Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine is the field of medicine which involves the use of specialised laboratory tests not available in New Zealand.

Functional Medicine tests can be particularly useful especially when health problems have been unresolved for a long period of time. The information gained can be invaluable.

The most common tests include Hair Analysis  for minerals and heavy metal toxicity; osteoporosis risk; Food Allergy profile; Bowel and Liver function; and Adrenal Salivary Cortisol and DHEA.

JAMA 1971; 215(3):384-385.


Trace element levels in hair accurately reflect community exposure to heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Post-mortem studies also show a close correlation between levels of hair and bone lead. Hair is a convenient method of analysis, and exhibits powerful potential for gauging exposure to environmental pollutants.

SCIENCE 1978;202(22): 1271-1273

Studies from around the world show that hair concentration of elements such as lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury “provide an accurate and relatively permanent record of exposure, there is a good correlation in hair and concentrations in internal organs. By using hair analysis of 14 different elements, one team of investigators could distinguish between children with and without learning disabilities with a 98% accuracy rate. Other

Relevant clinical applications of elemental hair analysis include mental disorder, cystic fibrosis, coeliacs disease, growth retardation, and diabetes.

LANCET 1982;2:259-261.

Blood levels of elements such as lead and mercury can only indicate immediate or very recent status of heavy metal exposure. For this reason, a documented case of industrial arsenic contamination in Italy show that hair is a more reliable indicator of exposure that blood. The many advantages of using hair for analysis of element concentrations in the body include its relative consistency, convenience and long-range validity.

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