Functional Medicine laboratory testing can be an extremely useful tool, especially when working with Digestive, Endocrine and Autoimmune conditions, it helps me to clarify, hone in and target the areas which are out of balance, in a precise and much more effective way. In addition testing provides an excellent way to monitor your progress, especially with Endocrine issues such as the Thyroid in particular.
I only recommend tests where I feel they are needed and work on a very individual basis.
I do not profit or otherwise gain from any such tests or their interpretations and reports. I do not charge extra for the time I spend interpreting test results.
I do not order tests without a Consultation as it is important to work with each person and apply the results of any tests together with an understanding of the individual including symptoms and past medical history as well as lifestyle and dietary habits.
The Laboratories I work with are professional, reliable and use the latest technology. They are utilised by Doctors as well as Nutritional Therapists, Medical Herbalists and Functional Medicine Practitioners.
Some of the more common tests I use in my practice
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis: This is an extremely useful and in-depth test as it gives an excellent overview of the gut health and as we know, gut health impacts our whole health.
This is a Stool Test which checks the following:
- The most common beneficial aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as any unbalanced and dysbiotic ( Toxic) Bacteria.
DNA Susceptibility for natural agents is provided so that we know how to eradicate dysbiotic bacteria if they are present.
- Candida species and other Yeasts on a culture and on a microscopic examination also
- Stool pH
- Markers of Digestion and Absorption; Elastase Enzyme which is a marker of digestive pancreatic function, as well as checking for malabsorption of fats protein and carbohydrate.
- SIgA an important marker of the Intestinal Immune System and our first line of defence. When this is very low we may have issues with frequent infections or we may develop food intolerances, when it is high it may be a sign of inflammation or infection
- 5 Markers of Inflammation including Calprotectin and Lyzozyme which are important markers for IBD
- Parasitology is optional but often recommended.
SIBO Breath Test: I have been trained in the art of interpreting the breath test for SIBO ( Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) and find this a very useful test when looked at in conjunction with presenting symptoms.
The Organic Acid Test or OAT: This is a very enlightened test which is incredibly useful for complex and chronic conditions.
A Urine sample is sent to the lab where they check metabolites for many biochemical pathways including mitochondrial energy production, detoxification pathways, neurotransmitter turnover ( Dopamine and Serotonin) markers for oxidative stress and inflammation, mitochondrial B12 and folate levels, and markers for bacteria and yeast in the gut.
We can use this test also to give us an idea of where the bacteria is in the gut – large intestine or small intestine, helping me to decide on the best next step.
The Lab provides me with a full list of Nutrients which are likely to benefit ( with recommended dosages)
Food Intolerance: This checks the presence of IgG levels in the blood, it is specific for intolerance not allergy.
Food Allergy Panels are available if needed.
I rarely need to use the Food Intolerance Tests and my opinion is that they are often overused. In general I find that an Elimination and challenge diet is very effective at detecting issues with foods.
Vitamin D: by blood, in clinic or at home. A very important Vitamin with deficiency linked with many immune and autoimmune disorders as well as Hypertension.
Adrenal Stress Index: Checks the levels of Cortisol and DHEA in the Saliva. Test performed at home, timed samples required. Kit provided by lab.
Complete Thyroid Screen: This is a blood test which looks in depth at the thyroid function and checks Free T4, Free T3, TSH, Reverse T3 as well as the autoimmune antibodies present in Hashimotos and Graves Disease.
Female Hormone Panels: A variety of tests available to check status of hormone levels in menstruating women as well as peri menopausal and menopausal women. Useful where there are fertility issues, PMS, Endometriosis, irregular or heavy/painful bleeding. The most common form of Female Hormone Test I use is the Dutch Test which is a urine spot, checking the metabolites of hormones found in the urine. This is a very sensitive and accurate test.
Vitamins and Minerals: A blood test for the most common minerals can be very useful, especially where there are issues with the digestive system and/or the Thyroid. The mineral test checks levels of Zinc, Chromium, Magnesium ( Red Cell and serum) Iron and Manganese.
Vitamin B12 is very useful to check and I use either the Methyl-malonic acid ( urine) very sensitive or the Active B12 test which is much more sensitive then the general serum test used in orthodox medicine.
I have access to many more Vitamin and Nutrient tests but rarely need to use them.
Stomach Acid (HCL): Tests the level of ones stomach acid relating to digestion and impacting further systems. A simple test that is done at home at meal times.
Most kits are sent directly to you from the Laboratory once I have referred you, I do keep some kit’s for stool analysis and food intolerance at clinic.