Diagnostics and Testing

Philosophy:

While most of medicine is concerned with putting a label on something or giving it a name and diagnosis, integrative medicine works to do more than that.  If we only focus on finding the diagnosis, we overlook the process that got a person there in the first place.  This process will cause the health condition to continue unless it is recognized and addressed.  Just as a seed needs soil to grow, pathology will only thrive in the right environment. By changing the environment, the pathology cannot continue.

Looking at underlying processes is often called a, “systems-based approach” because it recognizes the many interconnected systems in the body and treatments are designed with consideration of this complexity. However, the processes may be silent until the pathology arrives, so by measuring parameters involved in the process we can uncover the roots of illness and prevent illness in the first place.  That is why diagnostic testing is important.

Regardless of the condition, there are a handful of underlying processes that will fan the fire of pathology:

  • Stress—Regardless of the condition, most issues will be exacerbated and even caused by stress in one’s life. By managing stress appropriately we make the system more impervious to almost everything we come in contact with.
  • Inflammation-Inflammation drives heart disease, neurologic conditions and even cancer. If we can control inflammation we can control one of the major triggers that cause genetics to turn against us.
  • Oxidative stress- Free radicals severely damage the mitochondria as well as other parts of the body. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. This is where all of our energy is made!  If energy production is compromised the body cannot heal, we feel fatigued, worn down and the body’s major systems are weakened.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies- Nutrients drive thousands of metabolic reactions every minute in our body. Like a car, if we are nutritionally deficient then our engine cannot perform, as it should. When micro-nutrients are in proper balance then pathology has far less of a chance to develop.
  • Toxicity-Toxins such as chemicals and metals are like a wrench in the workings of our body. The cleaner the system, the better able we are to achieve wellness. By removing chemicals and metals we will decrease damage to the mitochondria and decrease inflammation and oxidative stress that cause pathology in the first place.  For example, toxicity is the key factor that damages DNA and dramatically increases risk of cancer.

Our State-of-The-Art Testing

Pinnacle Integrative Health offers Gut Health Testing, Food Sensitivity, Cardiometabolic, and other Comprehensive Biomarker Assessments and Genetic Methylation Testing to help uncover the root cause of many chronic diseases, including thyroid disorders,  and Type 2 Diabetes.  However, the relevance of gut health to other parts of the body cannot be overstated. The gastrointestinal tract and its resident microbes are the seat of the body’s immune surveillance system, responding to millions of antigens passing through each day. Shifts in the gut microbiota and its metabolites, influenced by genetic and dietary factors, directly affect an individual’s risk for immune dysregulation, cardiovascular inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and metabolic diseases, and may also influence mood, cognitive function, and mental well-being.

Pinnacle Integrative Health provides personalized, streamlined programs to help you chronic disease, head on.

Poor gut health is at the heart of many chronic conditions and a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract is vital to our overall wellbeing—indeed, our very survival. GI symptoms are among the most highly prevalent of chronic health complaints (affecting two in five Americans) but are also largely hidden and the least understood.  Sedentary lifestyles and standard Western diets do little to support this neglected organ system. Studies suggest that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or related symptoms account for 10–20% of primary care physician visits and up to 20% of GI outpatient clinic time.  In fact, spending on GI diseases in the US has been estimated at $142 billion per year, with an annual cost for outpatient GI endoscopy of $32.4 billion.

  • Allergy and Immune Response Testing: We employ the latest in blood testing techniques to find out if there are any cases of allergic food reactions present in our patients.
  • Hormone and Adrenal Testing: Chronic stress can cause a number of health conditions in the body, and our team uses these tests to assess chronic stress and fatigue levels in our patients.

Conclusions

In summary, there are many tests that allow an integrative team to determine the underlying process of disease.  The underlying cause must be the focus of treatment for long-term symptom resolution.  If treatment is focused on suppressing symptoms with daily medication then the symptoms simply return when you stop the prescription medications; medications merely suppress symptoms.  Diagnostic testing of the GI tract, immune system, hormones, toxins, nutritional markers, and inflammation are important when developing your customized treatment plan for YOU.  No two patients are alike but all patients want to eliminate the cause of pain and restore abundant energy and vibrant health to their lives.

Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging of the Musculoskeletal System

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Ultrasound images of the musculoskeletal system provide pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and soft tissues throughout the body.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Ultrasound images are typically used to help diagnose:

  • tendon tears, or tendinitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle and other tendons throughout the body.
  • muscle tears, masses or fluid collections.
  • ligament sprains or tears.
  • inflammation or fluid (effusions) within the bursae and joints.
  • early changes of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • nerve entrapments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

How does the procedure work?

Ultrasound imaging is based on the same principles involved in the sonar used by bats, ships and fishermen. When a sound wave strikes an object, it bounces back, or echoes. By measuring these echo waves, it is possible to determine how far away the object is as well as the object’s size, shape and consistency (whether the object is solid or filled with fluid).

In medicine, ultrasound is used to detect changes in appearance, size or contour of organs, tissues, and vessels or to detect abnormal masses, such as tumors.

In an ultrasound examination, a transducer both sends the sound waves into the body and receives the echoing waves. When the transducer is pressed against the skin, it directs small pulses of inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body. As the sound waves bounce off internal organs, fluids and tissues, the sensitive receiver in the transducer records tiny changes in the sound’s pitch and direction. These signature waves are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time picture on the monitor. One or more frames of the moving pictures are typically captured as still images. Short video loops of the images may also be saved.