Functional medicine is about taking the human body and treating it as a whole. The human body has many systems but they all work together to maintain homeostasis. In many cases with traditional medicine, a patient with headaches, joint pain, inflammation, and fatigue will be referred to many specialists to treat each individual symptom. However, by looking at the entire body as a whole and digging into the root cause of the issue and not just the symptom itself, a lot can be revealed.
With functional medicine, often times a series of labs are run that look deeper than the typical basic blood panel. In traditional medicine, a glucose and AHb1c test will be done to assess diabetes. In functional medicine, a deeper test is ordered to rule out other possibilities and practitioners are able to view all components of diabetes including , Adiponectin, Insulin. This allows a deeper understanding of what is happening inside the body and how to best treat it.
With this being said, there are many labs that functional and integrative medicine practitioners utilize, each specializing in their own unique panels. The average integrative practice uses an average of 5-10 different lab companies for their patients to have the best care. Eight of the most utilized lab companies are:
- Diagnostic Solutions offer many tests but their specialty lies within their GI Map. This test measures the gastrointestinal microbiota DNA from a stool sample. This allows practitioners to see and detect the exact microbes that may be causing a disturbance in the gut or a factor contributing to illness.
- Vibrant Wellness has a wide variety of tests but one of the most frequently used is the food sensitivity panel. This allows practitioners to see what foods their patients are consuming that are creating havoc for their gut health.
- SpectraCellstarted as a nutritional testing company but has since evolved into a lab that tests cellular nutrition, cardiometabolic health, hormone balances, and genetic predisposition.
- Precision Analytical (the D.U.T.C.H test) the D.U.T.C.H test stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones and takes a look at adrenal and hormone imbalances.
- Genova Diagnostics has a wide variety of tests but one of the most common is the GI Effects Comprehensive Profile. This test takes a patient’s stool and detects an organism’s DNA as part of a comprehensive assessment.
- Doctors Data provides a wide array of functional testing to provide patients with the best outcomes. Some tests include Environmental Exposure and Detoxification, Toxic and Essential Elements, and Allergy and Immunity.
- Cyrex categories their tests as “arrays”. These arrays test for things like diabetes autoimmune reactivity, The blood-brain barrier, Mucosal Immune Reactivity and more.
- Dunwoody Labs offers food sensitivity testing, adrenal, neurotransmitters and many more. Dunwoody can test for specific IgE and IgG4 molecules.
The patient’s health comes first, and getting down to the underlying issues sometimes requires one than one lab company. These companies use the top of the line technology to ensure their patients and physicians obtain the most accurate results for optimal healing.
It is important to make sure the patient gets the best possible care available. This usually means ordering different labs from different companies to obtain the best results. Each lab is great in its own way, but they often specialize in a certain area. This is key because it often allows the patient and the practitioner to get the highest quality of results. A practitioner who uses multiple labs is educated on the subject and truly cares for their patients. – Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
*The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request.