Update March 2020: The vast majority of labs are still offering a full service (hoorah). Biolab has had to close due to staff safety in Central London. Any tests not available currently, I have put N/A next to them so please do not order those. I will update you with any other changes. Thanks for your patience.

If you have ordered or are thinking of ordering a test, please read these instructions to make sure everything goes smoothly. Purrleease don't email me willy-nilly unless you have read these, thank you! Note that the FAQ for ebooks and support are in those sections as this one was getting too huge!

Quick Overview:

I am a fully qualified and experienced medical nutritionist. I have done an awful lot of testing for patients in my time and this lab test facilitation service has evolved to help people taking responsibility for their own health access the test they need. Search for the tests you need, read the Overviews and Q&A/Hints at the bottom of each Overview page, then read this FAQ FULLY to see how the process all works. You place your order, paying me now (+ ones) or sending payment with your samples later (£0.00 ones). I will place the order for your tests and change the shop status to Processing. You get the test kit by post within 4 days or so, usually quicker, and follow all instructions to the letter, (if blood tests, check phlebotomy services below in the FAQ), sending your samples (and any payment details) to the lab in the correct timeframe. Your results will come to me as usual (allow 3 weeks, usually quicker, please do not chase the labs) and I will email them to you confidentially with the full lab reports and analysis plus ideas on what to do next. If you need further help at that point, you then take them to your chosen health practitioner, download one of my plans which contain the protocols I used in-clinic successfully for years, book some individual time with one of my clinical team or use the link there to find a local practitioner. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

Now, here's the full FAQ - please read, ta......

Can I order tests if I don't live in the UK?

If you are in Europe, you can order all Genova and Regenerus tests. Regenerus include Doctors Data, Labrix, ALCAT, Cyrex, DUTCH, Functional Diagnostics, GPL and ZRT mainly.) For Genova ones, there is no extra postage for sending the kits to you, so nice bonus! For Regenerus tests, the lab will contact you to ask for payment to send the kit to you (usually around £7.50 for untrackable 3-5 days or £15 for trackable 2-4 days) and for pre-payment of sample returns which varies in price depending on where you are and how quickly the samples need to get back to the UK (usually around £30 or so). I'm sorry I can't do further afield than Europe because the samples just don't get back in time.

How do I get more information on the tests, see sample reports etc?

In each test overview, I have added links mostly to the lab websites where you can easily find more detailed information, see sample reports and the test instructions. In some instances, I have created a document in Dropbox for you to download if the lab site doesn't help much. I have also included hints & tips at the bottom of each test page, so please make sure you read those too.

Please make sure you read everything fully and carefully before ordering. Does your chosen test need centrifuging, what's the deadline for return and can you make it OK, do you have to stop taking anything or fast, for example?

I'm not sure what test I need. Can you help?

At Purehealth, we can arrange over 100 lab tests to get an insight into how your body is working and I know they can be pretty overwhelming sometimes. Use the search box to find info and tests in the area you need. If you're still not sure, contact me to discuss which would be most appropriate for you. Better to save time and money to get the right answers! Bear with me as I have a lot of emails to get through normally, but I will get back to you!

Do I need a referral?

You can get many of the tests you need via your GP so try there first. If not, I am a fully qualified medical nutritionist so I am able to order functional medicine tests for you.

I can't find the test I need? Can you do x, y or z?

Very probably. If you can't find what you need on the shop, just ask and we are bound to have access to one through one of the labs we work with. Not everything is on the shop otherwise it would be enormous! Just ask if you can't find something. Use the Lab Test Request and include in comments what you need.

Can I order more than one test or an ebook and tests?

Of course, just use the Add More button or Continue Shopping from the Checkout.

I see I can order from Genova's website direct, what is your practitioner code?

Put in A42RS when prompted. Your results will still come to me and I will email them to you as usual - although I won't know you'll have placed a test until I get the results and if I haven't got your email address, I can't send them to you! It's easier to order through me but if you do order direct, just send me a quick email to tell me you've ordered, please.

Can I order for someone else?

Yes, just make sure you tell me in comments when you order who the test is actually for so I can get the paperwork right and know who to send results to when they come in. I need name and date of birth preferably please.

What's included with my test?

Your test kit, instructions, lab analysis and results email. Return postage is sometimes included, but most often this is extra. You also need to budget for phlebotomy if you're having a blood test done (more on this below).

What happens after I have placed my test order?

When you have placed your order, you will get an immediate order confirmation from the shop. You will also get a receipt from Paypal if you've paid something which acts as your invoice. You should also get an email when I change your status to 'Processing' on the shop system and this tells you I've placed your orders. You can check your order status anytime in your account in Order History. When I send your results, I try to remember to change your order status to 'Shipped' and this means your results have been emailed to you, so check your Inbox.

Paying for Tests: My test says it is £0.00! Is it free then?

Ha, I wish! This means that I will place your order for you as usual, the lab sends the test kit to you and you pay them direct, usually when you return your samples - they will tell you what to do in your kit instructions. It just cuts my workload down a bit. When payment is received, they will go ahead and do your test, then send me the results so I can get them to you as usual. If a test has a + mark next to it, this will be added to your basket and I take payment for these ones via Paypal. You don't need a Paypal account, just use your credit or debit card as usual. You'll get a confirmation email from the shop and a Paypal email which then acts as your invoice. The orders and payments will come direct to me and I will place your order then asap. Your shop account status will be changed to 'Processing' so you can see I've done it.

When will I get my test?

As soon as you get your order confirmation, your order comes through to me too and I'm on it for you. Test kits are sent out to you from the labs. I don't hold stock here.

Kits usually take no longer than about 4 days to arrive, usually much quicker eg. Genova are usually 1-2 days. If yours hasn’t arrived after a week, please do ask me to chase – it may have got lost in the post. Doesn’t happen often – more in Summer when there are fewer posties!

What do I do when I get it?

It’s a good idea to open your packages when they arrive and check that you have everything. Don’t leave it until just as you are doing your test, just in case! Rare anything is missing, but better to be sure.

Note that Genova has recently stopped including a needle and syringe - the so-called 'bleed kit' - in the test envelopes. Most places where people have their blood taken don't need the bleed kit as they have and like to use their own which is why Genova have stopped sending them, they were just getting hundreds returned through the post. But you can still request one for circumstances where people don't have access to the needles and syringes. Just contact Genova direct or leave a comment on your order and I will ask for it to be included.

If something is missing, please contact the lab and explain what you have so they can determine what may be missing and can send it to you. Please don't ask me: I don't send the kits out and can't help you there.

Next, read through all the instructions carefully - remember to check the test product page for specific FAQ relating to the test you have ordered - any questions you have should be answered on this page or there. Do check before emailing me - I am trying to cut down the deluge!

Then, think about when to do your samples, bearing any return or postage requirements in mind eg, sending them back to arrive Mon-Weds is a very good idea. Never send them back to arrive on a Friday or they could be hanging about all weekend whilst the lab is closed. Book any blood/phlebotomy appointments accordingly. The aim is to return your samples for next day delivery where you can.

Please read and follow all instructions carefully, complete all forms and enclose the correct ones with your sample so they know who it comes from. No form = no test done; the lab will simply reject it.

Do I have to stop taking anything?

Yes, read the test instructions and any hints and tips on my test overview page (usually at the end) when you get your test kit so you can be sure you are ready to do it correctly. Take note particularly if you have to stop taking anything specific before doing the test.

In general, it is usually a good idea to stop any supplements a good 2-3 days before any test to get a clear result unless the point of the test is to monitor supplementation levels.

If you wish to stop meds, please check with your health professional before doing so. Re meds, obviously they are all different and have different effects in the body. The lab says:

We typically anticipate a medication will clear the body in a time frame of the half-life multiplied by a factor of five. If a patient has liver function impairment and or renal insufficiency, these conditions can affect the clearance time of certain medications. Please also be aware that with certain medications, the drug itself may have cleared the body, but the effect of the medication may be longer lasting.

So, find out the half life of the medication if you need to and follow that advice. Better still, check with the lab.

How do I get my blood taken for a blood test?

You will need to have blood taken at a local phlebotomy service of your choice; that's usually at your local GP surgery (can be free), a local phlebotomy service, via the lab itself or at an NHS hospital (for a fee) or local private medical centre eg. Nuffield or Spire hospital. If your test needs centrifuging, do check they can do that before booking. There is usually a charge for phlebotomy, so bear that in mind. There is no centralised service now at Nuffield or Spire - helpfully - so some hospitals do it and some don't. It is worth giving the outpatients department a call as they are all run individually and some will help. Some of the medical centres nowadays demand a GP/consultant referral letter. I am not an NHS doctor so I can't give that to you or set up contracts with the centres; please talk to your health professional/GP or consultant for that.

Most of the tests on the shop are done via Genova or Regenerus labs. Here are Genova's phlebotomy services, which are mainly London and South East-based.

Regenerus uses a central London service and has a list of blood draw sites on their page here.

Private services:

There is a list of private services on Dr Myhill's site here and one from FDx here.

Make sure you check they can centrifuge if you need that.

Medical Express - and they do children's phlebotomy. Medical Assistance UK do more geographical areas: here is their general leaflet and prices. Noviche also offers more coverage - see their list of postcodes and info here.

There are also freelance phlebotomists and local services around the country so check etc. Most pathology labs have the names of freelance phlebotomists who can come to you instead if they don’t do it. One freelancer, for example, is Jenny Brown who does phlebotomy and centrifuge in Glastonbury and within 1-2 hours of mid-Somerset so roughly Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Dorset, Bristol and Gloucestershire.

If your test needs centrifuging, check your facility or service can do that - usually larger operations such as hospitals and some of the mobile services above; most GP surgeries can't afford one! Regenerus will sometimes centrifuge the blood sample for Cyrex tests for you. Check the gluten section Q&A on Cyrex testing for more on this: Gluten Tests section of the shop

Please do make sure you have thought about how to have blood taken before you order a blood test; it's wise to call your chosen facility and ask before you order.

When you have made your phlebotomy appointment, simply take the whole test kit in with you, say you are having a private test done via a medical nutritionist, hand them the kit which will include instructions for what sample needs taking etc and they will do the rest. You will then be given the sample back and can send it back to the lab in your packaging.

Note that Genova has recently stopped including a needle and syringe - the so-called 'bleed kit' - in the test envelopes. Most places where people have their blood taken don't need the bleed kit as they have and like to use their own which is why Genova have stopped sending them, they were just getting hundreds returned through the post. But you can still request one for circumstances where people don't have access to the needles and syringes. Just contact Genova direct or leave a comment on your order and I will ask for it to be included.

I'm not sure about how to take my sample, how do I get help? Or: Aargh, I think I have made a mistake with my sample; what do I do?

If you have any questions about taking your samples or you think you might have done something wrong, it is often quicker and safer to call or email the lab direct as I can’t guarantee to be about just when you need me. That way, you know the lab will accept your sample or tell you to do another one, so there’s less possibility of the sample being rejected. If in doubt, re-do it or ask me to send a fresh test kit FOC which most labs will do.

It says to include payment with my samples but I have already paid?

You do not need to enclose payment with any samples if you have already paid. If you haven't already paid, please follow whatever the forms ask you to enclose. Failure to pay may result in the lab rejecting your samples. You may wish to pay for the lab’s postal service and that is between you and them: follow their instructions in the kit. I don't get involved in return postage.

How do I return my samples?

In a word: quickly! Most samples are required within 24-48 hours of taking them. Be led by any specific instructions in the test kits etc, but overnight delivery is the best idea to ensure freshness.

Most tests on the shop are returned to a UK lab and either analysed in the UK or drop-shipped to Europe or the US for lab for you. There are a couple of exceptions and I'll try to point those out on the relevant test pages for you. Most US tests, including Doctor's Data, are returned to Regenerus or Genova in the UK.

Royal Mail UK has recently changed the rules on shipping of ‘biological specimens’. Yours are category B non-hazardous samples and it is up to you to make sure you return your samples safely and correctly. You can read the full Post Office leaflet here, but essentially, the new rules are that:

UK: If your samples (not the package) weigh less than 50ml/50g, you can still use the Royal Mail post if posting in the UK to a UK address. Biological specimens that are classed as category B or exempt (ie. non-hazardous, that’s most of the usual ones) must be less than 50g/50ml and must be sent in packaging conforming to P650 rules ie. one leak-proof bag inside another leak-proof bag, all in a sturdy outer-box, labelled with the sender’s name and return address clearly on the outside. If the sample measures or weighs more than 50ml/50g, you must use a suitable courier. eg. UPS, APC, FedEx etc. Call your preferred company and check they can ship it for you.

All companies provide suitable postage packaging. Some companies will include a courier pack for you. Please note this is great convenience but they do charge for them eg. currently approx. Genova £12, Regenerus £9. If you use them, you will need to pay for that direct, not through me. Follow their instructions in your kit.

International: Royal Mail don’t allow you to send biological specimens abroad, so you need to use a suitable courier. DHL and Fed Ex seem to be favourite, but it does seem to vary from country to country and even office to office of the courier companies! Couriering samples abroad can be expensive and difficult, so do please make sure you have worked this out before you order!

Thankfully, most of our labs do that for you and we have just a few that have to go back to the US by courier (eg. gluten gene test) so do please think about that and check you can courier it if necessary before you order.

Latest (April 15): DHL used for small packet for gluten gene test, £31, dropped off at pick up point and they checked the contents. The samples are category B, non-hazardous, for when you are asked! It seems to be better when you speak to them by phone rather than do it online. Someone else recently used CitySprint, although it cost £75, eek!

Once you have your samples ready, you return it to the relevant lab in the special packaging provided. It does not come to us at Purehealth so no sending us stool samples please! Please aim to get your samples back within the timeframe specified in your test instructions - 24-48 hours max is usually required.

Generally-speaking, for most tests, your samples go back to a UK lab who courier it overnight to wherever it is being processed. Many are done in the UK, but some are sent on to other countries.

I am in Europe, how do I return my samples?

If you are outside the UK, your samples usually need to be couriered back to the UK lab for onward processing. This is best done quickly on overnight services. Aim to get your samples back within the timeframe specified in your test instructions - 24-48 hours max is usually required.

The courier packs included in kits are usually UK mainland only so you will need to organise a courier return. Sometimes, if the test is being done in Germany or the US, it can be quicker to send the results to the labs direct - I will advise. Also, some of the labs can send a courier pack for you to use, and you can pre-pay that direct with them if you need to. Contact the labs direct to check and pay for that service.

It says postage is included in my kit. Is it?

It could be. Be aware, though, that if postage says it is pre-paid, this can often be in the US or UK only. Check.

Something's come up and I can't do my test for a while. Is that OK?

There are usually no problems with holding onto a kit for a while if you can’t get to it straight away; they don’t tend to ‘go off’. Just check if there are any dates on the vials or paperwork to be sure. If you need another test kit, just let me know.

How do I get my results?

Results usually take 10 -14 working days, but some can take longer eg. the gluten gene test takes up to 6 weeks and some of the gut tests take about 3-4. With others, if you haven’t heard 3 weeks (working days!) after sending your sample off, please feel free to prod me to chase them. Tell me when you sent your samples off so I can give the lab the right info. Please do NOT chase the labs as it only gives them more work and is a tad embarrassing when they have to email me. Please don't chase your results too early - after 3 weeks only, thanks, otherwise I get deluged! The likelihood is you will have got them by then but after the 3 weeks, do prod me gently!

As soon as I have your results, I will send them to you using a secure email service. I will usually include the headlines of what the results suggest, with some direction on what to do next if appropriate.

How do I open the secure email?

I use a service called StayPrivate which encrypts your emails and any results attached. It will send you an email to say you have received a secure email from Micki at Purehealth and ask you to click a button to open it.The first time you do this, you will be asked to create a 4 digit pin number. It will open the email and then you use that same number every time I send you something by the secure service.

What if I need more help with my results?

You should discuss your results with your chosen health practitioner, always; they are best placed to help you. If you need some help from me or one of the team or need to find a local practitioner, see the Support section here.

Phew - I think I have covered everything but if you still have an unanswered question, just contact me.