Common Tests for Gut-Related Issues

If you are experiencing digestive health issues then it can be overwhelming so I recommend looking into these Common Tests for Gut-Related Issues to get to the root cause instead of wasting money on random supplements.

GI MAP

This is a comprehensive test that tests for bacterial, parasitic and viral pathogens. This DNA-based test means that the results look at the levels of "pathogenic strains carrying the toxic genes, not the levels of any toxins that may be produced" (Diagnostic Solutions Lab,2020).

Here is what is tests for (Diagnostic Solutions Lab, 2020):

  • campylobacter
  • C. difficile Toxin A
  • C. difficile Toxin B
  • Enterohemorrhagic E. coli
  • E. coli O157
  • Enteroinvasive E. coli/Shigella
  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli LT/ST
  • Shiga-like Toxin E. coli stx1
  • Shiga-like Toxin E. coli stx2
  • Salmonella
  • Vibro cholerae
  • Yersinia enterocolitica

Food Sensitivity Testing 

For the purpose of this blog, I am going to focus on the Rocky Mountain Analytical IgG Food Sensitivity test as it tends to be one of the most common ones out there. This test is commonly ordered for individuals experiencing digestive upset. Some other reasons the test may be ordered is if someone is experiencing an autoimmune condition, poor skin health, even headaches, achy joints and muscles and more.

The difference between a food sensitivity and a food allergy is that a food allergy is am immediate reaction caused by IgE antibodies whereas food sensitivities are delayed and caused by IgG antibodies in specific foods (RMA Lab, 2020).

This test requires bloodwork. When you get your results back you will have a form that organizes foods based on whether they have normal, borderline or elevated ranges. From there a health care practitioner may put you on a protocol to help support gut health and remove elevated foods for a period of time.

Comprehensive Stool Analysis

According to The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc., a Comprehensive Stool Analysis: "...detects the presence of pathogenic microorganisms such as yeast, parasites, and bacteria that contribute to chronic illness and neurological dysfunction. It provides helpful information about prescription and natural products effective against specific strains detected in the sample. The test also evaluates beneficial bacteria levels, intestinal immune function, overall intestinal health, and inflammation markers (2020)".

Test includes:

  • parameters for digestion & absorption
  • Cultures for bacteria and yeast
  • Parasite testing
  • Sensitivity panels
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Stool metabolic markers
  • Infectious pathogens

Methane/Hydrogen Breath Test

These breath tests are typically run when a health care practitioner believes the patient may have SIBO, or if it's believed that the patient is having a hard time digesting sugars like lactose and fructose. What happens is that bacteria produce hydrogen when there is undigested foods, sugars, and carbohydrates.H. Pylori Test

According to HealthLink BC, these are the following ways you can test for H. Pylori (2018):

  • antibody test
  • urea breath test
  • stool antigen test
  • stomach biopsy

Organic Acid Tests

This test is a urine sample that measures organic acids which are: "...are chemical compounds excreted in the urine of mammals that are products of metabolism... (Great Plains Laboratory, 2010). This test evaluates intestinal yeast and bacteria as well as nutritional deficiencies, fatty acid metabolism and more (Great Plains Laboratory, 2020).

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