Metabolic and Functional Testing
Please click on the test links given below to see more detail, collection instructions, sample reports etc...
Blood Chemistry Testing
Most often, the first test a doctor will do for you is 'full bloods' which is a standard work-up of white blood cells, red blood cells, cholesterol, blood glucose, some liver, possibly thyroid and renal markers and the like. Very useful. It can pick up some really important markers. Often, what happens is you get told they are all 'normal'. I hear this a lot. They may all well be normal given average reference ranges, but I often see things on there which could suggest a less than optimal functioning somewhere or another. You can do your own version of a standard work-up as a kind of overall MOT test and there are now two ways to do that.
The closest to the GP work-up is the Genova Functional Blood Chemistry Profile which is excellent, gives you a good easy-to-read report with optimal and not just standard reference ranges. It includes everything you would expect plus a very useful HBA1c diabetes score.
More comprehensive by far is the FDX03 Health Report from Functional Diagnostics, invented by Dr Dicken Weatherby. This gives optimal ranges but also a shed-load more interpretation using the lab results as indicators and predictors of problems instead of just giving you a baffling set of numbers. It includes a very detailed report with a lot of useful - practical - info you can work with if that's what you need. It also includes much more on hormones, folate, B12, Vit D, fasting insulin, a PSA count for men, homocysteine and fibrinogen. Obviously, it's more expensive because you get more markers and all the interpretation instead of a set of numbers. You can see a sample report here (note the report indexes start at page 7. Samples returned to the lab by courier, which is included. Blood needs to be centrifuged, as does the Genova one. Test instructions are here.. I truly wish more people would have this test done!
I am often asked for an overall MOT health check test and I think this is a core one I will be using from now on with stuff added on top as necessary. You can also combine with with one of the functional or metabolic tests below for a really wide look.
Metabolic & Functional Testing
In essence, metabolic and functional testing simply means looking at how the body is functioning and metabolising stuff, how the systems are working. The labs look at amino and organic acids and use complicated analysis to work out from their complex relationships which systems of the body might need more support. This is a different way from testing actual cellular levels of nutrients for example, and I have written more on the differences in these two types of nutrient testing in the Nutrient Tests section.
You can do Genova's Metabolic Analysis (MAP) test separately as it's cheaper, but most people do the Genova ONE (Optimum Nutrition Evaluation) urine test, which is better value and also includes Oxidative Stress Analysis and more on the nutrient needs specifically.
Some people really like GPL's OAT Test too so I've added that for you. This one is done via Regenerus in the UK for us.
In effect, it gives you info on some key functional areas: gut function, cellular energy production, neurotransmitter levels, oxidative stress levels etc as well as specific recommendations for nutrients and antioxidants.
Even better is the Genova Nutreval, which does all that plus gives a cellular test for the minerals, toxic metals, essential fatty acids, Vitamin D, homocysteine and more besides. Note this one is blood and urine and the blood part needs centrifuging. Their ION profile is also excellent and very similar to the Nutreval. Really look at what each one includes to see which would give you the answers you seek. The ION has massively come down in price recently so I have now included it for you as a choice.
I've also added the Genova Bloodspot Plasma Amino Acids 20. I use this quite often for double-checking neuotransmitter issues like glutamic acid and detox/methylation precursors like methionine. (Please Note: March 18: the Bloodspot Amino Acid tests do not include the supplement recommendations bit of the report at the moment as they are redeveloping it.)
Always check tests to see if they give you what you need. Incidentally, I give you the results report with the analysis on that I get as these tests can be very complex to interpret!