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Are Metametrix Tests Valid? Are the Treatment Suggestions Useful?

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Scotty81, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Scotty81



    As the title of this post says, I am asking if the tests that Metametrix uses are valid, and if the company is legitimate. I'm also wondering if anyone's health has improved from taking the supplements that these tests suggest might help.

    I'm writing for my 19-year old daughter who was diagnosed with CFS, FM and orthostatic intolerance one year ago. Her stomach has also never felt quite right after a prolonged viral illness when she was in 6th grade. Now, her stomach issues are worse though.

    After seeing many conventional docs for a variety of issues, a coworker recommended I take my daughter to a naturopath. My coworker's sister sees this naturopath and was personally helped based on the results of Metametrix tests. I had a phone conversation with the naturopath and she seemed legitimate. But, I read some reviews about Metametrix online, such as this one.

    The above posting is primarily concerned with another company, Doctor's Data, but Metametrix is mentioned as well.

    In all fairness, I've seen that posts such as the one above tend to discredit all of naturopathy too, in addition to companies that perform biochemical tests. So, I'm a little suspicious of those postings too. But, before taking my daughter to another facility, have her do another blood test, and try another supplement, I'd like to know if 1) the the tests measure valid parameters and 2) if patients have felt any improvement from taking nutritional supplements that these tests suggest.

    The Metametrix tests for nutrional deficiencies, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction, seem in line with what Dr. Sarah Myhill recommends in her eBook. Assuming her testing/treatment suggestions are valid, I would want to make sure that the laboratory the naturopath uses is worth it indeed. The tests are certainly expensive, and the last thing I would want to do is give my daughter a treatment that would harm her vs. help her. I'm not expecting conventional medicine docs to love naturopathic medicine or biochemical testing, but I am looking for some unbiased, science-based reviews of the tests.

    The additional link below, which specifically mentions Metametrix, makes me cautious as well.

    My daughter's doctor said she would be open to "alternative" tests, as long as they were based on scientific studies, and as long as the recommendations they provide are also based on science as well. I realize that not all of the treatment suggestions are going to be "double blind, placebo controlled studies", but I need to rely on more than ancedocal results before proceeding.

    However, I have seen several people post test results from Metametrix. And, I also noticed that Rich V has offered his interpretation of several of these results. So, I would be cautiously optimistic that tests such as the ION Profile GI Effects Profile tests might provide some useful information.

    Thank you in advance for any advice and experience you can share.

  2. pamb

    pamb Senior Member

    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    My husband, under the care of a pretty credible associate professor in the faculty of medicine at UofAlberta, has just had a full range of Metametrix done. Only some are back, but his Doc is already finding interesting things. I did ask if I could take the supplement suggestions at the end of the first report literally, and his opinion was no, this is a good part of the story but there is more to consider.

    Having said that, it was obvious hubby needs supplementation with Tryptophan and Tyrosine, as they were very low, whereas as Taurine, which I have been supplementing, was looking pretty good. It was pretty obvious digestion is impaired. No surprise to you I'm sure. My next meeting is Aug 2, then the full review some time after that so I'll have to remember to come back and post.

    Short story, if Dr. Stephen Genuis (hubby's new doc) uses them, I think there is some credibility. Dr. Genuis is no spring chicken and came to environmental medicine after decades as an obstetrician who started wondering about pre-natal health affecting babies. So he has a pretty conservative background before getting into all this.
  3. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Sorry to hear about that. There is nothing worse than having to deal with health issues in our own kids.

    Before further testing, I would like to call your attention to this thread: ME/CFS is a mast cell disorder (hypothesis). If the set of symptoms ring any bells, at least some of them, then an appointment with an immunologist might be in order.

    Good luck!
  4. richvank


    Hi, Scotty 81.

    I have analyzed quite a few Metametrix test results over the past several years. I have a copy of the book by Lord and Bralley that they sell, and it has been very helpful. However, I would agree that the computer-generated interpretations that come with the results, though helpful, do not represent the whole picture, particularly in ME/CFS, which is what I have been specializing in studying for 16 years. If a person has an understanding of the GD-MCB hypothesis for ME/CFS, more can be gained from the test results.

    With regard to reliability, I would say that my experience is that the test results are generally compatible with the symptoms that people have, as well as with results of other types of testing. Also, I would say that the results are generally mutually consistent between the various Metametrix tests, such as the various ones included in the ION profile. It is possible to use one type of test panel to help to interpret another because of this.

    I have found that experience is very helpful in understanding the test results. One error that people often make is to take the lab reference ranges too seriously, and only consider as problems those parameters that are in the "red zone."

    It should be noted that the lab reference ranges for Metametrix and for several other specialty labs are not based on
    studying a control group of healthy people. Instead, they have just considered averages of results from people who have requested their tests. To use a control group would cost money, and they have decided not to spend that money. Obviously, these people are generally not completely healthy, or they would not have ordered the tests! So you have to develop your own sense of when some of the parameters are too high or too low. The reference ranges are not too bad, but a high-normal or a low-normal can be meaningful on many of the parameters.

    I wouldn't pay attention to what Quackwatch says. Actually, whatever they criticize is probably pretty good. I understand that they have lost in court in several instances in which they have been challenged about their postings.

    Best regards,

    Ema likes this.
  5. Scotty81



    Thanks. Its encouragin to know that you've seen and read Metametrix literature and believe that the results are valid. Thanks for the tip about how they calculate their control ranges though. If you had not mentioned that, I would have assumed that the 95% confidence limit ranges were from a group of normals.

    Thanks again.
  6. drex13

    drex13 Senior Member

    Columbus, Ohio
    I was reading Quackwatch the other night. I have come to the conclusion that the Dr. who writes that is exactly the type of Dr. I would avoid like the plague. Very narrowminded, and if it didn't come out of a medical textbook from 50 years ago, it ain't true. Plus that site sucks, it's very difficult to navigate.
  7. pspa123


    In the space of two months, I had urine organic acid tests done at Metamatrix, ordered by different doctors. It was somewhat unusual but the second set was part of a larger panel and there was no way not to repeat it. The results were DRAMATICALLY different -- many things that were way out of range the first time came back normal and vice versa. On one marker it was way high the first time and undetectable the second time. No changes in diet, supplements, meds or anything else in between. When I called them they basically avoided any meaningful responses. Count me a major skeptic.

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