Functional Pathology Testing

Planet Naturopath offers a wide range of Functional Pathology testing which is available throughout Australia. Functional Pathology testing is able to assess nutritional, biochemical, metabolic and hormone levels that regular pathology testing is unable to measure. An individual consultation is provided with each test.

Depending on the test, either a blood, saliva, urine or stool sample is required, except for the blood tests the samples can be taken in the privacy of your own home. The blood samples are collected at leading pathology labs around Australia and then sent to the Functional Pathology lab for analysis.

Functional Pathology can help to diagnose many conditions and also help to identify underlying imbalances before they become a problem. There is a wide range of tests available and I have listed some of the most beneficial and popular tests done by Planet Naturopath, but if there is any test missing that you would like to do just let me know.

Adrenal Stress Test

 

The adrenocortex stress test is a saliva test that measures DHEA and Cortisol at 4 different times of the day to measure your response to stress. Stress can be caused by emotional problems, dietary and physical injuries and sickness.

Many chronic health problems can be caused by stress and too high or too low cortisol will lead to fatigue, immune problems, weight gain and increased emotional stress. More information about testing adrenal function can be found here

As well as testing cortisol and DHEA it is also possible to measure Melatonin if you are having chronic insomnia, as this maybe a contributing factor to your lack of sleep.

Adrenal Stress Test indicating high cortisol levels

Adrenal Stress Test indicating high cortisol levels

Thyroid Hormone Testing

 

Thyroid abnormalities are one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting millions worldwide. Thyroid hormones are known for their role in basal metabolic rate, development and growth. Hypothyroidism affects approximately 4-5% of the population whilst estimates for hyperthyroidism are 0.4-2%

The thyroid hormones interact with receptors found in the nucleus of every cell of the body and this interaction leads to the ‘turning on and off’ of many genes and ultimately to the modification of many bodily functions. Therefore, it is understandable that abnormalities in the level of thyroid hormones can lead to a diverse array of symptoms involving the heart, brain, skin and reproductive systems.

Due to Medicare restrictions doctors will usually only test TSH which is only one aspect of the thyroid, and if it is in “the range” are told that everything is normal, I find this is often not the case when I do extensive thyroid testing. You can find out more about thyroid testing here

Thyroid Test

High Reverse T3 makes the TSH seem “normal” but active T3 is low

Sex Hormones

 

Imbalances in sex hormones can lead to a wide range of symptoms in men and women and can affect fertility, healthy aging, mental health, cardiovascular health and osteoporosis.

Hormone testing is available for men and women and can be done as a saliva or a blood test. Hormones that can be tested include estrogen, progesterone, Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, Androstenedione, LH, FSH, Prolactin and SHBG.

Organic Acids Test

 

The Organix Comprehensive Profile provides a view into the body’s cellular metabolic processes and the efficiency of metabolic function. Identifying metabolic blocks that can be treated nutritionally allows individual tailoring of interventions that maximize patient responses and lead to improved patient outcomes. Organic acids are metabolic intermediates that are produced in pathways of central energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown, or intestinal microbial activity.

The Organic Acids test requires a urine sample making it an easy test do for people of all ages and gives the widest rang of metabolic markers out of any test.

Comprehensive Cardiovascular Assessment

 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In the past decade CVD has been the cause of over one-third of all premature deaths in Australia. The conventional risk factors for CVD include hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking and diabetes and inflammation. However, in an individual the presence of only one of these factors has a low positive predictive value. The most advanced strategy for coronary risk assessment is therefore to combine the information of several risk factors; a ‘multi-marker’ approach which enhances risk assessment.

The comprehensive cardiovascular assessment measures detailed cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as inflammatory and clotting factors which are the drivers behend cardiovascular disease.

Analytes:

Comprehensive 1: Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL, ratios, Fasting Glucose, Lipoprotein (a), Apolipoproteins A & B, Homocysteine, Fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (HsCRP).

Comprehensive 2: Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL, ratios, VLDL, IDL, LDL Subfractions (x7); Fasting Glucose, Lipoprotein (a), Apolipoproteins A & B, Homocysteine, Fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (HsCRP).

Digestive Stool Analysis

 

Gastrointestinal function is important for general health. The intestinal tract contains significant amounts of bacteria – some beneficial, some neutral, and some harmful. Balancing beneficial microbial flora in the gut is key in digestion, nutrient usage, and ridding the body of waste and pathogens. Poor digestion and malabsorption can lead to immune dysfunction, nutritional insufficiency, mental/emotional disorders, and autoimmune diseases.

There are two types of stool tests that I recommend, the most comprehensive is a CDSA 4+  which looks at metabolism, absorption, inflammatory markers, dysbiosis, levels of good and bad bacteria, parasites and yeast infections.

The second type of stool test is a PCR DNA stool test which identifies parasites and bacteria, this is the most accurate way of identifying pathogens.

Summary

 

Functional Medicine Testing can help identify hormonal dysfunction, digestion disorders and cardiovascular problems before a disease state manifests. It can give you a baseline so that you know where your ideal levels are so that you can track your progress and see what changes diet, lifestyle and exercise make to your health and your biomarkers.

If you have any questions about Functional Pathology Testing or consultations simply email michael@planetnaturopath.com and I will be in touch.

 

About the Author Michael

Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen

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