Many parents are concerned about the nutrition status of their child. This may be due to a “picky eater”, low appetite, easy bruising, fatigue, or other symptoms. At a typical, non-functional medicine pediatric practice these concerns may be to dismissed or at best inadequately evaluated. Drawing blood levels of vitamins and minerals does not always the best way to identify deficiencies. This is because they don’t give a good assessment of which vitamins and minerals are actually getting inside cells to be useful. It also does not identify if the the stores in the body are full and replete.
The most effective way of evaluating a child’s nutrition status involves two things. First, a physical exam that is focused on signs of deficiencies. And second, laboratory work that includes blood and urine, such as Genova Diagnostics’ NutrEval or test panels from Doctor’s Data, Inc. Even for little children, useful information can be obtained from blood spot tests by pricking the finger to get a few drops of blood.