Many patients who suffer from chronic symptoms have had the experience of going to the doctor, getting diagnostic tests, and then being told, “all the tests are normal”.
How can this be? How can someone feel so poorly, yet have normal tests?
Here is the main reason. Almost every test and diagnostic procedure in conventional medicine is focused on uncovering a disease. In other words, the tests and procedures are looking for pathology. They are looking for something that is broken. They are looking for something that will show evidence of organ or structural damage. They are also looking for markers that indicate a “disease”.
For example, a blood test can show a high sugar level, elevated cholesterol, or a poorly functioning kidney. A cardiac catheterization can reveal a blocked artery, a bone density scan will see if you have osteoporosis.
However, none of these tests will show why you have these problems, and certainly none of these tests will be abnormal until you actually have a pathological condition (a disease).
Functional tests, on the hand are looking for imbalances in physiology, biochemistry, energy, and anatomy and, of course functionality.
Functional tests can detect imbalances that can lead to disease. These imbalances may precede true pathological (disease) manifestations by years or decades. By addressing (correcting) these imbalances early enough, wellness can be restored and overt disease prevented.
Here are some examples of some functional tests:
A comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA)- this is a battery of tests which measure chemicals in a stool sample. This test can detect species of bacteria and fungus, digestive enzyme levels, PH, absorption of fat, digestion of protein and several other parameters.
Serum homocysteine levels- homocysteineis a toxic amino acid that becomes elevated when B vitamin function is suboptimal. Elevated homocysteine is a surrogate marker for lack of available methyl groups in the system. These methyl groups are normally utilized to produce neurotransmitters, detoxify tissues, and serve as anti-oxidants and a long list of other functions. When methyl groups are depleted (and homocysteine is elevated) diseases such as coronary artery disease, birth defects, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, kidney problems and many others can result.
Metabolically Directed Functional Testing- This is a method of assessing several different mechanisms that control biochemical and physiological function. Acid-base balance, autonomic balance, anabolic-catabolic balance, electrolyte balance and blood sugar regulation can all be quantified through this method. Imbalances in any of the aforementioned control mechanisms can lead to a multitude of symptoms and long-term damage.
A Chinese Medicine evaluation based on characteristic signs in tongue diagnosis, pulses diagnosis, facial complexion, and body structure.
Functional testing can reveal imbalances in physiology, biochemistry, structure, energy and function. Once these imbalances are identified, a program to reverse them can be developed.
There is an ancient saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Utilizing functional testing methods can lead to true prevention of health problems.
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