#1. This should be the first thing I tell you…
However, I have found that it can overwhelm people. Not because of the information, but because it takes time to find the right people to do the testing. It also takes money because insurance doesn’t cover proactive and preventative care. And, some people have to make a lot of mindset shifts to leave the conventional medical model of thinking and in turn, also see the value of alternative (natural) ways of healing and functional medicine. I’ll share local functional Med resources below.
#2. I could explain information about this topic all day…
But for the purpose of just getting your gears turning, I’m just going to give you some bullet points and keep this as concise as possible. It’s still going to be a lot!
For part 1, let’s talk about some definitions, some basic understandings of what deficiencies & imbalances can do, and I think from there, you’ll understand why identifying them is crucial to moving forward with your next level health endeavors.
In Part 2, we’ll talk about Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances.
IDENTIFY MICRONUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES
Why are people deficient? Plain and simple. We don’t eat high quality, nutritious food with all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, microbes, etc. that God intended for us.
And even if we try our best, our soil is being destroyed and depleted and therefore, even healthy people are not getting the adequate amounts and sources we need because the earth isn’t creating the same amounts it used to. So even a lot of “healthy” people are dealing with gaps and deficits.
“Micronutrient tests measure the function of 35 nutritional components including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, metabolites, electrolytes and intracellular within our white blood cells. Scientific evidence shows us that analyzing the white blood cells gives us the most accurate analysis of a body’s deficiencies.” InOut Labs
Popular and effective tests are Vibrant America and Spectracell.
Common Micronutrient Deficiencies & What They Mean
Vitamin B’s: one of the most important ones we are supposed to get from the soil. Did you know that if you don’t have enough vitamin B you will not absorb & digest nutrients properly and/or convert food into energy? This is one of the reasons why B deficiencies can make you feel so tired. So here you go eating so healthy, but your deficient in B’s, and therefore not able to gain the energy you need from that healthy food that you’re eating.
Vitamin D: obviously in so many areas without enough sun throughout the year, we see this. Without vitamin D you do not repair muscles as well. You get sick more often. And your energy depletes. Vitamin D also helps boost metabolism, which can prevent digestive problems from occurring.
Magnesium: another one that we’re supposed to get from the soil. A lot of research suggests that 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. “It’s needed for healthy bones, heart, muscles, and nerves. It helps your body control energy, blood sugar, blood pressure, and many other processes.” (WebMD) Without magnesium you may experience symptoms of depression. In many studies people who up their magnesium levels see depressive symptoms subside.
Are there more common deficiencies? Absolutely. Iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin A to name some more. I’m just giving you an idea of what happens when things are off so you can start making connections and begin thinking holistically, and learn about stuff that most medical professionals do not tell you!
Is Micronutrient testing 100% accurate? The good news is this type of testing is very accurate. And I guarantee you, you will get something from it. Most likely if you are in-tune and aware of your body, you are already sensing something. You do these tests and results come back and match what you’re sensing. Then you know. No more guessing game.
Why not just do this with my doctor? From my personal experience the tests are not the same nor as comprehensive. They don’t look at the whole person and entire picture. A major difference is the consultation. With regular MD visits it’s fifteen minutes. With my functional med doctor it was 90 minutes! Plus a 90 minute lifestyle questionnaire and evaluation beforehand for them to review. Here’s what my functional Med doctor also said, “Everybody is different. Knowing your lifestyle, what may be normal for another person is not sufficient for you. You need to be higher with certain levels to function at your best.”
You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.
If your hormones are off everything will be off. Your body will fight against you. Hormone imbalances are very common for women. Low testosterone is going to be somewhat common for men. I’ll hit on cortisol real quick because this is what I dealt with.
When I did my cortisol test my levels were basically flat-lined. Cortisol is supposed to be high in the morning and declines steadily throughout day. It tapers off early evening for the switch to melatonin being released for night time relaxation. A flat slope is associated with adrenal fatigue, a lack HPA access resiliency (read about HPA axis), increase coronary calcifications (whoa scary), persistent fatigue, and unstable blood sugar levels.
Not only did this mean I needed to balance out my high performance lifestyle and the rhythm of my day, but also when and how I eat carbs. One of the roles of cortisol is to keep blood sugar stable by raising blood sugar levels when they drop too low. Carbohydrates elevate blood sugar more than protein and fat. When blood sugar is up, cortisol goes down, therefore higher carbs push cortisol down. At times of the day when we want to lower cortisol we should eat higher carbs and when we want to raise cortisol our meal should be lower carb.
So guess what? I totally flipped my diet from carbs in the morning to carbs at night, opposite of what I always thought and did, and results started happening again. Another reminder that everyBODY is different and you have to figure out what works best for you! What may work for your spouse or friend or the guy in the article in the fitness magazine, may not be suitable at all for you.
I’ll stop there. I tell you these nuggets because I just want you to see a snippet of how everything is interrelated.
We might think we can get by. Or we might think we’re doing everything right and can’t figure out why things aren’t working. When God’s intricate design is off here or there, our bodies get out of whack and out of rhythm. Things don’t process or work the same. Results lack. Disease happens. Identifying deficiencies is one of the starting points to get you on the right track and help balance out your system.
The Cortisol Test I completed was Adrenocortex Stress Profile (cortisol/dhea) by Genova diagnostics. It’s a saliva test, which is most accurate because you take saliva samples at five different times of the day.
- Food allergies
- Food sensitivities
- Food intolerances