Why do we test?
If you suspect that you may have a particular deficiency then this can be tested for. Equally if you have a chronic health problem that has proved difficult to resolve it may be worthwhile testing for particular problems. Both health and sporting performance are affected if the body is out of balance for any reason. Testing allows us to determine what is out of balance so that we can take targetted action to rectify it.
As an example, if a client was suffering from many minor infections such as colds and had a decline in the sense of taste and smell then we'd check for any other suggestive symptoms and may then choose to submit a zinc test. On receiving the results back from the lab we'd be then know whether there was a need to change the diet or incorporate supplements into the client's regime.
What can be tested for?
Stool analysis can be used to diagnose the cause of chronic bowel problems, short term changes in bowel activity and other problems that affect the whole body. Costs range from £31 for a worm test to £277 for a comprehensive analysis covering most of the possible causes of digestive problems.
Problems with immunity:
Blood tests that look at allergic reactions including food intolerance are available. Testing for Coeliac disease comes under this section. If you get rashes or an itchy throat after eating food these tests can help identify the culprit substances.
Blood and urine tests for toxins in the blood or important vitamins and minerals. If you suffer with fatigue this may indicate a low iron count. Other chronic diseases may be indicative of a lack of some of the essential vitamins and minerals.
Blood and urine tests can reveal risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and cancer.
Sex hormone balance, adrenal health and thyroid function can all be tested for. Fatigue, pre-menstrual tension, seasonal affective disorder are all conditions for which underlying imbalances may be detected via endocrine testing.
What's involved in testing?
In most cases samples of blood, hair, saliva, urine or stool samples are required. Often these samples can be produced at home as long as instructions are carefully followed. Sometimes however it is neccessary to attend the laboratory to give the sample, as some are unstable unless processed quickly after being taken. For example blood samples may need centrifuging early on to separate red blood cells from blood plasma. Most labs provide a good set of kit and instructions for samples produced at home and you can of course always contact DrDobbin nutrition for advice.
Why do we supplement?
For some people certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients may not be available from foodstuffs in amounts that can fulfill their needs. In these instances supplementation whether orally or by injection can be the difference between life or death. Other people benefit from supplementation which can help address health conditions. Most people are not consuming adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals and careful supplementation can go a long way to improving long term health, although supplementation should not be used in place of a healthy diet.