Lab Testing

Lab testing for pH levels, hormone levels, allergens and more offer a baseline objective marker to determine if treatments are working. Lab tests may include hair analysis, saliva testing and RAST testing.

How is lab testing used in your practice?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: That’s a great question. Lab testing can be a very important tool in helping to not only diagnose clinical issues and problems, but also as a baseline marker to be able to determine whether or not we’re actually making progress in the treatment protocols. First of all, in our office, we have a consultation to determine which tests are recommended, and in fact, whether or not any lab testing is recommended. We’re really trying to find out do we need the help of laboratory testing to help diagnose conditions. We’re going to obtain baselines for specific hormones and/or markers. It allows us to be able to provide an objective rather than a subjective method to determine the efficacy of the treatment or the intervention protocols.

What are the different types of lab tests that you recommend your patients take?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Every type of condition has different options on testing methods. I generally recommend the gold standard, or in other words, the top tier tests. That’s not to say that the other types of tests are necessarily less effective, but I think if we’re going to go to the effort of making diagnostic testing we might as well use the gold standard, the top tier, the very first time. Once we’ve determined the condition or the symptom that we wish to test for, then we’ll choose any or a combination of these types of tests. Hair analysis, stool samples, blood draws, saliva testing, or in the case of allergies, RAST testing, which some people would be more familiar with the term ‘scratch testing’ for that.

What are you looking for when testing someone’s saliva?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Saliva is simply one of the many testing avenues available. Therefore, we may be looking at many and varied different things that can include Ph levels, it can include hormones, it can include yeast, and also certain specific types of allergies.

There are so many types of allergies, so how do you really test for them?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Right, there are many types of allergies, however, we can generally break them down into three main subgroups. The first, food sensitivities. The second, airborne allergen reactions. The third, contact reactions through some kind of direct contact with the skin itself. Within these subgroups there are further subgroup reactions. We have an IgE reaction and an IgG reaction, and these are immunoglobulin reactions and the difference between those is they’re ranging from an immediate reaction time of the sensitivity to a delayed sensitivity reaction which can be up to 48 hours post the initial inoculation.

What is the most common type of testing your patients undergo?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: That’s a difficult question to answer directly, that’s because when we’re dealing with individual patients with different needs, the question really becomes irrelevant. Given that, each form of testing is specifically matched to each particular patient. What we would frequently test for, if it was indicated, is Ph levels, both through the urine and the saliva, hormone levels, and multiple different allergens. Those would be the most common ones utilized within this particular office.

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