“Health is the harmonious integration of cellular activities in the various systems to meet an ever changing environment, and disease is disturbed function … out of time, out of tune as well as disturbed structure.”‘ – Dr. Howard Loomis
You would never take your car to a mechanic and ask him to guess why it wasn’t running properly. You would expect him to perform a number of tests to diagnose the problem. Otherwise you would be spending money endlessly until he got it right. And if he did get it right how much time was wasted in the process?
The human body is so much more complex than any machine. It is biological, chemical, electrical, mechanical and neurological. It is a living being. Unlike a machine, your body requires the most favorable conditions and nutrients daily to function optimally and stay healthy. If these are not met, the body begins to break down, function poorly and over time disease sets in. Fortunately, there are dozens of tests available to help pinpoint the underlying problems. Many of the newer tests are more precise and can tell you how and why your body is not functioning properly. Below are links to laboratories that perform the tests available through Phoenix Wellness Services. These are the cutting edge tests in what is known as Functional or Integrative medicine.
Adverse reactions to food can set off a cascade of physiological effects in the body. Other allergens include food additives, coloring agents and inhalants such as grass, tree, weed and mold that are region-specific. These reactions may be immunological or non-immunological mediated and can result in symptoms ranging from mild to a life threatening anaphylaxis shock. Ig is an abbreviation of the term “Immuno globulin” which is a specialized protein operating in our immune system as antibodies. Antibodies attach to allergens allowing the body to recognize them as potentially harmful. It is the Ig’s that are involved in allergic reactions and there are a few different categories: IgA, IgE and IgG. The majority of severe reactions are thought to be immunologically mediated by IgE. IgE reactions occur within 1 minute to 3 hours after exposure. Other immune globulins, such as IgG and IgA, are thought to be responsible in adverse reactions to food and occur from 3 hours post exposure up to several days afterwards.
For some people, exposure to common foods, chemicals, molds and other allergens trigger chronic activation of the immune system. This chronic immune response creates inflammation relating to a variety of diseases including:
- Arthritis both osteo and rheumatoid
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive disorders
- Headaches and migraines
- Metabolic syndrome – also known as Syndrome X, Insulin Resistance or Diabetes Type II
- Neurological disorders including ADD/ADHD. Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Depression and epileptic disorders
- Skin Disorders
The most reliable allergy testing is done through an Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. The test uses components of the immune system and chemicals to detect immune responses in the body (can be against food or infectious microbes). The ELISA panel tests an enzyme’s reaction to antigens including hormones, bacterial antigens and antibodies.
ALCAT® specializes in the testing of food intolerances, food additives and colorings, molds, pharmacoactive agents and environmental chemicals. The ALCAT® test is not an “allergy” test nor is it an IgG or IgE test. It measures the body’s cellular response to challenges from many items. Currently, there is a debate about the methods used by ALCAT® and those laboratories using IgG and IgE test methods. Clinical evaluations and studies have not drawn any absolute conclusions regarding which method is superior. That having been said, the ALCAT® method was shown to be better in identifying adverse responses to food additives, colorings and some environmental chemicals. When is comes to reproducibility and accuracy for food intolerances, the IgG test methods were shown to be superior.
“Autism – A Multidisciplinary Approach to Treatment” C. A. Kostanis MD, Lyn Dart RN, LD; Christopher Harjes M.S., C.C.S. – A, Renay Miller EMT
“Non-lmmunologically-Mediated Food Sensitivity“, John A. Anderson, M.D. Nutrition Reviews Vol. 42, No 3, March 1984
“NMJ Original Research: Reproducibility and Reliability of Two Food Allergy Testing Methods“, Wendy Hodsdon, ND, Heather Zwickey, PhD, Natural Medicine Journal 2(3), March 2010
“The Role of Hidden Food Allergy/Intolerance in Chronic Disease“, Alan R. Gaby, MD, Alternative Medicine Review Volume 3, Number 2, 1998
“Increased IgG4 levels in children with autism disorder“, Amanda Enstrom, Brain Behav Immun. 2009 March ; 23(3): 389–395
“Celiac disease and epilepsy“, C.C. Cronin, et al; Q J Med 1998; 91:303–308
Hair Mineral Analysis
Hair mineral analysis measures the mineral content of your hair. Originally, trace element concentrations were tested from urine and serum samples. However, these proved to be somewhat inaccurate because they only showed trace elements circulating in the body and not found in the cells or organs. In fact, because it has been found to be so reliable as a measurement of substance exposure, hair analysis can be used to determine drug use as well.
A small amount of the patient’s hair is taken from the base of the neck. Only about 1″ to 1 1/2″ of growth is cut and sent to a laboratory for analysis. There, it is washed and subjected to an acid bath and either atomic absorption spectrophotometry, or plasma jet spectrophotometry for the presence of trace elements. Each mineral is isolated and measured on a parts-per-million (ppm) basis.
It reveals mineral imbalances; copper to zinc, calcium to magnesium and potassium to sodium ratios. The analysis shows low or elevated minerals representing long term associations. It reveals one’s exposure to environmental heavy metals such as lead, mercury and aluminum. It is especially useful in neurological disorders or when a person’s general health is in question.
Using the information from the analysis, an individualized program is recommended to correct imbalances, raise or lower specific minerals or detoxify heavy metals. This test is primarily used when there are no apparent associations between a patient’s signs and symptoms and heavy metal toxicity. Should there be a questionable association to heavy metal toxicity and immune system disorders, the MELISA® metal test is recommended. (See below)
Analytical Research Laboratories provides expert hair mineral testing and forged the field of hair tissue mineral analysis interpretation. Beginning in 1974, Analytical Research Lab, Inc. has won the respect and support of health care professionals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Since 1984 Trace Elements has been recognized internationally as a leading provider of Hair Trace Mineral Analysis laboratory services and nutritional metabolic products for doctors and health professionals of all specialties worldwide. Trace Elements serves health professionals exclusively in over 46 countries.
“Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, An Emergent Diagnostic Technique“, Bland, J., Thorsons Publishing, 1984
“Toxic Metals and Essential Elements in Hair and Severity of Symptoms among Children with Autism“, Eleonor Blaurock-Busch; Omnia R. Amin; Hani H. Dessoki, Thanaa Rabah; Medica, Vol 7, No 1, 2012
“The toxicity of cadmium and resulting hazards for human health“, Johanness Godt, et al; Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 2006, 1:22
‘Metals and Neurotoxicology“, Robert O. Wright and Andrea Baccarelli, Journal of Nutrition Symposium: Heavy Metal Exposures in Women and Children, the Role of Nutrients
“Low dose mercury toxicity and human health“, Farhana Zahir et al, Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, March 20, 2005
“Hair: A diagnostic tool to complement blood serum and yrine“, Maugh, T. H. Science 202 (22); 1978, 1271-3
“Biological monitoring of toxic trace metals“, 1980 E.P.A. (Pub. No 600/3-8-089 Washington D.C.
“Trace metals in hair are easier to study“, Hammer D.I. JAMA 2016, (3): 384 – 5
“Determination of aluminum, copper and zinc in human hair“, Stevens D.J., Atomic Spectroscopy, Vol 4 No 5 1983
We live in an environment that has accumulated toxins from herbicides, pesticides and heavy metals due to the industrial world we have created over the last few centuries. We are all exposed to an array of foreign materials on a daily basis. Human physiology has tried to adapt to this but we have not been very successful. Our bodies, while strong in many ways, suffer from a host of diseases directly related to the poisoning of our air, water and food.
The human body was never designed to handle the level of toxicity of the modern world. Dental amalgams, cosmetics, jewelry, cookware, vaccines, preservatives and medications are a few of the sources impinging on human health brought about by the industrialization of society. The everyday onslaught of metal exposure causes hypersensitivity leading to chronic inflammation and over-stimulation of the immune system.
The difference between hair mineral analysis and the MELISA® Test is that while a hair mineral analysis shows the levels of common minerals, the ratios between paired minerals and the presence of a few heavy metals, the MELISA® test shows how one’s immune system is responding to those heavy metals – 24 in all. If there is a suspected link of one’s signs and symptoms to metals (jewelry, cookware, vaccines etc..) the MELISA® test unmasks what can be the underlying cause – an immune response to metals.
A hair mineral analysis might show undetectable or low levels of lead but the MELISA® shows the degree to which a person’s immune system is responding to lead exposure at any level – even so-called undetectable levels. It may show an elevated or a weak immune response.
MELISA® testing is performed by Pharmasan Laboratory of Wisconsin, one of two laboratories in the United States of America licensed to do the MELISA® analysis.
In recent years, the science of Epigenetics has grown rapidly. It is the science of how one’s genes are affected by environment, diet and other aspects of one’s lifestyle. The demand for genetic testing has kept pace with the information being published in medical journals. Using the information gleaned from genetic tests has given patients and doctors hope and the ability to address so-called genetic disease by changing their environment, exercise, diet and relationships. Making significant changes in one’s lifestyle can either keep a gene “turned off” preventing disease or can turn a gene on improving one’s health. Smart DNA is in the forefront in genetic testing offering nine unique genetic panels covering lipid (fat) metabolism, Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification (important for elimination of environmental toxins and waste, oxidative stress (free radical damage to the cell membrane), bone health, lactose intolerance, chronic inflammation (known to be a causative factor in most diseases), weight management, anti-aging factors and the nutria-gender factor (offers a gender-specific diet to either suppress or enhance a gene or enzymatic pathway expression). This enables the patient to have a completely individualized nutritional and lifestyle program matched to their own DNA.
- The epidemiological revolution of the 20th century. PDF
- Influence of human genetic variation on nutritional requirements1.pdf
- Genetic variation and dietary response – Nutrigenics and nutrigenomics.pdf
- Epigenetics – A New Bridge between Nutrition and health.pdf
- Epigenetic diet – impact on the epigenome and cancer.pdf
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