Nutrient deficiency testing
Testing for nutrient status is often overlooked in conventional medicine, but it’s a crucial step in maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases. Nutrient deficiencies can occur even if you have a healthy diet, as absorption and metabolic processes differ among individuals based on genetics, toxin build-up, or certain drug side-effects.
- Metabolomix+ analyzes key nutritional biomarkers for methylation, toxic exposure, mitochondrial dysfunction, fatty acid imbalances, and oxidative stress. Over time, imbalances in these areas can put you at risk for disease.
A first morning void (FMV) urine collection (with the option for blood spot finger stick and cheek swab) lets your provider know if you’re getting adequate antioxidants, B-vitamins, minerals, digestive support, fatty acids, and amino acids.
If you haven’t yet had your cholesterol checked by 35, you might be overdue if you have a family history of heart problems (2). In functional medicine, cholesterol panels are assessed a bit more differently than in conventional medicine.
While high LDL (the “bad” form of cholesterol) is associated with cardiovascular disease, it’s important to also look at the particle size and number of LDL particles. Small and dense particles tend to be more dangerous than larger ones, as they can more easily penetrate blood vessel walls and cause damage (3). A cholesterol panel that measures particle size and number can better predict the risk of heart disease.
Other factors such as inflammation, genetic predisposition, and hormonal imbalances can also contribute to high cholesterol levels, which may not be addressed in a standard cholesterol test.
Blood Sugar Screening
Nearly 1 in 3 people aged 30 and over are pre-diabetic (4), according to some estimates. If you have family members with diabetes, or other metabolic conditions, you should speak with your integrative provider about a blood sugar screening. This may include:
- fasting insulin
- fasting blood glucose
- hemoglobin A1C
Depending on your body type, BMI may not be an accurate measure of your overall health. Body composition testing can assess the percentage of muscle, fat, and water in your body to determine a more accurate representation of your health.
Some tests that may be used include:
- Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) – This scan uses two low-dose x-rays to provide information about bone density, muscle mass, and fat distribution in the body. It is considered one of the most accurate methods for measuring body composition.
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) – This method uses a low-level electrical current to measure the resistance of different tissues in the body. Fat tissue has higher resistance than lean tissue, so it can estimate your body fat percentage. Learn more about InBody at CentreSpringMD.
Knowing your body composition can help you understand potential health risks and track progress towards a healthier body, beyond just the number on the scale.
Skin Cancer Screening
Whether you’re a recovering sun-bather, or always responsible with sunscreen use, skin cancer screenings are an important preventative measure for everyone. Catching suspicious spots early on can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment. Regular self-examinations and annual full-body skin exams with a dermatologist are recommended for those over 35.
Mental Health Screening
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues continue to overwhelm many adults, but you don’t have to wait until you’re suffering to seek help. Learn to recognize the signs of concerning changes in your mood, and speak with your provider about the possible root causes of an increase in anxious thoughts or feelings of depression.
Many patients believe they don’t need to see their doctor unless there’s something wrong. And while that approach may work for some, it doesn’t provide a lot of proactive action that can help put a stop to health concerns early!
We recommend seeing your family care doctor once a year to discuss any changes in your health, and re-evaluate your risk factors associated with diet, lifestyle, and family history.
Proactive health management is the key to living a healthy and happy life. These medical screenings help detect any underlying health issues before they become a larger concern. In functional medicine, the focus is not only on managing symptoms but also preventing chronic health conditions. By regularly screening for imbalances and deficiencies, an integrative provider can help you maintain optimal health and potentially prevent future diseases.