If you're looking to make a lifestyle change, it's important to find a doctor who treats the human body as a whole. You want someone who doesn't just look at the numbers, prescribe a pill, and put a Band-Aid over the underlying problem.
Finding a holistic doctor in your area can be tricky, and sometimes it requires travel, but these doctors work to understand how your body functions on a deeper level, and it's worth the trouble.
Once you've found the right doctor—who wants to treat your mind, body, and soul—here are the five tests they should be administering:
1. Vitamin D test
Be specific with your doctor, and make sure you ask him/her to run a 25-Hydroxy vitamin D test. Vitamin D is an important element in our daily lives, and if you've ever heard of vitamin D deficiency, you are aware that it can change your mood from chipper and upbeat to groggy and cranky. A level of 20 to 50 nanograms per milliliter is considered adequate. If you are not at this level, try eating with the seasons: When it's chilly, eat cranberries, pomegranates, or persimmons. When it's warm: Eat oranges, strawberries, and apricots.
2. Food sensitivity test
Ask specifically for an IgG, IgA, ELISA food panel, this comprehensive test is designed to check for 96 different foods consumed in the typical Western diet. These tests screen for certain levels of antibodies in your blood—when present at certain levels, it indicates that you're having a reaction to a certain food. It takes a little while to obtain the results, but be patient; each test is different, and some are very specific to foods that lead to inflammation. When your food sensitivities are identified, slowly eliminate the indicated foods from your diet and note the changes you feel in a food diary. Your doctor can recommend a time to reintroduce these foods, but sometimes it's better to eliminate them permanently to support your long-term health.
3. Levels of iodine
Having normal iodine levels can lead to healthy brain function, overall clarity, and good energy levels. Iodine is an important element needed for the production of thyroid hormone in your body, and a deficiency in iodine is the most common cause of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). Having too much iodine can also be problematic for your thyroid, so identifying your specific levels is one good way to determine the health of your thyroid. Iodine is found naturally in saltwater and soil, and certain foods like dairy and meat contain high levels of iodine. By testing your levels, you will know how much of those foods to consume and can create a diet or supplement regimen to fit your specific needs.
4. Stool candida test
That's right—check out your bowels. Your stool says a lot about your health and can paint a clear picture of your internal functions. Candida is a type of yeast that can cause problems if it is allowed to overgrow, which usually happens due to high amounts of sugar consumption. Learning and understanding your levels of candida can help you balance the amount of candida in your system, and you'll be less likely to experience abnormal pH levels, infections, and constipation.
5. Creatinine blood test
Creatinine is a protein formed in muscle metabolism; a creatinine blood test is said to be a useful indicator of kidney function. If the kidney is impaired for any reason, a blood test will likely show high creatinine levels. If the results point to an issue, then celery, beets, and spinach are low in potassium and can help to stabilize kidney function. Healthy kidneys are connected to a healthy level of oxygen in your system, which means more usable energy for you!
These tests can reveal underlying issues, and every holistic doctor should be running them. Knowing your results can give you a better picture of your overall health, and once you have all the information, you can make specific changes to optimize your well-being.