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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Food Intolerance & Sensitivity Tests
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.
Environmental & Organic Acid Tests