Is it worth the money and what can it tell you that other tests can't?
Functional tests can vary from stool, urine, saliva and blood tests are a really valuable tool that I use with clients to help identify the root cause and contributing factors to chronic health condition or symptoms, quickly. These tests, not available on the NHS, can measure a wide variety of markers which can show how your body is functioning. They lift the bonnet and looks at your engine! Depending on the test, prices can vary between £35 - £385 for the tests I use and I only recommend them if the results are likely to direct your plan.
“Test don’t guess” is what I was taught during my 5 years of training in nutritional therapy. And it’s so true. With a plethora of chronic health concerns that present with similar symptoms, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole. The direction that these results can give can take out that guess work and personalise a protocol that is targeted to your unique needs. Your body's chemistry is unique, like a fingerprint - testing can uncover your individual nutrient needs so you can give your body exactly what it needs to live your best life! In short, you can get to where you want to be in a shorter period of time.
I use testing a lot for clients with gut issues and chronic fatigue and my clients and I find the results invaluable. This blog will look at some of the most common tests I run in clinic and why:
Genova GIFX stool testing
Metabolomix organic acid urine testing
DUTCH dried urine testing
DNA Life Genetic testing
Conditions that merit functional testing – if you can measure it, you can manage it:
The health of the entire body is dependent on a healthy gut and gut microbiome. Digestive issues are one of the most common issues I see, and often other seemingly unrelated health conditions find the root cause or contributing factors from the gut. I see a lot of IBS and sometimes there are underlying causes of IBS that go undetected by conventional testing. Inflammation, maldigestion, parasites, yeast, and bacterial imbalances can all contribute to IBS. Identifying these abnormalities through stool testing allows me to make protocol adjustments that can improve your symptoms.
I work with GIFX (and sometimes GIMap) for stool testing and using the results I can put together a targeted protocol unique to your gut. And that’s where I can really make a difference.
When you can measure it, you can manage it.
Organic Acid testing (urine)...
These urine tests help to evaluate overall nutritional status and your individual requirements for key vitamins, mineral and antioxidants. I use this test to help identify nutritional deficiencies related to fatigue and mood issues as well as identifying if gut issues and low levels of your own body made antioxidants may be contributing to your health issues. Here I like Genova Metabolomix and also Mosaic Diagnosis OAT.
When you can measure it, you can manage it.
Sex & stress hormone testing (urine and saliva)....
Throughout our 30, 40, 50s and beyond, our hormones are ever changing. Unbalanced hormones contribute to a plethora of female health conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, PMS, breast and uterine cancer, lupus, perimenopausal symptoms – the list goes on. Testing the levels of your hormones both on their own and in relation to others, is key in identifying any risk and rebalancing hormonal health. Additionally, the test can be used to gather baseline measurements for the administration and monitoring of hormone replacement therapy.
The DUTCH test measures levels of sex and adrenal (stress) hormones and is a test I use a lot in clinic for because it shines a light on areas in our hormonal system that need attention through diet, lifestyle and possibly supplementation.
Genetic testing with dnalife...
Everything we do speaks to our genes—the food we eat, the exercise we do, our relationships, our environment. You’re either telling your genes to work for good health or for poor health. So we should be constantly working on how to give genes the right information to do the former.
I am a certified practitioner with dnalife and I can offer you tests to uncover your genes are and the best way you can use nutrition and lifestyle to make them express themselves in a way that is beneficial (or less problematic) for your health.
If you've tried everything and your health isn't shifting, perhaps it's time to look at your genes.
I also use labs such as Medichecks who can offer comprehensive blood tests with over 57 markers – far above what can be requested from your GP. I would use these for most conditions as blood is full information that we need. It gives us a wide ranging picture of what is going on in the body.
Want to find out what tests would help?
Note: as a Nutritional Therapist, I do not diagnose or prescribe, however I do use functional nutrition testing to help find the best way to support my client’s health.
My programmes are designed with people like you in mind. I see many clients who get very low at this time of year and they all have different symptoms, family health histories, lifestyles, work and family life which may may have contributed to where they are. This is why a personalised nutrition and lifestyle rather than a 'one size fits all' gets such good results. Book your free Reboot your Health 20 minute call to discuss your health goals and if testing would benefit you.