Functional Testing

Microbiome Testing (Cobiome/Microba)

Cobiome/Microba are the only company currently available using Shotgun Meta-genomic Sequencing – a DNA sequencing method that enables comprehensive sampling of all genes in all organisms in a given complex microbial sample.

This method allows for accurate evaluation of overall bacterial diversity in the microbiome, and an ability to test for microorganisms that are typically difficult to analyse and find on other types of testing. It tests for over 28,000 microbial species.

It is the most accurate and clinically useful type of microbiome testing available to date.

Cobiome offer shotgun meta-genomic sequencing plus a panel of markers of digestive function – calprotectin, lactoferrin, pancreatic elastase, secretory IgA, zonulin.

Microbiome testing is extremely insightful  for anyone who wants to take their overall health to the next level, especially anyone who is experiencing long-standing digestive issues and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Impairment of intestinal function can contribute to the development of food allergies, systemic illnesses, autoimmune disease and toxic overload from substances which are usually kept in the confines of the bowel for elimination.

Key indications that Microbiome Testing would be useful:

  • Loose stool/persistent diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Gas/bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Carbohydrate sensitivity
  • Blood/mucus
  • IBS, IBD
  • Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Arthritis
  • Food sensitivities
  • Bad Breath breath
  • Ongoing nutritional deficiencies
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Autoimmune Diseases

Food Biocompatibility Testing

Food Bio-compatibility Testing (600+ items) is a simple, non-invasive test that requires a small sample of hair to identify the influence (positive or negative) that a wide range of foods and house-hold products have on a cellular level.

Every cell in the body relies on electrical stimulation for proper cellular function. Assimilation (taking nutrition into the cell), plus elimination and secretions at cellular level, rely on electrical stimulation. We simply cannot get nutrition in and waste secretions out of the cells without the correct electrical charge within the cell/cell membranes (ATP/ADP). Electrical energy is mainly distributed to every cell through acupuncture meridians, connective tissue and

Foods contain their own electrical systems as well. These electrical systems in the food can sometimes interfere with the electrical systems within cells. The result is poor cellular function.

By removing these reactive and aggravating foods, we allow the cells to repair and function normally.

Alongside Microbiome Testing, I encourage my clients to prioritise Food Biocompatibility Testing to direct their treatment to ensure that the foods they are eating regularly are in alignment with their unique needs. If we are eating foods that we’re unknowingly incompatible with, this can hinder treatment and prevent the body from returning to balance on its own (which it is always trying to achieve).

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA)

An incredibly important test especially due to the times we are living in – environmental toxicity is being increasingly linked with a range of hormonal issues, infertility and mental health conditions. If you don’t uncover toxic levels of heavy metals in the body which are driving your symptoms, then we are not truly uncovering the root cause and addressing it.

HTMA measures the levels of heavy metals found in hair (the most accurate way to detect storage levels), plus over 25 important mineral ratios. The hair analysis provides a personalised interpretive report with an assessment of your current mineral status and highlights any areas of concern.

Armed with this knowledge we can gently and fine-tune treatment to deal with elevated levels of heavy metals to ensure they are safely excreted from the body.

Hormone Testing

Hormonal changes have a dramatic impact on overall health – hormonal testing provides valuable information about your hormonal status. There is no one perfect test for understanding all of the hormones in your body. The best approach depends on which hormones you’re looking at (which will be uncovered during a consultation). Testing I offer in my practise include

Salivary Adrenocortex Stress Profile (Extensive): the most accurate hormone test for evaluating the levels of  important stress hormones such as cortisol and DHEA. It examines 4 saliva samples over a 12 hour period.

DUTCH Hormone Testing: The most advanced & comprehensive hormone test for assessing adrenal and reproductive hormones (e.g. oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone), and their many metabolites. It is invaluable for assessing hormonal status in conditions such as HPA axis dysfunction, infertility, PCOS, endometriosis and benign prostate hyperplasia

Of particular importance is testing for estrogens and their metabolites which show how your body is detoxifying estrogen. If this not is working efficiently in the body it increases risk of breast cancer, cysts, fibroids and prostate cancer.

MTHFR Genetic Testing

The MTHFR Gene provides instructions for making the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, which plays an important role in the metabolism of B vitamins (particularly folate) and amino acids. Having a variation in any of this gene or others associated with ‘methylation’ can be directly associated with conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, migraines, PCOS, thyroid dysfunction, infertility, autoimmunity and other neurological conditions.

It is a valuable test to rule out potential MTHFR issues which can then be investigated further, although a holistic approach must still be taken in the context of other testing and your entire diet and lifestyle. It is not as simple as then taking folate – this can make many clients feel much worse. There are many other factors to address with a practitioner

Mauve Factor (Urinary Kryptopyrroles)

I recommend this test regularly to clients experiencing anxiety, depression, poor stress coping abilities or mental illness. It identifies a potential genetic susceptibility to producing higher than normal levels of ‘hydroxyhemopyrrolin’ (HPL) which binds to zinc and B6 in the body. This can lead to a range of downstream symptoms due effects of these deficiencies on the nervous system and body as a whole.

Like MTHFR testing, it is a valuable test but not as simple as taking zinc and B6. Elevated HPL is typically a sign of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which indicates a need for holistic assessment of your entire health within the context of pyrrole testing.

It is important to monitor levels of zinc and copper whilst taking supplements to ensure you are not disrupting the delicate balance of minerals in the body. To ensure you are treating elevated HPL and ‘pyrroles’ properly it is important for your practitioner to test Plasma Zinc, Serum Copper & Caeruloplasmin (GP Referral) in order to evaluate the percentage of free copper levels in the blood. This needs to be monitored every 3-6 months as part of treatment and treatment plans adjusted accordingly.

Complete Thyroid Profile

Thyroid dysfunction is one of the most under-addressed conditions in healthcare, which is partly due to the lack of proper testing by conventional medical practitioners. GPs will typically test for one hormone (TSH) to ‘rule out’ thyroid conditions, which doesn’t really give any insight into actual functioning of how the thyroid gland is performing

It is absolutely essential to have a complete thyroid profile done to measure thyroid gland activity, peripheral conversion of thyroid hormone, and thyroid autoantibodies (to assess for Autoimmune thyroid disease)

The compete thyroid profile measures the following:

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) – TSH causes the thyroid gland to make two hormones, T3 and T4, which help control the body’s metabolism. This test is done to find out whether the thyroid gland and brain-thyroid communication are working properly.

T4, Total – This test measures the total amount of T4 (Thyroxine) in blood.

T4, Free – Most of the T4 in the body binds to protein, the T4 that does not is called ‘free T4’ and circulates unbound in blood. This test measures the free T4 level individually also.

T3, Total – T3 (triiodothyronine) is the most important thyroid hormone for the body’s control of metabolism. This test measures the total amount of T3 in blood.

T3, Free – Most of the T3 in the body binds to protein, the T3 that does not is called ‘free T3’ and circulates unbound in blood. This test measures the free level individually also.

T3, Reverse – Reverse T3 is converted by the liver from the stored hormone T4, it is the body’s main way of getting rid of unneeded T4 every day. Sometimes the body can make too much reverse T3 from a number of causes including chronic emotional, physical, or biological stress, chronic sickness, after surgery, diabetes, ageing, or an acute injury. This test measures for levels of reverse T3.

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibody – Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an important enzyme for producing thyroid hormone. TPO converts T4 to T3. High levels of TPO antibodies suggest the immune system is mistakenly attacking this enzyme and the thyroid gland, compromising thyroid activity.

Thyroglobulin (Tg) Antibody – Thyroglobulin (Tg) is a protein produced and used by the thyroid gland to make the hormones T3 and T4. High levels of antibodies to Tg suggest the immune system is mistakenly attacking the thyroid gland.