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Testing Times - Functional Testing – what is it, why do we use it and do you need it?

Functional testing blood spot test

First and foremost, a functional test is different to a blood test that you may have had in the past from a GP. 

For us and our clients, functional testing is really useful tool that we can use to establish how various aspects of your body are functioning, providing us with a comprehensive set of health markers that can help determine the root cause of your symptoms.

Because functional testing can identify patterns and imbalances, it is useful when we are trying to unpick more complex or stubborn health issues.

It can detect, among other things, the overgrowth of bacteria, parasites and fungi, give us detailed information about nutritional imbalances, guide us through a minefield of dysregulated hormones and tell us all about your metabolic pathways which are the ways in which your body produces energy.

So, what are the tests that we are most likely to suggest?  Well, the answer to that question is “it depends”!  And that’s because there is no such thing as a typical client in any of our clinical specialties.  Nicci’s gut health clients may benefit from a hormone panel or maybe a full thyroid test might be one of Nicola’s suggestions for a client struggling with weight management or perhaps Amanda might recommend a comprehensive stool test to a client suffering with chronic stress.

Here we have picked three tests that between us we’ve used the most, and because they are all non-invasive and easy to do at home.

The first is a comprehensive stool test which gives us a complete assessment of the state of your gut health.  It provides us with information not only about the balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome, whether there is a presence of viruses, parasites, and fungi but also about tells us about digestive function and inflammation, revealing information that might lead us to discover the root cause of digestive symptoms.

Next up is an omega 3 test which is a finger prick blood spot test.  Omega 3 is an essential fat meaning that it can only be obtained through food and it is one of the “healthy” fats.  Fats are the building blocks for your cells, including those in the brain and your hormones and so ensuring that you have the right balance from the right sources is the key to keeping your body and your brain in tip top condition!  Testing for omega 3 is one of the ways that we can find out whether you are getting that balance right and if not, it will give us the information that we need to strike that balance.

A full nutritional assessment not only tells us about nutritional imbalances and deficiencies but more importantly tells us whether the body is utilising the nutrients that it is obtaining from your diet properly, for example, how the body is using carbohydrates to produce energy and is the body doing a good enough job at detoxification, something that it does 24/7 not just in January when we give up alcohol and drink only water!  This test can give us a real insight into how we can support your body to do the super important job of keeping you well.

Do we suggest functional testing to every client? Well, no because most respond well to the nutrition and lifestyle advice that we give them and, because functional testing comes at a cost, we want to be sure that testing is going to give you the best possible outcome.

Functional testing offers us some really powerful insights into a unique world – your body - and we work with the leading labs to provide our clients with the best quality and most reliable tests.  If you would like to find out more about functional testing, we are always happy to discuss this with you and you can book your complimentary call here.

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