Diagnostic Nutritional Testing
Diagnostic nutritional tests are so valuable in clinic for helping to quickly identify the root cause factors involved in your symptoms. Wherever possible I will always refer you to your GP for tests but we also have direct access to private laboratory testing, including Genova Diagnostics, Biolab and Regenerus Labs. Having the additional test results means that we are able to pinpoint exactly which imbalance is underlying any results that you have had from your GP.
Tests can typically involve a breath, blood, saliva, urine or stool sample, which you can collect at home. Occasionally, a sample may need to be collected at the laboratory.
Here are a sample of the kinds of nutritional tests we use:
- Gastrointestinal inflammation can indicate the presence of a food intolerance, possible pathogens or ‘leaky gut’. It is valuable to identify if this is a problem as this kind of disordered inflammation is implicated in a number of seemingly unrelated conditions such as psoriasis, aside from discomfort that may be occuring for the patient.
- Microbiology – beneficial flora, imbalanced flora, and possible pathogens such as fungi or parasites.
- Intestinal permeability – increased permeability, or ‘leaks’ in the gut wall are associated with inflammation and a number of chronic conditions.
- Secretory Immunoglobulin A (sIgA) – Levels of sIgA can be decreased by chronic intestinal infections (due to bacterial, yeast or parasites), food sensitivities, aging, antibiotics, medication and stress. Low levels have also been observed in autistic spectrum disorders.
- Intolerances – A wide range of foods, additives and environmental materials can cause intolerances. Exposure to these substances can contribute to a number of health issues, some obvious such as hives or bloating but some less obvious such as painful joints. In clinic, we avoid intolerance tests that can produce lots of false positives, instead choosing if indicated, advanced clinical tests to evaluate your immune responses to dietary proteins, chemicals, heavy metals and latent pathogens.
- Fatty Acid balance – the levels and ratios of saturated and unsaturated fats, both of which are necessary for every cell, among many other functions.
- Vitamin D – Some GPs will arrange for a vitamin D test via the NHS. However, if you would prefer to arrange your own test that you carry out at home, we have a low cost option with the benefit of a full analysis of the result which we discuss in your consultation. Vitamin D testing is relevant for bone and immune health, plus a range of health conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, auto-immunity and depression.
Our hormones are involved everywhere in our bodies, but they are affected by diet, lifestyle, stress and exposure to environmental toxins. We can evaluate various aspects of your hormonal health, if indicated by your symptoms, such as:
- Adrenal hormones – this test evaluates stress hormones such as cortisol, helping us find imbalances that contribute to anxiety, poor sleep, depression and chronic fatigue, to name just a few conditions that stress hormones can be involved in.
- Thyroid Hormone Profiles: just about every process of the body is affected by thyroid hormone production and metabolism, so any disruption can be implicated in many states of ill-health.. Imbalances can have a significant effect on our mood, energy, weight and libido. The range of analytes measured is much wider than commonly available from your GP – we test TSH, FT4, T4, FT3 and thyroid antibodies for a thorough assessment.
- Sex Hormones Profiles: If you are dealing with PMS, infertility, irregular or heavy periods or menopause symptoms, we may choose to assess any imbalances in your sex hormones.
The test we use analyses blood for both the traditional and also advanced lipid markers, ratios, plus independent risk factors that are not usually measured by your GP. We are looking at levels of HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol, ratios, triglycerides, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein B, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein.
Together, these markers provide a much clearer picture of your cardiovascular health. It helps us design very personalised, preventative action, especially useful if you have family history or lifestyle factors that mean you want to look after yourself better.
Far from the static material its appearance might indicate, bone is actually dynamically forming and breaking down at varying rates all our lives. Most of the bone is laid down when we’re young, but an adult still has the potential to affect their bone density through nutrition and lifestyle choices, reducing their risk of fractures and osteoporosis in later life.
We have a great test for identifying individuals who are currently losing bone at an accelerated rate. This enables us to introduce effective changes before significant bone loss has occurred, and monitor the effectiveness of the programme over time.
Any private tests are are not included in the price. My time in interpreting tests, writing reports or liaising with other medical professionals involved in your care is all included.