Dr. Deirdre O’Neill, ND
Exposure to toxins is part of life. How our body handles these toxins is the other side of the equation. If our body is in balance, we are able to process the toxins efficiently and completely through our detoxification organs, the liver and kidneys. As exposures creep up or our ability to detoxify goes down, our tissues gain the burden of storing these unwanted chemicals.
Before jumping for off the shelf detox plans, two simple tests can help you to individualize your detox needs and treatment. One is to assess your detoxification pathways and the other is to measure levels of toxic metals.
A hepatic detox profile is a valuable measure of the two phases of liver detoxification. It is a simple test that requires only a first morning urine collection. The test can assess chemical exposure and impaired liver function, prior to presence of elevated liver enzymes. Knowing the capacity of one’s phase 1 and 2 detoxification enzymes enables tailoring of a treatment plan toward accentuating the enzymes that need a boost.
Urine toxic metals are measured in urine from a 6 hour collection period after a chelation agent is administered. Chelation agents have the ability to grab onto toxic metals in the tissue space and move these metals to the kidneys for urine excretion. This urine test can help uncover toxic metal retention that can affect physiological function and be a contributing factor toward disease. Common metals uncovered in this urine test are lead and mercury that affect energy levels, fertility, cognition and neurological function.
Speak with your naturopathic doctor at Sage Clinic to determine which type of testing is best for you and to design and detoxification plan that is appropriate for you.