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    Dr. Boggess (Medical Director)

    Dr. Tony Boggess is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, speaker, and writer who specializes in Nutritional and... read more

‘Precise’ Diagnostics

The first step to addressing any health problem requires finding the underlying cause for the symptoms. In today’s advancing genre of functional medicine, there are may ‘Precise’ diagnostics available that go far beyond examining blood chemistry and urine to eek out sub-clinical imbalances or deficiencies before “dis-ease” irreversibly sets in.

That is to say, tests that reveal:

  • Genetic differences between individuals
  • Functional levels of nutrients via cell cultures and metabolites
  • Metabolic processes, organic acids, and detoxification pathways
  • Bowel function, digestive health, food intolerance, nutrient absorption
  • Any number of other physiological processes worth examining

The main challenge initially is choosing the most appropriate test for an individual patient. However, once the required information is fully gathered we are able to design a ‘Precision’ nutraceutical rehab program based on on patient’s genetic blueprint and physiological findings.

“Why are standard lab values and normative data not enough?”
The answer: “What is traveling in the blood is not necessarily what is being utilized by the tissues on a function level.” And while the two can be related, sometimes what is present at high concentration in the blood may actually point to deficits at the cellular level and vise-versa. Likewise, normal blood values may not reveal functional deficits at the cellular level where the “work of life” is actually taking place. Also, early imbalances and pre-disease states adversely impacting health are often too subtle to identify with standard diagnostics. Combine all of this with the fact that what may be “enough” for one individual, is not necessarily “enough” for another, and it becomes clearer why a higher level of testing is required.

An apt analogy: Cars driving on the highway (analogous to nutrients in the blood) function much different then cars on the side streets and in the driveways. Likewise, individuals commuting on that highway are functionally less important than people in buildings/houses carrying on the day to day activities of life (which is analogous to what is taking place in the tissues or individual cells). Bottom line, in functional medicine we are more interested in what is going on in the cell despite apparently normal blood values. By utilizing these concepts, subtle imbalances and pre-disease states are more apt to be identified. Conventional testing often identifies illness once illness has already occurred. In my clinical mind-set this is too late and remains one of the biggest fumbles of the “conventional” approach to patients.

What types of functional medicine tests are available at NBW?
We use a wide array of functional diagnostic test and genetic testing at Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center to assist us in devising an individualized nutraceutical rehab program for each individual. Insurance generally pays for these test when ordered by a physician and the advanced testing laboratories are finding ways to make test that insurance won’t cover more affordable for patients as an out-of-pocket service (while conventional research catches up and confirms what we already know: These advanced diagnostic approaches are, in fact, very worthwile).

Feel free to contact our staff if you have any questions about the functional diagnostic test that we offer.