At Darling Health we provide in-depth investigations into your health concerns and utilise Functional Testing in order to find the root cause of your complaint. Here we explain some of the main tests we use and why we may recommend you do them. This list is not conclusive so if you require other testing please ask your practitioner or call us at the clinic to find out more.
The prevalence of autoimmune diseases is increasing at a dramatic rate and our practitioners continue to stay up to date with the growing body of research behind these conditions. If you are at risk of developing an autoimmune disease, have a family history of autoimmune conditions or are beginning to show signs and symptoms your practitioner may order one or more of the following tests:
• Antinuclear Antibody (ANA), C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
• Antiphospholipid antibodies and other specific autoantibodies
• Natural Killer Cells
• Homocysteine, Organic Acids Test (OATS), Coeliac profile
• Liver and kidney function tests, vitamin D
• Allergy testing and panels, zonulin, IgA, IgE, IgG
Addressing gut health will often be a first step in treating your health concerns as our digestive system influences our immune system, our hormonal health, our mental health and more.
The following digestive function tests are some that may be used by your practitioner in order to investigate gut health:
• Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA), Zonulin, Faecal Calprotectin, Pancreatic Elastase, Helicobacter pylori Antigen (H.Pylori), GI Mapping
• Intestinal Permeability (Leaky gut), uBiome
• IgG Food Sensitivities, Candida Antibodies
• 3 Day Parasitology
• SIBO breath test
• Coeliac gene test
When treating hormonal health conditions your practitioner may investigate your current hormone picture with one or more of the following tests:
• Progesterone, oestrogen and prolactin
• Oestrogen metabolites
• DUTCH test including adrenal profile
• Thyroid profile (TSH, T3, T4), thyroid antibodies, reverse T3
• Neurotransmitter profile including Serotonin, GABA, Glutamate, Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Epinephrine
• Testosterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinising Hormone (LH)
• Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), DHEA or Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH)
Comprehensive Fertility Testing
Comprehensive fertility testing addressing all potential common and uncommon impediments to your fertility will be investigated by your practitioner. Some of the tests that may be ordered are:
- Gene testing including MTHFR, read more under Genetic Testing
- Nutritional screening
- Autoimmune screening and Organic Acids Test (OATs)
- Hormonal imbalances and hormonal metabolism testing
- CA 125 or ultrasound imaging
Adrenal health complaints may warrant in-depth investigations to identify the underlying cause of your health complaint. Some of the tests that our practitioners utilise include:
• Salivary cortisol and DHEAs
• DUTCH test
• Comprehensive Adrenal Investigation, Adrenocortex hormone profile
Urinary Kryptopyrrole Testing
This test looks for an excess of pyrroles in the urine, which indicates a condition called Pyroluria. Excess pyrroles interrupt vitamin B6 and zinc metabolism in the body, leading to behavioural symptoms and mood disorders. Some conditions which may warrant testing include depression, anxiety, addiction, ADHD, aggression, bipolar and hypersensitivity.
MTHFR (Methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase) is an enzyme that converts the folate you eat into the active form that is then used by your body. This test determines if you have a mutation in this gene and therefore are not converting properly, affecting how much active folate you have available. Active folate is required for a huge range of functions in the body, so there are many signs and symptoms of folate deficiency. Please ask your practitioner for more information on this complex topic.
Other gene tests can include Factor V Leiden mutation, alpha thalassaemia, prothrombin gene mutation, haemochromatosis, whole chromosome tests (known as molecular karyotyping), coeliac disease HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genes.
Gene profile tests can include 23andMe DNA genetic testing, Cardiac DNA profile, myDNA as well as NeuroGenomic, ImmunoGenomic, EstroGenomic, DetoxiGenomic and CardioGenomic profile.
Functional Liver Detoxification Profile
This test is unlike standard liver function tests as it evaluates the ability of your liver to process and detoxify common substances such as caffeine, paracetamol and aspirin. It determines how effective both phase I and phase II detoxification pathways are and allows your practitioner to design a therapeutic treatment plan to improve liver detoxification and health. Common conditions that may alert your practitioner to poor liver function include autism, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, food intolerances and chronic headaches.
Iodine is an essential trace mineral and is found naturally in seafood, seaweed, eggs, Iodised Salt (added to salt) and the soil. Many Australians are deficient in this mineral and it is crucial for optimal thyroid health, and for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Your practitioner may test your urinary iodine levels if you are preparing to conceive, pregnant, if you have a thyroid condition or are showing signs of iodine deficiency. This test is non-invasive and done through a urine sample.
A non-invasive way of assessing body chemistry. Heavy metal levels within the body can be interpreted to reveal a tendency towards certain conditions. Common metals include aluminium, cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic. This test also detects deficiencies and excess levels of vital minerals including zinc, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, sodium and potassium.
After a thorough health analysis during your consultation, your practitioner may need to investigate nutritional deficiencies through blood testing. Examples include zinc, copper, folic acid, active B12, B6, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and iron. These are done through a simple blood test at your local pathology lab. See below.
General Pathology Testing
Our practitioners are partnered with Laverty and Douglas Hanley Moir pathology laboratories and are able to request any general pathology tests you may need, similar to what your GP can do. Please note however that any testing a Naturopath or Nutritionist requests is not covered by Medicare.
General blood pathology tests can include a full blood count, glucose, insulin, iron studies, cholesterol, liver function tests, biochemistry and more.