New Active Vitamin D 1,25 Dihydroxy Test

Vitamin D 1,25 Dihydroxy test now available on shop – and no need to freeze, centrifuge or be in London. Yay.

Knee Pain: Not Surgery Needed But Muscle Work!

Image result for poorly kneeI’ve been saying this for years now any time anyone asks me about knee pain and should they have surgery? Most cases are usually misalignment putting stress on the connective tissue like ligaments, tendons and muscles and physio or muscle work at the first signs of knee pain is usually the answer – and then importantly usually negates any need for so-called ‘wear and tear’ knee replacement surgery later.

I used to do a lot of knees in my massage & manipulation days. It was caused an awful lot by splayed feet, poor walking stance, crossing the legs when sitting and the like, even foot issues, for example, where someone walks differently to avoid pain on a corn or something. It builds up over a long time and eventually your knee says ‘enough!’ and start to complain. The same a lot in hips too.

My view is always to look for the bleedin’ obvious before you get to surgery. See a muscle specialist (not a relaxation masseur but a preferably a NAMMT one), a physio and or a podiatrist. Even an Alexander Technique teacher will help.

Lynne McTaggart this week said something similar in her post so I felt a little smug ;):

Weak At The Knees?

Good luck and hope you have strong knees (and hips) for life!

New Functional Blood Chemistry Health Report Launched

find iconYou’ll have noticed recently that I have been reviewing and updating some of our tests. It’s work I started a while ago and have just completed a load of it, hence I keep telling you about new tests!

Today it is the turn of the blood chemistry profiles – you know: those ‘full bloods’ tests usually done by your GP? Here’s the new blurb for you on the Metabolic & Functional Tests section of the shop to explain:

Blood Chemistry Testing

Most often, the first test a doctor will do for you is ‘full bloods’ which is a standard work-up of white blood cells, red blood cells, cholesterol, blood glucose, some liver, possibly thyroid and renal markers and the like. Very useful. It can pick up some really important markers.

Often, what happens is you get told they are all ‘normal’. I hear this a lot. They may all well be normal given average reference ranges, but I often see things on there which could suggest a less than optimal functioning somewhere or another. You can do your own version of a standard work-up as a kind of overall MOT test and there are now two ways to do that.

The closest to the GP work-up is the Genova Functional Blood Chemistry Profile which is excellent, gives you a good easy-to-read report with optimal and not just standard reference ranges. It includes everything you would expect plus a very useful HBA1c diabetes score.

More comprehensive by far is the FDX03 Health Report from Functional Diagnostics, invented by Dr Dicken Weatherby. This gives optimal ranges but also a shed-load more interpretation using the lab results as indicators and predictors of problems instead of just giving you a baffling set of numbers. It includes a very detailed report with a lot of useful – practical – info you can work with if that’s what you need. It also includes much more on hormones, folate, B12, Vit D, fasting insulin, a PSA count for men, homocysteine and fibrinogen.

Obviously, it’s more expensive because you get more markers and all the interpretation instead of a set of numbers. You can see a sample report here (note the report indexes start at page 11). Samples returned to the lab by courier, which is included. Blood needs to be centrifuged, as does the Genova one.

Now you might be able to see what those numbers on your results all mean! Hope it helps..check all the metabolic and functional tests on the shop here.

Gut Tests Review – GI-MAP Listed

      Ooh, I have spent hours today comparing the main gut tests now available. It is a veritable minefield, I can tell you – and you’re never quite sure where the ‘sales’ information is coming from, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I have tried to cut through the inevitable ‘this is the best thing since sliced bread’ enthusiasm you get when a new type of test launches and assess it with a beady eye on clinical utility for you. ‘Will it work, is it worth it, what should I do?’ sort of thing.

I have much to learn and assess yet, but I have today rejigged the Gut Tests Overview a bit to reflect the new molecular PCR/DNA microbiome testing for pathogens and added the Diagnostic Solutions’ GI-MAP test for you.

Here’s my blurb on the Gut Tests shop page for you and you can get the test and more info here:

Gut Tests Overview

There are lots of different types of gut test and it generally depends on what you want to know. Here is a simple (ha!) overview with my key recommendations. Click on each test link to go to the lab sites for details, collection instructions and sample reports.

In general, most gut tests will look for absorption, inflammation and immunology markers. The difference comes in how we look for any bacterial, yeast, parasitic and viral pathogens present and your choice of test really comes down to what you most want to know.

There are now two main ways to test the microbiome – the gut environment – for pathogens. You can do the usual culture, microscope and mass spectrometry way of looking at what’s in the gut, such as the DD CSAP3 and CDSA2 tests below, or you can use molecular DNA/PCR testing, such as the GI-MAP and GI Effects below; a new way of picking up stuff you can’t find in the samples. There is mass controversy about which is best in the industry, of course, and it really depends who you are listening to at any given time! Here is my take on it – and I will update this as necessary, of course. I have listed both types because I get asked for both.

In short, in my view: if you want a general gut screen, do a DD CSAP3. If you want specifically to look for baddies in the gut, do a GI-MAP. Check what each test includes as they vary. In an ideal world, most experts think you should do both types if you want to find the most stuff. Sorry, don’t shoot me 😉

Traditional Testing

The DD CSAP3 is the best ‘traditional’ test in my view. There are lots of reasons for this and I have studied the different tests long and hard. In the end, I think this one gives you the most useful and effective testing for the money. It covers bacteria, yeasts, inflammation, parasites (3 days, which is important as they hide!), malabsorption, short chain fatty acids, leaky gut, blood presence and SIgA. You can do the same test without parasites if needed as the DD CSA (Comprehensive Stool Analysis). You can also add several things onto this test and/or do the elements separately. See here for a list of Doctors’ Data gut tests. I can confirm prices if you need something. The DD test samples are returned to a UK lab for onward shipping.

Incidentally, sometimes you only need to go back and check if a bacteria found in the CSA/CSAP3 has gone and you don’t need a full re-test. In this case, use the DD Bacteriology Culture Test.

There are two main other alternatives to this kind of comprehensive testing: Genova’s CDSA2P, which includes parasites and CDSA2 without. Some people prefer this one historically as it’s been around a long time. Again, you can add stuff on or do elements separately. See here for a list of Genova’s stool tests.

Molecular DNA/PCR Testing

Here, I like Diagnostic Solutions’ new GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus). The GI-MAP measures opportunistic organisms (including H pylori which is an add-on with the other tests usually and a very useful one to look at), normal flora, yeasts, parasites, viral pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes as well as absorption markers (Elastase), inflammation (lactoferrin) and immunology (SIgA). It also includes occult blood and an anti-gliadin test. You can see a sample report and collection instructions here.

And, if you want to read much more deeply about microbiome testing using PCR and see the whole list of pathogens included, see Diagnostic Solutions’ white paper here. The difference with this one is mainly the viral pathogens, H pylori, a coeliac gliadin test (which I would not rely on to rule out coeliac disease – see the Gluten tests section) and the antibiotic resistance genes. You don’t get a lot of interp help or a pretty report on this one but they have written the huge white paper above which certainly will help you. This is returned to the UK lab for onward shipping.

You can also do PCR testing using the Genova GI Effects Comprehensive test. This measures similar pathogens (but not viral) as well as markers for absorption (elastase, fecal fat), inflammation (calprotectin, EPX etc) and immunology (SIgA). I also like the fact it includes the SCFAs including the butyrate level as I see that a lot as a main cause of leaky gut (this is also in the DD CSAP tests which is one reason I like it). If you read the GI Effects Interpretation Guide, it shows how each bacteria is linked to illness. It can be very useful to make connections, of course, if a bacteria comes up which matches your symptoms – at least you have more of an idea what’s causing it! I do like their instant interpretation on the report and the Interpretive guide is very useful. Again, returned to the UK lab for onward shipping.

Overall: check the sample reports and read up to establish which test covers what you most want to know.

Ok, hope that is clear. I shall be testing you later on it – ha ha, see what I did there?! See the Gut Tests here, especially if you need more info on candida, SIBO etc.