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Functional Laboratory Studies 

Functional Laboratory Studies
Chapter:
Functional Laboratory Studies
Author(s):

Deirdre Orceyre

, Ronak Mehta

, and Mikhail Kogan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190466268.003.0025
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date: 19 October 2019

Functional laboratory studies involve blood, urine, stool, and saliva tests that evaluate physiological function. While most conventionally used lab tests identify pathology, functional lab studies allow identification of health risks before frank pathology develops. Reference ranges of these tests are identified as “optimal” rather than by a statistical average. Functional lab testing is also used to evaluate systems as opposed to pathology—for example, comprehensive digestive analysis or functional hormone/endocrine analysis. Functional lab testing may help with the complex task of identifying food sensitivities. As the area of genomics develops, functional evaluations of an individual’s genome may provide insight into possible directions for diet, supplement, and lifestyle interventions.

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