Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Used to determine general health status and to screen for and monitor a variety of disorders, such as anemia. The results of a CBC can provide information about not only the number of cell types in the blood but also can give an indication of the size, shape, and some of the physical characteristics of the cells.
The types of cells evaluated in a CBC are as follows:
There are five different types of WBCs that the body uses to maintain a healthy state and to fight infections or other causes of injury. Changes in WBC numbers may indicate infection, allergy, and may point to more serious conditions such as leukemia.
The CBC determines whether there are sufficient RBCs present and whether the population of RBCs appears to be normal. RBCs are normally all the same size and shape; however, variations can occur with vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies, iron deficiency, and with a variety of other conditions. If there are insufficient normal RBCs present, the patient is said to have anemia and may have symptoms such as fatigue and weakness.
Platelets are special cell fragments that play an important role in blood clotting. If a patient does not have enough platelets, he/she will be at an increased risk of excessive bleeding and bruising. The CBC measures the number and size of platelets present.
This test measures the levels both HDL and LDL cholesterol in the blood as well as triglycerides. Patients with poor lipid profiles are at increased risk of cardiovascular injury including heart attacks and stroke. If you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in arteries, including the coronary (heart) arteries, where it contributes to the narrowing and blockages that cause the signs and symptoms of heart disease.
The liver is the largest internal organ in the body. Its main functions are to; metabolize most of the nutrients that are absorbed by the intestine, store nutrients, produce proteins and detoxify blood by removing medications, alcohol, and potentially harmful chemicals from the bloodstream.
This test measures the enzymes produced in the liver and may point to acute and chronic liver injury. Causes of injury may be liver diseases such as hepatitis, alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, pharmaceutical drug use and over the counter medications such as Tylenol and aspirin.
Some symptoms of liver disease may include decreased appetite and weight loss, yellowing of the skin, gas and bloating, and fatigue.
The kidneys play key roles in body function, not only by filtering the blood and getting rid of waste products, but also by balancing electrolyte levels in the body, controlling blood pressure, and stimulating the production of red blood cells. This test is used to evaluate the functioning of the kidneys.
Signs and symptoms of dysfunction include nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, dry and itchy skin, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating and poor school performance. As the kidney function worsens, one can experience weight gain from excess fluids, swollen feet and ankles, puffiness around the eyes and high blood pressure.
Anemia (low red blood cell count) often occurs and contributes to the feeling of fatigue, and nausea/vomiting may result in poor food intake and the development of malnutrition.
A food intolerance reaction may take anywhere from one to 5 days to appear with results lasting several days. This makes intolerances difficult to identify without a test because by the time the symptoms appear you have already eaten several other foods.
The effects of food intolerance may affect the respiratory system, skin, gastrointestinal system, skin, central nervous system, musculoskeletal system or the eyes. This is different from a food allergy which often has an immediate and severe (possibly life threatening) reaction.
Our food intolerance test simultaneously measures up to 200 different food types and delivers results with 90% overall accuracy.
The symptoms of food intolerance may include (but are not limited to) the following:
Rhinitis (runny nose), sinusitis, asthma, ear infections, throat pain, cough, hoarseness, mucous build-up
Vomiting, bloating, cramps, nausea, feeling of fullness, constipation, diarrhea, colic, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, (stomach, intestines), colitis and Crohn’s disease , hemorrhagic ulcers, celiac disease
Hives, eczema ( atopic dermatitis ), infantile eczema, acne, psoriasis, redness, dry skin, itching.
Central Nervous System
Migraine, headaches, dizziness, concentration disorders, drowsiness, depression, hyperactivity
Arthritis, joint and muscular pain, back pain, weakness, fibromyalgia, cramps
Dry, watery, red, swollen eyelids, stuck together
Gives indication of thyroid gland function.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (low function) include; fatigue, exhaustion, poor tolerance to cold temperatures, constipation, poor appetite, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, intellectual ability worsens, deeper, hoarse voice, puffiness around the eyes, depression, irregular menstrual periods or lack of menstrual periods.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (high function) include; insomnia , hand tremors, nervousness, feeling excessively hot in normal or cold temperatures, frequent bowel movements, losing weight despite normal or increased appetite, excessive sweating, menstrual period becomes scant, or ceases altogether, joint pains, difficulty concentrating , eyes seem to be enlarging.
Gives indication of the body’s iron levels. Signs and symptoms of low iron include; feeling tired, lethargic, having trouble thinking or concentrating, feeling dizzy, weak, pale skin, feeling cold, having heart palpitations.
B12 is necessary for normal red blood cell (RBC) formation, tissue and cellular repair, and DNA synthesis. B12 is also important for nerve health. A deficiency in B12 can lead to macrocytic anemia. Also called megaloblastic anemia, this condition is characterized by the production of fewer, but larger, RBCs called macrocytes.
Macrocytes tend to have a shorter life span than normal RBCs and are more likely to hemolyze (break), leading to fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms of anemia.
B12 deficiency can also lead to varying degrees of neuropathy, nerve damage that can cause tingling and numbness in the patient’s hands and feet.
Hormones pass into saliva from the cell membranes of the salivary gland. In other words, hormones must pass through saliva gland tissue to get into saliva, which means that a saliva hormone level measures delivery of hormone to tissue (cells) from the various reservoirs in blood.
In contrast, a blood hormone level reflects hormone which has not yet been delivered to tissue. Because saliva reflects what actually gets into tissue rather than what might eventually get into tissue, it better reflects tissue (bio-available) hormone levels.
The adrenal function panel measures the body’s ability to cope with stress. Symptoms of low cortisol may include fatigue (particularly morning fatigue), increased susceptibility to infection, decreased recovery from exercise, allergies, hypoglycemia, burned out feeling, depression and decreased sex drive.
Four hormones make up the Male Panel: testosterone, estradiol, DHEA-S and cortisol. Interactions between these hormones are fundamental to health and, as a consequence, imbalances may negatively impact health.
The five hormones estradiol (E2), progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and DHEA-S make up the Female Panel. Interactions between these hormones are fundamental to health and, as a consequence, imbalances may negatively impact health.
Melatonin is an important immunomodulator and is the principal means by which tissues are synchronized to the daily cycle of light exposure and physical actity. Cortisol, on the other hand, is critical for maintaining energy homeostasis and modulating immune function.
Melatonin and cortisol tend to run opposite to each other. That is, cortisol approaches its low point at bedtime, whereas melatonin reaches its peak a few hours after cortisol bottoms out. Deviations from the normal patterns for these hormones can have significant implications for overall health and future risk of cancer.
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This article written by May Warren has been originally published by thestar.com on Tuesday November 10, 2015. Toronto is...November 24, 2015