What is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition?

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® is a science-based holistic approach to investigating and identifying the root cause of your health problems. Imbalances in your body can lead to symptoms such as digestive complaints, fatigue and weight issues. As a therapeutic partnership between client and practitioner, it is an evolution in the practice of nutrition that better addresses the health needs of our modern society.


A functional nutrition approach addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.  It uses individualised lab testing, completed in the comfort of your own home, to identify healing opportunities within the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier systems.  In order to restore balance to the systems of the body, Functional Nutrition uses a combination of interventions including therapeutic diets, sleep hygeine, exercise recommendations, stress reduction strategies and supplementation protocols.


If you’re keen to understand Functional Nutrition and how it works, or you want to explain it to family and friends, use the diagrams below. They illustrate the connection between stressors, imbalances in the systems of the body, and the development of symptoms.

This is how the body is meant to work
This is what happens when the body is under STRESS
How Functional Nutrition restores the body to vibrant health

The goal of Functional Nutrition is to help you rebuild your health through a personalised treatment protocol that addresses diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation (D.R.E.S.S.). You will learn a model of self-care that empowers you to take control of your health, naturally.

Here are some details about the D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® protocol. Each area is customised to your health needs – click the boxes below to find out more.
  • The foundation of health starts with real, whole, nutrient dense food
  • We believe in biochemical individuality – no one diet fits all
  • Elimination of foods that cause stress to your body
  • Poor sleep can directly correlate with poor health
  • Rest allows the body to repair itself
  • Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night
  • The  human body was designed to move
  • Exercise is very individual – you chose the right type, intensity and duration for your current level of health
  • Incorrect exercise for your body can add stress and make your condition worse
  • Acute stress is essential, chronic stress causes imbalances in the body’s systems
  • Identify internal (biochemical) stressors via FDN lab testing
  • Eliminate external (mental/emotional and physical) stressors
  • Supplements compensate for what is missing from our (poor quality) food supply
  • Supplements work best when your diet is right
  • Supplements must be tailored to your individual needs

Internal (biochemical) stressors can be found in the hormone, immunity, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier systems.

When these systems are constantly stressed out or imbalanced, symptoms begin to develop. The nature and location of symptoms can seem far removed from the source of their underlying dysfunction.  For example; while digestive system dysfunction is commonly associated with bloating, gas and constipation, it may also show up as bad skin, brain fog or headaches for some people.

It is also important to understand that imbalance in one system can lead to many symptoms that might initially seem unrelated.  Here is a list of common symptoms associated with the imbalances we work to restore:

  • Constipation, diarrhea, IBS
  • Gas, bloating, stomach pains
  • Other: Fungal/Yeast infections, SIBO, Parasites
  • Fatigue, lethargy, Adrenal fatigue
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Headaches, migraines, brain fog
  • Allergies, sensitivities, intolerances
  • Anaemia, nutritional deficiencies
  • Insomnia, poor sleep
  • Persistently feeling unwell (low immunity)
  • Heartburn, indigestion
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Acne, rosacea, other skin problems
  • Irregular cycles, PMS, low sex drive
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation, pain
  • Asthma, hay fever
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Bad breath


If you experience more than one of the above, you are in the right place and I encourage you to get in touch.  I know we can work together to begin healing your body.

CLICK HERE to learn more about working with me

Test details

An overview of the most common tests I recommend is listed below. Lab fees are paid directly to NutriPATH Integrative Pathology Services. My consulting fees are separate.

NutriPATH: Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis

This stool test is a comprehensive assessment of the microbiological environment of the gut.  It reports on pathogenic (parasites, bacteria and yeast/fungus) and imbalanced colonising organisms, as well as identifying the levels of beneficial flora.  Identification of pathogens is strongly associated with IBS, diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, skin irritations, and recent overseas travel.

NutriPATH: IgG Allergy Panel or ALCAT Intolerance Test

Both tests are used to screen for specific foods that cause an immune reaction in the body. These foods can be hard to identify without testing because of the time between consumption and the physical reaction. Generally, an IgG reaction occurs hours to days after exposure to food antigens. Symptoms commonly associated with food sensitivities are IBS symptoms, headaches, brain fog, fatigue and skin conditions such as eczema.


These tests are a useful guide to structure an anti-inflammatory diet. When preparing for these tests, it is recommended to eat a large variety of foods in the two weeks prior to testing. Include as many of the foods that are being tested in the specific panel you have chosen. Note: If you choose to complete the ALCAT Intolerance Test you will have to go to a Phlebotomist to have three vials of blood taken  and arrange same-day collection yourself through TNT. The IgG Allergy Panel is a simple dry blood spot using a finger prick.

NutriPATH: Intestinal Permeability Assessment

This urine test assesses lactulose and mannitol recovery and can be used to monitor improvements or deterioration in intestinal permeability. This test helps us assess for leaky gut and can also help identify malabsorption that leads to symptoms such as food sensitivities, fatigue, gut dysbiosis, IBS and IBD.

NutriPATH: Adrenocortex and Hormone Stress Profile

This saliva test evaluates the impact of chronic stress on the body by measuring levels of key hormones; cortisol, DHEA, estrogens, progesterone, testosterone and melatonin. Imbalances are commonly associated with anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, obesity, cravings, insomnia and difficulty concentrating.

NutriPATH: Liver Detoxification Profile

This saliva and urine test looks at both phase 1 and phase 2 liver functioning by assessing certain metabolites in salivary and urinary specimens. When the function of the liver is not optimal, toxins can build up and poison the body. Liver detoxification issues are usually associated with skin conditions, chronic fatigue, food intolerances, headaches, multiple chemical sensitivities, hormonal imbalances and a history of medication or drug use.

SIBOTest: SIBO Basic

This breath test utilises lactulose as the test substance and collects 10 breath samples over 3 hours. It is used to detect elevations above normal for hydrogen and/or methane gas, indicating the presence of SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). SIBO is highly correlated with bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhoea, as well as brain symptoms such as low mood and anxiety.