Lab Testing

Lab Testing at Our Clinic

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 Food Sensitivity Testing

It is a common occurrence for people to have a reaction to the foods which we eat; sometimes our immune system recognizes these foods as a foreign entity, and an immune reaction is initiated. This can happen very quickly, as seen in anaphylaxis, or very slowly, as we see in food sensitivities. The purpose of this test is to ascertain which foods we are sensitive to, so that we can restrict them from our diets. Because of the delayed nature of these reactions, which can be several days later- it is often difficult or impossible to know what food(s) caused the problem, which is why testing can be so helpful. The symptoms that can be associated with these food sensitivities can involve any organ, and include the following:

• chronic fatigue
• skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis
• mood imbalances such as depression, anxiety, and attention deficits
• arthritis
• migraine headaches
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• weight gain
• asthma
• nausea
• gas and bloating

At NSNC, we offer 3 different options for food sensitivity testing, the standard 120+ food panel, the comprehensive 200+ food panel, and the vegetarian 160+ food panel, and a candida add-on is also available. You can discuss which panel is best for you with your ND. You can see a sample report here.

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In House Clinical Testing

Muscle Testing (Applied Kinesiology)

Muscle testing (also known as applied kinesiology) is a feedback system that Dr. Matsen uses to test the body for imbalances, whether these imbalances are caused by external stimuli, or internally by yeast, parasites, or poorly functioning organs. Electrocardiograms (ECG), electroencephalograms (EEG), biofeedback, and lie detector tests are other examples of such feedback systems.

The human body (as well as animals and plants) has an electrical or energy system that animates it. This is the chi that is described in Traditional Chinese Medicine that energizes the body’s organs, glands, and systems. You can think of this energy as being similar to the battery that runs a car. Your body’s energetic field is measurable and is directly related to your health.

Muscle testing involves isolating a muscle—Dr. Matsen uses the shoulder muscle—and checking its ability to remain strong when substances such as foods, supplements, drugs, etc. are brought into your energy field. Each substance that is being tested has its own energy, which can flow through the container in which it is stored. If a substance is in harmony with your energy system (that is, if it does not disrupt or weaken your energy), the muscle will remain strong or “locked.” If the substance is not in harmony, your muscle will feel weak. Dr. Matsen is trained to detect even slight fluctuations in the strength of your muscle and uses this method to test if your organs are weak, which supplements are suitable for you, and if you have intestinal yeast.

In conjunction with the muscle testing, Dr. Matsen uses a Vega machine. This allows him to test many different supplements fairly quickly so that your arm doesn’t tire too easily. The Vega machine outputs a low level electrical current—the same frequency as your body’s energy (10 Hz)—, which runs through an electrode that you hold in your hand. This allows the energy of the supplement that’s being tested into your energy field. Dr. Matsen can then determine whether the substance is beneficial for you by muscle testing.

This type of testing does not give quantitative results; it cannot determine the degree of pathology or organ damage, and it cannot detect the amount of toxic metals or yeast that may be present in your body.

Blood Picture

The H-L-B Blood Picture was devised to observe free radical activity in the blood. Free radicals are highly destructive substances, which, in large quantities, contribute to many diseases. We put a few drops of blood from a patient’s earlobe onto a microscope slide, and then we put the slide under a microscope at a magnification of 200 and take a picture of the blood. A second blood picture is taken later on in the treatment program. The blood pictures are used to monitor the success of treatment and as a visual aid for the patient.

 Max Pulse

This is a quick, painless, in-house test which utilizes pulsewave analysis to assess your overall cardiovascular health, arteriosclerosis progression, heart rate variability, arterial stiffness, mental stress, physical stress, and stress resistance. The results of this test will greatly assist your ND in determining the best course of action with regard to both your heart health and your adrenal status. Click here for a sample report.

 Oxidata Test

The Oxidata test uses a small amount of your urine to approximate the amount of a chemical known as malondialdehyde or MDA (mal-on-di-al-de-hide). MDA is a by-product of free-radical stress in the body, the higher the amount of MDA the higher amount of free radical stress. With this information, we can suggest certain therapies/dietary considerations that can help decrease the free radical stress.

Free radical stress is related to cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, dialysis, liver disease, chronic stress, brain aging, anxiety, and aging in general.

Nitric Oxide Test

The nitric oxide test is a very simple test that uses a saliva sample. It helps to approximate the state of your nitric oxide in your body by a simple test strip. Poor nitric oxide levels in the body have been related to cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure, poor immune responses, anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed, and poor sleep patterns to name a few.

This information can help guide us to understand whether or not you need support to help normalize your nitric oxide levels. Simple dietary and/or supplements can help achieve this.

What can decrease nitric oxide levels? Stress seems to be the biggest one as can smoking, alcohol intake, high sugary diets, over exercise, certain drugs and toxins.

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Hormone Testing Options


The dutch® urine steroid hormone profile measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried urine sample. Measuring both hormones and their metabolites can give a better overall picture of hormone production and detoxification pathways. For example, a urine steroid hormone profile on someone with low salivary cortisol could show normal cortisol production, but high levels of metabolites. In other words, he/she is producing enough cortisol, it’s just getting broken down into its metabolites very quickly. There are also some metabolites that are important markers for breast cancer risk that can only be measured in urine. There are 3 options available; adrenal metabolites, sex hormone metabolites, and a complete panel including both adrenal and sex hormone metabolites. You and your ND can discuss and decide together which panel best fits your needs.

Click here for a sample report


Saliva hormone testing can be used to identify existing hormone excesses or deficiencies. For example, finding out that a woman lacks sufficient progesterone to balance high estradiol levels or that high cortisol levels are interfering with the action of progesterone and testosterone. Once a hormone imbalance has been identified, nutritional or bio-identical hormone therapy may be indicated; speak to your ND for details.

Female Panel

This test measures salivary levels of Estradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEAS, and morning cortisol. It is a valuable test for women of all ages to determine hormonal imbalances. It can be expanded to also include the 4-point cortisol curve.
Symptoms may include:
• infertility
• anxiety
• dysmenorrhea
• night sweats
• hot flashes
• osteoporosis
• weight gain
• depression
• irritability
• breast cancer

Click here for sample report

Male Panel

This panel includes Estradiol, Testosterone, DHEAS, and morning cortisol. It can also be expanded to include the 4-point cortisol curve .
Hormone imbalances in men can cause symptoms such as:
• irritability or grumpiness
• apathy
• erectile dysfunction
• memory loss
• weight gain
• decreased sex drive
• increased breast size

Click here for a sample report (note that this sample report includes the 4 point cortisol curve)

Cortisol Curve

This test measures salivary levels of cortisol (the hormone most associated with stress and adrenal function) at 4 distinct times during the course of a day, to assess the daily rhythm of your adrenal function. It can be ordered alone or added to any other saliva test. See male panel above for sample report.

Month-Long Hormone Assessment

This test is very appropriate for women having difficulty with conception, suffer from PMS, or menstrual irregularities, who wish to get a more complete picture of the ebb and flow of these hormones over the course of a monthly cycle. Saliva is collected every 3rd day, for 11 total samples, and estradiol and progesterone is measured on each sample separately, while DHEAS, testosterone, and morning cortisol are measured as month-long averages.

Click here for a sample report

If you have any questions regarding these or other lab testing options, please call us at 604 986-7774.

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Life Labs

Your ND can order from a wide range of conventional blood tests available at Life Labs, on a pay-per-test basis.  These tests may be the same or similar as are recommended by your MD, but ordering them through Northshore Naturopathic Clinic has the advantage of convenience, and independence from the restrictive policies of MSP coverage.  It is often the case, even when a physician directly orders a test, that the test is NOT run, because MSP considers it unnecessary, and refuses to cover it.  This is seen most often with thyroid panels, where, despite significant clinical utility, direct measurement of thyroid hormones is canceled.  When you are paying for your own testing, MSP doesn’t get to decide what is, or isn’t necessary – you and your ND can decide together.

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