Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Say you’re feeling off and all your blood tests come back as ‘normal’… Please know that there’s a world of incredibly helpful ‘functional’ health tests available to you, other than the standard testing your GP sends you for.
Standard pathology tests are helpful for more serious diseases, however thankfully we’re slowly beginning to learn that preventative testing is key to catching things before they get out of hand!
Our fears such as ‘what if they find something wrong?’ are just that – FEARS! This I believe may stem from past generations and how they dealt with their health.
So we’ve grown up in a society that is more re-actional rather than preventative. Rest assured though, that any subtle imbalances this kind of testing may pick up are SO much easier to correct, than when they blossom into a full blown health issue over time.
“My blood tests came back normal, but I know I don’t feel right”
This would be one of the most common statements when we get chatting in a health consult.
Therefore, dig deeper with functional medicine testing
Unless you go to a natural health practitioner, the public health just don’t get to know about these wonderful tests that are available which is a crime!
I use these specialised tests to uncover any biochemical, hormonal, metabolic, gut and nutritional imbalances, the very thing that could be giving you ‘those’ kind of symptoms that no one can help you with… or (this infuriates me!) they call it ‘getting older!’
In many instances, functional medicine testing deliver the missing pieces of your health puzzle.
Then, with the proper interpretation and analysis, it can help us with your best treatment plan and ultimately getting you feeling like you should every day!
5 remarkable ‘functional’ tests that you could have easily done!
And remember, these aren’t difficult to do. The only thing is that they are more expensive and aren’t covered by Medicare, but this is your health we’re talking about!
The cost of prevention is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of managing sickness!
1. Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
This test is a thorough look at your gut health and it assesses levels of good and bad bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites, inflammation, malabsorption and how you breakdown different food groups such as meat, vegetables and fats.
This is a wonderful first step in underlying digestive issues that typically go onto cause problems in other areas of the body such as hormonal health, skin problems, fatigue, mood disorders and weight gain.
You could get this test if you have:
Generalised digestive disturbances such as bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence, mucous, blood or undigested food in your stool.
For someone who travelled overseas and picked up a gut bug and hasn’t felt right since.
Chronic fatigue, candida symptoms, any diagnosed health condition, eczema and other skin issues, generally feeling ‘off’, poor sleep, hormone issues, anxiety and depression.
INVESTMENT: $130AUD (approx.)
TEST TYPE: Stool sample kit is sent to your home for privacy and ease.
2. Dutch Test (Extensive Hormones)
Not just any old hormone test that you do at your doctor’s, this DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) testing, the most advanced and comprehensive hormone test. Remember studies show that testing hormones via saliva rather than blood is more accurate. I don’t know a standard GP who do saliva testing for this yet.
Not only does this look at sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone) and their metabolites, it identifies any adrenal (stress hormone) dysfunction via cortisol, cortisone and DHEA testing and more (good to test how stress is affecting your age!)
This test is really telling, when identifying underlying hormonal imbalances and how to better manage your symptoms of PMS, weight gain, heavy painful periods, infertility, migraines and headaches and more.
INVESTMENT: $330 AUD (approx.)
TEST TYPE: Urine
3. Stress & Adrenal Health
If you think it’s all about stress for you! An important place to start when looking at how your nervous system, hormones and stress are impacting your overall health. This saliva test looks at 4 samples throughout the day to assess your cortisol and DHEA levels (as well as melatonin where required).
This test is extremely useful for anyone suffering with:
Insomnia and other sleep problems
Poor immune function such as repeated infections
Depression and other mood disorders
Poor concentration / brain fog
INVESTMENT: $160 AUD (approx.)
TEST TYPE: Saliva
4. SIBO TEST (SMALL INTESTINAL BACTERIA OVERGROWTH) OR ‘GUT OUT OF WHACK TEST!’
This is a breath test (amazing right!) for a common condition where an overgrowth of otherwise normal bacteria in the gut become out of balance (more bad than good) which then go onto cause a range of unwanted gut symptoms such as:
Alternating constipation and diarrhoea
Bloating and gas
Burping and reflux
It’s also estimated that up to 80% of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers have SIBO.
INVESTMENT: $180 AUD (approx.)
TEST TYPE: breath test