Payment Policy for Testing
If you have medical insurance which pays for naturopathic services, we will do our best utilize your insurance. However many people have very limited coverage for lab tests. In this latter case, full payment of these tests are expected at the time of service.
Dr. Sierra uses many different laboratories in order to acquire objective health data, including PAML, Labcorp, Genova Diagnostics, Diagnostechs, Meridian Valley Lab, Great Plains, Igenex, Spectracell, Neurosciences, etc.
Adrenal Stress Index Test
The most advanced adrenal function test – it studies the circadian rhythm of the body, maps out the energy cycle throughout the day, and measures levels of cortisol stress hormone to see how one is coping with stress. See links for more adrenal deficiency information and for symptom survey checklist.
Blood Hormone Levels for Men and Women
This test measures blood levels for testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone , and IGF-1 (a measurement of human growth hormone). This is the best way to initiate an anti-aging hormone restoration plan.
Comprehensive Metabolic Profile (Thyroid/Cholesterol/Blood Cell Assessment)
The most comprehensive blood test available assessing blood sugar and electrolyte levels, kidney and liver functions, nutritional status, anemia and/or chronic inflammation or infection in blood, cholesterol, lipids, and cardiovascular risks, thyroid function, and mineral status.
Comprehensive Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
Beside the usual serum cholesterol, HDL, and LDL, this blood panel also includes the latest and most advanced serum markers for cardiovascular disease risk such as apo-proteins, homocysteine, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, lp-plac test, and more. The most recent studies show cardiovascular disease results from chronic inflammation of the blood. This test will evaluate your clotting factors and inflammatory markers in the blood stream.
Food Allergy Blood Test
Levels of antibodies (IgE and IgG) to 96 most common foods are measured in the blood to see if you are sensitive/allergic to any of the foods tested.
Gastro-Intestinal Health Panel
This is one of the most comprehensive digestive and stool analysis test investigating parasitic infections of the colon (Giardia, H. pylori, Clostridium, etc…), yeast or other flora imbalances, digestive enzyme deficiencies, presence of blood in stool, and inflammation markers. This test is very helpful for anyone with digestive disturbances.
Heavy Metal Assessment
Assessing heavy metal load in the body is helpful when there is past significant environmental exposure to heavy metals or mercury (fillings). The symptoms associated with heavy metals differ according to each toxin, but can range from fatigue, neurologic deficits such as tremor or weakness, a metallic taste in the mouth. Discerning levels of heavy metals through this test, and then individuating a treatment plan for overall detoxification, is a very good way to be proactive with ones health.
Male Hormone Panel
This comprehensive salivary take-home test measures level of DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, and human growth hormone. This is a good test for men who are interested in knowing where their hormone levels are and how to correct any imbalances in their sex hormone metabolism pathways.
Menstruating Female Hormone Panel
A comprehensive, state of the art salivary test – measuring the fluctuations of progesterone, estrogen, DHEA, and testosterone throughout the menstrual cycle. It’s the most advanced test available to map out the woman’s unique hormonal cycles and it’s essential in helping Dr. Sierra to specifically diagnose any existing imbalances and correct them.
Neurotransmitter testing with Neurosciences, Inc.
Neurotransmitter imbalances are thought to be at the foundation of many psychiatric and neurological disorders. Imbalances in these cell-to-cell messengers in the brain, due to excessive or deficient levels at the synaptic cleft in the neurons, are associated with depression, insomnia, anxiety, behavioral disorders, memory disorders, and a spectrum of other emotional and learning difficulties. They are prime targets for modulating in a treatment approach that utilizes the results of the neurotransmitter testing in order to create customized amino acid and nutrient support for the individual. Dr. Sierra will often utilize a custom amino acid formula from Metabolic Maintenance to address a patient’s specific amino acid requirement.
Post-Menopause Hormone Panel
This short version of salivary hormone test measures the baseline level of three types of estrogens (estrone, estradiol, and estriol), progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA. It’s also an appropriate test for menopausal women.
Symptoms for thyroid deficiency are: fatigue, weight gain, depression, hair loss, dry skin, temperature dysregulation. Complete testing should include basal body temperature, TSH, free thyroid hormone levels, reverse T3, a test to measure antibodies against the thyroid gland, and in some cases iodine levels. See discussion of Hypothyroidism Evaluation and Thyroid Function Assessment.
Vitamin, Mineral and Antioxidant Testing
Overwhelming scientific evidence confirms that vitamin deficiencies are associated with disease processes and the overall condition of one’s health. Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune function and contribute to chronic degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. is a CLIA accredited (#45D0710715) clinical laboratory that specializes in micronutrient testing. This patented process resulted from 18 years of research at the University of Texas, and measures how micronutrients are actually functioning within patients’ white blood cells. Unlike other more static tests where nutrients are simply measured in the blood or urine, SpectraCell measures cellular activity with reference to individual nutrients. Dr. Sierra finds that this test more than any other, helps her to know if the dietary practices of her patients are sufficiently providing micronutrients, and helps her assess whether improvements in diet are replenishing nutrient deficiencies.
The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
1. First, do no harm.
2. Act in co-operation with the healing power of nature.
3. Address the fundamental causes of disease.
4. Heal the whole person through individualized treatment.
5. Teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.