Diagnostic Lab Testing can provide valuable information that can rule out diseases and provide information to help provide accurate diagnosis and treatment. After a thorough evaluation, the Physicians at Falling Waters will discuss the need to order lab tests as it relates to your individual case.
We use local labs at Saint Charles Medical Center for routine medical testing as well as some of the most reputable advanced diagnostic testing facilities in the United States for specialized testing. All of the labs we use are government inspected and approved.ROUTINE LABORATORY TESTING:
Blood tests are often grouped together in panels. These panels may be general in nature to help assess the overall state of your health, or they may be targeted to check for a specific disease or organ function. Although these panels include several tests, the analysis most often can be performed using a small sample of blood. Here are some examples of different groupings:
The Chem-Screen Panel can screen for a wide variety of disorders. It contains tests useful in detecting bone, liver and kidney diseases. It may also assist in the diagnosis of diabetes, iron disorders and gout, and in assessing your risk for heart disease. When used for screening purposes, it provides the best value, as it reports a significant amount of information regarding your health to your physician. Chem-Screen Panels are often used as a tool by your doctor to establish your baseline (normal) and to monitor changes over time.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
This group of tests combines most (but not all) of the tests included in the Basic Metabolic and Hepatic Panels. Bone health is also checked by evaluating calcium, phosphate and alkaline phosphatase.
Maintaining water and salt balance is critical to life and good health. The electrolyte panel contains tests which are important indicators of the amount of water and salt in your body. Tests included are sodium, potassium, chloride and carbon dioxide. Some of the disorders that lead to imbalances of the electrolytes include dehydration from vomiting or diarrhea, and kidney disease. Certain drugs, especially diuretics used in treatment of heart disease, may also affect your electrolytes.
Basic Metabolic Panel
This group of tests extends the electrolyte panel to include measures of kidney function and glucose metabolism, associated with diabetes. The additional tests are creatinine, glucose and BUN.
Hepatic Function Panel
This panel focuses on liver function. Conditions such as hepatitis (an inflammation of the liver) may be diagnosed and monitored. Gallstones may also be detected. These tests may be used to check for liver disease while you are being treated with certain drugs.
Liver Function Tests
These tests indicate normal or abnormal condition of the liver, a vital organ with many functions including the removal of toxic substances from your blood. Liver function tests include albumin, aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase, direct and total bilirubin, gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), globulin, and lactate dehydrogenase (LD).
These tests check for healthy bones as well as bone diseases. Tests for alkaline phosphatase, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous are some examples of bone tests.
Iron Balance Tests
The proper amount of iron in your body is required for good health. These tests include iron and total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation, and ferritin. Iron tests screen for iron deficiency that can lead to anemia, or for iron overload (hemochromatosis), a potentially serious genetic disease.
Kidney Function Tests
These tests indicate normal or abnormal function of the kidney, the organ which filters your blood, preserving useful elements while discarding unwanted waste into the urine.
Kidney function tests include albumin, creatinine, total protein and blood urea nitrogen.
ADVANCED DIAGNOSTIC TESTING:
Assessments of gastrointestinal function include the renowned Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis and several other tests and panels yielding important information about the ecology of the GI tract, including intestinal wall integrity, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, yeast presence, immune function, parasite activity, specific intolerances, Helicobacter infection, and vaginal health.
Assessments of immune function include the revolutionary Comprehensive Antibody Assessment, with its unique reporting of IgG antibodies for delayed reactions as well as IgE for immediate reactions to foods and other allergens.
Nutritional assessments range from Elemental Analysis (toxic and nutritional element levels), Amino Acids Analysis (of 40+ amino acids critical to healthy metabolism and detoxification), and Essential & Metabolic Fatty Acids Analysis (addressing the most widespread nutritional deficit in modern life).
Assessments of endocrine function evaluate the body’s ability to regulate itself through hormone action. Tests include evaluations of sex and regulatory hormones (including human growth hormone mediator IGF-1), the Bone Resorption Assessment, and a Glucose/Insulin Tolerance Test.
Metabolic assessments measure the body’s detoxification processes, oxidative stress and antioxidant defense capabilities, cell energy, and cardiovascular health (with a comprehensive array of independent markers).