We’ve all dealt with some kind of unwanted health issue, at one point or another, and made a trip to our general physician to find out what was wrong with us. They spend about 10 minutes (max) asking us what our symptoms are, maybe suggest a couple of blood tests and then send us on our way with a diagnosis and a prescription. Well, sometimes anyway. What happens if you visit your doctor with symptoms and they just can’t come up with a diagnosis or any answers for what may be going on? Are you out of luck and destined to feel awful forever? The answer is NO!
When this happens, it’s time to reach out to your functional practitioner and talk about how to get the answers you are looking for through functional lab testing.
Q. What’s the biggest difference between Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioners and conventional medicine doctors?
A: The medical model is focused on diagnosing and prescribing for disease states and specific health conditions. Functional practitioners are focused on a holistic approach to health. We help people discover the underlying causes of health problems and identify healing opportunities, while providing education, advice and guidance about implementing wellness strategies that work.
Q. Why is functional lab testing important?
A. Functional lab testing can identify imbalances in the body and provide insight to allow you to take a more preventative approach to your health and well-being. Testing can identify the underlying causes (the “WHY”) of health problems and provide direction for how best to go about overcoming them. In addition, testing can be a great way to track your progress while you are implementing strategies to overcome your challenges.
Q. What areas do these tests cover?
A. There are many different tests available… too many to list. But the tests I recommend most often are gut health, hormones, food sensitivities, micronutrient deficiencies and environmental toxin tests.
Q. Why can’t my symptoms tell you what’s wrong with me?
A. What most people don’t realize is that symptoms are the last thing to occur in a disease process. Which means, once you are experiencing symptoms, there are most likely some pretty serious issues going on in the body that must be discovered and addressed. In addition, many times the symptoms you are experiencing, won’t necessarily point to exactly what the real problem is. An example of this is chronic headaches. Headaches are a symptom, a way for the body to tell you there is something wrong. But there are many reasons or root causes for chronic headaches. It could be something as easy to correct as dehydration, but could also be a sign of a severe food sensitivity.
Q. My symptoms are the same as my sisters – why wouldn’t the same treatment work for both of us?
A. The underlying causes behind health problems can show up as various symptoms. And each symptom experienced can have various underlying causes. For example, a gluten sensitivity may cause one person to have headaches, another person to have eczema, and another to have bloating. Digestive complaints, such as acid reflux can be caused by a variety of underlying issues such as food sensitivities, an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or even parasites. How your body chooses to “tell you” that something is wrong is unique to you.
Q. How do functional lab tests work?
A. Most labs can be done from the comfort of your own home. Different labs call for different samples to be collected (urine, stool, saliva, blood) Some may require a blood draw, and there are mobile phlebotomists that can come to you at home to draw your blood if you choose. The lab will send you the test kits, with collection vials (saliva, urine, blood, or stool) with prepaid return packaging. The process is easy: order the test, collect your sample, send it off to the lab, obtain your results and review them with your provider.
Q. Do functional lab tests give you more info than the blood tests you receive at a conventional medicine doctor?
A. The functional lab tests will give you different information (much more thorough) than the regular blood tests most conventional doctors run.
Q. What functional lab tests do you use most in your practice?
A. Adrenal Stress Profile - this test involves the collection of 4 saliva samples which provide insight into hormone balance, a look at circadian rhythm, adaptive stress response and clues about gut function.
Gut Zoomer – This test provides the most comprehensive analysis available of your intestinal microbiome from a simple one-time stool collection. It will identify gut bacteria (both good and bad) imbalances, pathogens (ie: parasites, fungi, viruses & candida) and will show inflammatory, immune and digestive markers.
Food Sensitivities – This test is used to measure sensitivity to certain foods from an antibody-mediated immune response. Usually removing foods that the body has produced antibodies to will alleviate symptoms, because the source of inflammation is removed.
Micronutrient Deficiencies – This test measures extracellular and intracellular levels of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, fatty acids and amino acids. Knowing these levels is a key to a thorough understanding of your nutritional requirements at a foundational level, which may reduce your risk for disease, while positively impacting your overall health and well-being. Nutrient deficiencies can be another root cause for many health problems.
Q. How long does it take to get results of a home test back?
A. Test results will be available for review anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the sample has been received by the lab.
Q. I got my lab results back and don’t understand all of them - can you help?
A. Absolutely, grab an appointment with me HERE!