DIAGNOSTIC TESTING FOR DEPRESSION
At the Nature’s Intentions Naturopathic Clinic, we offer various scientific laboratory tests to correctly identify the root cause of depression, and then treat using various natural therapies. Below are some the tests that our naturopathic doctor might consider performing based on your symptoms:
Imbalances in DHEA and cortisol may underlie depression, particularly when stress and obesity are present. This test examines 4 saliva samples over a 24-hour period for levels of cortisol and DHEA. Imbalances in these hormones are associated with ailments ranging from obesity and chronic fatigue to immune deficiency and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
NutrEval is a comprehensive nutritional evaluation to identify specific imbalances of vitamins, nutrients, and essential co-factors. This profile also provides assessment of gastrointestinal dysfunction and detoxification impairment. Quite often inadequate amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats can predispose to chronic depression this test can determine what these insufficiencies may be.
Deficient omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to depression, particularly in alcoholics and post-partum women. This test also evaluates the level of red cell membrane fatty acids, imbalances of which significantly affect inflammatory and other disorders. By knowing the various fatty acid levels, one can re-establish a balance using nutritional intervention.
Disrupted sleep from low melatonin, or 'Seasonal Affective Disorder' with excessive melatonin production can result in depression. This test analyzes 3 saliva samples for the secretion pattern of this important hormone. Melatonin imbalance has been associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder, infertility, sleep disorders, and compromised immune function.
Amino Acids Serum Panel
This test quantifies levels of circulating amino acids and their metabolites, and evaluates essential and non-essential amino acid nutrient status in the blood. It also can indicate functional deficiencies of a number of mineral and vitamin co-factors. Certain amino acids are crucial source material for the production of brain neurotransmitters and mood regulation. This is an ideal test for patients with suspected inadequate protein utilization and other metabolic disorders including arthritis and depression.
This test evaluates digestion, absorption, gut flora, and the colonic environment, and is indicated for all chronic GI problems, for acute bowel pattern changes, and for many systemic diseases Mal-absorption in celiac disease may interfere with mood regulating neurotransmitters and nutrients such as vitamin B12.
This sensitive test analyzes serum levels of TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, anti-TG antibodies, and anti-TPO antibodies to assess central and peripheral thyroid function, as well as thyroid auto-immunity. Many patients with depression suffer from underlying thyroid hormone imbalances that may make them more resistant to treatment, and are often misdiagnosed; this test clears up any misdiagnosis with thyroid issues.
Comprehensive Urine Element Profile
This test measures urinary excretion of nutrient elements and toxic metals, including classic toxics such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. This is an ideal test for patients suspected of toxic element exposure as well as potential nutrient mineral wasting. Overexposure to heavy metals like lead and mercury have been shown to induce anxiety or depression.
Pre-menstrual and post-menopausal hormone imbalances contribute to mood swings in many women. This test provides a focused overview of hormonal balance in both pre- and post-menopausal women, using a single serum sample to evaluate dynamics of sex steroid metabolism that can profoundly affect a woman's health throughout her lifetime. We also offer saliva hormonal testing to determine female, male and stress hormone balance over the day.
Depression scores in men are observed to correlate with the characteristic drop in bioavailable testosterone with aging. This test provides a focused overview of hormonal balance in men, using a single serum sample to evaluate dynamics of sex steroid metabolism that can profoundly affect a man's health throughout his lifetime.