Go Beyond the Symptoms with an Organic Acid Test

Conventional medical doctors use a complete blood count (CBC) and a metabolic panel (MP) as general screening tools to help rule out health problems in their patients. In addition to these standard laboratory tests, functional medicine doctors use an organic acid test to identify imbalances occurring in the body that may well precede abnormal findings on a CBC or an MP. Organic acids are products of metabolism that can sensitively identify nutrient deficiencies that lead to metabolic roadblocks.

When specific cellular functions are blocked due to impairment or absence of enzymes or a lack of cofactors, such as nutrients, normally low or absent organic acids spill into urine. Increased nutrients can help to push and
sustain appropriate enzyme activity. Individuals with faulty enzyme binding can have increased nutrient needs that will not be revealed by measures of vitamin concentrations in blood.

Routine testing of organic acids is a relatively newer tool and may not be readily used by mainstream physicians. I test organic acids in patients suffering from fatigue, sleep abnormalities, mood changes, blood sugar dysregulation, weight gain, nausea, bloating, joint pain, gas, reflux, autoimmune disorders, depression, anxiety, cancer, inflammation, early aging, and headaches. Abnormal concentrations of organic acids in the urine can provide a functional marker for metabolic effects of nutrient deficiencies, genetic errors in metabolism, impaired enzyme function, toxic exposure, neuroendocrine activity, and intestinal bacterial overgrowth. As such, organic acid testing can indicate the functional need for specific nutrients, diet modification, antioxidant protection, detoxification, and other therapies. Because impairments in some cellular functions may not show up until an increased stress or inadequate nutrient status impairs the enzyme function, an assessment of organic acids is recommended each time the patient has a physical, just like a CBC or MP.



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