Monday, January 31, 2011

Stool testing

We've come full circle since our stool test break from the antimicrobials.  We increased slowly and secretly hoped we wouldn't need as much to keep them maintained....wishful thinking!  We were continuing to see the Jekyll and Hyde behaviors, good one minute, not so good the next.  As long as we don't see consistency with behavior, we know we need to increase their doses until we do see those nice smooth days again.  We are back where we started as mentioned in this post about Nutraceuticals for yeast, bacteria, viruses and parasites and things are running more smoothly now.

We did our stool tests through Direct Labs, since it means we don't need to take both boys to a doctor that isn't covered by insurance, just to pay for the tests ourselves anyway.  Our doctor is about 45 minutes away, so we would be spending the money on gas to drive there too.  Using Direct Labs allows us to order the tests online, the kit comes in the mail, we collect the samples and send it back using the enclosed Fed Ex envelopes!  Easy peasey lemon squeezy!  The test we chose is supposed to be 100% accurate and at Direct Labs it's called the "Microbial Ecology Profile -MM KIT".  It's retail price is over $1000, but they have it for $259!  

Here is Metametrix's overview of the test:

GI Effects is unlike any other stool analysis profile, going beyond the standard parameters for identifying gastrointestinal disorders.

The GI Effects Profile uses DNA analysis to identify microbiota including anaerobes, a previously immeasurable area of the gut environment. DNA assessment is specific and accurate, avoids the pitfalls of sample transport, reports results as specific numbers, and is more sensitive than classic laboratory methods.
Download the White Paper on documented limitations of culture based stool assessment.

Advantages of the GI Effects Stool Profile

  • Greater Accuracy
    Microbial DNA analysis improves the accuracy of results and includes both aerobes and anaerobes. Anaerobes comprise over 95% of the bacteria in the gut and are difficult to detect with old culture methods.
  • Antibiotic resistance genes
    DNA analysis detects organisms possessing genes that give rise to antibiotic resistance, offering clinicians a superior tool for effective patient management.
  • Single Sample Collection
    Culture methods require multiple collections, whereas the GI Effects Stool Profile requires only one sample collection leading to improved patient compliance!
  • Eliminates Errors in Transport
    Sample transport is a source of significant error in culture analysis due to the change in microbial balance from the time of collection. Using DNA analysis, the specimen is placed in a fixative tube that stops microbial growth and offers a highly accurate snapshot of the microbial balance in the gut.
  • Increased Sensitivity
    GI Effects detects as few as 5 cells per gram - a 5000-fold increase in sensitivity over microscopy for parasite detection.
  • A Better Value
    No reflex or add-on costs for additional testing!

Why Use Stool Analysis?

Gastrointestinal function is important for general health. The intestinal tract contains significant amounts of bacteria; some beneficial, some neutral, and some harmful. Balancing beneficial microbial flora in the gut is key to proper digestion, efficient nutrient usage, and ridding the body of waste and pathogens. Poor digestion and malabsorption can lead to immune dysfunction, nutritional insufficiencies, mental/emotional disorders, and autoimmune diseases.
Metametrix offers the Complete GI Effects profile for the most thorough look at the gut microbiome.

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