GATHERING OBJECTIVE INFORMATION TO HELP SOLVE THE HEALTH PUZZLES
Gathering objective data regarding your health can be essential in the quest to find causes to symptoms and also in measuring the effect of therapies. For example, thyroid testing. Often a measurement of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) is done and depending on the result the conclusion is made as to "normal" or "abnormal." But that is only one part of thyroid function- the communication between the pituitary gland and the thyroid. It does not measure the T4 (inactive circulating hormone) and T3 (active circulating hormone). So your TSH can be normal but perhaps your T3 is low indicating the thyroid is not producing enough active thyroid hormone.
Standard tests (CBC, chemistry profile, lipid) are very helpful to identify potential issues. Functional medicine testing tends to dive deeper into uncovering insidious agitators like yeast, bacteria, oxalates, pesticides, heavy metals, and mycotoxins which can contribute to a whole host of varied symptoms. Testing like the Organic Acid Test and/or Tox Profile by Great Plains Laboratory can be quite valuable and identify potentially "upstream" causes of illness. The OAT test is a simple urine test and has over 50 markers identifying possible contributors to illness including the above plus neurotransmitter, vitamin, mineral, and metabolic imbalances. Depending on your health issues, functional medicine testing may be something to consider.