Please click on the test links given below to see more detail, collection instructions, sample reports etc...
It can be hard to find what is at the heart of mental health issues sometimes. It can involve nutrient imbalance, lack of essential fatty acids, thyroid and adrenal hypofunction, hormones and many other issues. In the main, mental health issues are seen as being caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA etc and also some chronic pain syndromes including chronic headaches, fibromyalgia etc can also involve neuro imbalance.
Here, also, is a useful neurotransmitters rundown which might help.
The most common test is the Labrix NeuroBasic, which checks levels of the eight most common neurotransmitters including Serotonin, GABA, Dopamine, Adrenalin (Epinephrine), Nor Adrenaline (Norepinephrine), Glutamate, Glycine, Histamine and PEA (Phenethylamine). You can find out more about the test, see a sample report and collection instructions here. I can do the other Labrix hormone and adrenal tests but I prefer to do those separately with Genova or DUTCH if possible. See the Adrenal and Hormone tests below. Labrix tests can be done for children 0-16.
There is also a more Advanced Neuro test: the DD Comprehensive Biogenic Amines. This covers everything that the NeuroBasic does but a lot more markers to show how the enzymes are actually working. In other words, are you not producing them because the various enzymatic pathways inc MAO and COMT are not working very well? This can be crucial knowledge, especially in cases where normal treatment is not quite hitting the mark. It's a deeper look so that treatment can be more targeted if need be. Click to see a sample report and collection instructions (first morning void required). You can also see info on the extra markers here.
Histamine & Kryptopyrrole/Pyroluria Disorders
This area is less well-known, but it no less important. Dr Carl Pfeiffer discovered the link between histamine and pyrrole (or pyrole as some people spell it) levels with mental health disorders. Read the factsheets above for more on this, but I have listed the relevant tests for you.
The Histamine test is done via plasma or urine by Biolab, see here - they also do DAO with body histamine levels, see the Allergy Tests section for more on this. Note I will ask for urine histamine to be done for ease unless you ask specifically for blood. DAO is measured in blood only.
They also do the Kryptopyrroles (Pyroluria) Test for us. This can also be done for children.
Hints & Tips:
Q: Why is the histamine done in plasma and not whole blood?
A: I am aware that eg. Walsh protocol advises whole blood histamine and Biolab used to do it in whole blood but have now swapped to plasma or urine. I asked them why..
"We used to measure whole blood histamine levels but discontinued it in favour of plasma or urine histamine both of which we believe are more sensitive tests for histamine levels (plasma and urine are equally reliable). I know that the Walsh protocol is quite strict on the sample requirements, but in practice we don’t have any problems finding either high or low levels of histamine using the plasma and urine tests."
Q: Why don't I need to freeze my kryptopyrrole samples when other tests say I do?
A: Here is what Biolab says about it:
"There’s no harm in freezing krypto-pyrrole samples if a patient prefers to do that, but we have looked at this closely and samples left on the lab bench at ambient temperature do not decrease their kryptopyrrole value over a period of 5-10 days. Sensitivity to light and adding ascorbic acid to the sample (covered if patients use our test kits) are more important in terms of kryptopyrrole preservation.
Some people are so concerned about this they even send the samples on dry-ice to us from outside of the UK, but if we leave the samples at ambient temperature and re-test a week later the results are the same. Some other labs measure slightly different compounds (HPL etc) to diagnose pyroluria and it is possible that these compounds are more temperature sensitive.
Freezing doesn’t do any harm, so we welcome frozen samples if the patient/practitioner prefers this option."
Q: My kryptopyrrole results say they are within reference range yet you have said I may still have a problem. Why?
A: Biolab tell me that the average population scores about 0.02-0.03 so I generally think anything much above that, if the symptoms suggest it, may be worth a Zinc & B6 trial to see if it helps symptoms.
Q: The reference range looks different to other tests. Why is that?
A:. I asked Biolab and they said: "We measure the light absorbance after the chemical reaction to produce the “lavender” colour change that is traditionally used to diagnose the presence of kryptopyrroles in the urine (sometime referred to as the “Mauve factor”). The labs that report the results in mass units are calibrating the analysis against a specific standard and therefore just measuring one pyrrole compound (normally hydroxyhaemopyrrolin-2-one).
So, in other words, Biolab's test is more comprehensive and can't be compared to the reference ranges of other tests. There is no conversion from one to another. On the report, you take the second score after it has been 'corrected for osmolality'. I'll tell you in your results email.