“Test, don’t guess!” the value of functional testing for chronic conditions
7th April, 2017
Written by: Sandra James ND, NT Dip CNM, MBANT, MCHNC
If you want to get to the bottom of your symptoms, are dealing with a chronic health issue or just want to make sure you are taking the best care of yourself and want to work on prevention of ill health then functional testing may be of interest to you.
A naturopathic nutritional therapist can create customised diet and lifestyle plans to fit your unique needs and goals. There really is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diet and lifestyle, some nutritional therapists will personalise and create customised plans for various health conditions or life circumstances or goals.
Both naturopathy and functional medicine are holistic and treat the body as an interconnected whole, and recognise that in order to treat one part, all other parts must be addressed. Both also treat the symptoms by addressing the root of the problem, which leads to more profound and longer lasting results.
So where does functional testing come into it?
Functional medicine is investigative and looks to correctly identify and treat the underlying causes of disease instead of just suppressing the symptoms.
For example, a diagnosis like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) describes the symptoms that someone is experiencing. We want to find out what the underlying issues are that are contributing to the signs and symptoms that are characterised as IBS. These could be things like bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, a parasite infection, dysbiosis, fungal overgrowth, low stomach acid, or a dysfunction in the gut-brain axis communication or a combination of all of these things. To truly address the problem, this where we need to focus.
'Test, don’t guess.'
The use of cutting edge functional lab testing is there to get to the root cause of issues which then allows you to plan the way forward.
Finding a nutritional therapist that knows which tests are the best ones to do, how to use them, how to interpret them, and how to design customised recommendations based on them can make a big difference. This can allow you to:
- save time and energy
- learn the information you need to take charge of your health
- determine your unique nutrient deficiencies and excesses
- be proactive for healthy ageing and prevention of disease
So what testing is available?
Too many to list here but the ones that can be used the most are: -
- Stool, breath, and urine testing are used to look at what’s happening in the gut, the impact of stress on the body and nutrient balance.
- hormone profiles including thyroid and female hormones
- fertility testing (male & female)
- Functional blood chemistry based on optimal ranges for optimal health and to thrive, rather than ‘normal’ blood ranges.
- food intolerance/coeliac testing
and much more.
If you’d like to find out more please get in touch with a nutritional therapist and you can discuss where any testing would be helpful for you.
About the author
Sandra James is a Naturopath and Nutritional therapist. She is passionate about all aspects of health with a specific focus on gut health, supporting fertility and stress. She has a keen interest in functional testing to quickly get to the root cause of health problems and has a natural coaching and supportive style with clients.
Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
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