I. History and Examination
90% of diagnosis is based on history. The rest of the diagnostics are done to support what the doctor believes is wrong and to delineate the severity of the problem(s). Therefore, a complete history is taken both verbally and via questionnaire.
Three questionnaires are used. The first is called the Symptom Survey Form. This will go through each system of the body asking symptom questions. It is best to fill in the circles off any symptom that is remotely a "yes" (ie. 1 for MILD, 2 for MODERATE and 3 for SEVERE).
Also, any symptom that is being controlled by a drug should be filled in. A notation in the margin can be made to that effect. The next is a Family History. This sheds light on genetic predispositions. The third is Dietary Data. Once a complete diagnosis is made, recommendations will be given as to how the diet should change, if at all, to aid in the patient's attainment of health.
The examination is similar to most any physical exam given by a doctor. The difference is in what is noted as significant. Since our patients are wanting to achieve optimum health rather than simply health that is defined as the absence of disease, any change from optimum could be significant. For example, when a conventional doctor shines a light into the patient's eyes, a constriction, or lack of constriction, of the pupil is noted. Although this is very important to note, once a constriction is seen, the light is held a bit longer on the pupil to see if the pupillary constriction will hold. If a pulsing of the pupil is seen, this too is considered as a significant change from optimum.
II. Clinical Tests
- A. Normal blood test
A very thorough blood test is routinely performed. This includes 28 different chemistries (ie. cholesterol, blood sugar, liver enzymes, thyroid hormones, etc.), red and white blood cell counts, inflammation indicators, blood typing and urinalysis.
These results are used not only for the detection of disease, but also for the evaluation of physiological imbalances. This is accomplished by the use of homeostatic (literally meaning "to stay the same") ranges, as well as, the usual clinical ranges that are reported on the blood test results from the lab. Any other specialized blood test, such as tumor markers for different cancers, may be performed as-needed.
- B. Biological Terrain Analysis
This test is done using the patient's saliva and urine. It is performed at our office using very sophisticated equipment that detects three types of biochemical processes. Those are:
pH - the degree of acidity and alkalinity
Redox - the balance between chemical reactions that are for building things up (reduction) vs. breaking things down (oxidation)
Resistivity - a measure of resistance to flow which is an indication of the level of soluble minerals in that fluid
The computer portion of this equipment can predict to 98% accuracy how a sample of blood would test along these three parameters using only the saliva and urine. We end up with 9 scores, three fluids (blood, saliva and urine) with three measurements each. These scores reveal much about the degree of toxicity in the body and how the body is handling the toxins.
- C. Food Allergy Testing
This is not the usual skin scratch test done by an allergist. Rather, it is done using blood and is called cytotoxic (literally, "cell poison") testing. So, it is not only an allergy test inwhich the immune system is stimulated to make antibodies, but it also detects foods that harm the body and possibly do not elicit antibody production.
For our purposes, this is a more complete test than antibody testing. The blood is sent over-night to the lab so the cells are still alive. A specially prepared drop of the food to be tested is put on a slide with a drop of the patient's blood and then inspected under a microscope. If the food causes any reaction with the cells (ie. swelling, fragmenting, shrinking, etc.) then that food is considered to be an allergen to that person. Degrees to which the food damages the cells are noted and put into categories of severe, moderate and limited reactions.
- D. Urine Toxic Metal Analysis
This test is used to detect and measure amounts of specific toxic metals (ie. mercury, aluminum, lead, cadmium, arsenic, etc.).
- E. Saliva Hormone Testing (Female and Male)
Although blood is traditionally used in medicine to measure hormone levels, it is not the best to evaluate hormone function. Saliva is a far better fluid to use because it reflects what is happening at the cellular level. A patient could have normal blood hormone levels and still be dysfunctional hormonally. Just because there are hormones in the blood, does not mean those hormones are actually doing their job in the cell. This is what ultimately matters to a patient's well-being and can only be detected using saliva.
- F. QEEG/Brain Mapping
The brain is a highly complex organ made up of billions of cells called neurons, which send and receive messages to and from all parts of your body. These messages are electrical impulses that create brain waves. The brain map is an important tool we use to evaluate your brainwaves and identify opportunities to improve communication between various regions of the brain. The brain map is able to capture a window of brain activity, analyze the data, and create a visual representation for each lobe of the brain and each specific brainwave (Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta).
- G. Thermography
Thermography, a completely non-invasive technique, is quickly becoming the screening tool of choice for women concerned with their breast health. It is FDA approved, 100% safe, and 90% accurate. The technique is simple: a thermography camera records an image of the temperatures emitted by the breast tissue. There is no compression of the tissue, nor is radiation used. (Since radiation is suspected to be a cause of cancer, this is quite significant.) These very specific temperatures and their patterns are then interpreted by a thermologist who is a trained, qualified and licensed physician. Only if a suspicious pattern is found, the patient is then referred for further diagnostic studies, which may include ultrasound or mammography. With a normal thermogram, it is possible to continue yearly screens using this method rather than mammograms and avoid the radiation. Unlike mammograms, thermography can also be used with younger women (under the age of 40), for early detection of breast cancer and/or inflammatory breast disease. Since thermograms are so accurate and non-invasive, it is recommended that women in their 20’s start using this magnificent tool. With thermography screening, it is conceivable that a woman would never need a mammogram. Although the most common use of thermography is for breast health, it can also be used to detect the possibility of cardiovascular and prostate disease.
III. BioEnergetic Testing
These are methods of testing that rely on energy pathways of the body, either nerve or meridian. They are very sensitive and, therefore, yield a higher degree of false positives and negatives. The doctor will often use standard clinical tests to correlate with these findings.
- Clinical Kinesiology (C.K.)
This is a manual way of testing and treating resistances in nerve energy pathways. It is a chiropractic technique that was developed by Alan Beardall, D.C., a student of George Goodheardt, D.C. in the 1970's.
Dr. Goodheardt created the technique of Applied Kinesiology - see photo at left - that is used by thousands of chiropractors the world over. Dr. Beardall used this work and expanded upon it by adding hand positions to further specify his findings. Dr. Piro was certified in both techniques in the early 1990's. She primarily uses C.K. as both follow-up to the MSA testing and a stand alone technique (with diagnostic back-up) depending upon the patient's case.
Dr. Piro finds C.K. most useful to help follow the patient's progress closely between retests with the MSA, BTA and blood work. Because it is also a treatment method, she can find blockages as the body is healing and use gentle manual techniques to help unblock them. Also, it helps to fine-tune the natural medicine therapies as sometimes doses may need revising, or natural medicines added or subtracted, temporarily as the body heals.
Healing can sometimes be uncomfortable, and so it is often necessary to slow the program down or add a natural medicine to help abate a symptom that has arisen from healing, sometimes called a "healing crisis". Since the body begins to heal with the very first dose of the natural medicines, it is changing right from the start. So, by using C.K., the natural medicine program can been molded to fit each nuance of change needed which yields the fastest results, the most comfortably.
- For thorough diagnostic testing, call us today at (727) 789-4020.