Labs in Functional Medicine

Most of the labs we use in functional medicine are not available through mainstream medicine and are done via independent lab companies.  However, this does not mean that these are subordinate (in fact, those that I use are all CLIA certified)!  I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why mainstream medicine won't use these, and here are some of the answers I've found:

  • Lab results are not backed up by algorithms (i.e. they often require detailed knowledge of what impacts a result, and what other markers may be synergistic or antagonistic)
  • It takes a lot of time to interpret and review the results (which is not in line with an insurance model of efficiency)
  • Many of the labs use laboratory testing techniques that are mostly found in research (and it takes at least 17 years for research to be implemented into clinical use!)
  • These labs are small, independent, and focus on quality over quantity.  All these factors are not in line with insurance guidelines, e.g. focus on quantity over quality)

Common Labs Used in Functional Medicine Practices:

 

Not-as-Common Lab Companies (but many that I have used in practice):

 

One-Stop-Shop Companies: