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Why Our Advanced Diagnostic Testing Matters in the COVID-19 Era

Since founding SF Advanced Health in 2013, we’ve been proud to offer a wide range of diagnostic tests through a partnership with local vendors in order to discover the root cause of our patient’s ailments. The  partnership gives us a broader perspective which enables us to provide patients with personalized and more effective treatment plans geared towards optimizing their lifelong wellness. In our post today, we’ll be explaining some of our special tests to give you a better understanding of what they specifically look for, how they can help narrow down the diagnosis, and help define precisely the optimal treatment plan for the patient.  

Note:  Generally speaking, most of the advanced diagnostic tests we run are early detection tests regarding organ dysfunction … that is, we are looking to catch minor and major problems before they balloon out-of-control and hinder a person’s quality and duration of their life.

 

Let’s start with Thermography:

Thermography uses an infrared camera (observing radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum) to observe blood flow and heat patterns through various bodily tissues. It’s the same technology that first-responders like firefighters use to see the layout of a room, even through smoke, or to track the source of a fire in low visibility. Thermography is an excellent way to glimpse the inner workings of the body non-invasively, without risking any potential damaging radiation exposure. It provides an effective diagnostic adjunct tool especially in conjunction with other kinds of imaging and has no associated risk, unlike with CT scans, mammograms, and x-rays.

A patient undergoing a thermographic imaging session will undress long enough for their body to acclimate to the ambient room temperature and then stand in front of the thermography imaging apparatus which appears similar to a camera. A series of still images, or thermograms, are taken from a variety of angles.

 

Early Cancer Detection

Thermography’s claim to fame comes from its ability to detect tumors. Cancer cells divide much more quickly than healthy cells, and consume more oxygen to do so. That process creates extra waste, heat, and causes oxygen to effectively combust. As such, surface-level cancers may be visible on thermographic images.

Thermography has been used to look for any type of cancer cells in the body with the greatest focus of research historically placed on breast cancer predominantly for women with dense breasts and those under age 50 since mammograms are not as effective. You can read a recent post (linked here) where I wrote about a woman who accidentally found breast cancer when she walked by a thermal camera in the U.K.

While it isn’t a substitute for mammography or other radiation-producing imaging scans (i.e., x-ray, CT and MRI scan), thermography helps detect the development of cancer cells up to 10 years earlier than any other diagnostic scan. It is particularly effective at assessing  lymphatic congestion, inflammation, and organ dysfunction notable in most chronic diseases, and hence, better defining how to precisely treat the root  cause of the problem at hand without needing to do any guess work.  

Bottom line:  Since most inflammation can be seen on thermographic images, it is an excellent way to diagnose the source of pain, injuries, digestive problems, cancer, and so much more.  Please note, if you have a lot of inflammation, you are extremely susceptible to severe COVID-19 outcomes when infected.



The Great Plains Laboratories, Inc.

Great Plains Laboratory is one of the only diagnostic centers in the world which offers a urine test for glyphosate exposure. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely produced herbicide, the primary toxic chemical in Roundup™, as well as in more than 700 different poisonous products used in agriculture, forestry, and home gardening/landscape use. It’s important to know if and how much you’re exposed to  glyphosate since it is extremely damaging to the body. 

The truth is glyphosate is not going anywhere. In 2014 Enlist Duo™, a herbicide product which contains a 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) salt and glyphosate, was approved for use in Canada and the U.S. on genetically modified soybeans and maize, both of which were modified to be resistant to both 2,4-D and glyphosate. 2,4-D has many toxic effects of its own and can be measured in the GPL-TOX test, along with other heavy metals I routinely check.

 

MycoTOX Profile (Mold Exposure)

Mycotoxins are some of the most prevalent and dangerous toxins in the environment that no one is talking about.  Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by fungi (like mold), predominantly found in foods which require a high degree of water for production. When these foods begin to mold, they release high levels of toxins into the food which cannot be destroyed by heat, pasteurization, boiling, cooking, freezing, and many other processing procedures.  In other words, It is near impossible to kill these toxins once they have infected the affected food/beverage. In fact, in the European Union, 20% of all grains harvested have been found to be contaminated with mycotoxins.  In the U.S., it is significantly higher. 

Fungi are tricky little pests; they are able to grow on almost any surface, especially if the environment is warm and wet.  Inner wall materials of buildings, wall paper, fiberglass insulation, ceiling tiles, gypsum support, and peanut shells are all good surfaces for fungi to colonize.  These fungi then release mycotoxins into the environment causing symptoms of many different chronic diseases.  Diseases and symptoms very much linked to mycotoxin exposure include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and liver damage.  

With the MycoTOX Profile, we can identify mycotoxin exposures and make recommendations for detoxification treatments that have been effective. MycoTOX Profile an excellent test since it:



Genova Diagnostics Testing:

Genova Diagnostics is one of the primer integrative testing facilities in the U.S. They offer a plethora of different advanced testing options, including a saliva test which checks cortisol levels over a 24 hour period to assess how appropriately and inappropriately the stress hormone is responding inside of the body. Genova also offers a stool test that checks for microbiome and immune system integrity. By far, the one diagnostic test I use most often in my practice from Genova is the assessment of food allergies and food sensitivities since they are driving a lot of the chronic disease most people are now facing in the U.S.



Food Sensitivity Celiac Test by Genova Diagnostics

The Food Sensitivity Celiac Test is a blood test which checks for food sensitivities by measuring antibodies for 87 common foods. Adverse food reactions can present in a number of distressing ways, and without a test for specific antibodies it can be extremely difficult to narrow down which specific food is causing that reaction.

Conditions which can indicate a food sensitivity include IBS, depression, migraines, rashes and inflammatory reactions like eczema, aches and chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, Crohn’s disease, obesity, among many others.

The chief advantage of a test for antibodies like this one over other food sensitivity testing methods is that a blood screening is able to catch the specific antibodies even after a delay, while other tests are less able to trace which food is causing a reaction if that reaction isn’t immediate.

 

NutrEval FMV by Genova

NutrEval FMV tests check both blood and urine samples to better measure intracellular nutrient levels, pro- and anti-inflammatory fat levels, and intracellular heavy metal load. Its primary function is to look for nutrient deficiencies, to determine individualized supplementation needs for antioxidants, B-vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids (EFAs), amino acids, digestive support, and other nutrients.

As a diagnostic tool, NutrEval helps guide nutritional therapies, augmenting a patient’s recovery from any number of chronic conditions. Genova’s complete screening includes:

Since many of us have adjusted to life at home, I can say without a doubt that there is no better time to work on your health than now since you finally have the time to do so. These tests provide invaluable information for everyone that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. At SF Advanced Health, we go a lot farther into your health history than most other conventional practices in the Bay Area since we believe illness can be easily transformed into wellness.

 

Dr. Bhandari and the Advanced Health Team Are Here to Support Your Health.


Our expert team of integrative holistic practitioners work with patients suffering from chronic health concerns.  We help our patients reverse disease by better understanding how the body optimally functions and providing personalized treatment plans. To learn more and book an appointment, contact Advanced Health or call 1-415-506-9393.

Author
Dr. Payal Bhandari Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is a leading practitioner of integrative and functional medicine in San Francisco.

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