TELEMEDICINE Thyroid Health Practice with a Functional Medicine Approach

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Genetic Testing


Scientists have identified small genetic variations among humans called SNPs (pronounced “snips”) that can lead to more specialised and effective medical treatments. SNPs are single-nucleotide substitutions that occur in more than one percent of the general population.

Certain SNPs can serve as predictive markers that help us in our decisions about numerous aspects of medical care, including specific diseases, effectiveness of various drugs and adverse reactions to specific drugs.

This pharmacogenetic approach can save time, money, and discomfort for millions of patients through accurate diagnoses and matching patients with appropriate medicines.

CountryHealth has recently partnered with Invivo Clinical and we are now pleased to use their expertise to offer our clients specialist genetic testing for SNPs.

All tests involve a simple buccal swab.

The following tests are available:

MTHFR Genotyping

An elevated homocysteine level is known to be an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke, thrombotic and cardiovascular diseases. Homocysteine is an amino acid synthesized by the body. In the presence of adequate levels of Folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, homocysteine is either metabolised to cysteine or methionine in a process called methylation. A deficiency in any one of these b-vitamins can cause homocysteine levels to rise.

Research has shown that many individuals may be at risk of methylation insufficiency due to reduced MTHFR enzyme function.

Find out moreHERE

Weight Management Panel

When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for a healthy lifestyle, every person is different. The Kashi Health Weight Management Genetic Panel allows our clients to receive a personalised weight loss program including preferred food ratios, exercise recommendations, and lifestyle recommendations tailored to their own genetic make-up.

The Kashi Health Weight Management Genetic Panel uses the latest findings in scientific research to inform patients about how their specific genes influence their bodyweight, and perhaps more importantly, which types of weight management strategies are the most likely to be effective considering their specific genetic background. The Kashi Health Weight Management Genetic Panel addresses the obstacles of weight loss through personalised dietary, physical activity and lifestyle recommendations.

Ideal Candidates are Patients with the Following Symptoms and Complaints:

  • Poor Results From Prior Dietary Changes
  • Frequent Cravings and Over-eating
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Persistent Weight Gain
  • High BMI (>25)
  • Weight Gain In The Stomach, Hips And Thighs

Find out moreHERE

Bone Health Panel

Strong bones are critical to good health. While healthy bones are influenced by environmental elements such as nutrition, genetics also play a major role. Osteoporosis, characterized by low bone mass, is a major problem in older adults. Today, about 30 to 50 percent of UK women and 15 to 30 percent of UK men experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetimes. Studies have demonstrated that bone mineral density in older adults is influenced by genes underlying bone accrual and bone loss; in fact, up to 85 percent of the variation in peak bone mineral density can be explained by genetic factors. However, only recently have these specific genes, and their variants, been identified.

Knowing whether you have a genetic variant in the genes known to be associated with increased risk for fracture or lower bone mineral density, may allow us to implement strategies to delay the onset of osteoporosis, and reduce the severity of bone loss and potential fractures later in life.

Ideal Candidates are Patients with the Following Symptoms or Conditions:

  • History of a minimal-trauma fracture
  • Low blood calcium (hypocalcemia)
  • Low blood phosphate (hypophosphatemia)
  • Diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Conditions that prevent proper vitamin D absorption
  • Menopausal changes
  • Individuals with compromised mobility
  • People in low sun exposure areas

Find out moreHERE

Cardiac Health Panel

Cardiovascular disease is a leading contributor to morbidity and mortality, with over 17 million deaths occurring annually worldwide. Risk increases in adults over the age of 60, and in part is attributable to our inherited genetic makeup.

Cardiovascular disease – which includes coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, and atherosclerosis – is heavily influenced by factors such as insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, inflammation, and coagulation properties. Many of these factors can be mitigated by lifestyle changes including smoking cessation, increasing aerobic exercise, and eating a well-balanced diet, which can reduce the risk of catastrophic events such as myocardial infarction, or ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

However, in some cases, particularly where family history of cardiovascular disease is prevalent, medications are needed to better manage health outcomes. In some patients, lifestyle and medication are still not enough, and greater intervention is necessary.

The Kashi Cardiac Health Panel focuses on eight genetic markers affecting hypertension, total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, triglycerides, thrombotic risk, homocysteinemia, insulin resistance, and statin-induced myopathy risk.

Strong candidates for the Kashi Cardiac Health Panel include patients with:

  • Treatment-resistant hypertension
  • Poor control over cholesterol levels
  • Personal history of angina, DVT, PE, CHF, MI or CVA
  • Introduction of new statin medications
  • Family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke or heart disease in the young
  • Idiopathic cardiovascular disease

Find out moreHERE

Behavioural Health Panel

About 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression or anxiety. Although many reasons behind these crippling mood disorders are not completely understood, several biochemical factors (such as serotonin) are scientifically proven to affect mental health and perceptions of panic or anxiety.

Depression and anxiety medications are designed to alter our response to the mood-associated neurotransmitter serotonin, while diet has also been reported to play a role in stabilising these factors. However, these are just a few of the many treatment options doctors may be able to suggest if provided with specific genetic information for a patient.

Mood disorders are sometimes inherited in families. Because each individual’s genetic background plays a major role in determining the best approach to managing mental health, genetic testing can help in assessing the most effective method of treatment. Several genetic markers have been identified that are known to be associated with depression and anxiety.

Potential Benefits of Testing with the Behavioral Health Panel

  • Determining medications that are best suited to the patient’s genetic profile
  • Identifying nutritional deficiencies that may be contributing to mood disorders
  • Revealing genetic factors that may contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to depression and anxiety

Find out moreHERE

Pain Management Genetic Panel

Managing chronic pain is a challenge because of each patient’s unique tolerance to pain, and differing reactions to prescribed medications. Unpleasant opioid side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation and sedation, are common with pain management medication. The side effects can lead to work absences, poor work performance, the risk of job loss, and a diminished quality of life. An individual’s genetic makeup may predispose them to adverse effects of pain and reduced efficacy of medications. Pharmacogenomics may help connect the dots towards mitigating adverse drug reactions among genetically-vulnerable individuals.

Potential Benefits of Testing with the Pain Management Genetic Panel:
  • Decreased adverse drug reactions
  • Reduced trial and error period for an effective medication
  • Improved dosage recommendations for therapeutic effect

Find out moreHERE 

Celiac Disease Genetic Panel

Coeliac disease (CD) is a chronic gluten-intolerance that occurs in genetically predisposed individuals. In sensitive individuals, the ingestion of gluten causes chronic inflammation of the small intestinal mucosa leading to villous atrophy and nutrient malabsorption. The prevalence of CD is estimated at about 1:100 in Caucasians, and it occurs more often in females with a gender ratio of about two-to-one. Furthermore, gluten intolerance is more frequent in at-risk groups, such as first-degree relatives of patients as well as individuals with specific genetic syndromes (Down, Turner, Williams) or autoimmune diseases (type I diabetes, thyroiditis and multiple sclerosis).

Find out moreHERE