Naturopathic doctors are trained to order and interpret blood test results. If you have done a recent blood test with your family doctor, you are encouraged to bring the results with you to your initial appointment or request to have a copy sent to your naturopathic doctor.
NDs are also able to requisition standard medical blood tests and can send you to Calgary Laboratory Services (CLS) to have your blood drawn. Please note that Alberta Health Services does not cover the cost of lab tests requisitioned by a naturopathic doctor at this time and therefore, you will be asked to pay your ND in advance for the test(s). Depending on your extended health benefit plan, laboratory tests may be covered.
In Alberta, your family doctor cannot test your vitamin D levels anymore. Being in the northern hemisphere, many people are deficient in Vitamin D and low levels of vitamin D are linked to depression, seasonal affective disorder, many skin conditions, thyroid dysfunction and other conditions.
If you are thinking about supplementation, it is always good to get a baseline vitamin D test done before you start supplementing or if you have been supplementing for a long time, it is always good to see where your levels are to ensure your body is absorbing it.
Testing levels twice per year is ideal – March is a great time because it is the end of Winter and UV rays are at their weakest strength reducing skin synthesis of vitamin D and then at the end of summer when UV rays have been the highest allowing for more optimal skin synthesis of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D can be tested through naturopathic doctors via Calgary Lab Services with a serum blood draw or a more sensitive assay through Rocky Mountain Analytical for a slightly higher cost.
In-house urinary testing can be done to assess for urinary tract infections or as part of your physical exam to provide a basic assessment of your kidney function, glucose metabolism, and hydration status.