Functional Medicine Testing

Dr Miranda and her team are highly versed in the optimal interpretation of blood tests. Please bring with you any blood tests that have been conducted.

Functional medical tests are different from standard blood tests from a GP. They are utilised to investigate your functional, biochemical, nutritional, metabolic and hormonal status.

The results provide essential information to assist the practitioner in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients seeking an holistic approach to health.

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Generally, the tests are designed for the convenience of patients to collect specimens in the privacy of their own homes. A selection of the tests do require blood sampling and thus a visit to a pathology lab which will be specified during your consultation with your health practitioner at Carlton Natural Health.

Functional medical tests can provide a method for early intervention management and monitoring of ongoing treatment efficacy.

They can be utilised to:

– Determine your baseline health as part of an holistic approach prior to commencing treatment. At Carlton Natural Health, your health care practitioner will discuss this with you.

– Eliminate guesswork

– To inspire you to take care of your health

– To monitor the efficacy of treatment and your individual progress in your journey to optimal health.

– To help establish the underlying cause of your health imbalances or disease especially associated with unresolved, chronic symptoms and/or conditions.

Some common functional medicine tests that we may request:

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DUTCH Plus – Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones

The DUTCH Plus is a game changer in understanding hormonal health in both women and men. A very extensive report, it gives us detialed informaiton about the ststus of all sex hormones, including all three oestorgens, progesterone, androgens, melatonin and stress hormones cortsiol, adrenaline and noradrenalin.

It also give us a detailed insight into how the liver and gut are dealing with the hormones, plus some nutritional indices such as B12, B6 & glutathione.

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Stool Analysis – Microba

Correct gastrointestinal function is critical to your ability to digest, absorb and metabolise nutrients properly, and adequately eliminate wastes, essential components to your everyday health.

This non-invasive test is conducted in the privacy of your own home. It assesses your microbial flora status, ability to absorb protein, carbohydrates, fats and nutrients, and the presence of pathogenic bacteria, opportunistic parasites and yeast infestation.

It is invaluable information for both you and your practitioner regarding the function of your gastrointestinal system and the role it plays in acute and chronic disease states. This test is utilised to investigate the underlying causes of symptoms that may be indicators of poor digestive health, such as

  • Constipation, diarrhea and IBS
  • Flatulence, bloating, reflux, gastritis & abdominal discomfort
  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Fatigue and energy fluctuations
  • Immune disorders including autoimmune conditions
  • Hormone imbalances
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Food Sensitivity Testing – Imupro

What is the difference between food allergy and food sensitivity?

Many people live with symptoms of adverse food reactions for years without ever suspecting the involvement of foods, which trigger those reactions. More often than not, food reactions are seldom life threatening, however pose a constant source of discomfort and physical and emotional distress in chronic conditions and diseases.

It can be difficult to differentiate between allergy and sensitivity, as symptoms may be similar.

Symptoms of food sensitivity can include:

  • headache, migraine
  • diarrhea, bloating, IBS, abdominal cramps
  • mood swings, depression, nervousness, tremor
  • behavioural problems in children
  • breathing problems – asthma-like symptoms
  • skin conditions
  • allergy-like reactions.

The symptoms of food allergy can be life threatening. Common symptoms include:

  • itching, burning and swelling around the mouth
  • runny nose
  • skin rash (eczema)
  • hives (urticaria – skin becomes red and raised)
  • diarrhoea, abdominal cramps
  • breathing difficulties, including wheezing and asthma
  • vomiting, nausea
  • anaphylaxis- swelling of the throat/tongue, difficulty breathing, dizziness or collapse

Food sensitivities are most commonly due to digestive enzyme deficiency, dysbiosis (leaky gut) and poor intestinal permeability, which basically means compromised digestive function.

In food sensitivity, it can be difficult to identify the specific food responsible for the reaction. The reason for this is two fold. Firstly, symptoms caused by food sensitivity / intolerance can be immediate; however more commonly they may take between 12 to 36 hours to develop. Most people can’t remember what they ate for breakfast this morning; let alone their entire food intake 3 days ago!

Secondly, food sensitivity reactions are usually related to the amount of the food consumed. They may not occur until a certain amount (threshold level) of the food is eaten, but this amount varies for each person.

Food allergies are caused by overreaction of the body’s immune system to a protein. Symptoms caused by food allergy develop very soon after consuming the food (immediately in the case of anaphylaxis) and are independent of the amount of food consumed. Food allergies are usually IgE-mediated and can be measured in most instances in blood by detection of specific antibodies.

Food Sensitivity Testing screens blood samples for IgG & IgA antibodies to a panel of foods, up to 96 different foods. The most common food sensitivities occur with cow’s milk, eggs, beans, nuts and grains.

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Extensive Thyroid Hormone Profile

Thyroid hormones are essential in regulating metabolism in adults, and growth and development during pregnancy and infancy. It is essential to conduct a complete thyroid hormone profile to truly assess the availability of the thyroid hormones to the tissues and an individual’s metabolic rate.

This is a non-invasive test that accurately measures thyroid hormone levels including TSH, T3 and T4. This is different from a standard medical blood test that normally only tests TSH. If TSH is “in range” no further testing is conducted, and yet T3 and T4 may not be at optimal levels.

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism and sub-clinical hyopthyroidism) is one of the most common hormonal disorders, seen in conjunction with changes in oestrogen and progesterone in peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Symptoms of hypothyroid include:

  • dry and coarse skin and hair
  • hair loss
  • weakness and lethargy
  • constipation
  • unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • heavy and irregular periods
  • depression and mood disorders

Symptoms of overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis) include:

  • rapid heart beat
  • nervousness and palpitations
  • weight loss despite increased appetite
  • frequent bowel movements

TSH, T3 and T4

Normally, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland stimulates the production of inactive T4 (thyroxine) and active T3 (triiodothyronine) from the thyroid. T4 is converted to T3 in the liver, requiring selenium and zinc.

Reverse T3 (rT3)

T3 is the most active (and some might argue the most important) thyroid hormone, 83% of which is produced from the conversion from T4. Reverse T3 (rT3) is different; it is an inactive form of T3 that is produced in the body particularly during periods of stress.

An increased production of rT3 may also be seen in:

  • Stress
  • Fasting and starvation
  • Illness
  • Liver disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

This is an invaluable test as rT3 may be elevated whilst T3 is normal, and indicates poor thyroid function.

Thyroid Antibodies

Thyroid antibodies may be tested additionally to investigate the presence of autoimmune thyroid conditions Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism) and Graves disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism).

Urinary Iodine

Approximately 70% of the bodies iodine is in the thyroid gland, thus iodine is intimately connected with thyroid function. The major hormone secreted by the thyroid is inactive T4 (thyroxine), containing four iodine atoms. The removal of one iodine atom converts T4 to active T3 (triiodothyronine). This occurs mainly in the liver and other tissues where T3 acts, such as the brain.

Other actions of iodine include the formation and integrity of normal breast tissue, foetal brain development and function, and anti-microbial effects.

Thus, this is an essential test in helping to determine optimal thyroid function. Furthermore, it is essential to establish appropriate iodine levels prior to pregnancy due to its role in the developing foetus.

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MTHFR Gene Test

What is MTHFR? Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme required to adequately metabolise homocysteine; mutations of this can cause high blood levels of homocysteine and may interfere with the bodies ability to adequately utilise folate.

Why test MTHFR? High homocysteine levels in the blood are recognised as a risk factor for:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Venous thrombosis and stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes and
  • Obesity

High homocysteine and low folate in the blood have been associated with:

  • Neural tube defects
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Stillbirths
  • Depression and other mood disorders

The major cause of high homocysteine levels is folate deficiency. Other factors include insufficient vitamin B12 and genetic mutations in the MTHFR gene

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Adrenal Hormone Profile

This is a salivary hormone test that assesses stress hormones Cortisol and DHEA-S, across the course of a day. Adrenal function is important to determine in patients presenting with

  • Stress
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Poor immune function

Altered levels of Cortisol and DHEA-S are indicative of acute and/or chronic mental and/or physical stress. Prolonged stress causes increased secretion of

Cortisol can eventually lead to hypertrophy of the adrenal cortex, adrenal exhaustion and immune suppression.

DHEA-S is the main androgen in both men and women and its levels decline with age. Reduced levels of DHEA-S may result in fatigue, poor immune function, weight gain, increased ageing, memory loss

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Genetic Profiling

Genetics loads the gun; our lifestyle pulls the trigger.

Our genes do not necessarily tell us whether or not we are going to develop a specific disease; our genes tell us our susceptibility for developing that disease. Our genes for example can tell us our risk of developing cardiovascular disease, our ability to cope with stress, how well we detoxify, our inflammatory risk or our nutritional status.

We inherit our genes that provide a blueprint, an insight into potential underlying health conditions. Our genes are susceptible to environmental factors that modify the risk of developing a disease. These factors include cigarette smoke and air pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, sun exposure, bacterial infection, chronic nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, lifestyle habits and toxic exposure. The vast majority of genetic polymorphisms only have the potential to cause health problems if we are exposed to the wrong “mix” of harmful agents over time.

Genetic profiling is a genetic diagnostic testing that focuses on individual risk profiles, in combination with traditional risk factors and familial medical history. This helps to explain why individuals are affected differently by the same environmental factors. The knowledge of genetic factors makes preventive medicine easier. At The Fertile Project, genetic profiling helps the practitioner to determine a suitable treatment plan tailored to your individual genetic needs.

Why Genetic Profiling?

  • It allows your practitioner to design a specific nutritional program specifically for you.
  • It will enable specific preventative health strategies to be designed your long term health and well-being.
  • Your inflammatory response will be evaluated to reduce your risk of various diseases.
  • Find out how well your body detoxifies environmental toxins and reduce your toxic burden.
  • It will help you understand the efficiency of your hormonal metabolism.
  • Learn about your stress responses and how well you deal with stress. Learn to manage mental and environmental stressors in your life.
  • It assesses your genes involved in anti-ageing process.
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