Why use functional medicine tests?
I can assist you in arranging a number of different functional tests. Specialist laboratories provide a range of tests that require either blood, urine, faecal or saliva samples. The main value of these forms of tests is the ability to monitor change. The results give a picture of where you are now and the impact the personalised programme has on your unique system.
These tests can include : Inflammation markers, hormones, vitamins and minerals, gut ecology including bacteria and parasites, nutrigenomics, essential fatty acids and standard hematology profiles.
A number of laboratories conduct tests to evaluate levels of sex hormones. Hormone testing provides information about the impact that shifting hormone levels can have in women during perimenopause and menopause. The scientific literature confirms that hormone imbalances can be associated with common symptoms such as:
▪ Hot flushes
▪ Mood instability
▪ Weight gain
▪ Low sex drive and performance issues
▪ Sleep disturbances
▪ Altered fat metabolism
▪ Altered blood-sugar control
▪ Vaginal atrophy
▪ Hair Loss
Imbalanced hormone production affects a wide range of body functions, producing symptoms that negatively affect the quality of life. Identification and targeted treatment of hormonal imbalances using nutritional therapy improves symptoms and enhances quality of life.
People often say that genetic testing is ‘scary’ and they would rather not know. However, knowing your genetic predisposition is both empowering and motivating and often provides the drive and incentive to making dietary and lifestyle changes. It provides insight about how to eat and what to feed your genes’ thereby maximising your current and future well being and health. It may also provide some clues as to why you may have certain health predispositions.
The nutrigenomic tests show certain variations on some genes – Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and these can be affected by specific dietary and lifestyle interventions. This may then provide invaluable information to assess whether you may need extra help detoxifying toxins and hormones, may need higher amounts of certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, or that you may need extra support in breaking down neurotransmitters
Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid that the body, under normal circumstances, converts to methionine (a powerful antioxidant). However, when the body’s chemistry is out of balance, homocysteine levels increase and it becomes toxic. High homocysteine is linked to more than 100 serious medical conditions including heart attack and coronary heart disease (homocysteine is more predictive than cholesterol in assessing cardiovascular disease risk) as well as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, weight loss, thyroid disease, depression, problem pregnancies, miscarriage and birth defects.
Adrenal Stress Profile
The Adrenal Stress Profile is a saliva hormone test that gives accurate indications to your bio-chemical stress function. This test works by measuring your vital stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA. The adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA function influence metabolism, anti-inflammatory response, our thyroid function and our resilience or resistance to stress.
Diseases and conditions associated with “adrenocortex stress” include: anxiety, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, hypoglycaemia, high blood pressure, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction and a weak immune system.
Once measurement of your hormone levels is made, changes in lifestyle and nutrition can be made to positively impact your cortisol and DHEA levels to improve your energy and emotional state, your resistance to disease and general sense of well-being.
Essential Fatty Acids Test
Essential fatty acids are crucial to every cell in your body. For example, low amounts of omega 3 and raised omega 6 are associated with a heightened inflammatory response. This is understood to be the basis of many pain related conditions. Mental well being also relies on healthy fats; low levels or an inability to absorb them from the diet has been associated with depressive states.