7 Health Screening Assessments to Get Your Wellness on Track
When it comes to improving your health and wellness, it can be difficult to know where to begin. You may experience various symptoms that make you feel unwell, but the underlying cause or causes of those symptoms can be difficult to pinpoint. Or, you may have a health goal but aren’t sure what the best way is to get there.
Getting on the right path to wellness first requires having an accurate picture of your health. Health screening assessments can give you the information you need to map out the best path for you. The following health screening assessments are some of the best at creating a picture of wellness that you can then use as a road map to reach your desired destination.
Also known as Applied kinesiology (AK), muscle testing is used to find muscle weaknesses that are linked to problems within the body. Applied kinesiology practitioners test the strength of a muscle by pressing against it, and may also introduce a stimulus to see if the muscle gets weaker, stronger, or remains the same.
A stimulus for a muscle could be a supplement, food, emotion, or even the memory of a past event. The stimulus essentially interacts with the body’s energy field and the body responds by strengthening or weakening the muscle being tested. So if you introduce an iron supplement into the body’s energy field and the muscle weakens, for example, your body is essentially saying it doesn’t want that supplement.
Muscle testing may reveal nutritional deficiencies, nervous system problems, and other imbalances in the body. However, the International College of Applied Kinesiology has stated that muscle testing should only be used as part of a complete diagnostic examination.1
Blood tests are one of the most widely used health screening assessments. Many things related to the condition of your body will show up in your blood. Some of the most helpful blood tests, or panels, are:
- Metabolic/chemistry panel – This panel tests substances in the blood related to metabolism such as potassium, sodium, chloride, and glucose. The results can determine how well your kidneys are functioning, how acidic your blood is, and whether you have healthy glucose levels.
- Cholesterol panel – Also called a lipid panel, this panel is used to help determine the health of the cardiovascular system. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood put you at risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Thyroid test – Roughly 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease,2 so it’s important to have your thyroid tested often. The most common thyroid tests are the TSH test and the FT4 test.
- Complete blood count – This panel can provide a wealth of information about your overall health. It measures red blood and white blood cell levels to help detect abnormalities in the liver, kidneys, and vascular system.
- Micronutrients test – Nutritional deficiencies can cause a multitude of health problems. A micronutrients test can pinpoint these deficiencies by measuring levels of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and metabolites in the body.
- Testosterone and DHEA tests – Testosterone deficiency is increasingly common in men, and can effect older women as well. This blood test can determine if you have healthy testosterone levels. Levels of DHEA, which is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen, can also be tested.
Allergy tests are used to determine if you are allergic to any known substances. An allergen can negatively affect the body when it is inhaled, ingested, or comes in contact with the skin.
A skin test is probably the most well-known method for measuring allergic reaction. An allergen may be placed in liquid and then placed on the skin, injected into the dermis, or administered through a patch. After an allergen is administered, the practitioner monitors the response.
A blood test may also reveal if antibodies that fight certain allergens are lacking in the body. Food allergens may also be detected by a simple elimination diet, which involves removing foods from your diet, then adding them back one at a time and observing the response.
Urine and saliva tests
Like blood tests, urine and saliva tests are also widely used health screening assessments. The below tests may utilize either saliva or urine samples:
- Heavy metals test – An excess of heavy metals in the body can cause major health problems. A heavy metals test can measure levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, and other harmful metals in the body.
- Hormones test – This test can reveal imbalances in specific hormones and help determine risk of breast and prostate cancer. Measuring hormone levels in the urine specifically provides the most accurate picture of the function and balance of hormones in the body.3
- Neurotransmitters test – Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that help regulate mood, sleep, heart rate, and other body functions. A neurotransmitters test can reveal neurotransmitter imbalances.
- Adrenal test – Adrenal hormone production varies throughout the day, so an adrenal test involves gathering samples every few hours. These tests can determine whether you are high or low in the key adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA.
Heart-rate variability test
Our autonomic nervous system controls many functions in the body, including heart rate, breathing, and digestion. A heart-rate variability (HRV) test can help identify imbalances in this crucial system. The test works by simply measuring the variation in time between each heartbeat.
While there are wristbands and other personal devices that can measure heart-rate variability, the most accurate way to obtain these measurements is with an electrocardiogram. By observing the responses with the accompanying software, a healthcare practitioner can assess the health of the autonomic nervous and cardiovascular system, as well as the effects of diet and lifestyle changes over time.
Because the autonomic nervous system controls stress response, regular heart-rate variability testing can give you the feedback you need to help you manage your stress more effectively—leading to improvements in many other areas of your health.
Bio-electrical impedance analysis
Bio-electrical impedance analysis (BIA), is a health screening assessment that measures body composition. More specifically, BIA measures electrical impedance in the body to determine the amount of total body water. This measurement is then used to estimate the amount of fat in the body in relation to lean body mass.
BIA is often used as part of a nutrition assessment, but it can also provide valuable information about the state of your overall health. With this assessment, you can see if your body fat percentage and hydration levels are in the ideal range. Furthermore, by getting BIA measurements regularly, you can chart your progress over time as you make nutrition and lifestyle adjustments.
While there were valid concerns over the accuracy of BIA in the past, the latest whole-body BIA devices offer a high level of accuracy. The benefit of BIA can also be greatly enhanced by combining it with bio-electrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA).4
ZYTO bioscan health screening
A ZYTO bioscan is another useful health screening assessment that utilizes galvanic skin response to inform wellness decisions. A scan is similar to a muscle test in that a stimulus is introduced to the body and the body responds. With a ZYTO scan, however, thousands of digital signatures representing actual items can be introduced to the body in a matter of minutes.
A scan can not only show whether the body had a “yes” or “no” response to each digital signature, but also show numerically how significant that response was. Positive, or “yes”, responses in a ZYTO scan are referred to as biologically coherent responses.
Wellness professionals use ZYTO technology to ask better questions regarding a client’s health & wellness, as well as recommend biologically coherent nutritional products, wellness services, and lifestyle changes.
1. “Applied Kinesiology.” Andrew Weil, M.D. Drweil.com.
2. “General Information/Press Room.” American Thyroid Association. Thyroid.org.
3. “Why Test Hormones?” Meridian Valley Lab. Meridianvalleylab.com.
4. Walter-Kroker, A., A. Kroker, M. Mattiucci-Guehlke, & T. Glaab. “A practical guide to bio-electrical impedance analysis using the example of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” Nutrition Journal 10, no. 35 (2011).