Organic Acids are a chemical compound excreted in the urine. Many organic acids result from the metabolic pathways our bodies use to transform food into energy. If the body has organic acids that are not functioning properly (too high or too low) this results in uncomfortable symptoms like headaches, joint pain, and often malabsorption.
Similar to other functions in the body, before treating organic acids we need to properly assess what organic acids are malfunctioning and to what extent. Diagnostic laboratory testing is highly recommended to create a personalized treatment plan. Organic acid profiling measures the byproducts of microbial metabolisms that are being excreted into the urine. This is useful in determining the fact if a patient has pathogenic microbial overgrowth. The most accurate lab testing takes place by assessing urine that has been collected for multiple hours.
In the past, stool samples were collected to test for organic acids. However, researchers are discovering that stool samples are providing a higher concentration of false positives. The increase in evidence shows that stool samples do not reflect the accurate state of the small intestine.
The reason why focusing on and testing organic acids is important is to reveal the underlying cause of an individual’s symptoms. Gut dysbiosis is common and determining the overflow of specific organic acids in urine leads practitioners to what blockages may be occurring due to a nutrient insufficiency.
Many organic acids are found in food. One organic acid, known as Benzoate, is found in packaged foods such as pickles, lunch meats, and is a natural ingredient of cranberries. This organic acid is produced by intestinal bacteria. Once we receive lab results stating Benzoate is high, an all-natural treatment plan is created. Products that eliminate benzoate from the system are the amino acid glycine and vitamin B5. In addition to these supplements, it is frequently recommended for individuals to take pre and probiotics as well as decrease their sugar intake. Although there are a multitude of organic acids, many are treated following the guidelines mentioned above.
It should be noted that while treating organic acids is necessary, practitioners should also be investigating the causes of malabsorption. Common causes of malabsorption include gluten/wheat sensitivities or other food allergens. In order to have optimal health, we need to have an optimal gut.
I always recommended lab testing when you have abnormal symptoms. Lab testing allows practitioners to really see what is occurring inside the body and create a personalized plan geared towards healing. Organic acid testing can reveal underlying issues and treating organic acids can help reduce symptoms and repair the damage that was being caused. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
University, Functional Medicine and Ronald Grisanti, directors. Advanced FDM Testing — Interpretation and Treatment of the GI Portion of the Organic Acid Test. Functional Medicine University – The Leader in Online Training in Functional Diagnostic Medicine, 2010, www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/members/446.cfm.
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