The onset of the New Year prompts numerous individuals to make resolutions, with a substantial portion revolving around enhancing their health. Among these resolutions, adopting a diet to reduce weight and boost overall well-being stands out as a prevalent choice. The New Year tends to symbolise fresh beginnings, motivating individuals to initiate diets and lifestyle changes with increased determination.

However, as the New Year fades into the background and time progresses, the trajectory of diet and lifestyle adherence becomes variable. Those who achieve success in their dietary endeavours may persist and witness tangible results. Conversely, setbacks may prompt others to abandon their efforts entirely, as sustaining motivation becomes challenging without apparent positive outcomes. The question arises: why do so many falter in their dietary or lifestyle resolutions?

For some, the stumbling blocks may stem from insufficient commitment, inadequate planning, or the psychological aftermath of a setback triggering the abandonment of the entire plan. Alternatively, certain individuals encounter health-related impediments that interfere, such as endocrine imbalances or other physiological factors for weight loss. Perhaps, there could be a lack of comprehension regarding the necessary steps to restore gut health when symptoms of IBS have persisted for an extended period. Alternatively, it might be a challenge to accurately grasp the intricacies of the body’s condition, leading to a figurative roadblock in addressing the issue.

Maintaining optimal health involves understanding the unique needs of your body. Today, there are various diagnostic tests available to help individuals gain insights into their overall well-being. This blog explores different tests tailored for specific health concerns, including stool tests for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), food sensitivity tests, thyroid panels and ultimate performance blood tests for sports performance, weight loss and general wellbeing.

Weight Loss, Sports & General wellbeing
Weight and dieting challenges are not solely attributed to severe imbalances; even minor disturbances in the adrenal system and thyroid can impact weight loss. Hormone levels and balances play a crucial role in facilitating or hindering weight loss efforts. This is where functional medicine testing becomes instrumental. Integrating these testing regimens into a weight loss plan can help identify and address factors that may undermine New Year’s diet resolutions.

Adrenal Cortex Stress Profile
A well-functioning adrenal system maintains cortisol levels throughout the day and night in a rhythmic pattern. When disrupted, this rhythm can lead to morning fatigue, evening restlessness, compromised sleep quality (detrimental to weight loss). Elevated cortisol levels may also contribute to inflammation, promoting fat storage. Testing the adrenal system, can be helpful for individuals seeking a holistic understanding of their cortisol patterns.

This test is not just great for weight loss as there are many conditions associated with adrenal imbalances such as the following:-
• High blood pressure
• Cardiovascular disease
• Gastrointestinal and immune issues
• Diabetes and metabolic syndrome
• Depression
• Chronic fatigue
• Sleep issues
• Weight gain
• Persistent pain
• Nervous system diseases
• Memory and thinking issues
Here is a sample report

Thyroid panel
The thyroid hormones play a crucial role as primary regulators of the body’s metabolism. Imbalances in these hormones can impact nearly every metabolic process, influencing mood, weight and energy levels significantly.

Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can impact metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. A comprehensive thyroid panel includes tests for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), and free triiodothyronine (FT3). These markers provide a thorough assessment of thyroid function, helping to manage thyroid disorders effectively.

Thyroid Plus presents a comprehensive assessment of thyroid hormone metabolism through a hormone profile analysis. This profile evaluates serum concentrations of TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, anti-TG antibodies, and anti-TPO antibodies, providing a comprehensive evaluation of central and peripheral thyroid function, as well as thyroid autoimmunity.
Sample Test

Ultimate Performance Blood Test
For individuals pursuing athletic performance or weight loss goals, an ultimate performance blood test can offer a comprehensive overview of various health markers. This test typically includes assessments of metabolic health, hormone levels, nutrient status, and inflammation markers. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts can use this information to tailor their training regimens, optimize recovery strategies, and address any underlying health issues that may be hindering progress. Additionally, this type of test can be valuable for those embarking on weight loss journeys, helping them understand their metabolic profile and guide dietary and exercise choices for effective and sustainable results.

This comprehensive test includes an in-depth hormone panel featuring testosterone, oestradiol, prolactin, and cortisol. For men, the testosterone to cortisol ratio serves as a valuable indicator of recovery. Additionally, it provides a thorough evaluation of thyroid function for weight management and increased energy, along with essential nutritional markers such as iron, vitamin D, active B12, and folate to enhance power and optimize performance.

Alternatively, your goal may not necessarily be focused on weight loss. It’s possible that you’ve been grappling with severe IBS issues or enduring health conditions that have evolved into chronic challenges. In such instances, the following tests could potentially provide valuable insights.

Stool Tests for IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that can significantly impact one’s quality of life. Stool tests are often recommended to diagnose IBS and identify underlying issues such as bacterial imbalances, parasites, or inflammation. The stool analysis can provide valuable information about the composition of the gut microbiota, aiding in the development of personalized treatment plans. These tests help determine the root cause of digestive issues and guide a targeted dietary and lifestyle interventions.

Genova’s GI Effects Stool Test can reveal important information about the root cause of many common gastrointestinal symptoms and non-GI conditions including:-
• Gas
• Bloating
• Indigestion/ reflux
• Abdominal pain/ cramps
• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
• Atopic dermatitis/ eczema
• Allergies
• Autoimmune diseases
• Mood disorders (depression)
• Joint aches
• Diabetes
• Weight issues
The well-being of the whole body relies on a healthy gut and its microbiome. Within the gut, microorganisms share a symbiotic relationship with each other and with the human host. The state of one significantly influences the other. Extensive research links an imbalanced or dysbiotic gut microbiome to various diseases, not only confined to the gastrointestinal tract but also affecting the overall health.
Sample report –

Food Sensitivity Tests
Food sensitivities can contribute to a variety of health issues, including digestive problems, skin conditions, and inflammation. Food sensitivity tests assess the body’s immune response to specific foods by measuring antibody levels. These tests can identify potential triggers for symptoms such as bloating, headaches, and fatigue. While these tests can be insightful, it’s essential to interpret the results in conjunction with symptoms to develop a practical elimination diet and management plan. If not used correctly, it can result in a very restrictive diet with negative consequences.

Hormone dysfunction
Rhythm Plus gives an insight into hormonal imbalances. Hormone imbalances may be responsible for:-
• Menstrual cycle irregularities
• Mood disorders
• Insomnia
• Libido
• Fatigue

Choosing the right test depends on your specific health concerns and goals. Stool tests can uncover gastrointestinal issues, food sensitivity tests can identify dietary triggers, thyroid panels offer insights into thyroid health, and ultimate performance blood tests provide a holistic view for sports and weight loss optimization. However, it’s crucial to interpret test results in collaboration with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice and guide you towards a path of improved health and well-being. If you need assistance with selecting the appropriate test and interpretation, please do get in touch.