Three Functional Tests Everyone Can Benefit From.

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Welcome to my blog where I nerd out on all things holistic & functional wellness. I’m wildly passionate about helping women change their relationship to food. Come along for the ride!


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If you’ve followed me over the last few years you know “Test, don’t guess!” is one of my mantras. As an FDN, I’m trained to use functional lab testing to help my clients get to the bottom of their chronic health issues. 

The body WANTS to heal and we have the innate ability to do so! But if there are interferences happening somewhere in the body, it will prevent that healing from taking place.

My job is to identify those areas of dysfunction keeping the body stuck and begin removing them. 

Functional lab testing helps us target any underlying hidden causes of disease. This is not about  diagnosing and medicating symptoms, this is about getting to the root cause of symptoms.

This deep level of testing allows us to find hidden stressors in the body such as hormone imbalances, digestive dysfunction, immune dysfunction, detoxification issues, and neurotransmitter issues. It takes the guesswork out and we can see exactly what is happening in your body, not just the end result (diagnosis).

Our symptoms are telling us part of the story, they are not THE story.

Suppressing symptoms with medications, do not do anything to address the root cause and because the root cause still exists, you will get stuck collecting more symptoms (and likely more medications).

Identifying the areas of dysfunction, removing the stressors, and restoring balance to the system allows the body to heal itself. And few things are as empowering as deeply understanding exactly what is happening in your body.

Here are 3 functional tests everyone can benefit from:

GI-MAP Stool Test:

Hippocrates said it best, “All disease begins in the gut.” The GI-MAP gives us the most comprehensive look at what is happening in your gut. Bacteria, worms, yeast, viruses, parasites – you name it, we’ll see it! If you have any stealth infections or microbial imbalances and do not address them, you will continue to collect and chase symptoms around your body. The GI-MAP opens the door to find infections otherwise missed. 

We can also see if there is inflammation in the gut, if your immune system is reacting to gluten, and if there are enough digestive enzymes in your gut. This test gives us unparalleled insight into what’s happening in your gut and body. Before anything else will shift, you need to get your gut in order.

Wheat Zoomer Food Sensitivity Testing

It’s estimated that one in seven individuals in the US has a wheat-related disorder. The Wheat Zoomer is the most comprehensive and accurate test on the market to determine the spectrum of wheat and gluten related disorders. 

Because it evaluates the levels of IgA and IgG antibodies present in the blood, its far more accurate and eliminates the problem that exists with standard whole food sensitivity tests which have the potential to give us false-positives due to cross-reactivity that is so common in foods (i.e your body confuses corn for wheat). 

This test also includes an Intestinal Permeability (leaky gut) marker making it one of the most valuable tests for reducing, monitoring and managing the inflammatory effects of food sensitivities on the gut. 

DUTCH Hormone Panel

This is a game changer and the gold standard in hormone testing! It will tell you why your energy drops, why you’re not sleeping or why you wake up at 3am every night. It will tell you why your libido is in the tank or why you’re having a hard time losing weight. 

You will not find a more comprehensive in-depth hormone test. 

It gives you the complete hormone picture for not only your sex hormones like progesterone, estrogen, testosterone but it looks at your stress response and cortisol levels. And since it’s a urine hormone test (as opposed to blood), we can see how well your metabolizing estrogen, androgens and cortisol giving us a fuller more precise picture. 

Because symptoms can manifest in unique and different ways there is no one-size-fits-all place in functional medicine. And no matter where you are in your health journey, everyone would benefit from running these functional tests. 

If you are struggling with a chronic illness or autoimmune disease these tests are worth every penny.

There is no one thing that fixes dysfunction. Complex problems need comprehensive solutions! These labs are a huge part of what I do as an FDN. If you’re interested in digging in, set up a call with me and let’s see what we can do!

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Kristen Barrett, FNTP, FDN-P

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