Today I'm going to talk about the best tests to uncover the causes for gastrointestinal problems. Last week, we talked about three common causes for gastrointestinal problems, and since I’ve been spending time on this issue, there have been many people reaching out about their struggles.
As I mentioned last time, I love talking about this topic. Today I’m really excited to share information about some of my favorite tests to determine what imbalances may be behind gastrointestinal symptoms. Watch the video below or read on to learn what the best tests to uncover the causes for gastrointestinal problems are.
The Best Tests to Uncover the Causes for Gastrointestinal Problems
GI-Map™ - Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory, LLC
My absolute favorite test is a comprehensive stool analysis called the GI-Map™ from a company called Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory. It’s my favorite test because it gives us SO much amazing information about the gastrointestinal system!
First, it provides information on how well you’re digesting your food. For example, someone with difficulty releasing bile from the gallbladder might not be breaking down fats well. The test could tell us if fat was elevated, signifying an area that needs attention. The GI-Map™ can also tell us whether there’s an immune response happening in the gut, whether there’s inflammation present in the gut, and whether a protein called zonulin is elevated. When zonulin is elevated it is an indicator that the gut is hyperpermeable, which is referred to as "leaky-gut". Finally, this test can tell us whether there are pathogenic strains of bacteria, parasites, yeast, or even viruses present, and whether normal bacteria are present in high or low quantities.
This one test provides so much valuable information on how a person’s gastrointestinal system is functioning and where any problems may be stemming from, which is why I consider it to be one of the best tests to uncover the causes for gastrointestinal problems.
Lymphocyte Response Assay (LRA) - ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies
In my last post about the causes for gastrointestinal problems, I talked about food sensitivities causing gastrointestinal symptoms. As I mentioned, it’s possible to be sensitive to pretty much any food or chemical. Conventional tests for food allergies typically measure and look for antibodies. But that’s only part of the picture—those tests don’t necessarily tell us if our cells are reacting to the foods; they only tell us if our cells are making antibodies.
The test that I love for determining which foods may be causing problems is called a Lymphocyte Response Assay, or LRA, from ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that are able to provide information about our health. This test looks at symptom-provoking lymphocyte reactions. In other words, it’s able to tell us which foods your white blood cells actually react to, not just whether your body is making antibodies to a certain food, which is an important distinction.
Alternatives to Testing
While the GI-MAP™ and LRA tests are very insightful tests, there are some factors that may limit people from having them done. The main problem with these tests is that they can be expensive, and insurance often doesn’t cover them. They still provide extremely valuable information that I think is worth the extra cost for people that have tried other things that haven’t worked or are sick of the traditional model that isn’t providing results.
I do offer these tests if and when they’re necessary to gather more information; however, I think a more cost-effective place to start is to make certain lifestyle changes that we know improve gastrointestinal health as well as overall health, such as adopting a keto-paleo style of eating. This type of diet eliminates grains and legumes that often cause gastrointestinal irritation. Join others in the Reset & Revitalize Program that are seeing their gastrointestinal symptoms improve and normalize by making these simple lifestyle changes.
In my next post, I'm going to share one way to support a healthy gastrointestinal tract. If you don't already receive my email newsletter, sign up now to make sure you don't miss out on this valuable information. I hope you found today's post helpful. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. I'm always happy to help!
The information presented on this website is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This post and the tests described in this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact your healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.
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