Gut, Immune, Detox

Gut, Immune and Detox testing:

The following tests are available via the true Vitality clinic: (see more info on them below the list)

  • Candida,
  • Gastrin,
  • Intestinal permeability aka leaky gut,
  • Liver detoxification,
  • Organic acids,
  • Pancreatic,
  • Porphyrins,
  • Parasitology,
  • Transglutaminase,
  • H.Pylori

Candida Antibodies – Saliva

A systemic candida infection may cause a diverse set of symptoms.  Symptoms may include poor concentration, premenstrual syndrome, fatigue, food sensitivities, irritable bowel, cystitis and, muscles and joint aches. Although yeast is found in everyone’s gastrointestinal tract, problems arise when the ratio of friendly bacteria to harmful microorganism is disturbed.  This balance is upset by a modern lifestyle, including antibiotic and oral contraceptive use, stress and diets high in carbohydrates and sugar. This test measures the presence of both anti-candida IgA and IgG antibodies in a salivary sample.  The levels of the antibodies detected indicate the state of the condition, i.e. whether there is a current candida infection (IgA) or whether there has been a past candida infection (IgG).

Common Conditions:

• Poor concentration ‘brain fog’ • Food and chemical sensitivities • Chronic sinusitis • Irritable bowel • Cystitis • Depression • Fatigue • Headaches • Indigestion • Mood swings • Skin irritations • Thrush • Muscle and joint aches

Gastrin – Blood

Gastrin levels can be used for investigation of person is suspected of low stomach acid or pernicious anemia. Achlorhydria is the most common cause of elevated serum gastrin levels. The most common cause for achlorhydria is treatment of gastroduodenal ulcers, nonulcer dyspepsia or gastroesophageal reflux with proton pump inhibitors (eg. omeprazole). Other causes of hypo- and achlorhydria include chronic atrophic gastritis with or without pernicious anemia, gastric ulcer and gastric carcinoma. If serum B12 levels are significantly low, a serum gastrin level above the reference range makes it more likely a patient is suffering from pernicious anemia.  Gastrin levels can also be used for investigation of patients suspected of having Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Common Conditions:

• Achlorhydria • Hypochlorhydria • Pernicious anaemia • Gastric ulcer • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Intestinal Permeability (leaky gut) – Urine

Changes in intestinal permeability are associated with many health conditions including autism, autoimmune disorders, food sensitivities and inflammatory bowel disease. This ‘leaky gut’ causes disease because the perturbed intestinal barrier allows toxic molecules to enter the bloodstream and poison the body.  Intestinal permeability can be measured using the lactulose/mannitol test. Consider this test for the assessment of intestinal permeability and malabsorption.

Common Conditions:

• Gut dysbiosis • Irritable Bowel Syndrome • Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Coeliac • Fatigue • Food allergy and sensitivities

Helicobacter pylori Antigen – Stool

Helicobacter pylori is a spiral-shaped bacterium that colonizes the stomach and induces chronic gastritis,  a long-lasting inflammation of the stomach.  It infects well over 30% of the world’s population making it one of the most common bacterial infections. The bacterium persists in the stomach for decades in most people and most individuals infected by Helicobacter pylori will never experience clinical symptoms despite having chronic gastritis (up to 85%). Approximately 10–20% of those colonized by Helicobacter pylori will ultimately develop gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Common Conditions:

• Indigestion • Nausea • Burping • Appetite loss • Upper abdomen pain • Stomach ulcer

Liver Detoxification Profile – Urine & Saliva

The process of detoxification is one of the chief roles of the liver. It works to convert lipid-soluble xenobiotics into water soluble substances that can be excreted from the body. It does this via a two-step process designated phase I and phase II. When the function of the liver is sub-optimal, toxins can build up and poison the body. The liver detoxification profile evaluates the ability of an individual to process caffeine, aspirin (salicylate) and paracetamol (acetaminophen) by assessing certain metabolites in salivary and urinary specimens. This test is unlike standard liver function tests which only provide a measure of hepatic damage (released hepatic enzyme levels). In contrast, the liver detoxification test is a true functional test as it evaluates the ability of an individual to process caffeine, aspirin (salicylate) and paracetamol (acetaminophen) by assessing certain metabolites in salivary and urinary specimens. Specific measurements of the different phases of liver detoxification including phase I and phase II (glycination, glucuronidation, sulphation and glutathionation) are obtained, guiding the design of effective and specific therapeutic strategies which can optimise liver function.

Common Conditions:

• Autism • Chronic fatigue • Food intolerances • Headaches • Multiple chemical sensitivities • Hormonal imbalances • Multiple drug therapy

Organic Acids – Urine Spot

Organic acid profiling is a simple method of analysing the efficiency of metabolic processes. Urinary organic acids are derived from the metabolic conversion of dietary proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in addition to bacterial origin in the gut. These markers provide a unique profile into cellular energy status, neurotransmitter metabolism, nutrient deficiencies and intestinal bacterial metabolism. Organic Acid tests available: • Krebs/Citric Acid Cycle • Environmental Pollutants • Ketone/Fatty Acid Metabolites • Metabolic Profile • Metabolic & Environmental Pollutants • Methylation Cofactors The testing procedure measures the overflow or build-up of intermediate organic acid products in the urine, determining where ‘aberrations’ are occurring in metabolic pathways. The organic acid tests assess a wide range of cellular and physiological processes including intestinal dysbiosis, energy production, nutrient cofactor requirements and neurotransmitter metabolism. By evaluating organic acid levels and pinpointing the metabolic dysfunctions occurring at the cellular level, a comprehensive, customised treatment strategy can be tailor-made for each individual patient.

Common Conditions:

• Allergies, chemical sensitivities • Fatigue • Anxiety / depression • Irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption/maldigestion

Pancreatic Elastase 1 – Stool

This test is used to diagnose certain pancreas disorders related to not producing enough digestive enzymes and aid in diagnosis of the exocrine pancreatic function or insufficiency. Main indications include exclusion of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency caused by chronic pancreatitis, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes Mellitus, cholelithiasis (gallstones); and exclusion of pancreatic involvement in association with gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal pain or osteoporosis.

Common Conditions:

• Bloating, pain or nausea • Loose or watery stools • Undigested food in the stool • Hypochlorhydria • Food intolerances • Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms • Diabetes • Cholecystectomy • Osteoporosis

Parasitology Profile – Stool

Faecal parasitology tests for parasites that cause gastroenteritis infections such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Entamoeba. Testing: Cryptosporidium (EIA), Giardia lamblia EIA, Entamoeba histolytica EIA; other parasites (visual detection)

Common Conditions:

• Bloating • Nausea, vomiting • Fever • Acute or chronic diarrhoea • Weight loss • Fatigue • Abdominal cramps • Steatorrhoea

Porphyrins – Urine Spot

The porphyrin test is a powerful biomarker of environmental toxicity.  Porphyrins are intermediate products in the production of haem which involves at least eight enzymes which are highly sensitive to toxins.  When certain chemicals are present in the body these enzymes are inhibited, particular porphyrins build up and a distinctive pattern of porphyrins specific to each toxin is produced.  These patterns of porphyrin production can therefore be used to analyse the presence of environmental toxins in the body and therefore of chemical exposure.  Common toxins which affect porphyrin metabolism include lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, hexachlorobenzene and dioxins. Several health disorders have abnormal porphyrin levels associated with chemical exposure including chronic fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivities, learning and behavioural disorders, as well as mental health conditions.  Multiple studies have recently revealed that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is also associated with abnormal patterns of porphyrin production.  It was suggested that porphyrins should be routinely measured in ASD and potential ASD treatments should consider monitoring porphyrin levels.

Common Conditions:

• Autism • Allergies • Multiple chemical sensitivities • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome • Mental health

Transglutaminase IgA – Stool

Stool analysis for antibodies against gluten-related antigens may be a more sensitive assessment to gluten/immune reactions than serum antibody assessments. Positive faecal anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA result from a specific immune reaction to gluten in the digestive tract, and may be present in the absence of similar antibodies in serum, especially in the absence of the typical coeliac disease-related damage to the intestinal tract (i.e., villous atrophy). This represents the immune/inflammatory response to gluten that may be ongoing without any apparent damage to the gut or without any elevated serum antibody titres. Intestinal gluten antibody assessments may be a more accurate method of detecting gluten intolerance reactions, and may reflect such immune reaction before, or in the absence of any traditional serum evaluations.

Common Conditions:

• Bloating • Flatulence • Indigestion • Food sensitivities • Diarrhoea • Irritable Bowel Syndrome • Eczema, Psoriasis • Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia