Functional Medicine TestsNick Dale2023-12-04T15:05:23+00:00
Unlock Healing with Funtional Medicine Tests
Discover Hidden Issues Inside the Body. Pinpoint Underlying Bacteria, Fungal, Metabolic & Toxicity Issues That Can Cause a Host of Health Problems
Identify the Cause
As a Naturopath my goal is to isolate the cause of health problems with the purpose of long term and stable healing. Functional medicine tests are an important tool in achieving this. They help provide precise answers about: toxic chemicals; bacteria, parasites and fungal overgrowths; minerals and heavy metal levels; hormones; amino acid & vitamin levels; and metabolic pathway issues.
Where health conditions seem stuck and have not responded to past interventions, functional health testsing can be very useful to help us unlock and identify what exactly is blocking healing. From there, treatment can follow.
Below are some examples of the tests I most commonly use.
The OAT test gives us a metabolic snapshot of your health, with over 70 different analytics. It is useful to reveal potential causes behind stubborn, chronic health problems, showing energy production, neurotransmitter balance, amino acid balance, vitamin levels, detox ability, microbial imbalances.
An advanced, innovative, comprehensive stool profile to detect and assess the status of pathogenic microorganisms such as yeast, parasites, bacteria and viruses that may be contributing to chronic chronic illness and neurological dysfunction.
Another test I use often is a hair test. This is a great way to measure for calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, chromium, manganese, selenium, nickel, cobalt, lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum. The advantage of a hair test is that it shows what has built up over a period of time, rather than a snapshot of what are often fluctuating levels. Find out more
This is an advanced hormone test for sex and stress hormones. It can provide detailed insights into menopause, peri-menopause (including the stage reached), PCOS, weight gain, fatigue, low libido, PMS, mood problems and sleep issues. It also measures cortisol and some organic acid testing.
The GPL-MycoTOX test is a thorough test for mycotoxins (metabolites produced by mold). It screens for seven mycotoxins and four species of mold. Mold may be derived from water damaged buildings or food. There are specific symptoms or health conditions that would indicate a need for this test.
MicroGenDX uses next generation sequencing to pick up bacteria present at a much lower level and far more diverse than in traditional cultures. This is especially useful in cases where patients are getting negative cultures but are experiencing UTI symptoms.
The GPL-TOX screens for 172 different environmental pollutants using 18 different metabolites. A single urine sample is used. It tests for: 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.
Health Conditions Suited to Testing
There are many examples of how the tests can be applied, below are just a few examples. One of the key advantages is that they can isolate very exact issues that otherwise are difficult to detect, allowing for the use of specific and targetted remedies.
An OAT or GI360 stool test can be very useful for helping to identify more exactly what is causing issues. Examples include viruses, parasites, and bacteria to specific strains of mold, Candida, gut dysbiosis and deficiencies. With this information, targetted strains of probiotics or sensitity-tested antimicrobials can be used.
Stool tests can be incredibly useful. What’s more, compromised gut health is often behind so many health conditions. So, identifying and addressing problems in the gut is key.
An example could be in a case of someone with chronic and stubborn IBS. The stool test can reveal specific bacteria or mold causing this, which can then be addressed with targeted antimicrobials and natural treatment.
In cases of perimenopause, menopause and fertility a detailed hormone panel can be very useful. Hormones can be tested through blood tests, often done at GP surgeries, saliva or urine. I prefer to use a urine test. This gives a detailed overview of your sex hormones, sleep hormones and adrenal hormones. The test calls 4-5 urine samples over 24 hours, which will give a more accurate picture than one blood sample, which is just a snapshot at a single point in time. Hormones fluctuate through the course of the day significantly, so testing several times is more informative. Furthermore, urine testing for sex hormones shows the metabolites of the major hormones, which is not achieved with blood and saliva tests. In my view, this information is really useful as metabolites can often have the biggest effect on your symptoms.
Increasingly I see in my practice women and men with urinary tract problems. These range from chronic UTIs and interstital cystits to kidney stones and prostate problems. An OAT test is useful when issues don’t clear up or respond as expected, and can help pinpoint underlying issues that can perpetuate the problem or indeed underlie the condition itself.
Underlying medical issues can often cause or contribute to autistic behaviour. It’s common to find problems of Candida overgrowth and Clostridia, problems detoxifying environmental toxins, and food intolerances and allergies. This in turn restricts the nutrients available to the brain and body, with a knock on effect of damage to cellular, metabolic, and central nervous system functionality. The OAT test helps to uncover these problems, paving the way for a targeted natural program to help correct these underlying issues.
The most common tests I use include stool tests, testing for mold and Candida and the DUTCH hormonal test. However, other tests may be recommended depending on the health issue presented.
Identifying exactly what is going on inside the body can be a vital key to unlock healing.
Tests Carried Out in Appointments
I continue to offer Iridology testing, which I often do during a routine in-person consultation. Iridology is the science and study of pathological and functional disturbances in the human body, which are indicated by abnormal markings and color changes in the iris. It reveals inflammation, where it is located and the stage of manifestation. Bodily conditions as they relate to inherent weaknesses, levels of health can be diagnosed through Iridology. It is a diagnostic tool started by German Doctors in the last century, and has become a popular tool used by Naturopathic practitioners to help identify the location of inflammation, weaknesses, and toxicity in the body.