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.
Many people have voiced their legitimate concerns with the potential overuse or over reliance on testing in general.
I only recommend tests where I feel they are needed and work on a very individual basis, and do not profit or otherwise gain from any such tests or their interpretations and reports.
Some of the more common tests I use in my practice
Test for Gut Dysbiosis: Checks the levels of the most common ‘friendly’ and ‘unfriendly’ aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Also checks for Candida, Yeasts and Stool pH. Other stool testing such as parasitology is also available if suggested.
Calprotectin: This is very useful where inflammation is present to ensure treatment is effective or to check for the presence of inflammation if the symptoms point that way. Inflammation is often detected where there is inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
SIgA: This is a marker of the intestinal immune system, our first line of defense, 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
Increased Intestinal Permeability: This looks for an enzyme in the stool – Alpha -1-antitrypsine, this enzyme is synthesised in the liver and is a non specific protease inhibitor in the serum. It is not broken down in the GI tract so where it is present it indicates inflammation and or increased intestinal permeability, otherwise known as ‘leaky gut’.
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.
Vitamin D: by blood, in clinic or at home. A very important Vitamin with deficiency linked with many immune and autoimmune disorders.
Adrenal Stress Index: Checks the levels of Cortisol and DHEA in the Saliva. Test performed at home, timed samples required. Kit provided by lab.
Urine Thyroid Hormones: Useful when blood tests come back as within range but symptoms suggest sub-clinical functioning of Thyroid. Checks T4, T3 and T3/T4 conversion.
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
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.