You may be familiar with “stool tests” – they’re all over social media and are growing in popularity as people take a look at what’s going on in their microbiome. Since it’s buzz-worthy at the moment, I had to share my experience with the LTYG community!
As with everything I write, what I share with you is mine own experience with this particular test. There is no way I am saying that you should or should not take these tests as it is a personal choice! Today I just want to share my special experiences with all of you.
Jini wrote a fantastic blog about stool tests back in 2013, so I thought I’d build on what I learned – and new tests have been around since then!
Why a stool test?
The reason people use stool tests is to take a look at what is going on inside them. Unfortunately, the regular stool tests that Western medical professionals do are not very thorough … it overlooks a lot!
I had stool tests done by my gastroenterologist for years (before I found Jini) and Even with a toilet full of blood, the tests never showed anything. That was annoying for me because, to be honest, it was impossible. With such extreme symptoms there was definitely no imbalance in my system!
If you are familiar with my trip, I always knew my problems were related to fungi and bacteria – so I was ecstatic when I found Jini! Everything my gut told me was correct when she explained that Crohn’s disease and colitis are bacteria / fungus / virus related and not just some random disease or autoimmune disorder that no one has anything to do with.
I was amazed why testing was so difficult, so I did my own research and consulted my doctor. The test that my care team (and those I really trusted) were constantly brought to the attention of was the GI-MAP test from Diagnostic Solutions. The people who recommended it to me were people who are very close to my heart and for whom I have the utmost respect – they know their way around! So I decided without hesitation to take the test.
My first test was without relief during a severe two year relapse. When the results came back, to my amazement, it just showed that some of my good bacteria were low and that I was bleeding – which was already evident from my bleeding! My team and I were shocked! The severity of my symptoms wasn’t what the test reflected, and all I knew was that there must be more bacterial or fungal imbalances …
This is where things get interesting.
I decided to repeat the test knowing something was wrong. After extensive research, I discovered that many people found it helpful to do a small, simple detox right before the test because it will be more accurate.
“Aha!” I declared aloud.
I knew in my stomach that this had happened to my case. My detoxification pathways were blocked, so it quickly became clear to me that nothing really showed up on the first test – because I was so blocked!
My second test
Test number two came (after my better preparation) and lo and behold …it showed MULTIPLE infections and imbalances. Everything I always thought I had!
As I started figuring things out, I realized that when testing for imbalances, the pathogens had to be “active” in order to see on my test. So a detox or something like that was really helpful to “stir up the dust” so to speak and to get things active so that they showed up in the test. A good thing to keep in mind if you decide to try this out for yourself!
However, there is a difference between “purifying” and feeling miserable, so be gentle when opting for a detox. And remember to always follow the directions on the test itself – these are just additional suggestions that I found useful.
For me, using an infrared sauna has been so beneficial, but it detoxifies me like crazy! That was a good thing, of course, but when I first started I had to be near a toilet the next day. Since then, I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me balance out this detox response – post on that shortly!
My detox test preparation
In the weeks leading up to the stool test:
- I stopped any anti-pathogen treatment at least 1 week before the test because I didn’t want all the “bad guys” killed and not reflected on my test.
- I stayed on a fairly fluid diet before the test. This is not required, but I wanted to make sure that no food would alter my test results. I also didn’t try any new foods during this time that could possibly have affected the test.
- I also drank lemon in my water for a few weeks every morning before the test. This has numerous health benefits and aids in detoxification, as creating a more alkaline environment can help with “flushing” things out. It stimulates bowel movements and digestion, so it can also be helpful with constipation.
- Personally, I didn’t take any new supplements or treatments before the test to ensure better accuracy.
I recently read that it can be beneficial to stop using binders at least three days before the test. Similar to antipathogens, we don’t want the bad stuff removed before testing, or it won’t be accurate!
The day before the exam:
- I did a 30-40 minute infrared sauna treatment and sweated a lot! Jini only recommends 5-7 minutes to start, but I’ve slowly worked my way up to a more intense session.
- I ate very simply and drank a lot of water during the sauna treatment.
- I continued with the above protocol not to ingest anti-pathogens, binders, etc. – anything that could inhibit bacterial / virus / fungal growth or excretion.
After the sauna treatments, I always detoxify the next day! Knowing this, I purposely took the GI-MAP test the next morning when I was basically having diarrhea. Not kidding, but boy, I got a good test – and it was worth it!
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve since learned a few tricks that have helped me offset this detox response – so keep your eyes peeled for a post on using sanitary towels in saunas (coming soon!).
My system is very sensitive, so my reactions are extreme at times. If you’ve ever had tests done and found them to be inaccurate, maybe try these tips! If you are looking for a underlying underlying problem (or issues), you may need some of the above to get these pathogens “active” and expressed when tested. And while GI-MAP diagnostics doesn’t specifically test for things like Lyme disease, if pathogens are associated with that disease, they could be expressed, as was the case in my case.
Advantages of the GI CARD TEST
I pulled this information straight from the Diagnostic Solutions Labs website which I think describes this test well:
“Unlike other comprehensive stool tests on the market, the GI-MAP can really give doctors quantitative results. qPCR offers a much more accurate way of recognizing and quantifying clinically relevant organisms than standard methods based on PCR, culture, microscopy or DNA sequencing. “
In my opinion one of the most thorough tests I’ve ever done. With five pages of data, all of which are broken down on their website, you can see how detailed they are.
Before you do anything, of course, always consult your doctor – and your body too! Some insurance companies will cover this test, but getting them to cover it can (in my experience) be a challenge, so keep that in mind.
According to Jini, the Goldberg Clinic also offers these tests, but Dr. Paul Goldberg goes one step further with the intestinal microbiota analysis: As soon as he knows what you are infected with, he has the laboratory tested to determine which anti-pathogen agents are effective against your bad ones. He lets you test test substances like colloidal silver, wild oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract and drug antibiotics!
The problem with stool tests is that our microbiome is constantly changing, so getting a clear picture of what is actually going on can be a challenge. Pathogens go through life / half cycles, which makes it more difficult to “catch” them in a test. Persistent infections or yeast / bacteria hybrids like MAP (Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis) can have a dormant / active life cycle that can take 2-3 years to eradicate! Jini talks about it in her blog post: Help for Ongoing SIBO, IBS & Gut Issues.
And if you want to get in touch with your gut microbes, talk to Jini and Dr. Juliet Ghodsian (who also completely healed herself of Crohn’s disease) on a completely different view of “pathogenic infections”.
If you decide to have a GI-MAP stool test, I hope the tips above can be helpful to you! Testing isn’t cheap, so it’s frustrating when it doesn’t work. I hope these tips help you!
Remember, stool tests are sometimes not required to treat root problems. On the other hand, it has proven to be a great resource for many people in choosing the treatment of their choice. So do what is best for you and your intestines!
What do you think of stool tests? Do you have experience with it? Please let me know in the comments or email me at email@example.com if you’d like to share (but stay anonymous). 🙂
Until next time, happy healing – and always listen to your gut feeling!
Linsy is Jini’s assistant. From a highly sensitive / reactive case of ulcerative colitis to complete freedom from medication and surgery using exclusively natural methods, Linsy understands the interplay of mind / body / soul on the healing path firsthand.