top of page

"Functional" VS "Normal": Functional Testing for Autoimmune Disease

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

There is no switch where health and dysfunction turn on and off, despite what conventional testing reference ranges may have us think.

I've had countless clients come to me and say: “I know something is off, but my GP said all my test results are normal”. Have you ever had this experience?

Unfortunately, GPs now have an average of 9 1/2 minutes to see their patients, and in this time the patient is often limited to dealing with 1 symptom or condition. In this time slot, GPs must take a case history, interpret symptoms, and make a diagnosis.

Sadly, in the current healthcare model, most GPs don't have time to look below the surface of the 'health iceberg' at the submerged 90% of what is really going on - it's an impossible task and I really sympathise with these front-line practitioners.

Of equal concern is that as chronic health conditions become more normalised, we have started to see the "Normal" ranges change - for example, the reference range for Calprotectin (a marker for Inflammatory Bowel Disease) used to be above >50µg/g signified need for intervention. Now that range has changed to above >150µg/g. This is a huge difference, which highlights the normalisation of chronic illness - the old sick has become the new healthy.

This is where nutritional therapy and functional testing can help us. Using these tools we can assess the hidden load and identify your hidden trends.

The Optimal Range

Functional tests help to narrow down exactly what is going on, and as a Nutritional Therapist, I am more concerned about not only what is normal for you, but what is optimally needed in order to improve your chronic health condition.

You see, what is normal for a healthy individual may not be normal for someone with an autoimmune condition or chronic illness, because the body's stores are often depleted in such cases, and demands for nutrients are far higher due to ongoing processes such as chronic stress and inflammation.

At my Nutritional Therapy Clinic in Harpenden and Online, we look at what are known as functional ranges – these are the areas either side of the conventional ranges adopted by primary healthcare practitioners such as GPs. By focusing on what is happening there, and often by linking to other functional tests, we can spot what is not optimal or "normal" for the particular individual at hand, at this moment in time and in their state of health.

Once we are aware of the true parameters in which we are working, we are able to implement crucial interventions; interventions that can have a huge effect on your health. I work with the following testing laboratories:

Have your test results recently received the all-clear, but you still feel like something isn't quite right? Functional testing can help get to the bottom of your health issues.

Next Steps

Hi I'm Molly, I'm a UK-based Nutritional Therapist (DipION, mBANT, CNHC) and Self-Compassion Coach (MSc) serving my community in Harpenden and online. Here in my little online home, you'll discover the benefits of nutritional therapy and complementary therapies for autoimmune disease and chronic illness.

Want to understand more about nutrition for autoimmune diseases? Download my free recipe book and discover 12 Nutritionist-Certified Recipes to Help Alleviate the Symptoms of Autoimmunity & Chronic Illness.

If you’re ready to take the next step and get back to feeling amazing again, please book a FREE 1:1 call, in which I’d love to talk to you about your own individual diet, share with you some personalised advice, and answer any questions you might have.


bottom of page