Normal blood work, eating a balanced diet, exercising, managing stress, sleeping 8 hours a night and STILL lacking the energy to make it through the day? Does that sound like you? I know what you’re thinking, “but Dr. Sarah, I’m doing everything right”. You’re frustrated, I get it.
Unexplained fatigue and chronic fatigue can be debilitating and frustrating to deal with because regardless of what you’re doing, you never have more energy. The good news is we have a tool to help us get to the bottom of it – the OAT.
What is the OAT?
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) evaluates a urine sample to measure over 70 different metabolic markers. What does that mean? We can look at the functioning of our cellular processes, neurotransmitters, digestion, and microbiome, to name a few. We can see which ones are in overdrive and which ones are not working enough. By addressing these glitches with the proper intervention, you can see significant results.
Three Big Areas
The OAT can tell us a lot about your overall health. It is one of the key tests that I use in my office. But for today, lets focus on the following areas related to energy.
If you haven’t heard it from me, you’ve most likely heard it from someone else, but the mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. This is where energy is created, so if there is something wrong with our mitochondria then we’re not making enough energy. The OAT looks at the specific energy-producing pathways themselves and nutrients that may deficient and affecting the proper functioning of the mitochondria.
The OAT also looks at specific vitamins and antioxidant levels such as vitamins B12, B5, B6, C, and N-acetylcysteine (involved with detoxification and immune function), CoQ10 (which is critical to mitochondrial function), and biotin. This is one step beyond your regular blood work because the measurements we get from blood work are circulating levels of these nutrients. Using the OAT we are able to look at functional levels, meaning what our tissues are actually exposed to. It’s a more accurate and realistic measurement to translate into treatment.
I just love studying gut bugs and the microbiome, the collection of billions of bacteria, yeast, parasites etc in our gut. When the proportion of these bacteria is imbalanced, we can experience symptoms such as skin rashes, digestive problems, mood changes, or you guessed it – fatigue.
Using the OAT test we can assess different gut bugs to know what’s out of balance and how to target treatment. This test is particularly helpful for yeast (commonly referred to as candida) as well as giving us a look at the balance between yeast and bacteria. Whatsmore is that it can show the level of good gut bacteria which is more important to know then the bad guys in my opinion.
Is the OAT right for me?
After you’ve gone through your standard blood work, made lifestyle adjustments, and still don’t have any answers, this may be the time to look into the OAT test. It’s important to have someone experienced and qualified reading your results as that could make or break your treatment plan. Although it is an investment, it is an investment into your health, which should be a priority. This test can be purchased through many functional medicine doctors and naturopathic doctors, like me!