To test or not to test?
I believe in getting to the root cause of symptoms and ill-health and in order to do this, laboratory testing is a key tool in being able to fully understand your health picture. You are not obliged to agree to testing as tests are expensive, but having a clear understanding of what is going on in your body systems is extremely valuable and should be seen as an investment in your future health.
I work with a number of highly reputable UK and European laboratories that can undertake a variety of genetic, blood, stool and hormone tests. All of these test kits are sent to you directly and posted back to the laboratories, including stool samples and finger prick blood tests. I will also refer you back to the GP for any tests that are included under the NHS - these typically including thyroid, iron panel, B vitamins, blood sugars, inflammation markers, Vitamin D, coeliac etc to avoid you spending any money on testing unnecessarily.
Comprehensive stool testing is the gold standard in gut tests. Stool testing kits are sent to your home with detailed instructions for you to take samples and post back directly to the lab. It will provide you with detailed information about the composition of your microbiome ('good' versus 'bad' bacteria'), whether you have presence and overgrowths of pathogenic bacteria, yeasts or parasites, gall bladder function, condition of stomach lining and more!
DNA testing (Nutrigenomics), provides valuable insights into your DNA in relation to nutrition. By undertaking this simple blood test at home, you will understand how your body is primed by your DNA to process vitamins, minerals and nutrients and looks at how well you process foods like caffeine, alcohol, sugar. The report will tell you what your risks are for future illnesses including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammation, mental health disorders etc.
Hormone tests are an important tool if hormonal imbalance is suspected as a root cause of symptoms. A DUTCH test kit, which measures levels of hormones in your urine over the course of a day, will provide you with detailed information about levels of oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone as well as looking at stress hormones like cortisol. Symptoms like persistent fatigue and hormonal symptoms suggest imbalance or hormone insufficiency so this test will provide answers.