Nutrition Technician

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The practical application of nutrition science

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After extensive exploration of numerous functional tests, I have discovered that a comprehensive blood chemistry analysis, coupled with a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is the best place to start for most people. These two tests corroborate each other well and together provide a higher degree of certainty than either test alone. Several other tests I have found to be helpful are listed below along with a brief description of each.


One of the most scientific ways to identify imbalances in your body is to have a comprehensive blood test evaluated by a nutritionally trained doctor or healthcare practitioner. Over 100 markers are analyzed providing important information regarding nutrient deficiencies, hormones, organ function, and metabolic markers. Because lab values within the standard range do not always indicate optimal health, I will be using both standard laboratory ranges as well as scientifically-validated optimal ranges to interpret your test results. During our consultation we will discuss any labs that are out of range as well how to get them back into balance. We will monitor and track your results over time to see how your blood test responds to your protocol and adapt your regimen accordingly. Blood testing can help us assess the following:

  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Liver and Kidney function
  • Fluid and Electrolyte balance
  • Protein status
  • Mineral status including copper, magnesium, calcium and iron
  • Vitamin status including vitamins A, B, C and D
  • Thyroid function
  • Adrenal function
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Immune activity and inflammation
  • Bone health


Minerals are needed as cofactors, facilitators, inhibitors, and even structural components for the approximately 75,000 enzymes that run our human metabolism. Because they are involved in virtually every single enzyme reaction in the body, the availability and usability of minerals will determine how well the human body functions, and, of course, the health of that individual. Minerals are also necessary for nerve conduction, muscular activity, immune functions, anti-oxidant and endocrine activity, pH balance and even DNA function.

Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) provides us with a comprehensive overview of a person’s mineral status by graphing their hair mineral levels and the ratios between those levels. Rarely does a single nutrient deficiency exist in a person today. Multiple nutritional imbalances are quite common and each contributes to an increased incidence of adverse health conditions. In fact, it is estimated that mild and subclinical nutritional imbalances are up to ten times more common than nutritional deficiency alone.

HTMA can be used as a screening tool for assessing mineral deficiencies, excesses, and/or imbalances providing us with an economical and sensitive indicator of the long-term effects of diet, stress, and toxic metal exposure that is difficult to obtain through other clinical tests. As with the blood test, we will monitor and track your results over time to see how your HTMA responds to your protocol and adapt your regimen accordingly. Hair tissue mineral analysis can help us assess the following:

  • Mineral balance, deficiencies, excesses, and dysregulation·
  • Vitamin deficiencies and excesses·      
  • Toxic metal accumulation·      
  • Metabolic rate (fast or slow metabolism)·      
  • Stress physiology·      
  • Energy production·      
  • Autonomic nervous system balance (sympathetic vs parasympathetic)  ·      
  • Thyroid Activity·      
  • Adrenal Activity·      
  • Blood Sugar regulation·      
  • Bone health


Micronutrients are required for normal metabolism, growth and physical and mental well-being. The vibrant micronutrient panel is great for providing an overall assessment of both extracellular and intracellular vitamin and mineral status. Extracellular testing gives us a short-term assessment whereas intracellular testing provides more of a long-term assessment over the previous 4-6 months.


Vibrant Food Sensitivity panel is an array of 96 commonly consumed food antigens which offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The panel is designed to assess an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Food sensitivities can be a major contributing factor in many chronic conditions. This test can help us determine which foods the body is reacting to so that we can remove them, at least temporarily, and reduce the body’s total physiological load.


The Stool Chemistries test provides important information regarding the efficiency of digestion and absorption and the extent of inflammation in the gastrointestinal system. It measures lysozyme, lactoferrin, white blood cells, and mucus to help differentiate between IBS and IBD.


The Organic Acids Test (OAT) includes 74 urinary metabolite markers that can be very useful for discovering underlying causes of chronic illness by providing an accurate metabolic snapshot of what is going on in the body. The OAT test provides a complete and accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria as will as information on neurotransmitters, nutritional markers, glutathione status, oxalate metabolism, and more.


The Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH) offers an extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones along with their metabolites, as well as an assessment of the daily diurnal pattern of free cortisol and melatonin. This test combines many of the advantages of several forms of hormone testing into one test. Patients collect just four or five dried urine samples over a 24-hour period. DUTCH testing was designed to be optimally effective for monitoring most forms of hormone replacement therapy, such as testosterone, oral progesterone, and vaginal hormones. The DUTCH test now includes markers for vitamin B6 and B12, glutathione, neurotransmitters, and oxidative stress.


SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) is a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria normally found in the large intestine are present in the small intestine. Once in the small intestine, these bacteria proliferate and feed off carbohydrates from food, creating fermentation gases, specifically methane and hydrogen. SIBO can also occur when bacteria native to the small intestine have simply overgrown. SIBO breath testing measures these gases. SIBO can be a cause of many health problems, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and protein/fat malabsorption. Using a breath test to diagnose SIBO is simple, non-invasive and inexpensive. A breath test specifies which gases are present, in addition to the location and severity of bacterial overgrowth.


The Cyrex Array 5 panel economically and efficiently assesses possible tissue damage to multiple organs of the body by measuring predictive antibodies, some of which can appear up to ten years before the clinical onset of disease. This test is recommended for patients with a diagnosed autoimmune disorder, those concerned that they may develop an autoimmune condition, and those who may have chronically increased intestinal permeability. Increased intestinal permeability is the gateway for environmentally-induced autoimmune disorders.  


The Pathogen-Associated Immune Reactivity Screen (Array 12) detects immune reactions to key pathogens that may be driving multiple autoimmune reactivities. This test helps to determine the role of pathogens in cases of ‘unexplained’ autoimmune reactivities and can be used to monitor the effectiveness of protocols for addressing autoimmune-related pathogens. This test is recommended for patients who present with chronic conditions including gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, body aches, or unexplained and general inflammation, including neuroinflammation.


The Multiple Food Immune Reactivity Screen (Array 10) measures reactivity to 180 food antigens, including cooked, raw, and processed foods, food enzymes, lectins, artificial food additives, colorings, and gums. It can detect dietary-related triggers of autoimmune reactivity and help to monitor the efficacy of customized dietary protocols. This test is recommended for patients seeking a life-long health and wellness strategy, those who present with unexplained gastrointestinal, neurological, dermatological, or behavioral symptoms, and those suspected of having increased intestinal permeability, which is the gateway for environmentally-induced autoimmune disorders.  


The Multiple Food Immune Reactivity Screen (Array 10) measures reactivity to 90 of the most common food antigens, including modified foods, food enzymes, lectins, and artificial food additives tested as part of the Array 10.  


The Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen (Array 11) measures immune responses to chemicals that bind to human proteins. This test measures the actual immune response to particular chemicals rather than simply detecting the level of chemical exposure. Levels indicate exposure, but antibodies indicate body burden. Cyrex Array 11 is useful for identifying the loss of immune tolerance associated with chemical exposure, which may lead to autoimmune reactivity.


The Leaky Gut Panel analyzes antibodies to actin, zonulin, and lipopolysaccharides to help diagnose leaky gut/intestinal permeability. This is the blood spot version of the test. It is also available as a serum test. This test cannot be ordered for patients under 2 years of age. Increased intestinal permeability, aka “leaky gut” is the gateway for environmentally-induced autoimmune disorders.

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