppressed during times of travel (a common side-effect of too much stress, a change of diet, and lack of sleep, among other factors). The result: Your body can’t fight off its attackers. 

Who are these so-called attackers? These organisms can be found in the food you eat, water you drink and various surfaces you touch while traveling.  You might be wondering, "Isn't my stomach designed to kill these organisms?"  You are right, but it doesn't always succeed. Many of us have low stomach acid production due to stress, poor diet, overuse of anti-acids, eating and sleeping hygiene and/or have a thyroid condition.  Also, as we age, our stomach acid naturally declines.

If a pathogen survives the stomach it can live in the intestines or move to other areas of the body, thus creating a myriad of imbalances.  One common imbalance is inflammation.  The gut is a huge source of inflammation – therefore, it can be the primary driver behind joint pain, abdominal pain, migraines, menstrual cramps and more.  It can also trigger autoimmunity, hormonal imbalances and other serious health conditions that don’t exhibit typical gastrointestinal symptoms.

Are you ready to start treating yourself as the Asset you are?

If you are interested in functional lab testing, here’s what to do next:  Apply for a free clarity call with me.  This is not a sales call.  I will listen to your concerns, answer your questions and give you an understanding of how I work so that you can make the right decision for your health - and business. 

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