Your Guide to Hormone Testing with Functional Medicine

Nina Ross
Certified Naturopathic Doctor
April 10, 2024

Functional medicine is gaining traction as a patient-centered approach to addressing chronic health issues. Unlike traditional medicine, which often focuses on managing symptoms, functional medicine digs deeper to uncover the underlying causes of illness. This approach considers various factors such as diet, genetics, and lifestyle habits as potential contributors to a patient's condition.

Hormone testing with functional medicine consultations is typically more comprehensive than conventional appointments. Practitioners take a detailed history and may recommend specialized tests to assess the body's overall function. This allows for the creation of a personalized treatment plan aimed at addressing the root cause of the problem, promoting long-term health. 

When Vague Symptoms Leave You Lost: The Power of Hormone Testing

We all experience clear-cut health issues – a sprained ankle, heartburn, or sleep deprivation. These come with well-known solutions: rest, medication, or a nap. But what about those times you just feel "off"? You might have persistent bloating, headaches, fatigue, or a mix of unexplained symptoms.

The urge might be to pinpoint a single culprit, but this can be challenging. Our body systems are interconnected, so vague and numerous health problems are often multifactorial. This means a combination of small imbalances and dysfunctions throughout your body contribute to these symptoms and that overall feeling of unwellness.

This is where hormone testing comes in. It offers a valuable tool to explore potential root causes behind those vague symptoms.

Why Functional Medicine Takes a Deeper Look with Hormone Testing

Conventional medicine relies heavily on standard lab ranges to assess health. However, functional medicine practitioners acknowledge that these ranges might not provide the full picture. Many patients with "normal" lab results still experience troubling symptoms.

To address this, functional medicine goes beyond routine tests and utilizes:

  • Functional Labs: These specialized tests delve deeper into specific body functions, offering a more comprehensive analysis.
  • Optimal Ranges: Functional practitioners might use narrower, "optimal" ranges to identify potential issues earlier than standard ranges might allow.

This two-pronged approach aims to:

  • Uncover Underlying Imbalances: Functional labs can pinpoint areas where your system might be out of balance, even if traditional tests appear normal.
  • Preventative Measures: Early detection of potential problems allows for interventions that might reverse or halt disease progression completely.
  • Personalized Treatment: Every patient has unique needs. Speciality labs help tailor therapy to restore balance in your specific system.

Some of these tests include

GI Map

Research increasingly reveals the gut's influence on a wide range of chronic conditions, from digestive issues like IBS to seemingly unrelated problems like fatigue, headaches, and even depression.

Comprehensive stool analysis helps assess gut health by looking for various biomarkers, including:

  • Digestive and absorption: These markers assess how efficiently your body breaks down and utilizes nutrients.
  • Inflammation: Markers like calprotectin indicate an inflammatory response in the gut lining.
  • Microbial balance: The test identifies the presence and levels of different bacteria, including potential pathogens like H. pylori and C. difficile, as well as parasites or worms.

GI Map is a popular stool analysis test known for its thoroughness. It utilizes a special technology (quantitative PCR) to detect a broad range of microbes (over 50!), including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and even viruses. It can also assess immune markers in the gut lining and markers related to pancreatic function and fat digestion.

The Organic Acids Test (OAT)

The Organic Acids Test (OAT) is a popular tool in functional medicine, often recommended after an initial consultation. This urine test provides a valuable window into a patient's overall metabolic health.

Here's what the OAT analyzes:

  • Organic Acids: By examining these byproducts of metabolism, the test can assess gut health, specifically the balance of yeast and bacteria. Imbalances in these microbes can contribute to mood disorders, fatigue, digestive issues, and even weight problems.
  • Nutrient Levels: Many OATs also evaluate vitamin and mineral levels, providing insights into potential deficiencies that might be impacting health.
  • Oxidative Stress: This test can identify markers of oxidative stress, which can damage cells and contribute to chronic conditions.
  • Neurotransmitters: Assessing neurotransmitter levels can help identify potential imbalances that might be affecting mood, sleep, or focus.
  • Oxalates: Elevated oxalate levels can contribute to various health concerns.

If the OAT reveals abnormalities, functional medicine practitioners can recommend personalized interventions. These might include targeted dietary changes, supplementation with vitamins and antioxidants, or other strategies. Positive results from addressing these imbalances can often include increased energy, improved mood, better digestion, and overall enhanced well-being. 

Identifying Food Intolerances with IgG Testing

Do you suspect certain foods might be affecting your well-being? Food sensitivities can cause a variety of issues, and pinpointing them can be challenging.

An IgG food sensitivity test offers a potential solution. This blood test measures your body's production of IgG antibodies towards specific foods. High IgG levels for a particular food might suggest an intolerance.

The results of this test can be a valuable starting point for creating an elimination diet, helping you identify and remove potential food triggers.

Choose Hormone Testing with Nina Ross Functional Medicine

Functional medicine's strength lies in its comprehensive approach to health. Through a wider range of specialized lab hormone testing at Nina Ross Functional Medicine, it delves deeper into the body's inner workings, uncovering potential imbalances and dysfunctions. This allows for the creation of personalized treatment plans that truly address the root causes of a patient's health concerns.

Nina Ross
Certified Naturopathic Doctor

What can Nina Ross Functional Medicine do for you?

Nina Ross Functional Medicine is here to give you holistic solutions that will lead to a new healthy you!

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