In some situations, however, it can be very useful to use laboratory tests for one of the following reasons:
- To identify the underlying causes of complex health problems or symptoms
- To identify a specific biochemical imbalance which may need to be corrected
- To assess your current state of health in order to reduce your risk of certain diseases such as osteoporosis or heart disease or breast cancer
- To enable me to carefully target your nutritional programme
- To monitor the effectiveness of the programme
Many people also choose to have one or more tests when they have had a raft of medical tests which have found nothing, and yet they still feel unwell and know that something is not right.
What kind of tests are available?
I offer a very wide range of laboratory tests (see the link below). They cover hormones, digestion, food allergy/intolerance, energy, stress, toxicity, nutrient levels, mental health, disease risk assessments and specific tests for M.E./chronic fatigue.
They are all private tests. A few of them are also available through your G.P., but the vast majority are very up-to-date functional tests which provide different information to standard medical tests. Many of them are used by doctors in the U.K. and abroad.
How do I know if I need any tests, and if so which one(s)?
Since you may not need to spend money on tests, I generally advise you to have a first consultation with me. We can then discuss your health and the need for and cost of any tests. In many cases, I will advise that I don't think any tests are needed. Where I do think a test would be useful, I will explain the reasons for my recommendation clearly and give you the opportunity to think about it. You will then be able to make your own decision.
If you decide to go ahead, you order the test directly from the laboratory. Ordering your test is very straightforward.
Who carries out the tests?
I use three very carefully selected laboratories, two based in the U.K. and one in the U.S. All are very reputable scientific laboratories: for example, one U.S. laboratory is certified by the American College of Pathologists.
I am fully versed in the interpretation of the test results, and regularly
attend training/update sessions run by the laboratories’ doctors and scientists.
Test ordering and results
When you order a test, the laboratory will send you a test kit with full instructions for taking and returning your sample. (The instructions are very clear, but as back-up they also have very good helplines).
Many of the tests can be done easily at home via a saliva, urine or stool sample. Some others, such as hormone and nutrient tests, require a blood sample. Generally your local practice nurse will be happy to take your blood sample, although some people also choose to use the local private hospital.
The test results will be sent back to me for review. You will then receive a call from the clinic to tell you that your results are available, and to ask you to book in for a consultation to explain the findings and their implications for your nutrition and health.
How can I find out more about the tests?
If you want to think about any tests that you may need prior to your first appointment, you can use one of the links below: