Immunology is a multi-faceted area of study. It is the combination of all body systems and the cells that make up the immune system. All of our body systems require immunological markers and cells in order to function optimally. When our immune system is compromised, our body is put in an unfortunate position of putting ourselves at risk for various types of infection and even cancer. The following tests help our Calgary naturopathic doctors to evaluate how your immune system is operating.
Inflammatory markers: Inflammation is one of the key reactions that occurs within our immune systems. Inflammatory markers are non-specific indicators of the levels of inflammation within our body, that can be used to evaluate immune and auto-immune reactions. These tests include: ESR, C-reactive protein, ANA and Ferritin.
Quantification of Immunoglobulins: IgG, IgA, IgM. Adequate numbers of these immunoglobulins are necessary in optimal functioning of our immune system. A deficiency in one or more of these can be the reason behind sub-optimal immune function. Measurement of immunoglobulins give us a good indication of any deficiencies that may be present and how we can guide treatment related to immune disorders.
In addition to these total levels, subclasses of IgG 1-4 should also be measure to identify any deficiencies within a subclass.
Natural Killer (NK) cell testing: NK cells are white blood cells that can respond immediately to infection. They have a faster action on foreign bodies than T cells for example, because NK cells do NOT require foreign cells to be marked before they can recognize them. Optimal NK cell activity is important for our immune response. Diagnostic blood tests are able to measure both the number of NK cells in your body, and their activity, or ability to function.