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Help! How Do I Know What My Triggers Are?

How much time have you wasted trying to figure out your unpredictable symptoms?


If you have an immediate reaction to something you ate, it makes sense that the food was involved.


If you feel awful when someone wearing perfume sits next to you, it makes sense that the perfume was involved.

But what about the symptoms that are there all the time?


You likely have some symptoms you haven’t been able to correlate to anything.



What about the fatigue? Your pain? The eczema? The incessant ear ringing? Headaches, brain fog, weakness, or other ongoing symptoms. These are all your body’s way of trying to communicate that something is wrong.

Figuring out what is at the root of those symptoms can take time and often requires the help of your doctor or wellness practitioner.

We’ve been making suggestions in recent posts about testing but thought a list you can show your doctor would be helpful. These ideas should provide a good starting point for a discussion on testing.

These tests all have a cost, and each practitioner will have tests that they prefer to use in their practice. It is important to consider your budget and health priorities when talking to your doctor or health team about testing.



Get a full list of the tests your doctor or medical practitioner suggests, and then ask which ones are most important for the symptoms you want to address.



Tests To Discuss


Discuss the different types of testing you can request with your Primary Healthcare provider, your medical team and/or your Naturopath. If they aren't able to request them, ask if they can refer you to someone who can. There is a common saying - Test, don't guess!


Gut Testing

  • comprehensive stool testing such as GI Effects or GI-MAP look at markers of maldigestion, microbial diversity, inflammation, and pathogenic infection.

  • breath tests for SIBO (available through certain MDs and Naturopaths)

  • serum tests for leaky gut such as lactulose-mannitol, lipopolysaccharide or zonulin tests (available through certain MDs and Naturopaths)

Infection

  • chronic infections – the type of test used will depend on the infection that is suspected

  • MARCONS testing by swabbing sinuses or cavitations

  • gut testing (see above)

Hormones

Toxins


Sleep study

  • at-home or in-lab tests can determine breathing and brainwave patterns associated with sleep apnea or hypoxia. Request from your Primary Care physician.

Foods & food compounds

Your Doctor, Naturopath or primary health care provider may have additional testing that best suits your health goals, but hopefully this list gives you a good starting point for figuring out some of the things that could potentially be your underlying triggers.




Testing you can do on yourself


Some triggers you have to figure out on your own. There aren’t lab tests for all the possible triggers.



You’ll have to do a bit of experimenting on yourself and document what is happening in a diary or using a tracking app like mySymptoms.



For example, try a few days with your WiFi and phone turned off. If your home has “smart” features or security systems in place, you might want to go spend a few days somewhere else.



Do you notice a difference in how you feel? Does sleep improve? Less brain fog?



 

You are the only one who can sense what is going on in your body.


Listen to it. Trust that it will tell you what your triggers are. And reach out to our Online HH Community to help connect with others who are doing the same work, deciphering those messages our bodies are sending. Let's help each other out!

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