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Introduction to Diagnostics

Functional Diagnostics to Improve Patient Health

Functional Diagnostics and testing provide an effective way for practitioners to identify the root causes of disease.  This focus on cause over symptoms; combined with a Functional Medicine treatment approach that views the body as one integrated system, provides a personalized approach for optimal healthcare outcomes.

This new testing context is referred to as Functional Diagnostics and provides a holistic view of a several dimensions of patient health:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Nutritional biochemistry
  • Gut and microbiome health
  • Environmental toxin burden
  • Metabolism
  • Lifestyle and dietary factors
Image of Introdution To Diagnostic

Hormone Testing (Adrenal and Reproductive)

When people are stressed, their adrenal glands produce higher than normal levels of the hormone cortisol.
Any stressor, be it sleep disruption, nutritional imbalance, chronic pain or psychological stress will cause cortisol levels to rise.
Reproductive hormones can also have a profound effect on both men’s and women’s health. Imbalances in these hormones cause fatigue, sleep and mood disturbance, loss of libido, loss of muscle mass and weight gain. In women, estrogen and progesterone imbalances can cause PMS and menopausal symptoms, and in men, low testosterone can cause lack of libido, hair loss, and weight gain.
Research shows that most chronic illness involves some adrenal gland dysfunction, so this test is a cornerstone of Functional Diagnostics.

Food Sensitivity and Gluten Intolerance

Many people have food sensitivities without even realizing it. Often gluten, dairy, and egg sensitivities are an underlying reason for a range of symptoms.
There are also lesser-known sensitivities to foods such as garlic, bananas, and cranberries. And if the patient has had leaky gut, that patient could very well be sensitive to many foods whose particles have leaked through the digestive tract into the blood.
To test for these issues, functional medicine practitioners perform a test called an Elimination and Challenge test. For 21 days, the patient eats a very restricted diet, removing all possible stressors like eggs, nuts, shellfish, dairy, citrus, soy, gluten and more. After the 21 days, the practitioner reintroduces each food one by one to determine any food sensitivity.
Gluten intolerance is well recognized and affects millions of people. For most people, gluten intolerance is not severe however it can produce symptoms including arthritis, skin rashes, fatigue and brain fog. In functional medicine, there are also saliva and stool tests to look for gluten intolerance.

Metabolic Testing

Metabolism refers to all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of cells. Metabolic imbalances can cause mood swings, fatigue, weight gain, gastrointestinal issues and hormone imbalances to name a few.
Metabolic testing gives insight into hundreds of processes that support everything from producing energy to detoxification. It also helps determine nutritional status.

Heavy Metal Testing

Toxic heavy metals like lead, aluminium, mercury and other toxins like PCBs and pesticides are increasingly present in our food, medications and environment and can wreak havoc on all body systems including the central nervous system which when damaged can adversely affect focus, memory, and concentration.
Many diseases today, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis (MS) are diseases of the central nervous system. Functional medicine doctors aim to release these toxins from the body to improve overall health.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the fastest-growing infectious disease in the U.S. and is rapidly spreading across the world. Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as MS, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and Parkinson’s, to name a few.
Research has also discovered a link between autism and Lyme disease which may have to do with the gut and dysregulation of the immune system.
Testing for Lyme disease is challenging. However functional medicine doctors recommend the IgG and IgM Western Blot Tests as a starting point.

The Range of Diagnostic tests

DNA Tests

DNA Health

The DNA Health test is designed to optimise well-being and health by personalising lifestyle and diet choices and where necessary, using supplements tailored to offset any particular nutritional deficit based on specific gene variants.
The DNA Health approach assists the healthcare practitioner in establishing the optimal nutrition necessary for good health, longevity and disease risk mitigation. Diet is a key factor in determining genomic stability as it impacts on all relevant pathways: exposure to dietary carcinogens, biotransformation, DNA repair and synthesis, and apoptosis. Current recommended dietary allowances for vitamins and minerals are based largely on the prevention of diseases of deficiency. However, because diseases of lifestyle are partly caused by damage to DNA it stands to reason that we should focus our attention on defining optimal requirements of key minerals and vitamins for preventing genomic instability.
Additional attention should be paid to individuals with genetic polymorphisms that alter the bioavailability of specific micro-nutrients and the affinity of specific key enzymes for their micro-nutrient co-factor.

DNA Tests - Clinical Value

  • Highlights specific metabolic pathways that may require extra support
  • Provides recommendations that involve optimisation of quantities of certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  • Suggests whether an individual is better able to reduce their cholesterol levels through diet, as opposed to through medication
  • Provides an indication of the degree of susceptibility to the harmful effects of carcinogens ingested in the diet

The DNA Health Test Report provides:

  • The level of impact of any genetic variants identified
  • An explanation of their impact on health
  • Appropriate nutritional and lifestyle recommendations

The results are divided in sections of key metabolic function, so that genetic weaknesses and strengths within a functional area can be easily identified.

DNA Mind

DNA Mind reports on associations in the following areas

  • Neurodegenerative disorders – mild cognitive decline & late onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mood disorders – Depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder & post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Addictive behaviour – Risk for alcohol, nicotine, cannabis & opioid dependence, psychosis response from cannabis use, eating disorders (binge eating), ‘adrenaline seeking’/risk-taking behaviour

Neuropsychiatric disorders account for up to 25% of all disability-adjusted life years (Gatt et al 2015.). Whilst the heritability of these mental disorders is significant, environmental factors also play a key role in their aetiology. Genetic variations involved in key biological processes that contribute toward the risk of development of mental health disorders may give insight to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
The DNA mind test analyses 30 genes which have been shown to have significant associations with key mental health disorders.

DNA Mind – Clinical Value
Knowledge of an individual’s genotype will provide diagnostic insight and assist in determining optimal treatment strategies for individuals suffering from, or at risk for, mental health disorders.
Genes included in the test are involved in key biological areas related to mental health. These areas include:

  • Lipid metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Methylation
  • Neurotrophic, dopaminergic & serotonergic pathways
  • Endo-cannabinoid pathway
  • Cell-signalling

The DNA Mind Report Provides:

  • Identification of the level of impact of any genetic variants
  • An explanation of their impact on the specific biochemical area
  • An explanation of each area’s impact on mental health

DNA Resilience

The Test
DNA Resilience is a genetic test targeted at individuals who want to:

1. Lead more effectively (in business, sport and life)
2. Cope better under stressful and demanding conditions
3. Enhance their mental, emotional and physical health

• Live up to their fullest potential
DNA Resilience reports on the seven key molecular areas that have the greatest influence on resilience. They are:

• Cortisol, oxytocin, the neurotrophic pathway, neuropeptide Y, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin

The report is able to determine an individuals’ genetic potential for resilience and provide ways in which intrinsic strengths can be amplified and existing weaknesses reduced. The action steps centre on highly individualised lifestyle strategies that leverage diet, targeted activity, environmental awareness, and nutritional supplements.

DNA Resilience – Clinical Value
The test was developed to combat the challenges brought on by the current set of socioeconomic conditions (global economic downturn, social isolation, health insecurity etc.) and the dire impact these have on our emotional, mental and physical health.
Given the hereditability of emotional regulation (30%), temperament (±56%) and cognitive aptitude (>99%), a critical knowledge and understanding of individual genetics and environmental influences can unlock exceptional resilience and a performance advantage regardless of circumstances.
‘From potential to performance’.
‘From surviving to thriving’

DNA SKIN

The future of skincare aims at a personalised treatment strategy, based on information relating to your individual biochemistry and genetic inheritance. DNA Skin analyses variations on 18 genes associated with the following key areas involved in skin health and aging: collagen formation, protection from SUN & UV exposure, inflammation, and protection from oxidative stress. From the information your DNA Skin test reveals, personalised lifestyle, nutrition, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical recommendations can be given for improved skincare and to decrease the visible signs of aging.

DNA SPORT

DNA Sport examines various biological areas that impact training responsiveness and sporting performance. These include soft tissue and bone formation and remodelling; inflammation; oxidative stress; oxygenation influenced by blood flow and respiration; energy and fuel production; and metabolism during exercise. Knowledge of gene variations that influence these key biological areas can be used to exploit any genetic advantages and identify any weaknesses that need to be supported, through diet and the training strategies.

Clinical Value

Suitable for the recreational athlete and the elite performance athlete, it provides information to optimise:

  • Power and endurance – physiological factors
  • Structural integrity – tendon pathology and injury risk
  • Recovery – training patterns and nutrition

The DNA Sport Test Report provides:

  • The level of impact of any genetic variants identified
  • An explanation of their impact on sport performance, injury and recovery risk
  • Appropriate nutritional and lifestyle recommendations in relation to health and sports performance, including power and endurance, athletic potential and key training principles, injury and recovery

Specialist Hormone Testing

The DUTCH DNA TEST

Complete Indications

Women
• Depression • Fatigue • Low libido • Menopause • Mood swings • Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) • Weight gain

Men
• Depression • Fatigue • Hair loss • Increased prostate cancer risk • Lower sex drive • Sleeping troubles • Weight gain

This advanced hormone testing was developed to improve on the available hormone testing options. DUTCH offers the most extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones along with their metabolites. Additionally, the daily (diurnal) pattern of free cortisol is included along with melatonin. This unique combination of clinical information is not available by any other method.

Women: Millions of women suffer from hormonal imbalances. Identifying the root cause of chronic health issues is certainly correctable, but only if properly identified. The dried urine collection process is great for baseline measurements of women with hormonal imbalances and for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) monitoring.

Men: Over time, men experience a gradual loss of their hormones that are produced in the gonads and adrenal glands. Testosterone and DHEA levels fall and estrogen levels tend to rise. Many men feel like this is part of getting older and do not think there is treatment to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. The DUTCH test was created to provide insight, in one easy to administer test.

DUTCH Adrenal

Indications

Women
• Depression • Fatigue • Low libido • Menopause • Mood swings • Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) • Weight gain

Men
• Depression • Fatigue • Hair loss • Increased prostate cancer risk • Lower sex drive • Sleeping troubles • Weight gain

The DUTCH Adrenal test provides free cortisol patterns that parallel saliva with the addition of metabolite measurements for an improved marker for total cortisol production. This test is run on LC-MS/MS: the most accurate way to test cortisol and metabolites!
The results include:

  • Daily free cortisol pattern
  • Daily free cortisone pattern
  • Cortisol metabolites (a-THF, b-THF)
  • Cortisone metabolites (b-THE)
  • DHEAs

Organic Acids Test (OAT)

The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of a patient’s overall health with over 70 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The cause of these high levels could include oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, acquired infections, as well as genetic factors.

Our Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels and oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses.

If abnormalities are detected using the OAT, treatments can include supplements, such as vitamins and antioxidants, or dietary modification. Upon treatment, patients and practitioners have reported significant improvement such as decreased fatigue, regular bowel function, increased energy and alertness, increased concentration, improved verbal skills, less hyperactivity, and decreased abdominal pain. The OAT is strongly recommended as the initial screening test.

Male Hormones Plus
Male Hormones Plus is a non-invasive salivary assessment of bioavailable testosterone in circadian rhythm.

Blood Tests

Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis, or FBCA, is a powerful tool for Naturopathic physicians, Chiropractic physicians, practitioners of Functional Medicine, nutritionists, health coaches and other members of the healthcare ecosystem to assess patients, identify dysfunction and treat it early.

What Makes the Functional Approach to Blood Chemistry Analysis Different?

When one approaches blood chemistry from the functional perspective, one gains a tool to identify and treat dysfunction before it manifests as a disease. For example, rather than wait for iron deficiency to become anemia or insulin insensitivity to become diabetes, Functional Medicine practitioners intervene early to avoid the negative health outcomes. Let’s explore some of the principles involved in FBCA.

Patient-Focused; Not Disease-Focused
In contrast to allopathic medicine’s focus on disease, the functional approach to blood chemistry is a patient-focused one.
An allopathic practitioner looks to categorize a patient’s symptoms under a specific disease to deploy a specific treatment plan tailored to that disease. This approach begins with disease and works backward to the patient. Functional medicine does the opposite; it starts with the patient and their concerns, then works towards treating those concerns.
By building a holistic, comprehensive picture of their patients’ health, Functional Medicine practitioners provide treatment plans tailored to the patient. Ideally, this helps to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. Going even further, it helps to prevent states of dysfunction — that is, those states of imperfect health that fall through the cracks of disease diagnosis.
“Normal” Isn’t Optimal
If Functional Medicine differs from allopathic medicine in that it focuses on the patient rather than the disease, how is that reflected in blood chemistry?

Allopathic blood chemistry analysis relies on whether or not a given biomarker’s values are inside or outside of a laboratory’s reference range. These ranges are calculated based on the average values found within a sample population. Blood testing laboratories define “normal” as the values reflected in roughly 95% of their sample — the upper 2.5% and lower 2.5% are considered to be abnormal.
The problem here is that many practitioners only diagnose disease or dysfunction based on whether their patients’ blood tests fall outside of the broad range of values found within the 95% reference ranges. But these are statistical averages not true markers of actual health.
Rather than say their patients’ blood biomarkers fall within “normal” limits that have very little to do with the individual’s real health, Functional Medicine practitioners use blood chemistry analysis by looking at much tighter ranges. These functional blood chemistry ranges are empirically correlated with real health outcomes, and by tracking their patients’ progress toward or away from those ranges, practitioners help guide their patients toward optimal health — not merely “normal” health.
How Practitioners Use Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis to Treat Dysfunction
With the right tools and knowledge, practitioners use FBCA and functional blood chemistry ranges to recommend supplements, medication and/or lifestyle changes. If a patient’s fasting blood glucose is too high, for instance, the practitioner might recommend diet and exercise. On a follow-up test, the practitioner might observe that the patient’s fasting blood glucose is still high; since their recommended treatment didn’t have an impact, they might invest in further testing or modify their treatment plan.
Importantly, the practitioner would regularly test the patient’s blood to observe how their glucose levels evolve over time. FBCA is all about tracking trends. By taking multiple blood biomarker profiles, practitioners can see whether and how their treatment is making an impact.
FBCA also serves as a means of targeting future testing. Rather than recommend a battery of tests that run the gamut from mildly to significantly invasive, cheap to expensive, vague to precise, functional medicine practitioners can use a blood test — a non-invasive, cheap and informative test. If more testing is needed, the practitioner will have ruled out those tests that do not seem likely to yield any pertinent results.
Functional Medicine Recommended Blood Tests

In root cause medicine, doctors often use blood work as a window into a patient’s health. Functional Medicine is a highly analytical and personalised approach to a patient’s chief complaint. An initial blood screen can help practitioners prioritise where they need to dig deeper, often in places overlooked by conventional medicine.
A blood screen example (below) illustrates the wide variety of tests and data points that can be reviewed in a blood test to assist in determining next steps:

VIEW EXAMPLE

Gut Microbiome Tests

The gut microbiome plays a very important role in your health by helping control digestion and benefiting your immune system and many other aspects of health. An imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other disorders

A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.

Our digestive tract hosts trillions of microbes, mainly bacteria, that help us digest food, make vitamins, strengthen the immune system, protect against germs, and produce molecules that affect many aspects of our health. Recent advances in testing and sequencing have helped scientists to get around this problem.

We can now identify microbes from their DNA, which can be done by sequencing DNA extracted from stool samples. We can now discover which microbes are inhabiting our gut, what functions they carry out, and how they interact with the surrounding environment and influence our metabolism and health.

Research has found both gut species and microbial functions interact with almost all molecules measured in the gut, and an extensive dialog goes on between the gut environment and our blood, and this explains why gut microbes are so strongly linked to our health.

The gut microbial community plays an important role in human health, and its composition has been linked to many diseases – from metabolic to neurological.

Fortunately, we can manipulate our gut microbial composition through diet, lifestyle, natural medicine and taking the correct prebiotics and probiotics, and holistic therapy.

Our selected and highly detailed Gut Microbiome Study represents the best technical platform available to assess the gut microbiome. We spend a minimum of 3 hours ensuring that your study is fully investigated and the results are actionable and solutions are found.

Your Comprehensive Stool Analysis and post analysis study looks at the entire environment of your gut in a very detailed way to fully determine past, present and future heal challenges and solutions!

It detects the presence of pathogenic microorganisms such as yeast, parasites, and bacteria that contribute to chronic illness and neurological dysfunction.

It provides very important information about prescription and natural products effective against specific pathological bacterial, fungal, parasitic and other strains detected in the sample.

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How it works

During our initial chat and consult, we will also explain and start implementing our 10 Tier Assessment System and thereafter our 6 Tier Health Transformation System.

10 Tier Inflammatory Assessment

1. The Toxin Study…. we will be looking at whether toxicity forms part of your health challenges and then create a detoxification program incorporating food, drinks, air and emotions to ensure that this first step towards lowering inflammation is completed successfully.

2. The Food Intolerance Study…. we will be eliminating all offending foods and studying each week how this new strategy starts to improve the overall inflammation in the body.

3. The Sugar Metabolism Study….we will be ensuring that we take the necessary steps to stop your insulin from spiking and causing inflammation. We will also control your blood sugar metabolism naturally.

4. The Cortisol Stress Study…. we will examine all areas that have resulted in mental and emotional stress and look at ways to reprogram your emotional framework by using EFT therapeutic systems. This will also lower inflammation….especially cardiac and systemic inflammation.

5. The Metabolic Study….we will be looking at your overall metabolic challenges and also if necessary more specifically the 5 thyroid specialized tests not normally offered by mainstream medical testing to ensure that there are no deficiencies or dysfunction related to metabolism and/or auto immunity.

6. The Hormone Study….. where we will also study the actual levels of DHEA, estradiol, testosterone and progesterone (for both men and women) to ensure optimum functioning.

7. The Immune System Study – Tests used to diagnose an immune disorder include: Blood tests. Blood tests can determine if you have normal levels of infection-fighting proteins (immunoglobulin) in your blood and measure the levels of blood cells and immune system cells. Abnormal numbers of certain cells can indicate an immune system defect.

8. Your Health DNA report… we use a highly scientific laboratory reporting system to look at all your DNA responsible for your continuing good health. Most importantly is how your DNA express during your various metabolic processes in steps 1-7 mentioned above.

9. The Gut Study… looking at 5 incredibly important hit health areas like digestion, inflammation, bacterial balance, metabolic process and pathology …. we prepare a 6 month gut healing program

10. The Stress Resilience Study … a deep dive into the stress analysis and how it is being handled and which therapies and natural medicines which can help to create a much more resilient response to inevitable stress.

Here is a description of the processes we use for our consulting, your strategic health analysis and action plan. We also facilitate the planning and diagnostic testing to make the entire process easy, time efficient and cost effective.

6 Tier Health Transformation System

  1. Forensics… consults and blood testing
  2. Diagnostics … symptom and medical assessment
  3. DNA, Microbiome, Cortisol stress test and other diagnostic studies- optional but very effective
  4. Anti Inflammatory Program – eating and exercising
  5. Functional Medicine Blueprint – ongoing wellbeing plan
  6. Monitoring and Adjustment Program

THE DR PARRY PROTOCOL

Over 13 years we have created a selection of Natural Medicine protocols involving advanced medicine and lifestyle and therapy application based on the following diagnostics:

  • Advanced bloodwork going beyond normal blood tests and using a more in depth analysis method of interpretation and medicine selection
  • Intensive DNA analysis for specific DNA health markers followed by a specialized DNA protocol
  • Deep gut forensics using advanced scientific cutting edge data and creating a 4 step protocol over 6-12 months of complete gut healing
  • Adreno cortex stress and dhea assessment using cortisol and dhea hormonal movement observations
  • In depth hormonal analysis followed by bio identical replacement strategies over 6-12 months
  • A detailed mental health study looking at serotonergic influence plus noradrenaline and other mental health hormones and creating a protocol to correct imbalances
  • A complete stress analysis and resilience protocol using specialized DNA Mental and Stress analysis to create a stress resilience protocol.
  • A highly effective immune system boosting protocol for post Covid, post vaccine, auto immune disease, immunity compromise and tumour marker and malignancy issues