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Functional Nutrient Testing

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What is functional nutrient testing and why is it important?

 

Our bodies can't function properly without optimal nutrition.  Many factors affect our ability to absorb and utilize nutrients efficiently for the body’s vital functions, including:  

  • diet 

  • GI function 

  • chronic stress 

  • exposure to environmental toxins 

  • medications

Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, help facilitate biochemical reactions that are essential in metabolism, tissue function, and disease prevention. For example, key nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium, and selenium, are crucial in hormone balance, gut health, and immunity. Inadequate intake or absorption of such nutrients may lead to hormonal imbalances such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and other inflammatory diseases. 

.... But, how do you know which nutrients are actually in excess - or deficient, causing your symptoms? 

Although there are food intake apps that track calorie and nutrient intake, they have limitations. These apps don’t always account for the varying nutritional needs resulting from changing metabolism. Thus, it is difficult to pinpoint nutrient imbalances without lab work conducted through blood, saliva, and urine tests. Comprehensive functional nutrient testing itself, in addition to clinical lab testing, may provide better insight into your body, so that healthcare professionals can make their best recommendations and customize treatment plans.

How is functional nutrient testing different from the lab work performed by the doctor?

​There is a big difference between the common clinical tests done by your doctor and the functional testing that nutrition professionals offer. The goal of your doctor is to help make a proper diagnosis of your symptoms; the goal of functional nutrient testing is to identify the root cause of the symptoms. Functional testing can be a helpful tool in analyzing how your body uses and metabolizes nutrients and their effect on your health. 

Both testing options are important, especially when you have tried many medical interventions, with no relief or definitive diagnosis. Unlike most common lab tests, functional testing, such as the DUTCH test, can detect hormone metabolites and organic acids.  As a result, we can pinpoint the root cause and create holistic nutrition recommendations. 

What can functional testing tell you about your health status? 

It depends on the nutrient testing we use. For example, Vibrant America micronutrient testing checks your short-term and long-term nutritional status through blood tests. The test results give us an insight into the potential effect of the nutritional status of your symptoms and conditions. On the other hand, DUTCH hormone testing tells you:

  • how your reproductive hormones - including estrogen, progesterone, and androgens, are made and used in the body.

  • the level of your adrenal hormones, oxidative stress, melatonin, and other important nutritional markers. 

Because nutrition recommendations for hormone-related conditions, such as endometriosis and PCOS, are very different, the DUTCH test, and other nutrient testing, can help us navigate the potential root cause and effective solutions for you. 

Which functional testing is available at Forty Love Nutrition? 

 

DUTCH Test by Precision Analytics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUTCH test: short for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. This test mainly checks your reproductive hormones, including estrogen and androgens, by analyzing the hormone metabolites and organic acids found in your urine. In addition, this test can identify: 

  • your cortisol patterns 

  • oxidative stress level

  • and certain micronutrient status 

all of which affect the body’s ability to balance your hormones. Typical blood work for hormones can't detect these hormone metabolites, which is why the DUTCH test can be helpful in understanding the root cause of your conditions.​

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Who is this test good for? - the DUTCH test is recommended for those who are experiencing hormonal symptoms such as

 

  • irregular cycles 

  • amenorrhea 

  • acne 

  • fatigue 

  • depression/anxiety 

  • insomnia 

  • weight gain

Micronutrient and Metabolic Testing by Vibrant America

 

 

Vibrant America micronutrient and metabolic tests: Vibrant America offers a variety of nutrient and metabolic testing, which can check your: 

  • micronutrient status

  • food sensitivities

  • inflammation 

  • insulin sensitivity

  • environmental toxin and metal exposure

 

These factors may be affecting your hormones and other functions. By testing these key biochemical markers, we can better understand the cause of metabolic conditions, GI dysfunction, and other chronic illnesses.​​​

  • Micronutrient 3.0 testing: this blood test analyzes your nutrient status at extracellular and intracellular levels. Extracellular level shows your nutrient status in a given time, which may be affected by recent changes in your diet, supplements and other factors. On the other hand, intracellular level manifests your long-term nutrient status, which allows us to further investigate the cause of the long-term nutrient deficiencies. By understanding which micronutrients are in excess or deficient, we can make appropriate nutrition interventions to help balance your nutrition and restore your health. 

  • ​​Metabolic testing: offers a variety of metabolic testing to help us determine the root causes of your metabolic-related symptoms including: 

  • insulin resistance

  • weight gain 

  • obesity

  • elevated blood lipid levels 

  • thyroid dysfunction

 

Although we can create nutrition treatment plans for you, we may refer you to a doctor if a medical diagnosis and interventions are needed, based on the test results. 

 

Who is these tests good for? - Vibrant America tests are good for those with chronic inflammatory conditions and symptoms who are interested in learning about their micronutrient status. In addition, anyone can benefit from these tests by understanding the potential nutritional imbalances that may be causing the symptoms such as fatigue, pain, obesity, insomnia, and anxiety.

What do you expect from the test results? 

After your tests are submitted to a designated lab, it will take approximately 10-14 business days for the test results (5-6 pages) to be available on the lab portal. Then, we analyze the reports, review each result with you, and provide our best nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. More detailed information about the functional nutrient testing, pricing for each test, and the testing process are available for you to ensure that the test you select meets your health needs. 

​Interested? Let's schedule a free 20 min call so you can learn more about the testing and if it is right for you! 

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