What are functional lab tests?

Functional lab tests aim to evaluate your health by assessing things like nutritional status, gut health, hormone balance, and identifying any toxins or pathogens present that could be contributing to poor health. It is a very effective way to pinpoint the root causes of your health issues. 

As a functional lab test practitioner based in Devon, I work with a variety of testing companies in the UK, Europe and America who offer advanced lab testing that is not always available through your GP. 

Full interpretation and explanation of the findings of your functional lab test results will be provided during your follow-up consultation. Results are used in conjunction with information collected at the initial consultation to determine diet, lifestyle and supplement recommendations and to fine-tune your nutrition plan, allowing for a more personalised and targeted strategy, and faster results. It is also more cost-effective in the long run, as getting answers on why your symptoms are happening means we don’t waste time adopting ineffective strategies.

See below for examples of tests that I use frequently with clients.   

Gastrointestinal & Microbiome Tests

Invivo Clinical – Gi Ecologix £359 A comprehensive stool test that analyses the health of the gut and microbiome. It analyses the abundance and diversity of beneficial bacteria, identifies any pathogenic bacteria, yeast or parasites that may be causing a problem, as well as several markers of intestinal health including calprotectin (inflammation), zonulin (leaky gut), secretory IgA (immunity) and pancreatic elastase (digestive ability). This test is very useful if you have taken antibiotics in the past and want to see how your gut microbiome has responded, if you have chronic gut issues and need answers or if you are planning to have a baby and want to work on optimising your gut microbiome. Click here for a sample report.
Invivo Clinical – Oral Ecologix £139

This test assesses the oral microbiome – a key ecosystem in the gut-brain connection, and for cardiovascular and female reproductive health. Dysbiosis, in the form of infection, injury, dietary changes and risk-associated factors (e.g. smoking) may disrupt the biofilm community, favouring colonisation and invasion of pathogens. This can lead to chronic inflammation and ultimately, the development of local and systemic diseases, such as gingivitis, periodontitis, oral cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration. However, much of this damage is reversible if pathogenic communities are reduced, and balance is restored.

Click here for a sample report.

Invivo Clinical – SIBO Lactulose Breath Test £165

This breath test helps to identify whether or not you have a bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine. SIBO is more common with antibiotic use, stress and thyroid deficiency. SIBO can lead to many gut symptoms, including constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas, hormonal imbalance and poor absorption of nutrients.

Click here for a sample report.

Invivo Clinical – Vaginal Ecologix £199

This test requires a vaginal swab and takes a comprehensive look at the vaginal microbiome. It is the most technologically advanced vaginal microbiome profile available and provides accurate analysis of the microbiota abundance, potentially problematic bacteria/yeast, inflammatory markers and pH. The vaginal tract hosts over 200 species of microorganisms and is a complex ecosystem comprised of fluctuating populations that impact host immune responses and help to maintain balance. Disruption of the bacteria in the vaginal tract, termed dysbiosis, has been linked to a multitude of disorders including bacterial vaginosis (BV), premature delivery in pregnant women, infertility, miscarriages and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Analysis and monitoring of the vaginal microbiome is therefore extremely important for health and can be used to inform treatment plans and lifestyle factors.

Click here for a sample report.

Precision Point Diagnostics – Advanced Intestinal Barrier Assessment £320

This test looks at the integrity of the gut lining to assess whether or not you have intestinal permeability (‘leaky gut’), and your levels of the DAO enzyme, which is responsible for breaking down histamine. It also looks at your level of LPS, which is an endotoxin that bacteria produce, which can cause issues with intestinal permeability, as well as metabolic issues and chronic systemic inflammation.

Click here for a sample report.

Blood Tests

Medichecks – Ultimate Performance Blood Test £199 + approx £30 blood draw This test looks at vitamin D, B12, folate, iron, hormones, liver and kidney health and thyroid health to give me a broad overview of many different areas of health.
Invivo Clinical Th1/Th2 balance £120 This test aims at detecting alterations of the Th1/Th2 balance of the immune system. Hashimoto’s is usually characterised by a Th1 dominant immune system, but this is not always the case and Th1 and Th2 dominance are addressed very differently so it can be important to determine your particular pattern. This test can also be used in adjunct to SIBO testing, especially if a SIBO test comes back negative, but symptoms persist. This test can aid in the diagnosis of hydrogen sulphide-producing bacteria overgrowth.

Thriva omega 6:3 ratio

This is a finger prick test to check your omega 6:3 ratio. If this is out of balance your inflammation levels will generally be higher. Chronic inflammation can have far reaching effects on many areas of health as well as increasing your risk for certain diseases.

Regenerus Thyroid Monitor and Vitamin Home Test £75 This panel combines recognised thyroid markers with the addition of vitamin markers, and markers for autoimmunity and inflammation for a comprehensive assessment of thyroid function. Brain fog, low energy, fertility issues and weight gain can all be related to poor thyroid function. The following markers are included – C-reactive protein, ferritin, vitamin D, vitamin B12, TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), free T3, free T4, TPO (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies), TBG (Thyroxine-binding globulin).

Click here for a sample report.

Food Intolerance & Sensitivity Tests

Great Plains Laboratory Food Map with Candida + Yeast (IgG) £236 A blood test (finger prick or blood sample) that analyses IgG response to 190 commonly consumed foods, as well as to candida and yeast.

Click here for a sample report.

Other Cyrex Panels Cyrex Labs is an advanced clinical laboratory focusing on mucosal, cellular, and humoral immunology and specializing in antibody arrays for complex thyroid, gluten, and other food-associated autoimmunities and related neuro-dysregulation. Cyrex offers environmental trigger (food and chemicals), barrier permeability and multiple organ self- tissue antibody testing. The following panels are available through Cyrex: Array 2: Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen Array 3: Wheat/Gluten Reactivity and Autoimmunity Array 4: Gluten Associated Cross Reactive Foods and Sensitivity Array 5: Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Screen Array 6: Diabetes Autoimmune Reactivity Screen Array 7: Neurological Autoimmune Reactivity Screen Array 7x: Neurological Autoimmune Reactivity Screen Expanded Array 8: Joint Autoimmune Reactivity Screen Array 10: Multiple Food Immune Reactivity Screen Array 10-90 Food Immune Reactivity Screen Array 11: Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen Array 12: Pathogen Immune Associated Reactivity Screen Array 20: Blood Brain Barrier Permeability Screen Array 22: Irritable Bowel/ SIBO Screen
Cyrex – Wheat/Gluten Proteome Reactivity & Autoimmunity £258 This is a cutting-edge test to help determine if there is immune reactivity to a variety of proteins found in wheat and other grains. It is important to realize that gluten sensitivity is not “black and white” but rather falls on a spectrum. One of the main components of wheat is gluten, which can be broken down into gliadins and glutenins which are the two main components of the gluten fraction of wheat. Cyrex Array 3X tests for what is termed the gluten proteome, which are the various protein fragments of gluten that can trigger immune reactions in the body. This is very helpful test if conventional celiac testing is negative despite clinical suspicion for gluten sensitivity. Click here for a sample report.

Hormone Tests

DUTCH Complete £239 DUTCH Complete offers an extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones plus melatonin, 8-Hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine and six organic acids to help track and evaluate hormone health, as well as identify the root causes of hormone imbalances. It is the most cutting-edge way to truly evaluate hormones, because it doesn’t just measure hormones, but also something called “metabolites”, which are a measurement of hormone production and hormone breakdown. DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) can provide insights into conditions such as menopause, PCOS, weight gain, fatigue, low libido, premenstrual syndrome, fibroids, endometriosis, oestrogen dominance, low libido, sleep issues and mood disorders. Click here for a sample report.
DUTCH PLUS Sex Hormone Test £269 The DUTCH Plus is a combined panel that includes the DUTCH Complete and the DUTCH CAR (Cortisol Awakening Response). Click here for a sample report.

Regenerus – Comprehensive Adrenal Stress Test with Cortisol Awakening Response

An easy to use home salivary test which evaluates adrenal function and fluctuations in the circadian rhythm. The test measures four cortisol time points, DHEA and secretory IgA, to determine how well the adrenal glands are functioning. The adrenal glands are involved in the stress response, and produce hormones that have an influence on metabolism, thyroid function plus female and male hormones. The production of these hormones can be altered by internal and external stressors, and this can result in a wide variety of disorders. Imbalances in these hormones can result in a wide range of symptoms from low energy, exhaustion, burnout and sleep problems, to loss of drive and motivation, blood sugar dysregulation, depression and hormonal problems.

Click here for a sample report.

Environmental & Organic Acid Tests

Great Plains Laboratory – Organic Acids Test £231 The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of overall health with 76 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, mental health, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The cause of these high levels could include oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, acquired infections, as well as genetic factors. The Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only OAT to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses. Organic acids are chemical compounds excreted in the urine of mammals that are products of metabolism. Click here for a sample report.
Great Plaines Mycotox Test £285 This is a urine test which screens for mould toxicity. It looks at 11 different mould toxins, from 40 different species of mould. Mycotoxins are some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment. Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by certain types of fungi and mould, which can overgrown in buildings, vehicles, and food. A majority of mycotoxin exposures are through food ingestion or airborne exposure. Diseases and symptoms linked to mycotoxin exposure include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and liver damage. Click here for a sample report.
Great Plains Laboratory – Glyphosate £128.50 or £58 as an add-on to other GPL urinary tests Glyphosate is the world’s most widely produced herbicide. It can enter the body directly through the skin, by eating treated foods or drinking contaminated water. It is known to disrupt the gut microbiome and has been related to metabolic disorders, diabetes, depression, autism, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune conditions. Recent studies have also correlated exposure to glyphosate with many chronic health problems including hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, intestinal infections, dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, inflammatory bowel disease, renal disease and cancer. Click here for a sample report.
Great Plains Laboratory – GPL-Tox (Toxic Organic Chemical Exposure) £273.50 The GPL-TOX screens for 172 different environmental pollutants using a single urine sample including organophosphate pesticides, phthalates, benzene, xylene, vinyl chloride, pyrethroid, insecticides, acrylamide, perchlorate, diphenyl phosphate, ethylene oxide, acrylonitrile and more. The profile also includes Tiglylglycine (TG), a marker for mitochondrial disorders resulting from mutations of mitochondrial DNA. These mutations can be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, infections, inflammation and nutritional deficiencies. The GPL-Tox pairs perfectly with other Great Plains Laboratory tests to assess for exposure to common environmental toxins. These include the Organic Acids Test (OAT) and the Glyphosate Test. Exposure to environmental pollutants has been linked to many chronic diseases. Click here for a sample report.
Doctor’s Data – Urine Toxic Metals £97.50 Accumulations of heavy metals can occur in the human body in response to occupational exposures or to environmental exposures from toxic release in air, soil, or industrial waste streams. Chronic low-level exposure to toxic metals can result in significant retention in the body that can be associated with a vast array of adverse health effects and chronic disease, includng cardiovascular issues, diabetes, cognitive decline, depression, skin rashes, cancer, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive issues, inflammation, kidney function and nutritional deficiencies. The test analyses the level of the following metals – uranium, tungsten, tin, thorium, thallium, tellurium, platinum, palladium, nickel, mercury, lead, gadolinium, cesium, cadmium, bismuth, beryllium, barium, arsenic, antimony, aluminum. Click here for a sample report.