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Why Is Functional Medicine Testing So Important?

Why Is Functional Medicine Testing So Important?

To maintain vibrant health, treat the true cause of your symptoms, and detect disease early enough to take preventive steps, you need to know what’s happening inside your body. To learn those details, you need functional medicine testing.

Have you ever felt sluggish, achy, or downright miserable only to have routine blood work come back with normal results? Or maybe you still feel unwell despite conventional medical care.

If you want to feel vibrant, prevent disease, and get personalized treatments that improve your health, you need functional medicine testing.

Functional lab tests reveal details that go beyond routine blood work. Dr. Jelena Petkovic, PCA, MMS, DHSc, evaluates the in-depth information to create a complete picture of your health, identify the cause of your symptoms, and create treatments customized to meet your needs.

Let’s explore why functional medicine testing makes the difference to your health.

Functional vs conventional medicine

Functional and conventional medicine take different approaches to health care. This difference is at the heart of why functional lab testing has such a vital role.

Conventional medicine

Conventional medicine takes a one-size-fits-all approach that focuses on the disease rather than the person. These providers determine a diagnosis and follow the defined guidelines for that diagnosis, treating you with the medications and procedures used for everyone with the same condition.

Functional medicine

By comparison, functional medicine is all about finding the root cause. Functional medicine providers value the whole person and take time to learn about all the factors influencing your symptoms.

Identifying your unique mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, environmental, and lifestyle challenges is the only way to find the true reason for your symptoms. And getting to the root cause is the only way to create individualized treatment that restores optimal health and vitality.

Here are two examples showing why finding the root cause is essential:


You can take over-the-counter medications for a headache, eliminate the pain, and feel better — until the headache returns. Pain medications won’t stop recurrent headaches if the pain develops due to ongoing problems that remain untreated.

For example, your headaches may be caused by food sensitivities or an imbalanced gut, conditions that are only identified with functional medicine testing.


Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, medications that improve depression (for some people) by balancing brain chemicals. But your gut communicates with your brain, and an imbalance in gut bacteria can cause depression. Taking antidepressants won’t help if your gut microbes are the root cause.

Functional medicine testing vs typical lab tests

Functional lab tests provide information about your body that can’t be obtained through typical lab tests and routine blood work.

Routine labs, such as a complete blood count, serum glucose, and lipid panel, have an important role in identifying health problems. But they don’t tell us about the multitude of functions at the cellular level that determine your health.

We may recommend testing to identify:

  •     Micronutrient deficiencies (shows levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids)
  •     Food sensitivities (assesses sensitivity to 96 foods)
  •     Issues affecting weight loss (measures hormones, blood sugar, food sensitivities)
  •     Gut health (identifies bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites, inflammation, and overall function)
  •     Environmental toxins (finds heavy metals, mycotoxins, and many others)
  •     Neurotransmitter levels (evaluates brain chemical levels)
  •     Tickborne diseases (detects multiple diseases transmitted by ticks)
  •     Infections (reveals infections responsible for inflammation)

This list isn’t comprehensive, but it illustrates the deeper levels of functional medicine testing and how we go beyond routine blood work to find the source of your symptoms.
Easy access to functional medicine testing

We offer online access to functional medicine testing. The kits are mailed to your home, then you can get tested at a local site or return your sample to the lab site for their analysis.

After we receive your results, we connect with you for a personalized consultation and to provide tailored treatment that meets your unique health care needs.

To learn more about functional medicine testing, make an appointment online.

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