When we recommend private lab tests
During your initial consultation at Rosemary Cottage Clinic diagnosis is made based on your symptoms, medical history, and by physical examination if required. A few small test such as urine dip sticks can be performed there and then, a prescription for herbal medicine written and prepared in front of you, and dietary changes discussed and written down, with or without nutritional supplements, depending on individual need. Often this is all that will be needed to set a course for recovery.
Sometimes, however, laboratory testing is suggested in order to identify more accurately which course of action would be best to follow, or to gain deeper insight into the condition of a particular organ or system. Test results can help distinguish between different causes that produce the same symptoms, or identify individual weaknesses or abnormal metabolic or immune processes at the root of ill health.
We only recommend tests where there is a medical need and always after discussing the reasons and possible outcomes with you. One exception is DNA analysis which we offer as a stand alone service as it can provide valuable insights even for healthy individuals who wish to act preventatively to protect their health in the future.
The benfits of private tests
Private testing at Rosemary Cottage Clinic has many advantages compared to relying on what the NHS will provide. It is not a substitute for a good GP but can be an invaluable adjunct.
- You can get the exact test needed to progress your treatment.
- No need to wait for your doctor’s approval or NHS availability.
- You may get significantly more information than you that offered on the NHS.
- We provide an in-depth explanation of your results so you understand it properly.
- Testing is private and discrete – you choose who you share your results with.
How our lab tests can improve your health outcomes
Blood tests – Our tests can provide the information needed to progress your treatment. Where required we can arrange detailed tests for cholesterol, fatty acid status, thyroid hormones, homocysteine, female and male hormones, nutritional status such as vitamin B12, and many more. We even stock Vitamin D test kits in the clinic so a quick result of this important compound can be obtained within a week via the specialist lab that provides these kits.
Gut flora tests – the microbes in your gut can strongly influence your immune system, metabolic state, brain and neurotransmitter function, weight, and general well being. Identifying which microbes are present can help identify the most effective herbs, probiotics and dietary adjustments.
DNA testing – is at the cutting edge of personalised medicine allowing targeted health interventions that would otherwise be impossible to identify. For example, at the population level it has been found that the more cups of coffee you regularly drink in a day (up to six), the lower your chances of an early death or dementia. However, for individuals with the slow caffeine metabolising gene the risk of heart attack increases with each daily cup. Only genetic testing can allow such individualised advice. We only test for gene variants that have simple practical lifestyle solutions, helping you take control of your health like never before.
Toxic metals – Some symptoms that patients experience can be traced back to the presence of toxic elements in their body. The source of these can be dental (mercury), or from pinned bones, plates or joint replacements (titanium, cadmium and cobalt), or even common jewelry, food or other environmental exposure. Immune reactions to the presence of such metals can evade acurate diagnosis for many years, without the kind of testing we can now offer at Rosemary Cottage Clinic.
Organic acid test – this test identifies compounds in the urine that are breakdown products of microbes such as yeasts, moulds and bacteria, and has become a very significant tool in identifying the cause of some mental and digestive abnormalities. Organic acid testing also reveals a wide range of metabolic by products, which can be extremely helpful in making diagnosis and working out the appropriate diet for an individual.
Why your standard GP tests may be inadequate
If you feel that stones have been left unturned in your search for answers to your health challenges, you are not alone. Many patients have lost years to poor health and misery for want of proper and timely testing. For example, when a thyroid blood test is ordered for a patient who goes to her GP with fatigue, weight gain, low mood and her hair falling out, the doctor will probably order a TSH test to be performed, and maybe a T4 (thyroxine) test too. When the results come in and the lab report states these are both normal, she will be told to eat less, exercise more, and change her shampoo, and she might well be prescribed an anti depressant such as seroxat or another SSRI. This might well result in a worsening of symptoms, many further visits to the GP, time off work, trials of other antidepressants, and then maybe a long wait for a six week course of counseling with a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT), which might make her more resigned to her poor state of health but won’t help to truly resolve it. This is a very common scenario, and yet the whole story could have been put right promptly simply by better testing at that first visit to the GP. A full thyroid panel, one that includes not only TSH and T4, but free T3, TPO abs, TG abs (both of which are antibodies to different aspects of the thyroid) and Reverse T3 could have revealed a far more meaningful insight into the state of thyroid function which could then be acted on straight way, with appropriate medication and diet interventions. A TSH of 4.2, for example, would have been ignored by the GP as the lab would not flag this as ‘Hi’ and yet if it were seen in the context of a low Free T3 value, one would have to interpret it quite differently, and again, if TPO abs were present a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis might be made, and treatment would be directed appropriately. The lack of adequate and timely thyroid testing is seen all too frequently, and leads to untold misery and complications. These complications can be unnecessary surgery, reliance on drugs for the rest of her life, issues with fertility, or issues of lowered IQ of subsequent children, all because the right tests were not conducted at the right time.
A similar argument could be made for the standard blood lipids panel that GPs use, as they are both inadequate and misleading. For example, if your doctor tells you that you have high ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) the next question should be “which sub-fraction?”. Your doctor will almost certainly neither know, nor be aware that it matters. But LDL comes in various sizes and degrees of oxidation. High levels of small dense oxidized LDL is bad news, where as high levels of large buoyant LDL are not. The detail matters.
Many people are only told
How our gene testing helps you take control of your health
The tests we use are performed via a simple cheek swab, sent to you by post, and target only gene variants that have simple practical actions. We do not test for genetic diseases, but only those that can help identify the best dietary, lifestyle and exercise choices for you. For example the research on dietary salt shows that for most people it is perfectly safe, however, people with the ACE I/D or AGT T>C gene variants cannot process salt so well, and for them salt restriction is advisable. Only through genetic testing can such advice be confidently given. Our labs can screen for several hundred variants covering lipid metabolism, B vitamin function, detoxification, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity, vitamin D genes, food responsiveness, exercise recovery, type and power and estrogen metabolism, which is advisable only in those with a family history of breast cancer.
We only recommend tests where there is a medical need and after a full consultation with you. Some of the simpler tests are available straight from our clinic and do not require samples to be sent off, for example the urine ketone strips. For most tests, however, you will be sent the required materials by post (urine sample pot, mouth swab etc) with packaging and instructions for returning the sample to the lab.
Once results come back I will go through them with you at a follow up consultation. Where the interpretation is more complex I provide a written report.
Our partner labs
The labs we use provide expert practitioner support to assist in interpretation of results.
Draft Stuff – – – –
Here at Rosemary Cottage Clinic we maintain a working relationship with a number of private laboratories which offer efficient and discreet testing from a huge range of biochemical fields. These are offered where appropriate, such as when symptoms persist following treatment. Prices range from from £28 for a one week turnaround Vitamin D test to around £500 for the most extensive and well thought out testing for immunological reactions to 180 foods in raw or cooked state.
Partner Private Labs
Biolab Medical Unit – London
Biolab provides in house testing in person, will send samples away to specialist labs where appropriate, and will send out home test kits to patients for certain tests containing instructions for use and return. Tests such as HbA1c, kryptopyrroles, toxic metal levels via hair test or the MELISA metal immune reactivity test, hormone status, SIBO breath testing, iodine status, full cholesterol breakdown, red cell magnesium testing, homocysteine, and many many more.
An American lab originally Genova now has a European base enabling clinics like Rosemary Cottage Clinic access to prompt and extensive specialized testing of gut microbes, complete thyroid hormone tests as well as male and female hormones via blood or urine sample, and a wide range of nutritional factor status tests.
Quicksilver specialize in mercury load testing and have devised the most accurate and up to date testing of this toxic metal which involves samples of hair, urine and blood to be sent, and differentiates between mercury from fish and mercury from dental amalgam. This test is of great value when planning a dental amalgam removal program.
Great Plains Laboratory
Another lab based in the USA GPL s
are beneficial not a problem, for those with the can eat those that provide evidence for on diet suite of ylethere are a number of labs that offer actionable DNA testing. Knowing ones full genome is not terribly useful for most of us, since the effect of many genes is still unknown. Clear genetic diseases should be picked up by GPs and specialists, so this form of genetic testing is not offered by RCC, but there are specific groups of genes that ‘run’ certain cellular systems, and current genetic research has enabled meaningful adjustment of diet or lifestyle factors to be discerned by testing certain genes, and this is what Rosemary Cottage Clinic can offer to patients, where appropriate. The information gleaned is can be of great significance, can explain family disease patterns, such as heart disease, frequent miscarriages, osteoporosis or breast cancer vulnerability. However the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which do give a high likelihood of breast or prostate cancer, nor any other clearly disease causing genes are not part of the DNA testing offered here, as when these genes are detected genetic counseling with a geneticist is required, and we are not in a position to provide this currently.