What is Functional Testing?

Functional Testing

Functional Testing is focused on investigating and determining the underlying and contributing causes of health imbalances and health conditions. Functional tests are laboratory tests that address the functions of the various systems of the body. They are designed to determine what metabolic and biochemical imbalances exist that could determine the potential for health as well as for possible health conditions.

The testing can cover such areas of health as the liver detoxification pathways, heavy metals and toxin overload, adrenal health, reproductive hormone health, digestive health, vitamin and mineral status, presence of pathogens, absorption of nutrients, thyroid health, immune health, and much more.

The tests are designed to test for functionality and not pathology. The tests are not used to determine what’s medically problematic, but to determine what can be treated nutritionally and what imbalances are present upon which to develop customized nutrition and lifestyle programs.

Functional tests use saliva, urine, stool and blood to provide the information to improve health status.

Why Functional Tests?

  1. To evaluate function vs. pathology
  2. Test to see how the body is functioning from a more optimal perspective
  3. Tests for the underlying root of the health issue or underlying imbalances that keep a person experiencing symptoms that are not resolving.
  4. Allows for developing a nutrition and lifestyle program that optimizes health potential.
  5. Catch metabolic vicious cycles before they become a problem.
  6. Allows the health practitioner to identify more objectively what is contributing to health imbalances.
    The testing may provide a sense of relief for the person who has been told that there is nothing wrong with them, even if they are experiencing symptoms.

Testing Methods

Saliva is particularly effective for testing the status of adrenal and reproductive hormones. Saliva contains the free fraction state of adrenal and reproductive hormones which reflect the tissue levels of these hormones. Testing these hormones in blood only reflects what is only bound up in a protein carrier the blood. In order for the cells to receive the action of the hormones, the protein carrier is released and the hormones are then “freed” to act upon the hormone receptors on the cells. Saliva reflects what the tissues are actually receiving. Thus, they are called free fraction hormones. Free fractions in saliva associate more faithfully with clinical symptoms.

The primary stool test is for digestive health. The laboratory looks for the amount and types of healthy bacteria, absorption of nutrients and the presence of pathogens.

Urine is a good medium for testing some hormones and their metabolites. The metabolites are evident if there are blockages in the hormone pathways of detoxification, break down and excretion. Urine, also, is a good medium for discovering the metabolites that reflect nutrient imbalances and deficiencies such as the B vitamins, CoQ10, minerals, amino acids and more.

Blood testing, primarily serum testing, is a valuable tool for determining heart health, thyroid health, immune status, inflammation, blood sugar management, food allergies and sensitivities, iron status, blood health and nutrient absorption. There are scientifically determined functional or optimum health ranges that guide us in choosing diets, lifestyle and nutritional support. The serum readings may be outside of the optimum health ranges, but still within the medical ranges. When they are outside of the optimum health ranges, then a functional imbalance is present. True prevention of further health issues can occur if changes can be made that impact healthy shifts of function to a more optimum reading.

At Universal Wellness Associates we provide a comprehensive functional analysis of standard blood chemistry panels. Our goal is to assess for any nutritional imbalances so that we can personalize your nutrition program to move you towards optimal health.

These are specialized blood tests to identify delayed food reactions that are hard to determine from conventional allergy testing.   When food sensitivities are present there could be a multitude of symptoms that are not usually recognized as being caused by food reactions – depression, anxiety, ADD, skin eruptions and rashes, headaches, sinus issues, unresolved digestive issues, joint pain, fibromyalgia, and other inflammatory conditions.

Array 3:  This array is an IgG/IgA antibody test for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, including the different epitopes of wheat and similar grains – gluteomorphin, glutenin, deamidated gliadin, et.al.

Array 4:  This array tests for those foods that are similar to gluten/gliadin and create immune confusion in which the immune system mistakes these foods for the gluten/gliadin molecule.

Array 10:  This array tests 180 different types of foods both raw and cooked as well as spices, and gums.

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