What we test

Female Hormone Panel

This hormone analysis includes an oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone test, as well as an LH and FSH test. These sex hormones (in conjunction with adrenal and thyroid hormones) exert powerful effects on the body. Knowing the function and levels of these hormones is a positive step in creating hormone balance and achieving wellbeing.

This female hormone blood test includes:

Too much oestradiol (oestrogen) is linked to acne, constipation, loss of sex drive, depression, weight gain, PMS, period pain, and thyroid dysfunction. The effects of low oestradiol are evident in menopause and include mood swings, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats and osteoporosis.

The sex hormone produced mainly in the ovaries following ovulation and is a crucial part of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone helps to combat PMS and period pain issues, assists fertility and promotes calmness and quality of sleep.

Governs the menstrual cycle, peaking before ovulation. Raised LH can signal that a woman is not ovulating, is menopausal or that the hormones are not in balance. A high LH/FSH ratio can indicate Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

Stimulates the ovary to mature an egg. High levels indicate poor ovarian reserves which means the quality and quantity of eggs may be low. This doesn’t necessarily mean that pregnancy is impossible, but it may be more difficult to achieve.

Normally this ratio is about 1:1 meaning FSH and LH levels in the blood are similar. In women with polycystic ovaries the LH to FSH ratio is often higher e.g. 2:1 or even 3:1

High levels inhibit secretion of FSH and interfere with ovulation, and can also inhibit the production of progesterone which is needed to prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation of an embryo.

High levels commonly seen in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which can lead to difficulties in conceiving. Symptoms can include irregular periods, loss of hair from the head, excess facial and body hair, unexplained weight gain and acne.

Most testosterone is strongly bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This test measures the proportion of unbound testosterone which is available to the body's tissues.

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is a protein that binds tightly to testosterone and oestradiol. Changes in SHBG levels can affect the amount of hormone that is available to be used by the body's tissues.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)

IGF-1 mirrors GH excesses and deficiencies but its level is stable throughout the day, making an IGF-1 test a useful indicator of average GH levels.

This IGF-1 test measures:

Also known as Somatomedin C. IGF-1 is an indirect measure of the average amount of GH being produced by the body.

Adrenocortex Function

Two of the most important hormones that impact athletic performance are cortisol and DHEA-S, the long-lasting stress hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol has a catabolic effect which mobilises the body’s nutritional resources for fuel. DHEA-S has an opposing anabolic effect and coverts food into living tissue. In order to achieve your fitness goals cortisol and DHEA-S must be in proper balance.

This blood test measures:

The cortisol test measures 'the stress hormone' cortisol which mobilises the body’s nutritional resources in stressful situations. Prolonged elevation of cortisol can cause fatigue, immune dysfunction, and impact sex hormones.

A long-acting adrenal hormone which regulates energy production, the immune system, brain chemistry, bone formation, muscle tone and libido. DHEA-S is converted by the body into testosterone and other sex hormones.

Thyroid Function

Your thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate growth and energy expenditure. Thyroid disorders are quite common, and many people don’t have any symptoms at all. This thyroid test screens for the thyroid hormones that play a key role in regulating the body’s metabolism.

This thyroid test measures:

Communicates with the thyroid gland to produce T3 and T4 which regulate metabolic functions. High TSH thyroid test levels indicates an underactive thyroid, and low levels an overactive thyroid.

Measures the thyroxine that is freely circulating and able to regulate metabolism. High FT4 thyroid test levels indicate an overactive thyroid, and low levels an underactive thyroid.

Measures the triiodothyronine that is freely circulating. High FT3 thyroid test levels indicate an overactive thyroid, and low levels an underactive thyroid.

Metabolic

Insulin resistance can lead to difficulty losing weight, distinct abdominal fat, fatigue, bloating and sugar cravings. Identifying insulin resistance early and committing to lifestyle changes can ultimately help the progression to diabetes.

This blood test measures:

If you have diabetes your body doesn't process glucose effectively.

A hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to control blood glucose levels and plays a role in controlling the levels of carbohydrates and fats stored in the body.

The HOMA score is a standard measure of insulin resistance, It is calculated as follows: (Blood Glucose X Fasting Insulin) / 22.5.

The diabetes test counts the number of red blood cells that are glycosylated (attached to sugar) and reports it as a percentage, e.g. if 7 out of every 100 red blood cells are attached to sugar, the HbA1c result will be 7%.

HbA1c can be expressed as a percentage (DCCT unit) or as a value in mmol/mol (IFCC unit). Since 2009, mmol/mol has been the default unit.

Cholesterol

Lipids and cholesterol are fat-like substances in your blood. Some are necessary for good health, but when you have a high level of cholesterol in your blood, a lot of it ends up being deposited in the walls of your arteries and other vital organs. Lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and alcohol intake can all influence cholesterol levels and your risk of developing heart disease.

This cholesterol test measures:

High total cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called ‘bad cholesterol’ because it contributes to plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called ‘good cholesterol’ and is protective against atherosclerosis.

The main storage form of fatty acids in the body. Elevated triglyceride levels may contribute to hardening of the arteries, and increase the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Non-HDL cholesterol is considered an effective lipid measurement for assessing cardiovascular disease risk as it is believed to reflect levels of 'bad' cholesterol. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, age, gender, ethnicity and family history.

Omega 3 Index

Blood omega-3 fatty acids are a strong reflection of dietary intake and considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease. As a part of an overall healthy lifestyle, an Omega-3 Index in the 8-12% range may help to maintain heart, brain, eye and joint health.

This blood spot test measures

The omega-3 index is the sum of the fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in red blood cell membranes, and is expressed as a percentage.

Iron Studies

This simple iron test measures how much iron you have in your blood, as well as the amount of iron you have stored in your body. This iron test can be used to diagnose anaemia or monitor an existing iron deficiency. This iron test can also be used to investigate iron overload syndrome (haemochromatosis) which is an inherited condition where your body cannot remove excess iron.

This iron test measures:

An essential trace element is necessary for forming healthy red blood cells and for some enzymes.

A protein that binds iron and transports it around the body (also known as TIBC). High levels indicate iron deficiency.

Low levels typically indicate iron deficiency, and high levels can indicate iron overload.

The ferritin concentration within the blood stream reflects the amount of iron stored in your body and is reduced in anaemia.

B Vitamins

The B-group vitamins are a collection of water-soluble vitamins essential for various metabolic processes. Most of these vitamins can’t be stored by the body and have to be consumed regularly in the diet.

This blood test measures:

Holotranscobalamin represents only 10-30% of the Vitamin B12 circulating in the blood but is the ONLY form of Vitamin B12 that is taken up and used by cells of the body, hence it’s other name - ACTIVE Vitamin B12.

Found naturally in food, such as green leafy vegetables. Folate (vitamin B9) plays a role in DNA creation and is important for the production of red blood cells.

Trace Minerals

Like vitamins, minerals are substances found in food that your body needs for growth and health. There are two kinds of minerals - macrominerals and trace minerals. Your body needs just small amounts of trace minerals which include iron, copper, zinc and selenium.

This nutrition blood test measures:

Found in vegetables, fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver, garlic, brewer's yeast, wheat germ, and enriched breads. Helps protect cells from damage, and is needed for thyroid gland function.

Found in organ meats, shellfish, chocolate, mushrooms, nuts, beans, and whole-grain cereals. Helps protect cells from damage, and is needed for forming bone and red blood cells.

Found in liver, eggs, seafood, red meats, oysters, certain seafood, milk products, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and whole grains. Needed for healthy skin, wound healing, and helps fight illnesses and infections.

In a functional medicine context a high Copper to Zinc ratio is believed to cause a range of detrimental health effects including growth and mental abnormalities, increased age degeneration and increase oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease risks.

Bone Health

Calcium and vitamin D play a critical role in maintaining bone health. When you don’t get enough calcium, you increase your risk of developing osteoporosis and stress fractures. This blood test measures your total and corrected calcium levels, your vitamin D levels, and also checks for gout.

This blood test measures:

Plays a critical role in developing and maintaining your overall bone health. If the total calcium result is abnormal, a corrected calcium calculation provides further information.

Although called a vitamin, vitamin D (25-OHD) is actually a steroid hormone which is activated by sunshine on the skin. It is essential for bone strength as it helps the intestines absorb calcium.

If too much urate is produced or not enough is excreted, it can accumulate and lead to gout – an inflammation that occurs in joints.

Most phosphate in the body comes from foods such as beans, peas and nuts, cereals, dairy products, eggs, beef, chicken and fish contain small amounts of phosphate. Phosphates are vital for energy production, muscle and nerve function, and bone growth.

Magnesium and calcium work together closely to maintain strong bones, and magnesium deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Inflammation

Inadequate recovery from exercise or overtraining can result in inflammation and muscle damage. In addition to c-reactive protein and creatine kinase, this panel also measures homocysteine which is another recognised risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as well as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.

This blood test measures:

A high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test measures low levels of CRP and may be used to help evaluate an individual for risk of cardiovascular disease

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) is an indirect measure of the degree of inflammation present in the body. Increased blood levels of certain proteins (such as fibrinogen or immunoglobulins, which are increased in inflammation) increase the ESR.

LDH is an enzyme required during the process of turning sugar into energy for your cells. Only a small amount is usually detectable in the blood, however, when cells are damaged they release LDH into the bloodstream.

When muscle cells are injured creatine kinase enzymes leak out of the cells and enter the bloodstream. Prolonged elevated creatine kinase after periods of rest can be a sign of overtraining.

An amino acid normally present in very small amounts in all cells of the body. Homocysteine is a product of methionine metabolism - one of the 11 ‘essential’ amino acids that must be derived from the diet.

Full blood count with differential

The full blood count is used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anaemia (decrease in red blood cells or haemoglobin), infection, and many other diseases. It is actually a group of tests that examine different parts of the blood. Results from the following tests provide the broadest picture of your health.

The full blood count measures

Responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. A high count can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, whilst a low count can mean your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs.

A good measure of your blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout your body. Elevated haemoglobin can be an indicator of lung disease, whilst a low result indicates anaemia.

A measure of the percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume. Elevated haematocrit can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a measure of the average size of the RBCs. The MCV is elevated when RBCs are larger than normal, eg in anaemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. When MCV is decreased, RBCs are smaller than normal as seen in iron deficiency anaemia.

Mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) is a calculation of the average amount of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin inside a red blood cell. Large RBCs are large tend to have a higher MCH, while small red cells would have a lower value.

Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is a calculation of the average concentration of haemoglobin inside a red cell. Decreased MCHC is seen in iron deficiency anaemia and thalassaemia.

Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a calculation of the variation in the size of your RBCs. In some anaemias, such as pernicious anaemia (due to vitamin B12 deficiency), the amount of variation in RBC size causes an increase in the RDW.

Responsible for fighting infection. A high count can indicate recent infection and even stress, whilst a low count can result from vitamin deficiencies, liver disease and immune diseases.

Basophils are a type of white blood cell. Basophils can increase in cases of leukaemia, long-standing inflammation and hypersensitivity to food.

A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to allergic disorders, inflammation of the skin and parasitic infections. They can also occur in response to some infections or to various bone marrow malignancies.

A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to infection as well as inflammatory disorders, and occasionally with some types of leukaemias. Decreased monocyte levels can indicate bone marrow injury or failure and some forms of leukaemia.

A type of white blood cell. Can increase with bacterial or viral infection, leukaemia, lymphoma, radiation therapy or acute illness. Decreased lymphocyte levels are common in later life but can also indicate steroid medication, stress, lupus and HIV infection.

A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to bacterial infection, inflammatory disease, steroid medication, or more rarely leukaemia. Decreased neutrophil levels may be the result of severe infection or other conditions.

Responsible for blood clotting and healing. A high count can indicate a risk of thrombosis, whilst a low count can lead to easy bruising.

Liver Function

Your liver processes drugs and alcohol, filters toxic chemicals, stores vitamins and minerals, and makes bile, proteins and enzymes. This liver function test examines enzymes and other markers for evidence of damage to your liver cells or a blockage near your liver which can impair its function.

This liver function test measures:

Bilirubin tests are use to screen for or to detect and monitor liver disorders or haemolytic anaemia.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme located mainly in the liver and the bones. High levels can indicate liver disease.

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme created mainly by the liver and the heart. High levels can indicate damage to your liver caused by alcohol, drugs or hepatitis.

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme mainly produced by the liver. A good indicator of liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs or hepatitis.

Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is a liver enzyme which can be used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is typically raised in long term drinkers.

Albumin is a protein which keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, nourishes tissues, and carries hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body. Albumin is made in the liver and is sensitive to liver damage.

A measure of all of the proteins in the plasma portion of your blood. Proteins are important building blocks of all cells and tissues - they are important for body growth and health.

Kidney Function

Your kidneys filter waste from your body and regulate salts in your blood. They also produce hormones and vitamins that direct cell activities in many organs and help to control blood pressure. When the kidneys aren't working properly, waste products and fluid can build up to dangerous levels creating a life-threatening situation.

This kidney function test measures:

Helps regulate the water and electrolyte balance of your body, and is important in the function of your nerves and muscles. Too much sodium can indicate kidney disease.

Minor changes in serum potassium ca have significant consequences. An abnormal concentration can alter the function of the nerves and muscles for example, the heart muscle may lose its ability to contract.

Chloride, like sodium, helps to maintain the balance of fluid in the body. Raised levels can be caused by eating too much salt, dehydration, diarrhoea, certain medications and also kidney disease.

Higher than normal levels suggests trouble maintaining pH balance either by failing to remove carbon dioxide or because of an electrolyte imbalance. Elevations may be seen with severe vomiting, chronic lung problems and some hormonal disorders. Low levels may be seen with chronic diarrhoea, diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney failure.

A high concentration of this waste product can indicate dehydration or that your kidneys aren’t working properly.

A waste molecule generated from muscle metabolism, and an accurate marker of kidney function.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measures how well your kidneys filter the wastes from your blood and is the best overall measure of kidney function.

Pancreatic Function

Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are broken down by stomach acids, enzymes produced by the pancreas, and bile from the liver. This process also releases micronutrients. This blood test measures the levels of enzymes produced by the pancreas.

This blood test measures:

An enzyme produced by the pancreas which is released into the digestive tract to help digest fatty foods.

An enzyme made mainly by the pancreas which is released from the pancreas into the digestive tract to help digest starch in our food.

Faecal Macroscopy

Macroscopy looks at stool colour and formation, as well as for evidence of mucous or blood which may require further investigation.

This macroscopy test measures

Brown is the colour of normal stool. Other colours may indicate abnormal gastrointestinal conditions.

A formed stool is considered normal. Variations to this may indicate abnormal gastrointestinal conditions.

Mucous production may indcate the presence of an infection, inflammation or malignancy.

This test is used to detect bleeding in the digestive tract, and is used in Australia's National Bowel Screening program. This test can detect tiny traces of blood in the stool, and can indicate the presence of disease at a relatively early stage when stools may appear normal.

Digestive & Metabolic Markers

Microscopy is performed for detection of blood cells which may indicate infections or inflammation, as well as markers of maldigestion. The presence of food remnants may indicate poor digestion from too little gastric acid or reduced output from the pancreas.

This microscopy test measures

Imbalances in gut pH influence short chain fatty acid production and their effect.

The presence of red blood cells in the stool may indicate the presence of an infection, inflammation or haemorrhage.

The presence of white blood cells in the stool may indicate the presence of an infection, inflammation or haemorrhage.

The presence of food remnants may indicate maldigestion.

The presence of meat fibres may indicate maldigestion from too little gastric acid or reduced output from the pancreas.

The presence of vegetable fibres may indicate maldigestion from gastric hypoacidity or diminished pancreatic output.

Too much fat in your faeces is called steatorrhoea which can be a sign of malabsorption. This means your body either isn’t absorbing nutrients properly or isn’t making the enzymes or bile needed to digest food effectively.

The presence of starch grains may indicate carbohydrate maldigestion.

Beneficial Bacteria

Significant numbers of bacteria are normally present in the healthy gut. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in particular, are essential for gut health because they help to inhibit gut pathogens and carcinogens, control pH, reduce cholesterol and synthesise vitamins.

This stool test measures

Bifidobacteria are considered "friendly” bacteria that are found in fermented foods like yogurt and cheese, and are used in probiotics. The gut needs these bacteria to perform several jobs, including breaking down foods, taking in nutrients, and preventing overgrowth of "bad” pathogenic bacteria.

Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are essential for gut health because they prevent overgrowth of gut pathogens, and contribute to managing intestinal pH, cholesterol, and synthesis of vitamins and disaccharidase enzymes.

Most E. coli strains are harmless and play an essential role in keeping the digestive system healthy, helping to digest food and producing Vitamin K. However, some E. coli bacteria are pathogenic and can cause disease.

Together with other healthy bacteria and fungi, enterococci work to keep unhealthy (pathogenic) bacteria from flourishing and helps to restore the balance of the microbiome.

Potentially Pathogenic Bacteria

This panel also looks for evidence of other bacteria which may be pathogenic in nature, such as Citrobacter and Klebsiella.

This stool test measures

Klebsiella forms part of the normal gut flora in small numbers, but can be an opportunistic pathogen

Citrobacter is considered an opportunistic pathogen and therefore can be found in the gut as normal flora. It is occasionally implicated in diarrhoeal disease, particularly C. freundii, C. diversus and C. koseri.

Pseudomonas is found in water and soil as well as fruits and vegetables, and is considered an opportunistic pathogen.

Part of the normal flora of the gastrointestinal tract, though has been shown to be an independent causative agent of intestinal disorders. May also play a role as an opportunistic organism in enteric infection due to other pathogens. Food has been implicated as a vehicle of infection.

Campylobacter infection (campylobacteriosis) is a bacterial infection which most commonly causes gastroenteritis (also known as 'gastro') but may also cause illness affecting the entire body.

Salmonella infection usually results from ingestion of the bacteria from contaminated food, water or hands. Eggs, milk, meat or poultry are particularly high risk foods.

Streptococcus is common in the gut flora. With the exception of very rare cases, streptococcus species are not implicated in gastric disease.

Yersinia infection (yersiniosis) is a bacterial infection of the bowel (intestine). It occurs worldwide, but is fairly uncommon. Many domesticated and wild animals carry Yersinia in their intestines, and spread to people occurs by eating food or water contaminated by infected faeces.

Enterococcus species are part of normal flora in the human gut, but can however be implicated in a variety of infections of which urinary tract infections are the most common.

Most E. coli strains are harmless and play an essential role in keeping the digestive system healthy, helping to digest food and producing Vitamin K. However, some E. coli bacteria are pathogenic and can cause disease.

Other bacteria tested for include alpha-haemolytic Streptococcus, gamma-haemolytic Streptococcus, Pseudomonas species, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Bacillus species, Citrobacter amalonaticus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae

Yeasts

This test looks for evidence of candida or other yeast overgrowth. Whilst yeasts are a normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract, they may become an opportunistic pathogen after disruption of the mucosal barrier, imbalance of the normal intestinal flora or impaired immunity. This can be caused by things like antibiotics, antacids and stress.

This stool test measures

Candida albicans is the main type of yeast which colonises the human body. It normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body without causing problems, but imbalance in the microbiome can lead to overgrowth.

Geotrichum yeasts can be found in soil, dairy products and in human skin and mucosae, and are usually only considered an opportunistic pathogen in immune-compromised hosts. Geotrichum may play a role in IBS.

A common environmental yeast which is not considered pathogenic in nature. These yeasts are ubiquitous in the environment and can be found on fruits, vegetables and other plant materials.

Whilst yeasts are a normal inhabitant of the gut, they may become an opportunistic pathogen after disruption of the mucosal barrier, imbalance of the normal intestinal flora or impaired immunity. This can be caused by things like antibiotics, antacids and stress.

Parasites

Some gut problems can be a consequence of an undetected gut infection. A significant number of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) cases could actually be due to undiagnosed gut parasites such as Blastocystis hominis and Dientamoeba fragilis.

This stool test measures

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrhoeal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are commonly known as "Crypto."

Symptoms of Giardia infection can occur with 3 to 25 days and may include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, pale greasy foul-smelling stools, stomach cramps, passing excess gas, bloating, weight loss and fatigue.

Amoebiasis is a parasitic disease (also known as amoebic dysentery) caused by infection with Entamoeba histolytica or another amoeba (for example, E. dispar). The disease may not cause symptoms in most individuals.

Some research suggests that people with IBS may be more likely to have Blastocystis hominis organisms in their stool.

The bacteria can be present in the gut for months or year and misdiagnosed as IBS. Infection can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping, anal itching, nausea, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, depression, weight loss and fatigue.

Ova, Cysts and Parasites

This microscopic evaluation is used to look for parasites that have infected the lower digestive tract. The parasites, or their eggs or cysts can be detected under the microscope.

This stool test measures

The ova refers to the eggs of the parasite which are visible under a microscope. The majority of people who are infected by gut parasites become infected by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated with the parasite eggs.

Refers to the cellular form of a parasite that has a thick cell wall which allows for survival of the parasite in the environment and transmission into an uninfected host.

Parasites that have infected the lower digestive tract are shed into the stool.

Test instructions

Download and print your pathology form from your i-screen dashboard.

Take your form to one of our affiliated collection centres to have your sample taken.

Fast from all food and drink (other than water) for at least 8 hours, and no more than 12 hours prior to your test.

Take test 7 days before predicted date of menstruation (if known). If menstrual cycle is 28 days, test on day 21 (where day 1 is the first day of bleeding).

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