Functional Medicine is Preventative Medicine, so we employ advanced testing modalities that identify root cause imbalances before the imbalances lead to disease. This contrasts with Conventional Medicine’s standard lab testing that primarily uses lab testing to diagnosis you with a disease and then prescribes medication to treat. In other words, the system and testing are reactionary.
Unfortunately, our standard medical system does not prioritize or incentivize providers to spend the necessary time with patients or order advanced labs which could catch underlying dysfunction early enough to prevent full-blown illness. In other words, they place the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff instead of erecting road signs warning of the impending danger ahead if changes are not made. This is a travesty, as the science of Functional Medicine and advanced medical testing truly holds the key to preventing many chronic diseases and alleviating suffering and dysfunction.
Investing, Listening, Investigating
In contrast, at AustinMD Aesthetics & Wellness we specialize in individualized care, investing the time and detective work needed to listen to our patients’ story/symptoms and order the specialized advanced medical testing that can point to the root cause of symptoms and catch issues before they become a problem. Working with our highly trained practitioners who can order and interpret specialty lab testing including stool testing, hormone testing, metabolic testing and more-we see the power of Functional Medicine to drastically improve a patient’s well-being.
Another rationale to do advanced testing is that it allows us to target your supplement and dietary regime more precisely. The misuse of supplements can cause imbalances. Nutrients function together in a delicate balance and excesses of one nutrient may mimic a deficiency of another nutrient. For example, if you drink soda which contains phosphoric acid-containing phosphorus it can mimic a deficiency of calcium since these nutrients function in a one-to-one ratio.
Since imbalance is a root cause of disease and balance in the body is the foundation of health, we don’t want to do anything to create “imbalances.” These imbalances can be caused by both deficiencies and excesses of certain nutrients and essential compounds. This is another reason to have testing done to determine your specific cellular level of nutrients, gut function and genetic testing just to name a few. For example, certain individuals because of genetic variations may need amounts of certain nutrients above the RDA to make up for genetic alterations they may have in how nutrients are absorbed and metabolized.
The following is a shortlist of the Advanced Functional Medicine Labs we utilize at AustinMD Aesthetics & Wellness:
Nutrient deficiencies are rampant in America for a number of reasons, including the Standard American Diet (SAD Diet), digestive problems and issues with nutrient absorption and our food supply system. Deficiencies of nutrients can lead to a host of problems including a weakened immune system, increased inflammation, digestive problems, skin disorders, fatigue, depression, dementia and increased risk for numerous diseases.
Advanced Lipid Testing
Advanced Lipid Testing is more detailed than a standard cholesterol test that may not completely represent your risk for heart attacks and strokes. In fact, nearly 50% of all heart attacks and strokes occur in patients who had “normal” cholesterol levels. Advanced lipid testing performed in addition to your standard cholesterol test, provides a more accurate indication of your cardiovascular risk. Advanced lipid testing includes tests for oxidized LDL and LDL particle size and number, apolipoprotein B (apo B).
Inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders, diabetes, heart disease and dementia. A few important measures of inflammation would include homocysteine and hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) a protein that indicates general levels of inflammation in your body and MPO (myeloperoxidase) a specific marker of vascular inflammation and measure of vulnerable plaque.
Gut Microbiome Stool Test
The health of our gastrointestinal (GI) tract is foundational to the health of the rest of our body, including our skin. That is why it is so often the best place to start when evaluating treatment strategies. Residing within our GI tract are trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes collectively known as the microbiome. While some bacteria are associated with disease, others are extremely important for your immune system, digestion, metabolic health, weight and many other aspects of health. An imbalance of healthy and unhealthy microbes is sometimes called gut dysbiosis.
The GI testing, we use at AustinMD Aesthetics & Wellness is utilizing whole genome/genetic sequencing which is the most accurate analysis available for microbiome tests. This test reveals the good and bad bacteria in your gut, signs of potential pathogens, immune and inflammatory markers and indicators of how well your digestive tract is working. In addition, the test we use explores over 20+ functions of the microbiome and recommendations for specific foods and nutrients that can improve the diversity and balance of your microbiome and function of your GI tract.
Additional tests as warranted might include a complete thyroid panel, metabolic markers, hormone, food sensitivity, genetic and heavy metal tests just to name a few.
Central to obtaining the benefits of advanced test modalities is working with our highly trained practitioners who will determine the best tests for you, interpret results and make individualized recommendations to maximize your positive health outcomes.