A yearly gut test is a really good idea if you want to know what resides in your gut. Your gut health is the most essential component to disease prevention and longevity.
Using diagnostic testing can help you eliminate your symptoms by identifying and addressing the underlying cause of any problems. If you are proactive you can prevent disease from occurring in the first place. Catch it early on and it’s much easier to address and correct.
Your immune system lives in your gut, and equally important is that your body’s ability to produce hormones is affected by your gut. It’s a good idea to make sure your gut is operating at optimal level before you have any symptoms. Prevention is key to good health. That’s why a yearly gut test ought to be done as a check up.
Maybe you have constipation, gas, bloating, brain fog, diarrhea or chronic stomach pain. This could be due to a bacteria, yeast or a fungal overgrowth.
Could maybe even be a parasite that you picked up on your travels.
A gut test will also indicate that you may have a bacteria imbalance and need more good bacteria. We suggest Genova Comprehensive Parasitology or Doctors Data Comprehensive Parasitology Test. Both companies offer similar labs.
The difference with Doctor’s Data is the method they use for analysis which is the MALDI-TOF. This stands for Matrix- Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight. It’s a method of identifying bacteria and yeast in your stool sample by using a reference database which contains hundreds of bacteria and yeast species.
Here’s why we love this one if you suspect yeast overgrowth, aka Candida. They have identified over 180 yeast species; 65 of these are Candida alone. This ability to differentiate is extremely important since some patients may have up to 6 or 7 different strains.
Doctors Data also offers a one day turn around test. It’s called the GI Pathogen Profile. This allows you to diagnose and treat acute conditions faster. It may be used as a stand alone test or it can be added to the Comprehensive Stool Analysis, which tests for the presence of viral infections or to differentiate between possible strains of E. coli.
If you suspect you may have Leaky Gut, Genova also has an add on test which measures for Zonulin, a marker found if you have leaky tight junctions in your GI tract.
After you Take a test, then what?
There are different treatment plans for yeast overgrowth, parasites, Leaky Gut, bacteria imbalance (dysbiosis), heavy metal Buildup, Crohn’s And Colitis. Talk with your health practitioner to determine what protocol is best for you based on your results.
When should I retest?
If you’ve already had a gut test and found your good bacteria levels to be low you may have started taking prebiotics and probiotics. Whether you completed a specific cleanse for parasites, are repairing a Leaky Gut, or increasing your good bacteria with probiotics after a round of antibiotics, don’t forget to check back in and see whats working.
In most cases it’s a good idea to give your treatment plan about three months to do it’s work before you retest. Have an idea of when to retest pinpointed in your treatment plan. Put in on your calendar.
Have any questions, ask your natural health care provider or call Crohns.net for support.
Remember there is no need to be intimidated by the at home stool test, its actually a very simple way to identify problems within your gut.
By Dr. Pamela Nathan