Advanced Diagnostic Testing for Gut Health, Nutritional Assessment, and Brain Health

consultation between patient and doctor to illustrate advanced diagnostic testing
Medically Reviewed
April 17, 2023

There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all in healthcare! For this reason, instead of making medical decisions based exclusively on blood work or using band-aids to treat symptoms, functional medicine focuses on identifying the root causes of a health issue using advanced diagnostic testing.

An advanced health assessment of this kind gives you a source of objective and personalized data for determining the underlying problems that lead to a specific disease or imbalance in your body. In this approach, care and medical issues are strongly related.

That’s why advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in functional medicine looks at everything – from genetic predisposition to cognitive function, gut health, and gut microbiome.

It’s here that your gut health assessment, nutritional assessment, and brain health care enter the picture.

Interested in learning more about our health assessment clinical diagnosis and what’s included in your roadmap for optimal health at any age? Check this ultimate guide to advanced diagnostic testing for gut health, gut microbiome, nutritional assessment, and brain health.

What is Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Testing?

Advanced Diagnostic Testing: Gut Health

Dysbiosis

Gut Microbiome Health Assessment

Advanced Diagnostic Testing: Nutritional Assessment

What Does a Nutritional Assessment Measure?

Metabolomix Testing

Advanced Diagnostic Testing: Brain Health

Help Your Brain Stay Sharp

The WAVi Brain Scan Measures Your Brain Health

What is Advanced Diagnostic Testing and Health Assessment?

group of scientists to illustrate advanced diagnostic testing

At Nava Health, an advanced health assessment is part of our comprehensive diagnostic reasoning process to

  • determine what’s causing your health problem and
  • develop an effective and customized treatment plan to address your body’s specific needs and boost your immune system.

Because we believe in the healing process from the inside out, we must understand what’s happening inside your body before making any medical decision. This includes understanding your

  • nutrition intake,
  • brain function,
  • immune system,
  • gut microbiome, and
  • gut health.

Nava’s advanced health assessment clinical diagnosis can include

  • human gut microbiome assessment,
  • nutritional assessment, and
  • a brain scan.

Looking at these advanced diagnostic testing techniques together is insightful for accurate diagnosis and defining an individualized health plan for you.

Advanced Diagnostic Testing: Gut Health

The human gut is known as the body’s second brain. It’s home to trillions of diverse and necessary microorganisms (including harmful and healthy bacteria) and a healthy gut microbiome directly affects your overall health.

In fact, this ecosystem of living microorganisms (the human gut microbiome) in your intestinal tract is responsible for 80% of your body’s immune system and many other vital functions, including metabolism, body weight, brain functions, and mood.

That’s right! The gut microbiome affects basically all your body functions and is responsible for your immune system. That’s why balancing your gut microbiome composition is crucial for your gut health.

close-up of lactobacillus to illustrate gut health

Dysbiosis

When your harmful and healthy bacteria are not balanced – a condition that’s called dysbiosis – you have an unhealthy gut microbiome. This can lead to severe problems in your intestinal tract and beyond, including the following:

  • Leaky gut
  • Digestion issues
  • Weak immune system
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Chronic irritable bowel syndrome

Understanding human gut microbiome composition and keeping it balanced not only prevents you from getting severe diseases like irritable bowel syndrome but is also a valuable tool for finding the root causes of health conditions and restoring gut health.

Gut Microbiome Health Assessment

For this reason, we trust your gut for an accurate diagnosis of your health condition and include a gut microbiome health assessment in our advanced health assessment clinical diagnosis: the GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus) gut health test.

The GI-MAP gut health test uses PCR technology to analyze a stool specimen and identify the DNA of the microbes that live in your gut microbiome and gastrointestinal tract, including:

  • healthy bacteria
  • pathogenic bacteria
  • opportunistic bacteria
  • parasites
  • yeast
  • viruses

In addition to measuring the populations in your gut microbiome to check your gut health, this comprehensive stool specimen testing reveals

  • food intolerances,
  • hormone imbalance,
  • predisposition for irritable bowel syndrome, and
  • other gut-related health conditions, etc.

Here are some of the main things the stool samples can show us:

  • how well you’re digesting and absorbing your food,
  • how well your intestinal tract is detoxing,
  • the status of your gut health and immune system, and
  • eventual damage caused by dysbiosis (an unbalanced gut microbiome – see above ).

detox word in image to illustrate diagnostic assessment of gut microbiome

 

Using the gut microbiome assessment information

With this information, your doctor can

  • identify how your gut microbiome affects your body functions,
  • uncover the root causes of chronic illnesses,
  • make an accurate diagnosis, and
  • assess gut microbiome and metabolic imbalances to create a personalized healing plan.

After completing your health assessment clinical diagnosis, your roadmap for a healthy gut microbiome may include the following:

  • A balanced diet
  • A healthy lifestyle, including exercises, quality sleep, and stress-control techniques
  • The consumption of probiotics and, eventually, targeted supplementation and prescribed medications

Advanced Diagnostic Testing: Nutritional Assessment

woman with hands on stomach to illustrate healthy nutritional assessment

In addition to testing your gut microbiome, another essential part of Nava’s advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning process is getting an overall picture of your dietary intake and eating habits. We do this via a dietary assessment and a nutritional assessment.

If you’re not taking in the proper nutrients you need, it’s not just your body mass index that feels the consequences! All your health issues are likely related to nutritional deficiencies. (Remember your gut microbiome is mainly responsible for your immune system!).

The best way to evaluate your dietary intake is through a nutrition assessment.

And, as we mentioned before, different bodies have different needs. That’s why a comprehensive nutrition assessment and lifestyle check is a valuable method for identifying individualized poor diet, nutrition status, body mass index, malnutrition, your gut microbiome and gut health – and risk factors for diseases and conditions, including the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Heart disease
  • Cognitive decline
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders
  • Obesity
  • Gut microbiome imbalance (dysbiosis)
  • And many others

What Does a Nutritional Assessment Measure?

A nutrient is a substance primarily found in food that nourishes your body to be healthy. We evaluate if your body is receiving (or not) the nutrients you need for healthy living.

This is done via a comprehensive nutritional assessment that measures your dietary intake through the following:

1 Anthropomorphic physical examination

This measures your weight, height, and body mass index to determine whether your body proportion is normal, overweight, or obese.

2 Biochemical evaluation

This measures the levels of nutrients, vitamins, and chemicals in your blood, urine, and stool samples to determine inflammation, toxicity, poor nutrition, the overall health of your gut microbiome, and other risk factors for developing diseases.

3 Clinical assessment

This is a clinical assessment that comprises your medical history, a physical examination, and an evaluation of any health problems or diseases you may have that affect your dietary intake or which may put you at risk of malnutrition.

4 Diet evaluation

A diet evaluation investigates your dietary intake and eating habits, including the quantity and quality of the food you eat, any changes in appetite you may experience, and food intolerances or allergies.

Metabolomix Testing

nutritionist and client discussing result of diagnostic testing

At Nava Health, we provide the most comprehensive functional and nutritional assessment available today – the Metabolomix+ nutritional assessment.

Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care offers nutritional screening and nutritional assessment in order to get valuable insights into your:

  • Nutritional status
  • Inflammation status
  • Toxin exposure
  • Gut microbiome and gut health
  • Metabolism and metabolic imbalances
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Predisposition to inflammation and diseases
  • Root causes of chronic inflammations and illnesses
  • Food intolerances and allergies

This unique combination of non-invasive nutritional screening makes the Metabolomix+ nutritional assessment highly efficient in assessing your gut microbiome, gut health, and your body’s functional need for antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, digestive support, fatty acids, and amino acids.

After a clinical assessment of key nutritional biomarkers and defining your nutritional status via this comprehensive nutritional assessment, a functional nutritionist uncovers the root causes of your dysfunction.

They can then provide a personalized, systems-based approach to help you overcome chronic conditions and live a healthier life.

They can also address poor diet and sedentary lifestyle factors.

Advanced Diagnostic Testing: Brain Health

a brain and some supplements offering a choice of how to maintain cognitive function

Last but not least, assessing your brain health and cognitive abilities is essential to your overall health and as important as gut health and nutritional assessment.

Thus, a brain health check is another crucial component of Nava’s advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning process to provide excellent functional health care.

Studies have shown that maintaining optimal cognitive health can contribute to longevity. And a multitude of scientific research has proven that brain health is directly linked to your lifestyle choices. That’s why cognitive assessment and lifestyle check should walk hand in hand.

Help Your Brain Stay Sharp

Aging brings normal changes in your brain health, such as memory loss and cognitive decline. But in addition to choosing to have an advanced health assessment clinical diagnosis, there are simple steps you can take to maintain cognitive health and lower the risk factors of developing mood disorders and neurological conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

By focusing on regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, and quality sleep, you’re helping your brain stay sharp.

Here are five proven ways of improving your brain health with our assessment and lifestyle check.

1 Be physically active

Cognitive performance and good physical health are linked. A recent study shows that physically active individuals are more likely to maintain cognitive reserve and less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment or cognitive decline. This is true even for older adults with the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) gene, the most substantial risk factor for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Physical activity increases blood flow to your brain, helping compensate for some of the natural reduction in brain connections and cognitive reserve as you age.

If you don’t have time for the gym, try to find a physical activity that pleases you or that you can do in your daily life, like choosing the stairs over the elevator or walking to work.

2 Sleep well

Aim for at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Your brain needs rest and time to store memories. But it also works during sleep to release essential hormones for your overall health. So, having good quality sleep is vital for your brain health.

3 Choose a healthy diet

display of healthy food to keep brain from declining

Healthy foods have a massive impact on a healthy gut microbiome, immune system, and overall health. And it’s not different for your brain health. Staying sharp requires a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet.

Some studies have shown, for instance, that people who follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than those with poor nutrition. That’s because it’s rich in plant-based foods, whole grains, fish, and omega fatty acids,

  • decrease the risk of heart disease and
  • increase your mental focus and cognitive functioning as you age.

4 Exercise your brain

The cognitive benefits of activities like writing, puzzles, crosswords, playing cards, improving your language skills, and reading are limitless to your brain health.

You can help your brain stay sharp and avoid mild cognitive impairment by diversifying your cognitive abilities to improve your cognitive health and delay cognitive decline related to aging.

5 Be sociable

Social interaction is also directly linked to physical and mental health because it helps to manage stress and depression and avoid memory loss or decline.

Keeping up regular contact with family or friends, especially if you live alone, improves your emotional function and is an excellent approach to brain health.

The WAVi Brain Scan Measures Your Brain Health

portable headset device used in a WAVi brain scan

Science can now effectively help you measure your brain’s health with an innovative medical device used in Nava’s advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning process – the WAVi brain health scan.

This revolutionary, all-in-one brain measurement platform provides information about your brain’s health using electroencephalogram (EEG) technology to record and measure your brain’s electrical activity, performance, and response.

This helps with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of several cognitive and brain dysfunctions, including the following:

  • Brain response
  • Brain speed
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Predisposition for developing dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Cognitive dysfunction or decline after concussions or brain injury
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Correlations between heart and brain health
  • Acute pain
  • The effects of ADHD medication and opioid abuse on the brain

While you wear a specially designed and comfortable cap, the WAVi brain health scan examines and tests your brain and physical responses to stimuli and activities in real-time, and provides scientific metrics and essential data about your brain’s

  • health,
  • memory,
  • coherence, and
  • cognitive function.

The doctor then discusses the results with you.

An important benefit of the WAVi brain health scan is that it helps diagnose brain illness and the consequences of a brain injury while there’s still time to prevent them.

Nava Health is Your Partner For an Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Testing

Nava’s advanced health assessment clinical diagnosis includes gut health assessment, nutritional assessment, and a brain health scan.

The reason for our choices is that a functional approach to medicine investigates the underlying causes of your health condition.

The different advanced diagnostic techniques in our advanced health assessment clinical diagnosis identify how your food choices, gut health, lifestyle, and brain health dramatically affect your wellbeing and may be a reason for your discomfort or diseases.

We can then provide you with an individualized health plan to fulfill your body’s specific needs so you can experience your healthiest life at any age.

Why not have a comprehensive assessment and lifestyle check to uncover the best version of yourself today? Schedule your consultation and let’s talk!

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Summary
Article Name
Advanced Diagnostic Testing for Gut Health, Nutritional Assessment, and Brain Health
Description
Take advantage of advanced diagnostic testing to understand and comprehensively assess your gut health, brain health, and nutritional needs.