Functional Laboratory Testing
In conventional medicine, laboratory testing is primarily used to aid in the making of a diagnosis. Follow on testing less emphasized since conventional medicine seeks to suppress symptoms, and pays little interest to the triggers and causes of dysfunction. In most cases testing is limited to an annual event to gauge whether the condition is worsening.
In Functional Medicine however, physicians look for the underlying processes that cause symptoms. Laboratory testing plays an essential role in both the diagnostic process and in the monitoring of the condition. Whilst symptoms might vary day by day, the underlying biomarkers of dysfunction tell the full story about progress. Once the underlying dysfunctions are identified, for example inflammation, immune reactivity or poor energy production, your physician can measure the effects of any treatments clearly on those same markers and be sure of the effectiveness of the treatment, even if symptoms have not yet improved.
Common investigations in Functional Medicine testing may include:
- Comprehensive analysis of the digestion process including breakdown of foods, nutrient absorption, the gut environment and gut associated immunological functions, via a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA).
- Assessment of how our body turns food i.e. protein, carbohydrate, and lipids, into energy through Organic Acids Analysis in urine.
- Analysis of different type of amino acids and fatty acids in our blood or urine.
- Assessment of the balance of our neurotransmitters. (Neurotransmitter profile).
- Analysis of hormone levels in urine, blood or saliva.
- Analysis of the presence of essential nutritional elements and toxic elements (Nutrient and toxic minerals in blood, urine or hair).
- Analysis of proteins in foods or environment that cause acute allergy or chronically activate our immune system.
In the following sections, we outline some of the more common laboratory tests we use.