Autoimmune Functional Medicine Test Review

A Tale of Two Tests – Traditional Medical VS. Functional Medicine

Before I begin to talk about the results of my tests, I want to explain their overall differences.  A medical patient report reports the normal range is the range of levels seen in 95 percent of healthy people in a certain group. For many tests, normal ranges vary depending on your age, gender, race, and other factors.  The functional medicine reports challenge what is considered “normal” by giving a smaller range of numbers due to additional factors such as energy levels, healthy digestion, ideal physiological function, etc.  Overall the medical tests results are more reactive (you have a problem) while the functional medicine results are proactive (you will and/or are currently having a problem).

LabCorp Medical Patient Report 6/2013

LabCorp Traditional Medical Patient Report 6/2013

Functional Medicine Lab Report 6/2013

Functional Medicine Lab Report 6/2013

My Autoimmune Functional Medicine and Medical Results

Let’s face it, these results are not encouraging.  My inflammation levels are off the chart and I have not seen many advancements since my last set of anemia and comprehensive medical results late last year.  On the functional medicine side, I have 31 separate markers that are out of range.  But what this does tell the doctor is there is a pattern of issues that need to be addressed.  Currently they are:

1.  Oxidative Stress – Remember that iron I needed for my anemia (test results 11/12)?  After the review with my functional medicine doctor, it was determined that my iron levels are more than fine and that I have another type of anemia.  If you take a look at the tests, you will see that my Iron Binding (TIBC), Serum Iron, and Saturation are all low along with my HGB & HCT (blood count related).  But, my Ferritin level is normal along with my RBC (blood count related).  If I was iron-based anemic, my Ferritin level would also be low.  While I symptomatically felt better with my iron supplement, my body was getting worse because of the anemia plus too much iron (oxidative stress).  In the past I tried getting off of it without supplements and I crashed.  Due to the updated supplements I am now receiving, I saw no crash; thus confirming I did not need the iron supplement nor being iron-based anemic.

2.  Inflammation – Look for the C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels and you’ll see they are off the charts high.  A normal range is between 0-3 and I am at 73.65.  High inflammation hurts today and can lead to heart disease in the future plus it can elevate other markers in all the tests I do.  The worst part, though, is that it’s the byproduct of other issues I am going through (i.e. Oxidative Stress), so it makes it very frustrating to see if I am improving and is painfully with me every day of my life until those other issues are found and fixed.  Some medical markers to look at are Fibrogen (blood clumping) circulation and Homocysteine (vascular issues that correct absorption of B-Vitamins can help).

3.  Malabsorption – no matter how healthy you eat, if your body cannot absorb it, you lose the proper nutrition your body needs.  Markers such as lower cholesterol (a precursor to heart disease), low triglycerides, decreased iron binding (TIBC), BUN (protein made in the liver and cleared in the kidneys) and low calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.  A symptomatic sign of this issue is me being underweight and low energy.  Animal protein in almost every meal I take seems to stabilize the weight and help regulate the bowels.

4.  Bacterial Infections – Many varieties of bacteria are located within our digestive system. When the bad bacteria take over, they cause damage to the lining of the gut and create inflammation.  A high percentage of the immune system’s white blood cell Neutrophils and low percentage of lymphocytes are caused by bacterial infections.

5.  Low Stomach Acid (Hypochlorhydria) – low levels of stomach acid can allow bad bacteria to colonize in the stomach along with inadequately absorb many nutrients including minerals (iron, copper, zinc and calcium), vitamin B12, folic acid and proteins.  Protein levels, albumin, globulin, A/G ratio, and the BUN (protein made in the liver and cleared in the kidneys) irregularities are signs of low stomach acid.

Other issues to examine are B-6 deficiency, hypoglycemia, internal bleeding, free radicals, immune dysfunction, pituitary gland, adrenal disorder, decreased muscle mass, liver dysfunction, and impaired absorption (celiac disease).  Most of these issues, however, could be due to the five main issues above.  The autoimmune tests I took in early June will be coming in soon and I will reviewing those results in my next blog post.

Updated Autoimmune Tests and Supplements

Since I began my journey early last year, I’ve gone through many challenges but made many advancements.  I took my biggest leaps after my autoimmune tests and supplement recommendations in April 2012 and am currently plateauing around 75% (100% being in remission).  After recent research, I’ve found a functional medicine doctor specializing in autoimmune disease and cured himself of the same Crohn’s disease that I currently have.  Listed below is his initial protocol of blood tests (note they’re from the same companies I used in April 2012) and autoimmune supplements:

Autoimmune Tests and Supplements

Autoimmune - More Supplements NOTE:  This is an explanation of tests and supplements.  A review of my results will conclude in a separate post.

Autoimmune Supplements

All these supplements have two things in common – they are here to improve my health but taste nasty.  Who said curing an incurable disease was easy?

1.  Rice Protein – Immediate results with doubling my amounts of protein into my diet.  I developed a nasty stomach ache when taking the normal amount of two scoops.  I now do one scoop per day with almond milk, almond butter, frozen banana, dates/honey, and spinach.  Each shake keeps me full at minimum of 4 hours.  The only ingredient is rice protein concentrate.
UPDATE 6/22:  I have stopped taking the rice protein altogether as it flares me up.  Symptoms include inflammation and the inability to sit more than 5 minutes without severe stiffness.
Update 8/8:  I tried a Pea Protein supplement instead and still flared up from it and hour later after taking it.

2.  RepairVite (K-60) – Helps the intestinal lining to allow the correct nutrients in while leaving the bad ones out.  I take one scoop per day with 8 oz of water kefir / water / juice. Last day of supplement was 6/30.
Works in combination with Seacure (started 8/1) and Interfase (started 8/8) with leaky gut syndrome.

3.  Betaine Plus HP or HCL Premier – High potency hydrocholoric acid with pepsin to allow easier digestion of meats and other difficult digestive foods.  Less work for the digestive system allows for quicker / easier repair.  It’s in a pill form and easy to take.  Last day of Betaine Plus HP supplement was 7/13.  HCL Premier used in conjunction with HCL Activator Premier to detoxify the body.  Started back up 8/8 with Activator.

4.  Cococurcumin – A combination of Curcumin plus MCT & CoQ10.  The curcumin / curcuminoids acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.  Out of all the supplements, this is the worst tasting (the taste is similar to eating your own bile…yes, it’s that bad) and can stain anything.  I suggest 4 tablespoons of applesauce per 2 teaspoons of cococurcumin. Took from 6/11 – 7/15.

5.  Optimal EFAs Caps – It’s high quality fish, flaxseed and borage oils all which promote anti-inflammatory.  I take two capsules three times per day.  Took from 6/11 – 7/3 and started again 8/8 – 8/31.

6.  B6 – ND – vitamin B6, one of the major B-Vitamins that I have been known to not absorb.  Their probiotic / fermentation process makes the formula in micro-sized grains to aid in easier absorption than your standard multivitamin.  I take one teaspoon in the morning and one at night with water.  Last day of supplement was 7/12.  Went back on 8/8.

7.  Nutriclear – I take this for other nutrients I lack / malabsorption and acts as a detoxifier.   Mix 1-2 scoops with one scoop of rice protein supplement.  If you need more info, take a look at this PDF.
UPDATE 6/23 – I take one scoop as I believe the benefits help, but too much can cause a flare-up similar to the rice protein if I take 2 or more scoops.  Over time started to flare me up like the Rice protein & stopped 7/10.

8.  Oxicell (K-22)Glutathione is known as one of the best antioxidants out there and this is a cream-based version you apply a pea-sized portion to your stomach / behind the knees / feet three times per day.  Took from 6/11 – 8/14.

9.  GI-Synergy-SM (K-83) – After I am done taking the Nutriclear, this bacterial detoxifier supplement helps out my intestinal system by providing broad-spectrum antifungal, anti-mold, and anti-ova ingredients. Took from 8/8 – 9/6.

10. (NOT PICTURED) Adaptogen R-3 – Helps regulate my cortisol levels and adrenal functions to their proper rhythm.  Symptoms include reduced energy levels from improper sleep and urgently needing to go to the bathroom throughout the night.  I take 3 of these per morning.  Took from June 25th – July 25th. Went back on from 8/8 – 9/9.

11. (NOT PICTURED) BioDoph-7 Plus – Contains the probiotic (healthy-bacteria) strain Bifidobacterium that I was missing from my Gut Ecology test and more “good” bacteria equals less bad bacteria.  I take two of these at night from 7/12 – 8/10.

12. (NOT PICTURED) EFAC – Esterified Fatty Acid Complex (EFAC) is used for joint pain relief and is said to be 95% absorbable.  Started 8/1.

13. (NOT PICTURED) Pro Multi Plus – Multivitamin and multimineral supplement with phytonutrients (from plants). Took from 8/8 – 9/7.


Autoimmune Tests

Most are updates of the autoimmune tests I took in April 2012, but include additional tests not taken before.

A.  Metametrix – the Gut Ecology Profile using DNA assessment to determine the bacteria levels in your system along with yeast/fungi and other parasites.  This stinky test requires your stool samples into 3 separate vials.

B.  Diagnotechs – Four saliva samples collected throughout the day for the Adrenal Stress Index Panel (ASI).  Overall if your adrenal system is out of rhythm, it can cause all kinds of issues.

C.  Cyrex  (Array 2 and 4)  Array 2 blood test covers your intestinal permeability (how well the lining of your gut is doing) while Array 4 measures gluten cross-reactive foods (food intolerance).

(NOT SHOWN) Comprehensive Blood Work PanelFunctional medicine doctors require a comprehensive blood test be done to start and figure out exactly what is wrong with your body.  While the other tests listed above are specific,  this test covers a wide range of test results.

What’s Next?

The results!  This week I will be reviewing the comprehensive blood work panel and I should get the results of the other tests within 3 weeks.  I will also be getting new supplements based on test results as they come in and share my results with you after testing for a few weeks /  a month.

My Daily Autoimmune Supplement Routine

August 2013

  • After waking, take B6-ND with acacia fiberwater kefir and EFAC (3).
  • Apply Oxicell.
  • Stretching / Yoga & then simple protein breakfast (2 eggs, turkey bacon + spinach / nuts / rice / etc.).  Take Seacure (2), Adaptogen R-3 (3), HCL Premier (1-5), HCL Activator Premier (1-2), , Pro MultiPlus (2), Vitamin D3 (1), Asacol HD (1) (stopped 8/21) and Optimal EFAs Caps (2) and GI-Synergy (1 Pack / 3 pills).
  • 2 hours after take Interfase (3)
  • Lunch time – with food take Take HCL Premier (1-5), HCL Activator Premier (1-2), Seacure (2), Pro MultiPlus (2), and Optimal EFAs Caps (2).  Apply Oxicell.
  • Take nap / rest as needed.
  • 2 hours after lunch, take Interfase (3)
  • Afternoon: 1 scoop pea protein along with almond milk, almond butter, frozen banana, and spinach. Just like the rice protein, I flare up from this and stopped taking after a day (8/8/13).
  • Dinner Time:  With food take Optimal EFAs Caps (2), Seacure (2), BioDoph-7 (2), Asacol HD (1) (stopped 8/21), Premier HCL (1-5), Premier Activator (1-2), and Pro MultiPlus (2).
  • Late Evening:  Apply Oxicell, drink water with B6-ND.

June  – July 2013

  • After waking, take B6-ND with acacia fiber and water kefir.
  • Apply Oxicell.
  • Stretching / Yoga & then simple protein breakfast (2 eggs + spinach / nuts / rice / etc.).  Take Betaine Plus HP, iron supplement (will go away soon), Vitamin D3, Asacol HD, and Optimal EFAs Caps (2).
  • RepairVite with water / water kefir an hour later.
  • Cococurcumin with applesauce half hour after.
  • Lunch time – with food take Optimal EFAs Caps (2) and Betaine Plus HP.  Apply  Oxicell.
  • Take nap / rest as needed.
  • Afternoon: 1 scoop rice protein, 1 scoop Nutriclear along with almond milk, almond butter, frozen banana, dates/honey, and spinach.  Each shake keeps me full at minimum of 4 hours.  UPDATE 6/22 – I only take 1 scoop Nutriclear & add other ingredients as needed.
  • Dinner Time:  With food take Optimal EFAs Caps (2), Asacol HD, and Betaine Plus HP.
  • Late Evening:  Apply Oxicell, drink water with B6-ND.