Not sure what is going on with your gut, hormones or energy?
Why guess, when we can test!
Lab work measures cellular, hormonal, and organ health which guides your doctor’s understanding of disease. Did you know that this information can also guide YOUR understanding of health?
Naturopathic doctors are trained to functionally analyze lab work – not only to identify disease but to optimize your health. Naturopaths explain your results so you understand what is currently happening with your health and what it might mean for your future.
This post will outline how a naturopathic doctor decides which labs to run, what your results mean, and which additional speciality test might be necessary.
How does a naturopathic doctor approach lab work?
They run lab work to understand the complete health picture:
Lab work is routinely run to further investigate the root cause of a patient’s health concerns. Naturopathic doctors can request general bloodwork to test things like – cholesterol, nutrient levels, liver enzymes, etc. as well as additional speciality tests.
For example, it is important when investigating thyroid function to run a full thyroid panel to understand exactly how your thyroid is functioning and where we need to direct treatment.
They educate you on what lab work results mean for your health:
Irregular lab values help identify disease but they also illuminate health trends that may lead to disease in the future. Typically your medical doctor will look for lab values that fall outside of the reference range. Naturopathic Doctors look for this as well, but we also look at optimizing the body’s physiological within the normal reference ranges.
For example, your iron levels may be within the normal reference range (this is good!). But if they are low- normal you may still be experiencing symptoms like fatigue. These results give us specific information which then inform treatment options on how to optimize your iron levels and improve your fatigue.
They utilize bloodwork to navigate the best individualized treatment plan:
Naturopathic doctors are trained to look at the whole picture and can help you navigate what these lab values mean for your health right now and how you can enhance disease prevention.
For example, are you having trouble losing weight? Like many issues, weight loss is a multifactorial problem – poor insulin signaling, stress, and inflammation all may be factors. Identifying these issues through lab work allows us to tailor a unique treatment plan specific to your issues.
They run speciality tests to gain a greater understand of your systems:
Naturopathic doctors can not only order general lab work for patients but they also have access to additional testing options – specifically tests that give us a more comprehensive understanding of things like gut or hormonal health.
For example, your gut health is not improving after probiotics, dietary changes, etc. It is time to test and determine EXACTLY what is going on and how to treat it.
Final Clarifying Questions:
Can Naturopathic Doctors order lab work? Yes! However AHS does not cover lab work ordered by an ND therefore there is a cost associated with lab testing.
Can I bring in lab work run by my medical doctor to my naturopath appointment? Yes! Bring in any recent bloodwork ordered by your medical doctor to your naturopathic appointment.
How can my Naturopath have access to my test results? If you do not have access to any of your recent bloodwork your Naturopathic Doctor can access it 1 of 2 ways:
- My Health Alberta Website – This site was built by the Alberta Government and Alberta Health Services to give Albertans one place to go for all of their health information. Once registered for this site, My Health Alberta is a place to access up to date lab test results. Sign up HERE: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/myhealthrecords
- Release of Records – your naturopath will have you fill out a release of records form and send it to your medical doctor.
Book an Initial Appointment with Dr. Jess, ND to discuss best lab work options for you and all your health concerns to create the best individualized treatment plan to optimize your health.