Have you ever just wished you knew what what causing your skin issues? You know that hormones play a role in acne, but how do you know if you have high testosterone, low estrogen, or some other imbalance? We can eat right and live a healthy lifestyle, but that doesn’t guarantee that our hormones will be balanced.

And what about dysbiosis or candida? That is such a huge issue when trying to take care of acne naturally. I know I’ve done my fair share of cleanses and detoxes and probiotic mixtures to try to heal my gut, but I never really knew what my real gut problems were until I made the commitment to invest my money into proper testing. When I did that I learned a lot, including that my hormones were low (which was opposite of what I thought they would be), I had an infection of H. Pylori bacteria, and a ton of sensitivities to foods I was eating on a regular basis. With this knowledge came clarity into what supplements I should take and what foods I should and shouldn’t be eating. I was given a protocol that was designed around my specific biochemistry. After spending years trying to figure out what I should be doing on my own, it felt great getting some outside help from a professional.

I learned about the imbalances and hidden stressors in my body by doing functional nutrition testing. In my last post I talked about the step-by-step process to heal the skin using functional nutrition.

In this post I’m going to go over some of the functional nutrition tests that are used as part of this process.

The Functional Lab Tests

1. Oxford Biomedical Mediator Release Test (MRT®)

Do you eat certain foods and then break out within a few days? Are you confused as to what foods might be causing pimples and inflammation to show up on your skin? The MRT® can help. It’s the first test on the list because of the immediate action that can be taken with the results. I believe this test gives some of the biggest bang for the buck.

What is the MRT test? 

The MRT is a food sensitivity test. It tests to see what foods cause inflammation in your body by measuring things called cellular mediators that get released when your blood comes in contact with a specific food. This is a very special food sensitivity test that is different than any other test on the market.

Why should I care?

You could be eating foods every day that are causing skin eruptions, fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pain, digestive complaints and weight imbalances, and you may not even know it.

Even supposedly “healthy” foods simply do not work with certain individuals. This test pinpoints them for you so you can immediately take them out of your diet. For me, I discovered that hazelnuts caused massive inflammation in my body. Now I know with 100% certainty that I need to stay away from hazelnuts. Before, I would buy chocolate with hazelnuts or the nut butter Nuttzo™ which has hazelnuts in it.

I also discovered that fructose creates MASSIVE amounts of inflammation in my body. As soon as I figured that out, I cut back on my fruit consumption (I was eating a lot of fruit because that’s what the internet said to do for acne) and I noticed a difference immediately. I am also extremely careful to avoid high fructose sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and agave now. The difference was more in my overall wellbeing than in my skin, but it was still a move in a positive direction. Now I know that I need to stay away from those things if I want to lower the amount of inflammation in my body.

The clarity of what foods are healthy and not healthy for your individual biochemistry really helps to figure out what to eat and what not to eat. This test is a must-get.


2. Immunolabs or GreatPlains IgG test

The IgG test measures IgG antibodies for different foods, and it can also measure candida infection. I like to use both the MRT and IgG to get the clearest picture possible of what foods I should and shouldn’t eat. For me, eggs showed up as highly reactive on the IgG test but not on the MRT, and honey, Bakers yeast, Brewers yeast, and candida all showed up as moderately reactive on the IgG. If cost is an issue, stick with the MRT test. If you have an autoimmune condition you want both.

What is the IgG test? 

IgG test stands for ImmunoGlobulin G, which is an antibody that your body makes to different foods. If a food is reactive, you’ll make IgG antibodies for that food. This doesn’t test for inflammation directly like the MRT does, but people do see benefits, especially in the skin, from removing foods that have high IgG reactivity.

Why should I care?

If a certain food is causing a large IgG reaction in your body, then that means that your immune system is activated every time you eat that food. In order to heal the body, you should aim to calm the immune system as much as possible.


3. BioHealth 205V – Functional Adrenal Stress Profile Plus

You’ve probably heard that high androgen (sex) hormones are associated with acne. This test is vital for understanding your hormones and metabolic function. I was surprised to learn that all of my hormones were low, even testosterone. It showed me that I was actually in phase two adrenal fatigue and that I had some hidden stressors I needed to address.

What is the 205V?

The BH205V is a test that measures your hormone levels. It reads 4 different levels of cortisol, your DHEA (precursor for sex hormones), testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and melatonin.

Why should I care?

By checking your cortisol levels at 4 different times, we can assess the phase of adrenal fatigue you’re in (or not in). Imbalanced hormones affect nearly every aspect of living, including how your skin looks, how much energy you have, how you metabolize different macronutrients, your quality of sleep and much, much more. When you address your hormones, chances are you will feel an immediate difference. This test is a must-get.


4. BioHealth 101 – Metabolic Assessment Profile

Have you ever wondered if your liver is congested or if you have a lot of oxidative damage throughout your body? Well this test can tell you that.

What is the 101?

The BH101 tests for three things. The first is urinary indican, which measures digestive capability, especially for proteins. The second is urinary lipid peroxides, which is an index of cellular damage caused by free radicals. The last measurement is of urinary bile sulfates, which is a direct measurement of liver function.

Why should I care? 

Positive urinary indican can indicate poor digestion of proteins and/or a possible overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. Undigested proteins can putrefy and lead to imbalances with glycemic control and hormones. Elevated urinary lipid peroxides are associated with a multitude of symptoms, degenerative diseases and premature aging. Elevated urinary bile sulfates indicate compromised liver function which leads to a buildup of toxic substances that can damage liver cells and lead to increased risk for cancer and a variety of other degenerative diseases.


5. Genova Intestinal Permeability Test

What is it?

Are you concerned you might have leaky gut? This test can measure that. It tests the amount of two sugars, lactulose and mannitol, in your urine. Lactulose is big and shouldn’t be in your urine, so if it is there then that means it’s leaking through your gut. Mannitol is small and should show up in your urine. If it’s not there then that means your intestinal villi are damaged and you may be malnourished.

Why should I care? 

Honestly, I have yet to hear of someone who was having health issues who didn’t have at least a mild case of leaky gut. Leaky gut happens when undesired particles leak past your intestinal wall and into your body. These particles cause inflammation and can lead to chronic complaints such as chronic acne, skin conditions, digestive complaints such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, muscle soreness and more.


Optional – Cyrex Labs Array 2 Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen

This is another test to check for leaky gut. Here they look for reactions to certain things including elevated antibodies to things that are associated with leaky gut such as bacteria metabolites called lipopolysaccharides, zonulin and actomyosin.


As a side note, I believe that most people are experiencing one form or another of leaky gut. This test can show you objective data, but it probably won’t change the treatment plan in the beginning, which is a comprehensive elimination diet to heal the gut. So you may want to allocate the money for these tests towards the foods you’ll be eating or other tests. These can be great follow up tests (and you should get them as follow up tests), but in the beginning they might not be necessary unless you really want to see if you have leaky gut.

6. BioHealth 401H

Now this test is a major one that I think everyone should take. The 401H is a stool test by Biohealth that looks at pathogens, yeast, fungi, bacteria, ova and parasites and occult blood in the stool. This gives a lot of insight into your digestive health and can uncover some serious healing opportunities. I discovered that I was suffering from a bacteria called H. Pylori when I took this test. And this was after taking loads of antifungals and antibacterials like oil of oregano and olive leaf extract. After we found out that I had this infection I was given specific, potent, professional anti-bacterials catered to my bio-individuality.

What is the 401H? 

A stool test that you perform over a 4 day period.

Why should I care? 

Escherichia coli. Giardia lamblia. Cryptosporidium parvum. Blastocystis hominis. Entamoeba histolytica.

These are scary words. More importantly, they’re scary bacteria and parasites that can really take a toll on your body. The 401H can identify if any of these creepy crawlers are making your intestines their home. If they are, you can experience diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, villous atrophy and leaky gut, chronic fatigue and a host of other problems. More people than you would think have gut infections. A lot of people wrongly think that parasites are only relegated to third world countries, but it’s actually  pretty common for people in industrialized nations to have gut infections. If you do not take care of infections in the gut you won’t be totally healthy. Also, if you are infected with Helicobacter pylori then you do not want to be taking HCl supplementation which is routinely prescribed by alternative practitioners as a means to help with digestive issues. The 401H is another must-get test.


Optional – DRG Lab GI PAthogens Plus Profile, Doctors Data Parasitology x3, the full GI Panel from Parasitology Center Inc., or the Genova GI Effects Comprehensive Stool Profile – 2200.


Note – Some digestive experts recommend getting 2 stool tests done the same week to rule out any false negatives. This actually isn’t a bad idea. If someone has major digestive problems I would suggest getting two tests to be totally sure we catch any infections.

7. Commonwealth Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Here’s something crazy. Those with acne rosacea are 10 tims more likely to have SIBO than those without acne, and when treated for it, their symptoms improve. This is another important test, especially for those with skin conditions.

What is it?

SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, occurs when the normally sterile small intestines becomes invaded with bacteria. This bacteria could be good or bad, but either way it’s not supposed to be there. A breath test such as this one can tell you if you have SIBO or not.

Why should I care? 

SIBO is an incredibly annoying problem that can cause gas and bloating, especially after a carbohydrate meal. The bacteria that travel into the small intestines can hinder nutrient absorption which leads to malnourishment. They can also contribute to yeast growing out of control. If SIBO is present, the bacteria can ferment undigested carbohydrates and cause damage to the intestinal wall, contributing to leaky gut. This can lead to even more inflammation and skin problems.


8. Metabolic Typing® Diet Test

Ever wonder what type of diet you should be eating? Metabolic typing answers that question.

What is it?

Metabolic Typing® is a test designed to give you a list of foods that work with your specific metabolic type®. It takes into account your genetics, your metabolism, physiological and psychological traits, and other aspects to determine what foods help you and what food hurt you. It gives you results based off of your unique requirements.

Why should I care?

If you’re tired of cookie cutter diet, switching from one to the next, metabolic typing can help bring clarity to what the best diet for you should look like.

Review Functional Nutrition Tests.

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