General Precision Point Diagnostics February 1, 2024

The fear of needles (trypanophobia) affects up to 25% of adults and as many as 2 in 3 children. The fear of needles can extend to phlebotomy, the process of drawing blood. This fear can prevent people from getting life-saving medical care. This can also stop the practitioner from being able to assess the state of a patient’s health through testing when that test requires a blood draw. This is especially true when a test should be repeated at regular intervals in order to track the progression of disease or treatment or to have a regular comparison to baseline as part of an appointment regimen.

People with trypanophobia awaiting their blood test may demonstrate:

  • Fear, anxiety (or even panic attacks)
  • Palpitations or fainting from a drop in blood pressure
  • Trouble sleeping from contemplating their blood draw
  • Avoidance of the doctor’s office and manufacturing excuses for cancellation
  • Refusing all but the most important blood draws 
  • Limiting how much blood they’ll allow to be drawn at one time

Understand that many people dislike needles and phlebotomy, but here we are talking about phobias where fear is elevated to an irrational level. This phobia is very real to the patient and may mean they refuse even life-saving treatments. Even those patients with this phobia who might consent to needles may bargain and only agree to a limited set of experiences. This can mean that a patient might consent to vaccinations or treatments, but not to testing that requires blood or serum. What to do in these situations to still ensure that you can test your patients effectively for the establishment or progression of various conditions?

Other than suggesting therapy and being as kind as possible, one solution is to utilize tests that require no blood draw. Although this won’t cover all testing, it should be your first consideration when dealing with a patient with a fear of needles. Even if all testing can’t be done, you may still be able to get a snapshot of their health and be able to repeat that assessment reliably in the future. Ask yourself- Is there an effective alternative to a whole-blood or serum test that can be utilized instead?

Let’s look at some possible alternatives available from Precision Point Diagnostics:

GI-MAP™ (Stool Test)

Research overwhelmingly indicates that gut health impacts overall health. The gut microbiome, in particular, plays a critical role in mediating the effects of diet and other factors on health, including digestive, immune, metabolic, and neuroendocrine functions. Assessing GI health with the proper tools can help practitioners get to the root cause of chronic illness. The GI-MAP stool test utilizes cutting-edge, Quantitative PCR technology to provide a true DNA/PCR-based stool test. This technology has high sensitivity, specificity, and a rapid turnaround.

The GI Pathogens section includes Bacterial Pathogens, Parasitic Pathogens, and Viral Pathogens:

  • H. pylori & Virulence Factors
  • Commensal/Keystone Bacteria
  • Opportunistic/Overgrowth Microbes
  • Fungi/Yeast
  • Viruses
  • Parasites

Since a stool test is unobtrusive, involves no needles, and can be performed at home, not only might it be a test that would be agreed to by those with phobias about needles, but also those afraid of doctor visits in general. If this test doesn’t suit exactly, try one of our other stool tests.

Comprehensive Heavy Metals Urinalysis (Urine)

Another do-at-home test, this time using a urine sample. This test can be an alternative to blood heavy metal tests, which can be fear-provoking, and to nail and hair tests which are much more expensive.

Daily, low-level exposures to toxic elements can accumulate and interfere with healthy cellular, tissue, and whole-body function. Precision Point Diagnostics’ Heavy Metal Urinalysis can be collected over 24 hours, or over a specified collection time, to detect toxic metal exposures. Integrative and functional medicine practitioners often assess heavy metals and nutrients in patients with neurological conditions, fatigue, headaches, heart disease, and even behavioral and learning disorders. This test can be run with a chelation challenge agent to detect total body burden of heavy metals. Urine analysis without a chelation agent gives information about everyday heavy metal exposures, such as arsenic from dietary sources.

Practitioners can also request nutrient elements in addition to toxics, to determine if the patient has adequate stores of protective nutrient elements. With regular testing, treatments to remove toxic metals can be carefully tailored so that treatment is effective, gentle, and only lasts as long as it is needed. Restoring your patients’ balance of nutrient elements and ridding them of harmful toxic metals can turn around illnesses that have been treatment-resistant and dramatically improve their quality of life.

Amino Acids Profile (Urine)

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, but many people never learn that they fuel cellular energy production, they are converted into neurotransmitters, and they are vital for healthy detoxification. Precision Point Diagnostics’ comprehensive Amino Acid Profile measures 43 amino acids including the essential amino acids, such as tryptophan, methionine, and lysine. It goes much further, looking at nonessential amino acids such as tyrosine, glycine, glutamine, and more, which can give crucial clinical information about a patient’s neurological function, connective tissue synthesis, and glutathione precursors. The specimen can be collected as a first-morning urine or over 24 hours.

The Amino Acid Profile provides fundamental information about nutrient adequacy, including the quality and quantity of dietary protein, digestive disorders, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies—particularly folic acid, B12, B6 metabolism, zinc, and magnesium. It provides important diagnostic information about hepatic and renal function, availability of precursors of neurotransmitters, detoxification capacity, ammonia clearance, susceptibility to occlusive arterial disease (homocysteine), and many inherent disorders in amino acid metabolism.

This profile comes with a custom interpretive report to facilitate discussion and understanding of the test results. It also includes a customized amino acid supplement formula, based on the patient’s amino acid levels. With testing and individualized treatment to correct amino acid levels, your patient may feel marked improvements in brain function, mood, athletic performance, and overall wellness in a matter of weeks.

Advanced Adrenal Stress Test (Saliva)

Precision Point Diagnostic’s Adrenal Stress Test measures 4-point cortisol, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), and secretory IgA (sIgA) in a convenient saliva specimen. Cortisol has been found unbound in saliva samples, indicating a strong correlation to cortisol concentrations in serum. Checking patients for low or high cortisol over the course of the day is essential to address fatigue, insomnia, thyroid disorders, or weight gain. Many adrenal stress tests are blood-based- meaning that not only do they not give a graph of cortisol over the course of the day and night, but they do nothing to alleviate the fear of those who can’t stand needles.

Knowing exactly what your patient’s cortisol levels are throughout the day helps you customize an effective treatment to bring the cortisol curve- or circadian rhythm- back into balance. Findings from the Adrenal Stress Test can help to balance DHEA, a precursor hormone for estrogen and testosterone. The test also gives information about salivary sIgA, a critical player that prevents infection at the mucosal lining.

Save resources with this profile by identifying and treating only the patients who have adrenal dysfunction. For patients who have normal cortisol, DHEA, and sIgA, you can instead investigate and address other root causes of their fatigue, mood disorders, or thyroid dysfunction. Many clinics find the Precision Point Adrenal Stress Test to be a fundamental test, important for baseline assessment of all new patients-especially those that fear needles, phlebotomy, or doctor visits. This is another test that is done at home.

P88-DIY IgG/C3d (Micro-Sampling “Do It Yourself Collection”)

Our gold standard dietary antigen test is now available in a couple of collect-at-home versions. While the collect-at-home version is not entirely blood-free, it is phlebotomy-free and needle-free. Since it can be collected at home, this means it can be drop-shipped to your patient through our portal and they can collect their sample at home. All shipping materials are included and it has pre-paid delivery. Blood is involved, but only a tiny bit. The P88-DIY Dietary Antigen Test IgG/C3d is one single test combining IgG and complement (C3d) reactions to 88 foods all with the convenience of a finger stick but better, a powerful micro-sampling device! Traditional finger sticks typically have you stick your finger, and then collect on a card or piece of paper. While this is a start, there is not nearly enough blood extracted to run tests with many markers. The micro-sampling device is quick and relatively painless, and best of all can be done at home! The device itself uses tiny pricks versus a needle which is less painful, quick, and convenient. It is appropriate even for children, especially those who fear phlebotomy. 

Other food sensitivity tests may have a weak scientific basis or they may not give the full picture of food reactions. Some tests use live cell analysis, which is not a scientifically accepted sign of true food sensitivity or allergic reaction. Other antibody assays may measure total IgG antibodies only; they could miss food reactions that activate the inflammatory complement cascade.

P88 Dietary Antigen Test results can lead to more precise treatment plans and better patient outcomes. Studies show that patients given an elimination diet based on the results of our food allergy and sensitivity testing experienced fewer headaches and less abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Knowing exactly which foods your patient reacts to can help to avoid unnecessarily restrictive diets and treatment protocols that inadvertently expose your patient to his or her reactive foods.

The P88 Dietary Antigen Test interpretive report includes more restrictive and less restrictive elimination diets as well as an analysis of immune reactions by food groups. This customized report not only helps the clinician use at-a-glance results in clinical practice but also better ensures patient compliance.

Don’t let needle, blood, or office visit fear restrict the ability to give the best care to your patients. We know this won’t solve all problems with these issues, but consider these tests.

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