Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for chronic illness. Evaluating organ and systems functions rather than looking for a specific disease is a basic principle of functional medicine. Functional medicine lab tests may examine blood, hair, stool, urine, or saliva. These tests, conducted by Noah Samuels, L.Ac, Dipl. OM, MTOM, check your nutritional status, digestive function, allergies, detoxification ability and more.

Functional laboratory tests available include, but are not limited to:

GI Effects Function Profile (includes both the Microbial Ecology & Chemistries profiles): This test is a thorough look at the gut. It assesses bacteria, fungus, and parasites. In addition, it tests for markers of inflammation and malabsorption. This is an essential test for those with IBS, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis), and autism spectrum disorders.

SpectraCell MicroNutrient Testing: MicroNutrient testing is an innovative assessment of a patient’s nutritional status. Over 31 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants are evaluated. It is the gold standard of nutritional assessment tests. (Requires a blood draw)

IgG Food Sensitivity Profile: This test measures levels of IgG antibodies specific to 30-200 clearly identifying foods causing patient reactions. IgG antibodies are associated with non-atopic or “delayed” food reactions that can worsen or contribute to many health conditions. (Requires a blood draw)

Adrenal Stress Index: This test is a measure of an individual’s response to stress. It is also an important tool for pointing to adrenal imbalances that may be impacting a patient’s health. This test assesses 4 cortisol levels, DHEA, progesterone, insulin, and gluten sensitivity.

Cycling Female Hormone Panel: The Female Hormone Panel is a non-invasive test consisting of 11 saliva specimens collected during specified time periods throughout the menstrual cycle. It provides a dynamic mapping of the free fraction levels of Estradiol and Progesterone throughout one cycle. In addition, the cycle average of Testosterone and DHEA are measured. This test includes also includes an additional five FSH and five LH measurements. This test is important for menstrual irregularities and fertility.

Menopause Hormone Profile: The Menopause Hormone Panel provides measurements of six key hormones: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), Estriol (E3), Progesterone (P), Testosterone (T) and DHEA, DHEA-S. This test is essential for determining an appropriate protocol for optimal hormone balancing during menopause.

Celiac Profile: Celiac disease is an immune mediated response to gluten that affects the gastrointestinal tract. The celiac profile is composed of three tests: IgA human tissue translutaminase (IgA-tTG), Serum IgA, and IgA antigliadin antibody (IgA-AGA). The profile combines the three tests to accurately identify those likely to have celiac disease.  (Requires a blood draw)

Nutrient & Toxic Elements (Hair): 
Hair has a long history of successful use in detecting chronic exposure to toxic heavy metals in humans and animal models because hair concentrates heavy metals several hundred fold above concentrations found in blood. When any of the toxic heavy metals are elevated in hair, there is reason to investigate the origin of exposure. High levels in hair may reflect early chronic exposure before other signs and symptoms appear.

Neurotransmitter Profile: This test analyzes the six main neurotransmitters involved in proper mood and cognitive function. This test is essential for mood, sleep and memory disorders.

Organix Comprehensive Profile: This test measures organic acid levels to reveal the nutritional and metabolic basis of patient symptoms, including weight gain, anxiety, mood changes, and immune responses.
Other tests are also available including heart & cholesterol panels, thyroid panels, Lyme Disease test, and Comprehensive Metabolic Profiles, and many others upon request.

All test kit samples are collected off-site (most are home kits, some require a blood draw at a referred certified lab, or home blood draws can be arranged). The kits are then sent to various fully CLIA certified lab testing facilities.

How does Functional Medicine Lab Testing differ from traditional blood work, as done by my physician?

The western medical establishment is disease-oriented, while the integrative medical practice is wellness-oriented. When a physician runs standard blood work, they are looking for an already established disease process e.g. hypothyroidism, high cholesterol, cancers, diabetes, polyps, colitis, etc..

The trouble with this is that many people might not have an actual disease, though they are still experiencing chronic symptoms.

Functional medicine lab testing looks between the lines. It assesses patterns of imbalance that can cause troublesome symptoms, but has not become a ‘disease state’ yet. It is ideal, though, that one address these imbalances before they become a disease, for at that point it can become much more difficult to reverse without lifelong medications, surgeries, treatments.