Testing


At the International Center for Health and Wellness, we utilize a variety of testing resources to help diagnose and follow treatment of environmental toxicity. Depending on the suspected exposure, testing can vary between hair, blood, urine and stool analysis. However, the first and most important step is a complete history and physical exam by a Doctor experienced in diagnosing and treating the broad range of illnesses that can appear with similar symptoms as environmental toxicity. In addition, evaluation by a Lifestyle Educator experienced in the nutritional and herbal treatment of these disorders is essential.

Hair analysis is a good screening tool for heavy metal exposure and to assess for electrolyte and mineral deficiencies. Hair analysis is limited if dyes and certain shampoos are used. Sampling techniques have to be followed carefully.

Urine testing can be very valuable for ongoing exposures. In a special challenge test, a chelating agent (that binds heavy metals and allows for urinary excretion) is given before and then urine is collected and compared to urine collected without the chelating agent. This helps to show the ongoing body burden of metals.

Blood testing is useful for certain toxins, but also to evaluate for other causes of the symptoms that may be treatable and not involve toxins. It is also important to check for complications from toxin exposure.

For Biotoxin illness, a screening test at http://www.biotoxin.info/ has a high degree of accuracy in predicting which people have a significant risk of Biotoxin illness. The test involves visual contrast sensitivity, coupled with a symptom score, to give a Biotoxin Illness Risk Score. If a high score is achieved, further testing is warranted. This includes nasal cultures to rule out organisms that can complicate this picture, blood tests to assess immunity and to determine genetic susceptibility to different exposures, and other tests as covered in the section on Chronic Fatigue.

 


 


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