For those of us with digestive issues, your doctor will probably request you do a stool test at some point. This is not fun. It’s not a good time. You thought you knew yourself pretty good, well, be prepared to find out even more. This is not an easy thing to do and it’s pretty humiliating, I have to say. However, the info you can get from this test should out-weigh the humility of producing the samples for the test. That’s what I had to tell myself as I caught a glimpse of my crinkled face in the mirror as I was preparing one of the samples in my bathroom.
The GI Effects Stool Test
So let’s talk about poo! (OMG,where is my life heading?!) My first doctor on my journey to better health ordered me the GI Effects Stool Profiles test from Genova Diagnostics. At the time I took this test (September 2015), it was a three day stool sample test. So for three days in a row, you guessed it, I had to play with my own poo and put it in special vials that have a chemical liquid in them to preserve the sample. After the three days, you have to fedex the kit to Genova in Atlanta, GA. This is something you really need to do at home, not in an office shared bathroom environment. Trust me on this.
After a few weeks I had my results. It’s a strange thing, I now want to know EVERYTHING I can about my system. If I had loads of cash, I’d get every test I could. I find this fascinating. We are essentially able to look inside our bodies without cutting into them. This is just so cool to me.
Anyway, I digress! OK, so I have spent about 20 hours researching for this post. You see I wanted to show you my test results with a detailed explanation of EXACTLY what was being tested. Well, I’ve asked two doctors, and asked Genova labs, only to be told some general info. I’ll go into that later.
Here is what my stool tests look like. There are five pages so I’ll go over each group. This is page one below:
So with what I’ve researched and what my doctors have told me, here’s basically what you’ll learn from your stool test. The first three pages of the test are titled, “Gastrointestinal Microbiome”. These are all the critters (bacteria) living in your gut that they test for. We have over 1000 different kinds of bacteria in our gut, however Genova tests for 24 of the most common ones that most of us have, and that they have the ability to find the markers for. They also call this “Commensal Bacteria”, which really means bacteria that live together. They neither benefit or hurt each other, they simply coexist. This part of the test is all about bio-diversity.
It’s very important that we have a very bio diverse family of bacteria in our gut. On my first page, I was concerned that I had several bacteria that were at high levels. My doctor says that this is good. I did read somewhere that low levels of the very first bacteria, the Bacteroides-Prevotella, could indicate that the person has IBS. Well, I have IBS, or so I’ve been told, and I tested high for this so it just goes to show you how every person will be very different.
The bacteria is broken down into groups, or Phylum. I was trying to get detailed information about what each phylum represents, but after hours of looking online, and being directed to clinical websites where you have to be a doctor to understand what is written, talking to two doctors and calling Genova labs, I just gave up. I will continue to look into this and will update this post accordingly, or make new posts.
I have an appointment with a traditional GI doctor in a few weeks so I’m hoping to get more info from him, Doctor #3. How crazy is this? What a load of crap! Sorry, I just had to say that somewhere in here.
Now, on page two above I freaked out when I saw I had high levels of E. coli. Well, apparently we need E. coli in our gut and these harmless strains of E coli are totally normal to have. It also protects us from some bad bacteria. There are about 6 types of E. coli. I will confirm all this with doctor #3. So we’ll see.
Above is page three. It was explained by doctor #2 that I’m completely missing a lot of good bacteria that is necessary to have. Doctor #1 didn’t even mention this to me at all. So doctor #2 put me on some mega probiotics, and I’ve been doing quite well with these so far.
Page 4 above, is all about parasites. After reading a book by Dr. Amy Myers, I was sure I had parasites. I was planning on naming him Henry. So I was shocked when I got these results back. I asked Doctor #1 how accurate was this test, and she said it was very accurate. So that’s good news, I don’t have to kill any parasites in there, whew! I thought I had parasites because I answered yes to the questions in Dr. Amy Myers book about symptoms of parasites. Again, everyone is completely different and that’s why I feel these tests are so important.
Page 5 will be very different for everyone. This page has results for any other bacteria in your gut that should be talked about. For me, there was nothing to note, so I guess that’s good. I’m showing the page image small here as there’s literally nothing written on it.
So, I’ve been told by the first two doctors that I have pretty good diversity with my gut flora, I’m just missing some good ones that need to be supplemented.
I’ve been eating a very strict diet since last September. I still get very gassy when eating almost anything, so my current doctor is suggesting I go on a low FODMAPS diet, which is even more strict than my Paelo AIP diet I’ve been following.
I’ve been doing the low FODMAPS diet for a week and so far so good. My bloated belly has reduced quite a bit. It’s very challenging eating this way and makes it impossible to go to restaurants, or so I feel at this point. My current doctor wants me to get a SIBO test to make sure I don’t have an overgrowth of bacteria in my upper intestine. That would explain my gassy issues. So I will do a post about that as well – not the gassy part, the test part.
With my first visit to my second doctor I did many tests. The next text I will write about will be my Toxic Metals test, where we discover that I have severe Mercury poisoning, yay. I’ll also talk about what I’m doing to get rid of the heavy metals that I have, it’s extremely controversial!
Until then, thanks so much for reading this and I wish you well on your own journey to good health!
Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. I will be mentioning tests and labs that I have personally taken and dealt with. These are not affiliate links. I am not giving any medical advice, I am simply sharing my experiences with the hope that I can help someone navigate through their own journey to better health. The lovely script font in the first image is called Chalk Hand and can be found on Fonts Cafe (not an affiliate link).
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