The most common laboratory tests we currently use are listed below. We only recommend laboratory tests if we feel that they would be beneficial to you. Some of these can be carried out by a sympathetic GP. Please note that we only offer laboratory tests (functional tests), if it is appropriate to do so, to people who have made made an appointment.
Low iron stores are common in women in child-bearing age, vegans, vegetarians, those with poor diets, and the elderly suffering from fatigue. A haemoglobin test checks only for iron circulating in your blood, whereas a ferritin test indicates just how good your iron stores are.
A little care needs to be taken interpreting ferritin results because ferritin levels can be elevated in someone with an inflammatory disease (ferritin is an acute-phase reactant). Ferritin tests (for stored iron) are usually be carried out by a GP, if there is a good reason for doing so.
Thyroid Tests: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Free T4 and Free T3
A GP will usually carry our a test for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and Free T4, if symptoms warrant it. We routinely recommend these tests for someone who is struggling to lose weight. These are the first tests that should be done to indicate whether your thyroid hormone function is normal or not. Someone who has low or borderline thyroid results is likely to suffer from symptoms such as fatigue, stubborn weight gain, cold hands and feet.
In addition to the above tests we often recommend that someone with low or borderline thyroid results have their Free T3 tested as well. Although T4 is the most abundant thyroid hormone, some if it is converted to T3 – our most potent thyroid hormone. This conversion is selenium dependant. Sine the soil in the UK and Northern Europe has low levels of selenium it is not present in adequate amounts in the food we eat. This means that the conversion to Free T3 may well be compromised in someone with low T4.
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis + Parasitology
This test offers the most advanced non-invasive evaluation of digestion, absorption, gut flora, and the colonic environment. It useful for all chronic IBS problems, for acute bowel pattern changes, and provides a sensitivity panel for treating pathogenic flora. The addition of parasitology testing indicates whether there are any current parasitic infections. Sample Report > Please note that we are only offer this test and the others listed on this page (where they are appropriate) to people who have made made an appointment.
Food Intolerance Tests
FACTest (Food Allergen Cellular Test): Many people have adverse reactions to foods, which do not show up with allergy (IgE) tests. It is now known that the underlying mechanisms responsible for allergies are not restricted to IgE-mediated reactions. There are many different mechanisms that can give rise to these ‘allergy’-like symptoms. There is therefore a marked discrepancy between those displaying allergy reactions, and those with traditionally diagnosed food allergy. This FACTest provides a powerful tool for the detection of adverse reaction to food and additives. By measuring the cellular reaction (inflammatory chemicals, leukotrienes) to food allergens, both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated reactions can be reliably detected.
Ig(G) Antibody Test. If you are experiencing symptoms when you eat a particular food your immune system may well be manufacturing antibodies to attack that food, as it would a virus or bacteria. These antibodies (IgG) can be measured by an ELISA blood test (Wiki >). The IgG test is different to the FACTest, as it is looking for an immune mediated response rather than cellular inflammatory chemicals. It is another straightforward way to find out whether foods may be affecting you without having to go through a food elimination diet. Sample Report > Please note that we are only offer this test and the others listed on this page (where they are appropriate) to people who have made made an appointment.
Food Allergy Test (IgE blood test)
Traditionally a diagnosis of food allergy is based on: clinical history, skin-prick tests, the determination of specific IgE antibodies from blood serum, and the gold standard ‘food challenge’, which is both cumbersome and problematic to perform.
An IgE food allergy test measures levels of food-specific IgE antibodies linked to acute classical allergies, against 37 common foods. Symptoms usually present immediately and include hay fever, asthma, urticaria, swollen/itchy throat, tongue, lips, gums, watery/itchy/swollen eyes, rhinitis, colic, anaphylaxis, eczema, and skin rashes. Sample Report >
Inhalant Allergy Test
The test we currently use (Genova Diagnostics) identifies classical (IgE) inhalant allergies to 27 of the most common airborne allergens. Symptoms usually present immediately and include hay fever, asthma, urticaria, watery/itchy/swollen eyes, rhinitis, eczema, and skin rashes. Sample Report >
High homocysteine levels (in blood plasma) are widely linked to a variety of health problems. They are an independent risk factor for heart disease, blood clots and strokes. Homocysteine is, in fact, a better indicator than cholesterol levels for assessing the risk of heart disease. Research has shown that each 3 (μmol/L) point decrease in homocysteine levels reduces the risk of a heart attack by 16%, stroke by 24% and deep vein thrombosis by 25%. Certain key nutrients, such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 and folic acid, are necessary for homocysteine metabolism. Sample Report >
These are some of the diagnostic laboratory tests we have found useful. There are many other tests that are available through Intelligent Nutrition.
Contact Intelligent Nutrition for more information.