laboratory assessment to identify disease states (or pathology) is an
essential part of conventional medical practice. It is critical for accurate
diagnosis and can direct healthcare practitioners to the most effective
treatments . In addition, it helps them avoid agents that may actually produce
more damage than healing.
the area of alternative or complementary medicine, however, laboratory
assessment has taken on a fundamentally different purpose by providing
indication of disease-producing processes before
disease itself can take hold. In addition to pinpointing such disease states
as bacterial, yeast, and parasite infection, a number of the non-invasive
functional assessments offered by our preferred provider, Great Smokies
Diagnostic Laboratory, evaluate markers present in patients who are at
increased risk of developing chronic • and often deadly or debilitating
conditions. Functional assessment also provides one of the best tools for
identifying the environmental factors, specific aspects of diet and lifestyle,
which can be altered to influence the expression of genetic predisposition to
"family" diseases • avoiding them altogether or delaying their
manifestation by focused, early intervention.
addition to promoting optimal health, healthy aging, and productive longevity
in general, some of the health conditions which functional assessments can
help physicians control include:
Helping healthcare providers
identify at-risk patients with few or none of the conventional risk factors.
(Conventional risk factors account for only about one half of those who
actually experience cardiovascular disease)
advanced diabetes detection
Pinpointing irregularities in
glucose and insulin metabolism years before pathology can be identified.
( Helps prevent additional consequences such as peripheral vascular
disease, blindness, and renal failure)
"natural" decline in hormone levels and bone formation as well as
the effectiveness of supplementatio
Nutritional-Deficit Mediated Conditions
Ranging from impaired
neurological development, cancers, and mood disorders to such degenerative
diseases as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
causes of irritable and inflammatory bowel disorders, as well as such related
systemic complications as chronic inflammation and immune system reactions
is functional assessment different from other laboratory tests?
assessments evaluate the body's ability to perform physiologically rather than
measuring disease that is already present. A patient may seem to have nothing
wrong when tested with usual laboratory assessments, while functional
assessments may pinpoint areas of less than optimal health. The
"well" body may, in fact, be susceptible to disease processes that
optimal health can prevent.
can I be confident with this type of assessment?
Smokies' innovative tests are conducted according to the highest laboratory
standards and supported by the
latest medical literature. The laboratory has a history of anticipating the
value of markers that conventional medicine now endorses. But we feel strongly
that being at the forefront of modern medicine also requires combining good
science with innovative ideas.
is meant by "non-invasive"?
functional medicine focuses on the body in action, we look at tissues that
reflect physiological function rather than simply pathology, including blood,
urine, saliva, stool, and hair • tissues that can be collected without undue
discomfort for the patient.
do I know my healthcare provider will understand the results of functional
kinds of practitioners use our testing, from nutritionists and acupuncturists
to cardiologists and neurologists. Most of them were not trained in the
cutting edge testing we perform. In recognition of that fact, we supply
comprehensive educational materials, conduct in-service training, and employ
laboratory physicians trained in the different "systems" of healing
who consult on test results at no additional cost.