Laboratory Testing

Laboratory testing maybe suggested if appropriate. This enables a more targeted approach for your programme. Costs for testing will be discussed and is payable separately, test interpretation is included in the consultation fee. Most tests you can carry out in the privacy of your own home and then return by Next Day or Special Delivery to the laboratory. When the test requires a blood sample, this can be carried out at your local GP clinic with the nurse or at a private clinic in London. Sarah can also write to your GP to obtain a full blood count and will analyse these results in detail.

The majority of the tests we provide are looking to identify issues that can be resolved. Your nutrition programme will be designed to correct or address these issues.

Sarah uses UK regulated laboratories.

Examples of tests are listed here. By clicking on the test you can learn more about them.

Food Intolerance and Allergy Testing

IgE Allergy Test

This test measures levels of specific IgE antibodies for acute classical allergies, against 37 common foods. Symptoms usually present immediately after eating foods.

These symptoms may include: hayfever, asthma, urticaria, swollen/itchy throat, tongue, lips, gums, watery/itchy/swollen eyes, rhinitis, colic, anaphylaxis, eczema, and skin rashes.

For a sample report click here. At times, this test maybe available on the NHS. We can write to your GP about this depending on your symptoms and if appropriate.
Requirement: You can visit the laboratory, BioLab, to have the blood draw for free.

Food Intolerance test – Ig4 Antibody test

Food intolerance often involves common foods. The ‘IgG blood test’ is a highly respected intolerance and sensitivity blood test It measures a vast list of common foods purely as intolerance. This measures the response from your immune system to the foods, which maybe contributing to your symptoms. Speak to Sarah for details on this

Symptoms of food intolerance may include: IBS, joint pain, muscle and joint aches, weight problems, skin irritations, rhinitis or hyperactivity.

Requirement: blood finger prick

Hormonal health

Female Hormone Profile

This 12-sample saliva test measures progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone levels over the monthly cycle to identify any hormonal imbalances.

Common symptoms of this can include:
premenstrual tension, fluid retention, excessive menstrual bleeding, menstrual irregularity, low libido, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, infertility, acne, and excess body hair. It is recommended for pre-menopausal women. We can offer a hormone test for menopausal women also.

We can also include in this test melatonin levels and cortisol and DHEA (see adrenal test). Abnormalities of the hormone Melatonin’s circadian function have been closely linked to a variety of behavioral changes and mood disorders.

These symptoms may include: female hormone disturbance, insomnia, sleep-wake problems, mood disturbance, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, immune dysfunction, inhibition of ovulation and low body temperature.
Requirement: saliva

Menopause Plus Profile

Although menopause is a normal part of a woman’s maturation, many experience adverse effects. The measurement of oestradiol and progesterone from a single saliva sample, can give valuable information about the balance of these hormones. This profile also evaluates adrenal function and the circadian fluctuation in the hormones, cortisol and DHEA (see adrenal stress test for Cortisol and DHEA).

An inappropriate adrenal response can negatively impact on many other common health complaints, including menopause. The other hormones that can influence menopausal symptoms are also measured, including testosterone and melatonin. In addition, levels of anti- and pro- carcinogenic oestrogen metabolites, which can help assess if there is an increased oestrogen-sensitive cancer risk are measured.

This test also measures a bone collagen peptide, which serves as a specific marker of bone resorption. Women who are going/gone through the menopause are at a higher risk of osteoporosis.

Requirement: This is a first morning urine sample and saliva sample.

Oestrogen Metabolism Assessment

The anti and pro carcinogenic metabolites of oestrogen are investigated with this test, which measures the 2- and 16-alpha-hyrdoxy derivatives of oestrogen. The Oestrogen Metabolism Assessment may be applicable for clients who present with a family history of hormonal cancers or oestrogen dominance.

Two significant metabolites (break down products) that can be accurately assessed are 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone (16 alpha-OHE1) and 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1).

16 alpha-OHE1 and progesterone is a powerful metabolite that stimulates target tissues. Levels can rise in response to obesity, alcohol consumption, and toxic exposure. High levels of this potent metabolite are linked to increased risk and poorer prognosis in conditions linked to estrogen excess such as breast cancer and lupus.

2-OHE1 is a metabolite that binds weakly to cell receptors and may slow cell proliferation. Excessive levels of 2-OHE1 may increase the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women with low estrogen.

The ratio between 2-OHE1 and 16 alpha-OHE1 is the key to optimizing health. This test is suitable for pre- menopausal and post menopausal women.

Requirement: this is a first morning urine sample.

Male Hormone Profile

Changes in the production of the sex hormone testosterone can exert a profound influence on sexual function, bone density, fat metabolism, mood states, energy levels, and even physical appearance of skin and muscle tone. The Male Hormone Profile is an accurate, convenient, non-invasive saliva assay that evaluates testosterone activity in men.

This profile also includes measures of stress hormones (cortisol and DHEAsee adrenal stress test) and melatonin, thereby providing a more complete picture of the role played by adrenal hormones and melatonin in the production of symptoms and/or imbalances. Optimal health is dependent on the balance of these hormones, not just a single hormone. Abnormalities of Melatonin circadian function have been closely linked to a variety of behavioral changes and mood disorders.

Some of these symptoms are: insomnia, sleep-wake problems, mood disturbance, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, immune dysfunction and low body temperature.

Requirement: 5 saliva samples throughout the day.

The ONE Test

The ONE profile will highlight any individual nutritional recommendations for protective Anti-Oxidants, B-Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids.

This unique profile requires only one first morning urine sample with easy at-home collection
Evaluates your overall nutritional status
Assesses the functional need for vitamins and minerals
Concise-Easy Interpretation of test results
Provides clear, personalised recommendations for supplementation of anti-oxidants, B-vitamins, minerals

What is being measured:
Metabolic Analysis measuring 39 key organic acids to evaluate gastrointestinal function, cellular energy production, neurotransmitter processing, and functional need for vitamins, minerals, and co-factors.

Amino Acid Analysis measuring 38 amino acids to evaluate dietary protein adequacy, digestion, absorption, amino acid transport, metabolic impairments, and nutritional deficits; including essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Amino acids make up proteins and are found in every tissue of the body such as ligaments, tendons and bones and play a major role in nearly every biochemical function. Measuring the levels of amino acids, proper balance between them and conversion capability are of paramount importance in preventing illness and getting to the root of many chronic disorders.

Oxidative Stress Analysis is a sensitive tool to evaluate the body’s anti-oxidant reserves and the presence of oxidative injury/stress.
Why choose this test?: Alzheimer’s Disease, Anxiety, Behavioral disorders, Cardiovascular disorders, Depression, Digestive disorders, ME, Headaches, Immune disorders, Mood disorders, Muscle weakness, Neurological disorders, Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Adrenal Stress test

The body is equipped with two vital structures that reside just above the kidneys – the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are the “stress glands” of the body, allowing the body to respond adequately to any stress that it encounters. When any stress is encountered, the adrenal glands release adrenalin to put the body into a “fight or flight” response. In addition to manufacturing adrenalin for stress response, the adrenals also manufacture aldosterone (a hormone for regulating salt levels in the body), cortisol (a stress hormone for regulating sugar levels in the body), and androgens (secondary sex hormones). The adrenals are busy factories that can easily become fatigued. When they fatigue, many health conditions can occur.

This saliva test can detect imbalances in the daily circadian secretions of the stress hormones cortisol and DHEA. Imbalances in these hormones can indicate an inappropriate response that can negatively impact energy levels, emotions, and many other health complaints.

Symptoms can include: anxiety, chronic inflammatory conditions, anger, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, abdominal weight gain or unexplained weight loss, muscle mass loss, low blood sugar, insomnia, depression, migraines, headaches, feeling anxious, wired or running on adrenalin (see Stress Buster Programme), craving sugar or caffeine, heart palpitations, insomnia, dizziness particularly on standing, hair loss, low self esteem, recurrent infections, menstrual difficulties and infertility (see Fertility programme).


Gastrointestinal (Digestive) test

This test is looking at bacterias, yeasts (Candida), parasites, worms, digestive enzyme production markers and inflammation in the large intestine.

Why might you have this test?
This profile is recommended for clients with gastrointestinal-related symptoms, such as indigestion, dysbiosis, bloating, abdominal pain, gas, IBS and diarrhea. It is also recommended for clients whom have rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue, poor skin or skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, regular use of anti-biotics, chrons disease, ulcerative colitis, suffering with allergies or intolerances. This test is carried out by a stool sample.

This DNA stool test can also include the following measurements (we can send you details):
1 Helicobacter Pylori test – Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial infection strongly associated with persistent stomach inflammation.
2 Intestinal Permeability – commonly referred to as ‘’leaky gut’’ where the intestine can become permeable and lead to mal-absorption of nutrients, along with other health issues.
3 Total Intestinal SIgA (Stool) – This marker stands for secretory IgA and indicates something called the mucosal immune system. SIgA is an important indicator of digestive immune function. Chronic intestinal infections (due to bacterial, yeast or parasites), food sensitivities, aging, antibiotics, medication and stress (adrenal fatigue) all decrease sIgA levels. Low levels can lead to recurrent infections and food intolerances. Very low levels of this important antibody class have also been observed in autistic spectrum disorders. It is the mucosal immune barrier or first line immune defense.
4. Gliadin Ab, SIgA (Saliva)Gluten intolerance could more accurately be termed gliadin intolerance. While gluten has become a catch-all term in popular literature and medical circles alike, it is actually just one of several offending proteins that cause problems for celiac patients and other individuals who are intolerant to wheat, rye and barley.
5. Inflammation (Calprotectin)
6. Blood in the stool
7. Indication for SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)

Candida Antibody profile

Candida albicans is a yeast that forms a part of our normal digestive flora, however in some individuals the natural balance of the gut is disrupted leading to a pathogenic form of the organism. This results in many symptoms ranging from fatigue, bloating, diarrhea/constipation, muscle aches and headaches, to name but a few. This test is used not only for detecting the presence of the infection but also as an indicator of the stage of the condition.

Toxic by-products released by yeast can set off a multitude of both subtle and overt symptoms. Some of these symptoms may range from:
headaches, fatigue, and inability to concentrate, to low sex drive, recurrent vaginitis, skin irritations, foggy head, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, excess wind, recurrent thrush, aching joints, bladder infections.

Requirement: saliva levels of (IgA and IgG) Candida antibodies are measured which can establish a current or past infection.

Chronic Fatigue Screen

This blood test combines several tests which together assess mitochondrial function and identify where the problem lies with energy production. Mitochondrial function profile is made up of the following individual tests: ATP profiles; NAD (functional Vitamin B3); SODase (anti-oxidant profile);L-carnitine; Cell-free DNA. These markers help to indicate how well your mitochondria are functioning. In addition Co-enzyme Q10 can be measured which is vitally important for the mitochondrial cycle. This is via a blood test where you can take the test kit to your own GP surgery who will take blood for you.

Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity Profile

Wheat or gluten sensitivity is caused by an inability to properly digest foods containing gluten. This test is carried out by Cyrex Labs in the Satates and measures both IgA and IgG antibodies. Gluten is found in many grains including wheat, oats, rye, barley and spelt. The gliadin fraction is believed to be the problem. Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity is caused through the ingestion of the gluten component of wheat and related cereals. This leads to damage to the intestinal lining which can cause ‘leaky gut’, skin irritations, weight loss, arthritis, anxiety, over mucus production, digestive problems. Referral will be necessary to your GP should this test prove positive.

Requirement: blood sample.

Intestinal Permeability Assessment

A urine test used to assess the permeability of the gut wall (leaky gut syndrome). This can be associated with the development of food sensitivities and candida infections, malabsorption of nutrients, in addition to a build up of potentially damaging toxins. Leaky Gut Syndrome causes the intestinal lining to become inflamed and the microvilli become damaged or altered. The damaged microvilli cannot then produce the necessary enzymes and secretions that are essential for a healthy digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

Some symptoms as to why you may consider this test:
allergies or intolerances, bacterias/parasites present in the gut, bloating, gas, digestive pains, headaches/migraines, skin irritations like eczema, mood disorders.

Requirement: urine sample.

NutrEval® Plus

The NutrEval® provides a framework of core nutrients in 5 key areas: Antioxidants, B Vitamins, Digestive Support, Essential Fatty Acids, Amino Acids and Minerals. The Amino Acids are measured in a convenient first-morning urine collection. The NutrEval Plus also includes the FACTest™: a cellular food allergy assessment, covering both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated inflammatory reactions to certain foods. It is certainly a comprehensive health MOT!

This profile measures:

  • Evaluates overall nutritional status
  • Assesses the need for vitamins and minerals
  • Provides insight into disease risk
  • Concise-Easy Interpretation
  • Provides clear, personalised recommendations for supplementation
  • Anti-oxidants
  • B-vitamins Minerals
  • Amino acids

What is being measured:
The NutrEval Profile consists of Metabolic Analysis measuring 39 key organic acids to evaluate gastrointestinal function, cellular energy production, neurotransmitter processing, and functional need for vitamins, minerals, and co-factors.

Amino Acid Analysis measuring 38 amino acids to evaluate dietary protein adequacy, digestion, absorption, amino acid transport, metabolic impairments, and nutritional deficits; including essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Essential & Metabolic Fatty Acid Assessment measures the levels of fatty acids in red blood cell membranes that affect cellular communication and the inflammatory cascade.

Elemental Analysis in red blood cells is a reliable means to identify short-term toxic metal exposure and to evaluate intracellular nutrient mineral status.

Oxidative Stress Analysis is a sensitive tool to evaluate the body’s anti-oxidant reserves, the presence of oxidative injury, and CoQ10.

Homocysteine can be used as a biochemical marker for certain nutritional deficiencies (vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin B6). It also serves as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and is implicated in a number of other conditions.

Vitamin D (25-OH Vitamin D) 25-hydroxycholecalciferol is the principle circulating derivative of vitamin D and the precursor to the active form 1, 25-dihydroxycholecalciferol. As well as playing a vital role in maintaining bone health, Vitamin D is critical for immune function and deficiencies are associated with many serious illnesses.

NutrEval Plus
In addition, the NutrEval Plus includes the FACTestTM (have link to food intolerance test)

Requirement: Blood and urine samples.

Osteoporosis Risk Assessment

Osteoporosis is called the ‘silent disease’ because you cannot see or feel your bones losing density. It is a condition characterised by a degenerative thinning of bones, which can lead to chest pains and fractures. Bone degeneration starts usually around the age of 35, and accelerates in women after menopause, and in men after the age of 65. Over the age of 60, 30% of women and 10% of men will have the disease, with half the population over 70 being affected. British women over 45 suffer approximately 200,000 fractures annually.

Symptoms of this condition:
Sufferers frequently describe a dull uncomfortable, achy feeling, which is not necessarily localised to any one area, or chronic back pain with muscle spasms along one or both sides of the spine. These pains worsen with sitting and standing, and are relieved by lying down. One simple indicator of osteoporosis is a decrease in height. Another warning sign may be tooth loss, because gum inflammation can result from bone degeneration. At times you may have no symptoms at all, if the condition is in its early stages. You may also be interested in this test if this conditions runs in your family.

This test measures the breakdown products of bone that are excreted in the urine. Presence in the urine of higher than normal amounts of breakdown bone products, indicate a rapid rate of bone loss. Measurements: urinary pyridinium crosslinks (PYD + DPD), deoxypyridinolin and creatinine.
Requirement: Urine sample

Vitamin and Mineral Profiles

This is a Blood test to measure levels of vitamins and minerals. A good way to check overall mineral ‘store’ levels and vitamins. Sarah recommends red blood cell levels for checking magnesium. Simply this shows the actual ‘store’ of magnesium which is a better indicator than serum magnesium. A lot of research points towards a link between a lack of magnesium and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome and testing the red cell levels is a more superior way of checking this in this situation.

Hair mineral analysis can also measure your heavy metals such as mercury. Speak to Sarah about this.

It is possible to test for a single vitamin or mineral. The cost will differ depending on which vitamin or mineral you want to test for.

Red Blood Cell Fatty Acids

Blood tests to measure levels of essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. Particularly useful for assessing intake, absorption and the efficacy of supplementation. Essential fatty acids are needed in constant supply and form powerful hormones, cell membranes, and are used as an efficient source of stored energy. Deficiencies are now prevalent with modern diets being high in saturated and hydrogenated fats, but low in the many essential fats.

Some symptoms associated with fatty acid imbalance are: eczema-like skin eruptions, dry eyes/ increased thirst, cracked/ dry skin including heels & fingertips, dandruff, hair loss and lifeless hair, poor wound healing, soft brittle nails, depression, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, IBS, schizophrenia, autistic spectrum disorders. To date studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acid consumption has health-beneficial effects also on the outcome of pregnancy, in the cognitive and visual development of the neonate, in the prevention of dementia, metabolic syndrome (heart disease, diabetes cancer, obesity) and a variety of other inflammatory conditions.

Some individuals with a good dietary intake of fatty acids may still have biochemical abnormalities that interfere with their ability to properly metabolise those fats. They may require more targeted supplementation. It is important to have the correct balance of fatty acids for health.

This test includes: quantitative values on patients’ samples for seven omega-6 fatty acids, four omega-3 essential fatty acids, and a variety of omega-5, omega-7 fatty acids. It also includes a reading of saturated and trans-fatty acids which are not considered beneficial to health and can actually be harmful to health e.g. trans fatty acids. (32 fatty acids in total are measured).

Requirement: blood sample

Kryptopyrroles / Pyroluria

Through a simple urinary test this hereditary chemical imbalance can be assessed. Pyroluria is another term for pyrrole disorder. A genetic condition, Pyroluria causes anxiety, depression and withdrawal. Sufferers can be any age, although most are not diagnosed until adulthood. Symptoms can be very severe or very mild and very much affected by levels of stress. Its onset usually occurs with a traumatic incident and it may be accompanied by another condition: ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, alcoholism, severe depression, schizophrenia, Autism, Bipolar Disorder. It can also be very mild with none of these associated conditions. It is treatable by taking a specified amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B5, Magnesium, and Zinc. Primrose oil or Borage oil is also sometimes included, as are various amino acids depending on the presence of associated disorders. This can be a familial condition – especially amongst all female families. It can be very mild or a chronic condition and the main problem is a serious deficiency in B6 and Zinc.

Some symptoms of this condition are:
hair loss, hormonal imbalance, poor immunity, anxiety, poor dream re-call, bloating, insomnia, delayed puberty, anemia, poor immunity for example. People with this condition can be low in Omega 6.

Requirement: urine sample

Thyroid

Thyroid Plus Profile

This combined profile provides a thorough analysis of thyroid hormone metabolism by including the Total Thyroid Screen markers and Reverse T3. The results will assess thyroid function from central thyroid gland regulation and activity, thyroid production and secretion, peripheral thyroid conversion, and thyroid autoimmunity.

Ensuring healthy thyroid function is clinically essential and optimal thyroid function may help safeguard against the pathogenesis of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression. The thyroid hormones also play a central metabolic role in healthy sexual and reproductive function in both women and men and they are essential for IGF-1
production, which can significantly affect fat metabolism. This test measures the following: Anti-TG, Anti-TPO, FT3, FT4, TSH, FT4.

Total Thyroid Screen

A comprehensive test to measure the levels of all thyroid hormones and auto-antibodies. This is in order for the early detection of thyroid disease and to assess thyroid function. Both standard medical and optimal ranges are given. Known as the ‘unsuspected illness’, hypothyroidism accounts for a great number of complaints amongst children, adolescents and adults alike. The total thyroid screen serves as an initial investigation into suspected thyroid dysfunction, including central gland activity, possible secondary gland involvement, hormone secretion and peripheral conversion of T4 to T3. It will also highlight autoimmune responses such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Grave’s disease. These represent the most common autoimmune disorders, affecting women 10 times more frequently than men and increasing in incidence with age.

This test analyses serum levels of TSH, total T4, free T4, free T3, anti-TG antibodies, and anti-TPO antibodies to assess central and peripheral thyroid function, as well as thyroid auto-immunity.

Some symptoms as to why you may consider this test are:
excessive fatigue, cold intolerance, low body temperature, depression, irregular bowel function, low sex drive, menstrual irregularities, menopausal problems, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, difficulty losing weight, poor immune status, headaches, impotence or infertility, hair loss, palpitations or protruding eyes.
Requirement: blood sample.

Vitamin D

There is growing evidence that vitamin D is involved in an increasing number of chronic diseases including bone disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue and mental health problems e.g. depression. Vitamin D has a hormone like effect, which has a high prevalence of deficiency and insufficient even in normal populations. Vitamin D is made in the skin on exposure to sunlight. This is without sunscreen for approx. 15 minutes, or at least until the skin goes slightly pink (precautions for being in the sun without sunscreen must always be taken). Those living in the northern hemisphere are likely to only gain enough sunlight from May to October. Dietary sources of vitamin D are sometimes unable to maintain optimal levels throughout the year.

Clients at risk of the following could be tested: cancer of the breast, prostate, colon, and ovary, schizophrenia, low immunity or frequent infections, PCOS, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, depression, osteoporosis / osteopenia, autoimmune conditions, MS. Clients with symptoms of musculoskeletal pain and low back pain, muscle weakness, loss of balance, and systemic inflammation, should also consider this test. Sarah would initially suggest having the vitamin D3 levels tested through your GP, however if not possible this can be arranged privately

Requirement: blood sample

Comprehensive Methylation Genetic (polymorphism) profile - 23&ME

All humans carry mutations. Between inheritance and environment, we each carry between 100-200 mutations in our genetic code. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the code of inheritance. DNA stores information as a code of four chemical bases. The order or sequence of the bases provides the information needed to build proteins and maintain the body.

Identifying SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) that influence health and disease risk allows clinicians to support their patients with appropriate lifestyle changes to maximise health and wellness. The identification of SNPs and their impact on health and physiology is an on-going area of research – the hope is that finding and studying these small variations in DNA will lead to better and more specialised medical interventions.

In many cases the environment – diet, nutrition, toxicant exposures, stress – may modify the expression of genes and SNPs. Knowing that a patient carries certain SNPs helps the clinician help the patient. Disease risk may be modified by lifestyle changes and sluggish, inefficient biochemical pathways can be supported by diet and nutritional supplements to maximise enzyme efficiency and pathway functions. Supporting detoxification processes and reduction of toxicant exposures will further promote health and reduce disease risk. Sarah recommends the ONE test alongside this 23&ME test for assisted interpretation.

Requirement:  Its saliva-based direct-to-consumer personal genome test. Sarah will be sent results for analysis

Not all tests that are available through Matters for Health are listed here.
Some tests can be arranged through your GP, we can write to your GP to arrange this. This will always be considered first. You are under no obligation to have tests and we can still help you without going down this route.
They do however provide a targeted approach which can in turn allow faster, positive results.