Why I use functional testing in my clinical practice

Some clients ask me why I recommend functional testing as part of their treatment plan. Without testing, you are making an educated guess, which can sometimes be wrong, waste your time and your money. Testing is so important as it gives you information which gives clear direction regarding your treatment. It helps me recognise key drivers and therefore treat the underlying cause of your health condition.

Some of the more common tests I offer in my clinic are:

Bioimpedance analysis for body composition

this tells me your body fat mass, muscle mass, hydration levels, visceral fat mass, biological age and gives me an idea of bone mass and inflammation levels. I use bioimpedance analysis to give me a baseline of your current body composition and then use it to track your progress around your body composition goals. I also use it for women who are entering menopause to check their muscle mass, because as we age muscle mass becomes vitally important to keep up healthy, stabilise our skeleton and prevent falls. I also find it useful for women who have lost their period, as sometimes, a lack of a menstrual period can be about a lack of body fat. Bio impedance can give me vital information to help me help you achieve your goals.

Hormone testing

This testing can help me get to the bottom of your menstrual irregularities, weight concerns or fatigue.

Short cycles, long cycles and painful menstrual cycles can all be due to hormonal imbalances. Additionally, symptoms such as premenstrual tension, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and excessive menstrual bleeding can all be benefited from knowing and treating specific hormonal imbalances.

Hormone testing can also be utilised to assess:

• Adrenal health – are you tired because of stress, anxiety and burnout?

• Thyroid health – maybe the reason that you’re tired, constipated and gaining weight is due to an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism).

I cannot stress how important testing for hormonal imbalance is, as I am commonly surprised at the result. Without testing, we wont know if your menstrual irregularities caused by high oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone or even high stress or inflammation levels.

Heavy metal testing

Heavy metal to assess body burden of toxic metals is useful in my paediatric clients. I commonly see elevated heavy metals in children with autism, ADD, ADHD, ODD etc. Sometimes these toxic metals lodge in the brain and create trauma and neuroinflammation, which results in the symptoms you see in your child.

Heavy metal toxicity is a well established cause of neurodevelopmental disorders in children. As a naturopath, I look to find and treat the cause to get a better result with your child’s health.

Heavy metal testing is an inexpensive way to not only look at these toxic metals, but to also assess how well your child is storing and utilising minerals. It is the only way I can assess whether lithium is low. Low lithium results in an inability to stabilise mood.

Looking at certain ratios in your heavy metal and mineral test lets me know about your gut absorption of minerals, toxic exposures, demands on antioxidant defences in the body and so much more. Chat to me today about how this test can help you or your child or yourself with health.

Vitamin and Mineral Testing

This is essential to look for deficiencies. Deficiencies is vitamins and minerals can result in poor immunity, fatigue, infertility, menstrual irregularities, muscle pain, depression, neuralgia, inflammation etc etc… Getting baseline testing on vitamins and minerals can help you easily overcome some persistent health complaints related to them.

Genetic testing

Genetic testing is used to assess whether an issue is a temporary problem or a life long issue to manage as our genes never change, however our lifestyle, supplement choices and diet can all effect genetic expression which can be either positive i.e. calm and chilled personality versus a scattered, flighty, tired and cannot concentrate state – these are the 2 sides of just one genetic variant called a fast COMT.

Genetic testing can tell me about your ability to utilise certain vitamins, your ability to detoxify, why you get a headache every time you walk into the perfume department, why you have some mental health challenges, if your current exercise regime os working for your genetic profile, your genetic risks regarding cardiovascular health as you age and so much more.

If you’re curious about your health, functional testing may be the best way to gain further insight. Chat to me about how I can use functional testing to get you on the road to optimal health.

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