Health Care in Harmony with Nature
Dr. Arlan Cage, ND, LAc

Laboratory Testing Methods

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Iodine Testing
Due to the critical importance of Iodine as an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of the entire endocrine system and all your body's hormones, we often perform a test to determine your need for Iodine. This is a functional test which measures whether or not your body has enough Iodine, as well as your ability to absorb Iodine. This test consists of a 24 hour urine collection following the administration of a measured dose of Iodine. This test will demonstrate whether or not your body has sufficient stores of iodine, as well as whether or not you are able to absorb iodine.

Heavy Metal Testing
Exposure to heavy metal toxins can be a crucial component of many chronic health conditions. There are two common methods of testing for the presence of heavy metals. Hair analysis looks for the presence of metal in a hair sample. This method is limited, in that it only shows current or ongoing exposure, and won't identify the presence of metals sequestered in various body tissues. Provoked urine testing, however, does identify these store metals. This test begins with a 24 hour urine collection as a baseline. An intravenous provoking agent is then administered which is capable of pulling metals from tissues where they had accumulated. This is then followed immediately by a second 24 hour urine collection. The levels of metal in the post provocation sample are compared to the baseline reading, allowing the determination of both ongoing, acute exposures as well as past exposures of metals hidden in the body.

Food Allergy and Sensitivity Testing
Adverse food reactions, especially food allergies, can produce a low-level background of inflammation which can disrupt virtually any organ or system in your body. There are several patterns, however, which are frequently seen in patients with food allergies. The more of these conditions or symptoms you have, the more likely it is all or part of your health problems are actually caused by foods. Gastro-intestinal symptoms; Respiratory conditions especially chronic sinusitis; chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne; Joint problems and arthritis; and finally weight gain. At South Bay Total Health we detect food allergies using a type of tests called ELISA tests, which measure antibodies in the blood your immune system has produced against foods. A second test, also a blood test, can measure food sensitivities by observing changes in the shape of white blood cells when exposed to offending foods.

Comprehensive Stool Analysis
Comprehensive stool Analysis is used primarily for Gastro-Intestinal disorders or when the doctor suspects your ability to digest food is impaired, there may be some type of infection, or imbalance in your beneficial bacteria. It performs a culture to look for the levels of pathogenic as well as beneficial bacteria, to see if any yeast are present and if so, can they grow in culture, are the major categories of food being digested -- protein, carbohydrate and fat, as well as the strength of the GI Immune system.

Intestinal Barrier Permeability Testing
One of the key functions of our Gastro-Intestinal System -- the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine, or colon, is to provide an immune barrier to keep toxins and micro-organisms from entering our bloodstream, while selectively absorbing the nutrients present in the foods we eat. If the muscosal lining of our GI system becomes sick, it can lose the ability to absorb things in should, while at the same time allowing toxins or other detrimental substances to leak into our blood. This phenomenon is known as "Leaky Gut".

To test whether or not you have leaky gut, you are given a solution of two carbohydrates, Lactulose and Mannitol. Normally, Lactulose is not absorbed at all, or only very poorly, by your GI system. Mannitol, on the other hand, is readily absorbed. After ingesting the Lactulose/Mannitol solution, you collect your urine for 6 hours. If your GI system is healthy, your urine specimen should show high levels of Mannitol, indicating that your GI tract is efficiently absorbing what it should, and low levels of Lactulose, indicating your GI system is providing an effective barrier against things it should keep out of your bloodstream. On the other hand, high urinary Lactulose/low urinary Mannitol indicate a leaky gut, allowing pathogens and other toxins to enter the blood, along with a decreased ability to absorb nutrients.

Organic Acid Testing
Organic Acids are chemicals produced in the body by other biochemical reactions. They are sometimes referred to as "Metabolites", products of normal metabolism. If you have normal levelsof all the vitamins and minerals that are necessary as cofactors for each reaction, then your metabolites should be present at optimal amounts. If any metabolit is low, it points to a deficiency of one or more of the nutrients or raw materials needed for that reaction to occur. By analyzing all the metabolites, it is possible to develop an overall picture of your total nutritional state.

Whole Blood Nutritional Analysis
Knowing whether your body has all the nutrients it needs is of primary concern. There are three parts to this consideration: (1) are the nutrients in the food you eat, (2) is your digestive system absorbing the nutrients into the blood stream, and (3) once in the blood stream, are they absorbed into the cells that need them. Simple blood tests are usually not sufficient for most vitamins and minerals, since the body does not store them in the blood and will usually quickly absorb them into cells that need them. In the event the body's cells are incapable of absorbing a particular nutrient it will quickly be eliminated in the urine. The only exception are minerals such as Sodium, Calcium and Potassium which also serve as electrolytes and help regulate electric currents in the body.

To determine true nutrient status, the best test is one that looks at nutrient levels inside cells. For most tissues and organs this is impossible without a surgical biopsy -- obviously a rather drastic measure just to see if you are getting enough vitamins! To get around this limitation, tests have been developed to look at nutrients inside your white blood cells -- the one tissue that is easy to obtain with a simple blood test. These tests evaluate levels of Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids, Antioxidants, and Fatty Acids, most of your body's essential nutrients. Appropriate changes can then be made in your nutritional or supplement program to correct these imbalances.

Salivary Hormone Testing
Hormones are one type of your body's primary signalling molecules (the other being neurotransmitters). Your body makes two types of hormones: Peptide hormones, essentially made from proteins, and Steroid hormones, made from cholesterol, a type of fat. Peptide hormones (mostly from the Pituitary, Thyroid and Pancreas) are water soluble and are more accurately measured in the blood. Steroid hormones, however, are fat soluble, and recent scientific discoveries have pointed out that steroid hormones are more accurately measured in Saliva. Salivary levels are more representative of levels of hormones in your organs, and therefore, more useful and accurate at determining where your particular sources of imbalance are. Unfortunately, most conventional doctors are still using the older, outdated blood serum tests for hormones. At South Bay Total Health, we use only Salivary testing for determining your hormone levels.

Neurotransmitter Testing
Neurotransmitters are used for signalling withing your nervous system, both in your brain and the rest of your body. Imbalances between the Excitatory Neurotransmitters and Inhibitory Neurotransmitters can be a side effect of chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal toxicities or secondary to hormone imbalances. The neurotransmitter imbalances, in turn, can cause or aggravate mental and emotional sysmptoms and illnesses.


2204 Torrance Blvd. Suite 104, Torrance, CA 90501      Ph: (310) 803-8803      Fax: (310) 803-8805