Saturday, July 12, 2014

Another option for lab test ordering and interpretation from Dr. Kurt Woeller

I get asked all the time how to go about getting testing ordered when you either don't have a Dr. willing to order them or you aren't currently working with a Dr. Some Drs. refuse to order tests because they are not familiar with specialized testing options for hard to treat issues like autism, auto-immunity, Hashimoto's, food allergies, etc. And even worse, many will tell you they are a waste of time! Many families like mine know the power of testing when it comes to treating underlying issues of these hard to treat disorders. Below is a guest post from Dr. Kurt Woeller on lab testing options for those who may need it.
Lab tests give us the ability to test our body’s chemistry, and are critical for overall optimal health. There are many benefits to lab testing, yet many people overlook the absolute necessity of this type of internal evaluation.

For example, we can surmise that a person’s hormone levels are low based on an individual’s complaint about how they feel, but obtaining the absolute value is impossible without diagnostic assessment. Lab tests help to determine the exact level of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Why this is important is when using therapy such as hormone replacement medication. In order to know how much hormone to give, we must know how low the hormone is in the first place, then guide our therapy over time with symptom improvement, along with laboratory data to show whether the hormone levels have become optimal, are still too low, or too high. A particular lab test to help in this process is the Functional Adrenal Stress Profile plus V (five), from BioHealth, available at Lab Tests Plus. This salivary test is an accurate way of determining excess or deficiency of various hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. Also, evaluated from the #205 panel is adrenal function through cortisol measurement. Adrenal exhaustion is a common pattern with many people and affects energy levels, mood, sleep, and immunity. Without knowing exactly what your particular values are the implementation of specific hormone and adrenal therapy is just a guessing game.

Another example of the importance of lab testing is for chronic infections. Often people suffer from chronic digestive complaints such as bloating, gas, pain, diarrhea or constipation. These types of complaints can persist for months and years and many times individuals try various supplements and medications to no avail. Stool pathogen testing can be very important to rule out an infection in the digestive system that is compromising health. The #401-H Gastrointestinal Pathogen Screen from BioHealth is an excellent stool test to look for chronic infections such as parasites, bacteria, and yeast. Without the data from a stool test many people suffer needlessly when their issue could be resolved quickly through appropriate treatment of an intestinal parasite.

It cannot be overstated that the role of lab testing in health assessment is critical. Only treating of symptoms wastes valuable time and can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Laboratory testing is able to identify problems and allow for more appropriate intervention, ultimately saving time and money.

 Lab Tests Plus is a specialized lab ordering service for health education and information. If you have questions about lab testing or which lab test may be most appropriate for your situation, you can post your questions through the “Which Test” section of

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kaibab Veterinary Clinic, Best in Flagstaff for Service and Care

So I know the power of social media, and I know the power of blogging and keywords. I also know the power of great customer service and the power of word of mouth when you get bad customer service. I don't want to just focus on the negative so I do have a good story to share as well. Here goes.....

We decide to make a quick trip to the store for our 4th of July celebrations tomorrow. We all jump in the car and the dog goes outside (it was raining so of course he was next to me as I worked at my desk this afternoon). We live on acres and he RUNS. He greets cars, runs along them as they enter and leave our property, it is his thing. I don't know why he does it, he just does. People think they are going to hit him all the time. But, he always seems to know the limits of the car, of himself, it is slightly odd really, a little Jedi-esque. He also knows what to do when we back up to leave. He always gets out of the way. Always. Except today. The unimaginable happened. As my husband made frantic calls to Kaibab Vet to make sure they were still open, it is a Thursday evening before a holiday after all, I cried and tended to our dog. No bones seemed broken. I administered Arnica in pellet form. We verified Kaibab Vet was open and would be for 2 more hours. We put him in the car and rushed there.

After getting us seen immediately Kaibab Vet went right to work with IV fluids, pain meds and xrays. It was determined he has lung contusions. He needs an oxygen cage for the best chance at recovery. OK, so where do we find one in Flagstaff?? Well there is only one vet hospital that has that, Canyon Pet Hospital, literally across the street from where we are. Yes, this would be a downside to small town living. OK I say, let's get them on the phone and get me prices. I need to know what to expect. The vet looks at me and says "OK....I will call them" she knows something she is not telling me. She calls, they refuse to quote her. They say I need to transport my now stable animal across the street for THEM to do the same assessment Kaibab Vet has already done? Why would Canyon Pet Hospital need to do another assessment when he has already been assessed and has minutes old xrays? The vet at Kaibab Vet tells me that they held off on one additional xray in case we do want to transport him to Canyon Pet Hospital. Why? Well because in the past when Kaibab Vet has sent patients to Canyon Pet Hospital they have required patients to do another one even though they already did one. Hmmmm......shadiness abounds.

So they won't tell a vet at Kaibab Vet Clinic pricing, I kind of get that. So I call. No dice. I get a little "Shawty" on them. Yeah, that's right. I just friggin hit my own dog and you won't tell me what it will cost to put him in your nifty oxygen crate??? Canyon Pet Hospital "No maam we need to assess him first". "He's BEEN ASSESSED AND IS STABLE NOW, I know what he needs, you can't tell me how much that will cost me?". Canyon Pet Hospital "No we cannot quote price until we assess him". "Ah so let me get this straight, you want to charge me for something I have already paid for to get the same info Kaibab Vet can tell you right now, you want me to move my now-stable dog to your facility to have you tell me that what I need is too expensive and then I have the tough decision of deciding whether to do it or not, that is SHADY business practices right there!". Canyon Pet Hospital "Let me get our nurse on the line to see if she can get you a price". Then I sit on hold with Canyon Pet Hospital for about 5 minutes when I say "F this" and hang up. When I vent my frustration to the vet at Kaibab Vet all she can say is "That is a very common thing we hear and often we send an animal over with a catheter and tell them we just put it in, they will take it out and put in a new one". I get it, every vet is different and they have their own style but seriously? That seems shady, sheisty and just plain bad business Canyon Pet Hospital!!!!!!

So where is my dog?? He is at Kaibab Vet where they are improvising for us. Then we have been able to secure oxygen for tomorrow and I will be making my OWN oxygen crate for him and will monitor him myself. By the time we left him, about 3 hours after we got there, I gave him another dose of Arnica, he was on oxygen the whole time with a dedicated, caring vet tech and we have a plan for the night/morning. He was already looking better, gums were looking better and tongue less purple. He even tried to stand up at one point and turned his head when he heard me talking in the hall. We all gave him tons of pets, hugs and kisses the whole time we were there. I have no doubt that Kaibab Vet Clinic will take wonderful care of our Rudy. And as for Canyon Pet Hospital I say animal owner beware. As an animal parent in distress this afternoon they did NOTHING to provide any help during a very stressful time. So yeah, Canyon Pet Hospital receptionist, I was the one who unleashed on you this afternoon. I am sure you will find as many people giving them rave reviews, I however will not be. Nor will I EVER take any of my (many and varied) animals to them.

Update: At 6:30 am on July 4th Kaibab Vet Dr. Penrod called to tell us the sad news that Rudy passed earlier that morning. We are all heartbroken at the loss of our dear friend. We miss his doggie smile as he greeted us at our gate, seeing him each morning right outside our bedroom door, sleeping next to one of the kids in their room, laying next to me as I worked, seeing him running after crows and squirrels, etc.  He was a true companion who without fail would get up and follow me wherever I went. I wish we could have just one more day with him to show him how much he meant to our family. Rest in peace sweet Rudy, you have changed our hearts and souls forever. We love you!