Functional Lab Testing
Want to find out where you stand with your health right now – Lisa Snowdon, Accredited Nutritionist of Vibrant Nutrition interprets a number of diagnostic tests, including functional medicine and standard blood tests, for clients that help benchmark and measure current levels of health and wellness. There are other tests available to us but these are the ones Lisa uses on a regular basis. Just click on the links below to be taken to the tests you want to know more about.
We will only recommend diagnostic tests when we feel that it will provide significant information that will benefit your health outcomes. We will always let you know whether a test is available through your GP on Medicare, prior to recommending private laboratory testing.
Although the initial cost of some tests may be quite high, test results enable us to put together a program that is targeted and specific to your needs – this often means that your goals are reached much more quickly. All tests incur additional charges payable directly to the pathology lab.
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
There are various stool analysis profiles available to us, depending on your needs. They are functional tests that provide an overview of the components of digestion, absorption, intestinal function and microbial flora, as well as identifying pathogenic bacteria, parasites and yeasts (microbiology).
We identify which test is most suitable to you and your individual symptoms at your initial consultation, once I've got your full health history, your treatment objectives and a food diary. No test is 100% accurate on it's own, but it is a large part of diagnosing your individual challenges and developing your treatment plan. The test involves a simple stool collection, in the comfort of your own home.
The gastrointestinal system plays a central role in health. Efficient gastrointestinal function is imperative for adequate nutritional status and changes in its function can impact upon any system in the body.
Gut Influences On Other Areas:
1. Immune function and inflammation
2. Nervous system
3. Neuroendocrine function / Hormone balance
4. Detoxification system / Liver function / Methylation
5. Cardiovascular system
6. Nutritional status
7. Mood imbalances
Maldigestion and Malabsorption
Maldigestion, malabsorption and abnormal gut flora balance (dysbiosis) and ecology lie at the root of most common gastrointestinal complaints as well as many complex chronic illnesses and numerous other conditions that may not present with digestive symptoms, such as arthritis, skin and connective tissue disorders and autoimmune diseases.
Symptoms that may be indicative of poor gut function and indications for stool testing include:
1. Constipation / Diarrhoea
2. Flatulence / Bloating / Reflux
3. Abdominal discomfort / IBS
4. Bad breath
5. Malabsorption syndromes
6. Food sensitivities
7. Liver dysfunction
9. Nutrient insufficiencies
10. Toxicity issues
11. Chronic disease
12. Immune disorders / chronic inflammation
13. Hormone / neuroendocrine disorders
14. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
15. Improve / Optimise health
The main stool test I use is the GI-Map or complete microbiome mapping. I also work with UBiome testing for long-term microbiome tracking and changes. I'm comfortable ordering or interpreting any stool test required for your needs.
Hydrogen & Methane Breath Test For SIBO, Lactose Intolerance & Frucose Malabsorption
Many people malabsorb sugars commonly found in foods and drinks we consume. These sugars include Fructose, Lactose and Sorbitol. Malabsorption of these sugars is a key trigger of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-type symptoms such as diarrhoea and/or constipation, bloating, excess/bad smelling flatulence, headaches and lack of energy.
Hydrogen/methane breath testing is the leading analysis for Fructose, Lactose and Sorbitol malabsorption and for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). This testing forms the first step in a simple, two-step process. The second step is to obtain my guidance on modifying your diet while managing your nutritional intake, to manage and minimise any IBS-type symptoms.
IBS affects around 20% of the adult population and while these people suffer for years with IBS-type symptoms, simple breath test analysis and proper follow up can lead to the effective management of these symptoms and an enjoyment of improved lifestyle, often within a short timeframe.
If you are interested in these tests please email me: [email protected] find out if it's suitable for your requirements. I offer a referral for the tests, results interpretation and a treatment plan to correct any imbalances found.
ELIMINATION & DIETARY CHALLENGE TEST
This is the best method to identify food reactivities, especially food intolerances and is far simpler than it sounds. Food intolerance often involves a number of foods, and so the most likely culprits are simultaneously avoided for about 21 days. Many common foods fall into this category.
Should symptoms improve significantly or clear, each food is re-introduced one-by-one to see if it reignites any symptoms. The process is known as unmasking because the re-introduction following avoidance seems to make the symptom more pronounced. After confirmation, if reactive foods can be avoided for a further 3-6 months tolerance can improve and these foods can again be used sparingly, without the same ill effects. People who are quite poorly because of this problem are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms during the first few days. This is a clinical test, not the treatment!
Several clinical trials have shown that changes of diet, based on the findings of an Elimination & Challenge process, benefit a very high proportion of patients by identifying the food-triggers.
If you are interested in this dietary test or want to discuss your options please email me: [email protected] to find out if it's suitable for your requirements. I have a clear elimination diet and re-introduction phase program that identifies your food intolerances, addresses gut healing and we develop a diet plan going forward to best prevent re-occurrence and get you back to enjoying food again.
IgG, IgA & IgE FOOD PANELS
These tests are used to assess individuals with adverse reactions to food/s.
Food sensitivities or allergies may be a source of considerable discomfort in many chronic conditions and diseases. The symptoms are varied and individuals can react in different ways. Common conditions where food sensitivity may play a significant role include bloating and fluid retention, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, depression and mood swings, asthma, skin conditions and behavioural problems in children.
A blood draw is required for IgE testing and you will be referred to a pathology lab as convenient as possible to your location. I can do IgG and IgA blood spot testing in the clinic and then the kit is sent back to the lab for testing.
If you are interested in this test please email me: [email protected] find out if it's suitable for your requirements. I offer a referral for the test (or we can do the blood spot test in the clinic, results interpretation and a treatment plan to correct any imbalances found.
The ALCAT panel is used to identify negative immune responses.
The ALCAT test identifies cellular reactions to over 350 foods, chemicals and herbs. These inflammatory reactions are linked to chronic health conditions like obesity and diabetes, as well as skin, heart, joint, and digestive disorders.
The ALCAT Test is now considered the, 'gold standard' laboratory method for identification of non-IgE mediated reactions. The ALCAT Test does not detect Food Allergy. Food intolerance, on the other hand, is much more common than food allergies and is characterised by digestive disorders, migraines, obesity, chronic fatigue, aching joints, skin disorders and behavioural issues. Unfortunately for many, those food intolerance symptoms are often identified as individual problems and treated as such, thus treating the symptoms and not the cause. The ALCAT is the most effective Food Intolerance Test available.
If you are interested in this diagnostic test please email me: [email protected] find out if it's suitable for your requirements. I offer a referral for the test, results interpretation and a treatment plan to correct any imbalances found.
ORGANIC ACID TEST
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behaviour disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids. The cause of these high levels could include: oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, and genetic factors.
If abnormalities are detected using the OAT, treatments can include supplements, such as vitamins and antioxidants, or dietary modification. Upon treatment, people have reported significant improvement such as decreased fatigue, regular bowel function, increased energy and alertness, increased concentration, improved verbal skills, less hyperactivity, weight loss and decreased abdominal pain. The OAT is recommended as an initial screening test or to confirm treatment progress. I use Great Plains Organic Acid test.
An accurate approximation of dietary iodine intake. Urinary Iodine measurements provide a biological indicator of Iodine Deficiency Disorders.
Iodine's main action is involved in thyroid function. Due to the numerous actions carried out by the thyroid gland, the implications of iodine deficiency are vast. Iodine is an essential constituent of the thyroid hormones which are essential for growth and development, particularly during pregnancy, early infancy and childhood, as well as control of metabolic processes in the body.
If you are interested in any of these Functional Medicine tests please email me: [email protected] find out which is most suitable for your requirements. I offer a referral for the test, results interpretation and a treatment plan to correct any imbalances found.
Using a Lactulose and Mannitol challenge, the Intestinal Permeability (IP) test, also referred to as a “leaky gut” test, is a precise and non-invasive method for assessing gastrointestinal mucosal integrity.
Damage to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract (small and large intestine) is common in people with conditions such as food sensitivity and food allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, arthritis, coeliac disease and dermatological conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
The lining of the gut wall is often subjected to a wide variety of insults from substances such as alcohol, caffeine, spices, medicines and environmental chemicals. The impact of chronic stress may also affect the permeability of the gut wall over time.
Testing for Zonulin also indicates leaky gut. This is one of the markers on the GI-Map stool test.
Correcting the altered permeability may have an immediate effect on the relief of symptoms and facilitate the gradual improvement in the underlying condition.
If you are interested in this diagnostic testing please email me: [email protected] find out if it's suitable for your requirements. I offer a referral for the test, results interpretation and a treatment plan to correct any imbalances found.
DUTCH Test from Precision Analytical
Dutch testing offers the most extensive profile of adrenal and sex hormones, along with their metabolites. The daily pattern of free cortisol, along with melatonin is included.
It offers effective HRT monitoring. It's a convenient at home urine test of 4 or 5 dried urine samples over a 24 hour period.
Full cycle mapping is also available.
BASELINE HORMONE PROFILE – FEMALE
Provides valuable information on an individual’s hormonal status and the potential impact this may have on physical and emotional health. Hormonal imbalance may result in weight gain, mood swings, night sweats, disturbed sleep patterns, loss of libido and hot flushes.
Saliva specimens are collected on specified days of the month, according to the nature of the investigation. Results obtained from the Hormone Profile make it possible to individualise treatment in order to establish optimal hormone balance. Testing can also be used to monitor the effects of bioidentical/natural hormone replacement therapy.
BASELINE HORMONE PROFILE – MALE
Provides valuable information on an individual’s hormonal status and the potential impact this may have on physical and emotional health. Hormonal imbalance may result in weight gain, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns and loss of libido.
MELATONIN HORMONE PROFILE
Low levels of melatonin may result in sleep disturbances such as insomnia, poor immune function, depression and other mood disorders. If you are suffering from Stress, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Elevated Cholesterol levels, Type 2 Diabetes, Difficulty losing Weight, or Insomnia then the Melatonin Hormone Profile along with the Adrenocortex Stress Profile may help to shed some light as to why. These are simple saliva tests conducted in your own home and returned to the lab by post.
ADRENOCORTEX STRESS PROFILE (CORTISOL & DHEA)
The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is a safe, noninvasive test that determines your DHEA and cortisol levels using 4 saliva samples which can be easily collected at home or at work. Balance is the key in assessing the overall effect of adrenal hormones on the body. That’s why, in addition to individual measures of DHEA and cortisol, the test report includes a DHEA/cortisol ratio that indicates your body’s unique and dynamic balance of these crucial stress hormones.
This test is used to asses the thyroid antibodies - thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase. The presence of auto-antibodies against thyroglobulin indicates possible inflammation of the thyroid gland (Hashimoto's thyroiditis).
The presence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies is also indicative for autoimmune thyroid disorders. They may be positive in Hashimoto's thyroiditis, idiopathic myxoedema and Grave's disease. Non-immune thyroid disorders show no greater incidence than normal.
THYROID HORMONE PROFILE
The Thyroid Hormone Profile which measures TSH, fT3 and fT4, is easily performed at home. This test measures the levels of unbound free hormones which are available to the tissues, and reflects a true measure of the body's metabolic rate.
Thyroid conditions are one of the most undiagnosed conditions in Australia with symptoms ranging from fatigue, depression, weight gain, anxiety, constipation, weight loss, diarrhoea and heart palpitations. Thyroid function decreases with age and an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism is most common in menopausal and post menopausal women.
If you are interested in any of these biological tests please email me: [email protected] find out which is most suitable for your requirements. I offer a referral for the test, results interpretation and a treatment plan to correct any imbalances found.
As most people know when you visit a practitioner for the first time, we take a complete health history including asking questions of certain health conditions that close relatives may have. The reason for this is that our genetics often determine our risk of getting certain diseases and this information helps us determine some of the things you can do to reduce those risks.
Now new medical evidence suggests that you can further reduce your risks of certain illnesses by having your DNA tested and following the diet and lifestyle factors that have been proven to help turn on and off the genes you may have that make you more prone to a disease.
As you well know, your DNA is like a blue print that gives experts information as to your genetic history. DNA has been used to either clear or convict people of certain crimes, and to help people discover what areas of the world their ancestors came from. This same DNA can give health practitioners insight to your current and future health and how changes in fitness, lifestyle and nutrition can help to lower your risk of disease and keep you feeling healthier throughout your life and possibly extend your life and the quality of your life.
Health Benefits of DNA Testing
There are actually many health benefits of DNA testing. Some of these benefits include:
Weight Management. While you can't change your DNA you can dial up or dial down the effect of your DNA on weight management. When overweight people use diets based on their genotype they tend to lose weight twice as fast as those who chose diets based on nutrition alone. Being able to better manage your weight and diet can help to reduce your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
More Effective Exercise. DNA testing can actually help your us pinpoint the best exercises and intensity of exercise you should do to help you lose weight and to improve your overall health.
Helps You Age Better. DNA testing can also help you and your practitioner better understand how your body works and what changes in diet, nutrition and lifestyle can help you to age better maintaining your quality of life throughout your life, helping you age better keeping you healthier and helping you to look and feel younger.
Reducing the Risk of Serious Diseases. Changes in your nutrition, lifestyle and diet based on your DNA can also reduce your risk of many serious diseases as it can help you to reduce low level inflammation in your body, keep your weight in check and even help you to reduce stress and sleep better.
The health benefits of DNA testing can be extremely helpful to anyone, but it may be vital for those people who have been adopted and know little or nothing about their birth families or their birth families medical histories. People who have no knowledge of their medical histories now will have a better chance to maintain or improve their health through DNA testing, which means that when they have their own children they will have the knowledge and tools to protect their children's health.
HTMA provides indications of mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses of essential minerals & toxic metals. It provides reliable clinical data on over 35 nutrient and toxic minerals, and over 26 significant mineral ratios. If you feel uncertain as to what might be lacking in your diet or the level of toxicity in your body then this test is for you.
Why test for minerals?
Minerals are essential for growth, healing, vitality and wellbeing. They provide structural support in bones and teeth, and they maintain the body's acid-base balance, water balance, nerve conduction, muscle contractions and enzyme functions. Minerals participate in almost every metabolic process in the body - they are the 'spark-plugs' of life.
Ideally we should get all the minerals we need from a balanced diet. Unfortunately this is rarely possible in today's world. Modern farming techniques, fertilisers and depleted soils reduce the mineral content of foods. Environmental toxins, chemical food additives and stressful lifestyles also have a detrimental effect on our nutritional status. Consequently, we need to test and monitor our nutritional needs more than ever.
Why biopsy hair tissue?
Hair is a body tissue made up of mostly dead, keratinised cells fused together. The shaft of the hair is the portion that projects from the skin surface. The root of the hair, below the skin surface, contains living matrix cells from which the hair grows. Matrix cells depend on the blood supply for nourishment and growth. As they grow and divide, minerals are keratinised into the growing hair shaft, creating a record of metabolic activity and exposure to toxic elements.
Mineral concentrations in the hair can provide a reliable indicator of mineral stores in the whole body. If your health, diet or environment has created a mineral imbalance or toxic mineral excess, it will be recorded in the hair shaft. Research has shown that hair mineral levels reflect stored mineral levels in other body tissues.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is a non-intrusive health screening tool for measuring your body's mineral status. This data can highlight potential health problems like thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, copper excess, anaemia and help you to treat them through a nutritional program designed to meet your individual health needs. All you need is a sample of your hair and the results are returned to us within 2 weeks.
If you are interested in this diagnostic test please email me: [email protected]find out if it's suitable for your requirements. I offer a referral for the test, results interpretation and a treatment plan to correct any imbalances found.
The body’s acid-alkaline balance can be easily measured using urine, saliva or both. Eating the wrong food, drinking alcohol, coffee/tea can make you too acidic. For ideal health, we should be pH balanced.
If you are interested in testing your pH there are various test kits available to test at home. For more information on pH testing and alkalising your diet email: [email protected].