Treatments | Investigations & Laboratory Tests
Investigations available at The Burghwood Clinic
At the Burghwood Clinic we have recently set up a phlebotomy service where patients can have their blood tests performed without the necessity for further visits to different laboratories. We are also able to perform a number of urine tests at the clinic. We have worked closely with several laboratories such as the Biolab Medical Unit since its inception in 1984 and we use its extensive testing facilities for nutritional assessments and toxicity tests amongst many others. We also work closely with a number of other UK based and international laboratories to ensure that patients receive the highest quality results as part of their investigation and management. These facilities include The Doctors Laboratory, Acumen Laboratories, Genova Diagnostics, the Peroxisomal Research Laboratory at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, MTM Laboratories, and the MELISA foundation to name a few.List of some of the common tests available via The Burghwood Clinic
Minerals and Toxic Metals can be measured in the sweat, serum, red or white blood cells, urine or even saliva (for mercury). There are also a number of blood tests that indirectly reflect the levels of some minerals and these are called functional tests and generally involve looking at various biochemical pathways that depend on an adequate amount of particular nutrients being present.
Vitamin Assays: It is possible to determine the levels of a variety of vitamins in blood samples as well as functional blood tests for some of the B vitamins.
Essential Fatty Acids: Red cell levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 series and other fatty acids can be determined. A much more detailed analysis of the red cell membrane fatty acid composition is possible through the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, USA. This is often one of the most useful single blood tests to help evaluate the health of the cell membrane. This reflects accurately the health of the patient and will allow the targeted, tailor-made treatment with essential fatty acids, phospholipids and other minerals and vitamins.
Gut Fermentation Profile: The patient is given 4g of glucose dissolved in water and 1g of glucose in two capsules following a 3 hour fast and 24 hours without alcohol. A blood sample is taken one hour later and is analysed for the levels of different alcohols that can be formed if there is abnormal fermentation in the gut. The presence of substantial levels of Ethanol suggests the fermentation of glucose by yeasts in the gut.
Breath Hydrogen Measurements: A series of breath samples are taken and are analysed for hydrogen levels. The test detects the presence of bacteria in the stomach or small intestine. Variations of the test enable the investigation of lactose or sucrose intolerance.
Comprehensive Stool analyses: to assess patients' digestion, absorption and bowel flora.
Antioxidant Profile: A profile of important antioxidant (copper, ceruloplasmin, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene and others). Antioxidants are important protective substances which include a number of essential vitamins and minerals.
MELISA testing: This is an accurate and scientifically validated test of hypersensitivity to metals and other toxic substances. As often sensitivity to a substance suggests an increased burden and possibly toxicity to the substance, this is a good baseline test to assess the role of toxic metals. It may also be used in follow-up after treatment to assess the extent to which the immune response has returned to normal.
Pesticides and VOC: A screen to determine the levels of a wide range of volatile organic substances, pesticides, herbicides, PC’s and chlorinated compounds as well as recent exposure to organophosphorous compounds. Please note that this screen is available for medical purposes only, not for occupational exposure claims. This can be performed either via a blood test or a fat biopsy.
Mitochondrial Studies: We are able to perform a detailed study of ATP production in patients suffering with fatigue. This test allows us to pinpoint the factors reducing the cell’s ability to produce energy. This is often due to a specific nutritional deficiency or a toxic insult involving either chemicals or toxic metals. A recent article citing the evidence for this from a peer-reviewed article is available from the clinic on request. Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction Sarah Myhill et al Int J Clin Exp Med (2009) 2, 1-16.
DNA Adducts: We can look for the presence of xenobiotics on the genomic DNA. This has been extensively researched in the aetiology of cancer and in our practice it has relevance to the diagnosis of the causes of environmental disease. This requires a simple blood sample which would then be analysed at the Acumen laboratories, identifying the presence of abnormal biotoxins, or xenobiotics on the white cell DNA.
Osteoporosis Screen: A series of blood and urine tests for important nutrients of known importance in the development and maintenance of bone.
Vascular Screen: A profile of blood pressure, flow and pulsatility measurements from arteries using a non-invasive computerised Doppler ultrasound technique. The test is useful in detecting early changes in the structure of the artery walls.