A Newport lab can determine which vitamins and minerals can help chronic pain sufferers
A urine test that measures imbalances in the body and suggests vitamins and minerals to correct them is proving to help chronic pain sufferers.
Ethos Labs in Newport developed the Foundation Pain Index, described as an objective, diagnostic tool that doctors and patients could use across the country to uncover the biochemical origins of pain.
"Foundation Pain Index is the only objective, non-invasive tool that can do that and it works with all different biomarkers that span four different categories: nerve health, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and neurotransmitter stress," Lab Director Majors Badgett, Ph.D., explains. "And if anyone has a biometer that is abnormal compared to a normal healthy patient production, that means that it could be contributing to the pain that they're experiencing."
Some patients who have experienced pain for 30-40 years have five, six or seven abnormalities, says Badgett. In an Ethos study of 17,000 chronic pain patients, 77% had at least one abnormality.
Badget says many results show deficiencies patients have likely already heard of. "You have very common things that people would recognize like vitamin B12, vitamin B6, glutathione, CoQ10, stuff like that... serotonin that you see in commercials," Badgett says.
Courtney Eick is director of nursing at a detox facility. She says a lot of times people get addicted to drugs to cover up their pain. She has used the Foundation Pain Index on her patients and says it works.
"We were seeing people with scores of 100 decrease even into like the 50s or 40s," she says. "We were seeing significant decreases. We would test the moderately high to high scores after they started their treatment — we would test them every month — and we were seeing amazing results."
Badgett is also getting positive feedback. "I was just talking with a doctor who indicated a patient took Foundation Pain Index and for the first time in the doctor's history, the patient requested a lower dosage of their opioid."
Many factors cause pain. For example, a mental health condition can magnify something like fibromyalgia or lower back pain. Badgett says it's important to use targeted approaches like the Foundation Pain Index to figure out where that pain is coming from.
The test is available nationwide. Badgett says Medicare may pay for the Foundation Pain Index. It's unclear whether all private insurance companies do.