Functional Medicine correlates conventional laboratory values with symptoms and conditions and utilizes modern nutritional therapies to optimize treatment protocols. It is a remarkable approach to utilize with chronic or difficult conditions as well as to uncover problems in their early stages or to help individuals perform at their optimum potential.
Often individuals will get routine lab panels and can be in the normal range. However, this can overlook what is not tested and a more detailed panel may be in order such as a more complete thyroid panel, anemia panel, inflammatory markers or even magnesium, LDH and vitamin D. Also, depending on the situation, specialty labs may be ordered to assess for intestinal permeability (leaky gut or SIBO), food sensitivity or autoimmunity. Additionally, “normal” lab values are based on a bell-shaped curve of the general population. However, being at the end of this curve can be analogous to getting a D- in a test, which is technically passing but is far from optimal. All of this is taken in context with history and examination findings.