With widespread wildfires and increased time at home due to COVID-19, this year has made toxin testing more relevant than ever. Toxins can be found in a variety of everyday products, but the toxic particulates from wildfire smoke and the toxins and molds found in indoor air have led to increased toxin exposure for many people. These toxins cause a variety of health issues, including increased inflammation and decreased immunity. Needless to say, adequate detoxification is crucial for immune health! (Which, for obvious reasons, is on everyone’s mind this year. 😅)
So how to get started with testing?
We’ve partnered with Dr. Amy Nett MD, IFMCP to explain how she approaches toxin testing & targeted detoxification. Dr. Nett presented at the 28th Annual A4M World Congress. In case you missed it, we’re sharing the testing highlights below and will also be linking to her talk, “Immune Resilience in a Toxic World: How to Build Targeted Testing & Detoxification Plans”, once the recording is available!
Step 1: Start with comprehensive blood work & gut testing.
Testing for toxins should begin with comprehensive blood work and gut testing.
For comprehensive blood work, pay particular attention to kidney and liver markers. Check nutrient markers, and also inflammatory markers like CRP-hs.
For gut testing, try a stool analysis, SIBO Breath test, an organic acids test, and an intestinal permeability assessment.
Step 2: Add further testing if needed: Mycotoxins, Environmental Toxins, Heavy Metals.
Depending on these results and the patient’s symptoms, further testing can be performed to detect urinary mycotoxins, environmental toxins, and/or heavy metals. These are the three main toxin categories for testing. These tests usually require stool, blood, or urine samples and are typically analyzed via liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.
Another Option: Testing for oxidative stress, 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG).
8-OHdG is one of the major products of DNA oxidation, serving as a biomarker of oxidative stress. High levels may be associated with increased risk of cancers, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.
While you won’t know the source of the toxicity, you’ll be able to detect the presence of it, and can start a detox protocol from there. This is a great method if the toxin testing isn’t showing toxicity, however the patient is experiencing symptoms (the “description doesn’t match the picture”) or if the patient is not able to afford the specialty toxin testing.
Some labs that offer oxidative stress include: Doctor’s Data’s 8-OHdG marker, Genova’s Oxidative Stress Profile and Organix Comprehensive Panel, and Precision Analytical as part of the DUTCH Plus and DUTCH Complete panels.
When deciding on testing, we know it can be overwhelming with so many options! Our partner labs offer a variety of tests, so we created these quick comparison guides for you below.
Gut Health Testing
To dive in deeper, watch Dr. Nett’s presentation!