Hi there, how have you all been traveling? Hopefully, things have been well with your mind, body, and soul. As these are all interconnected, if one is not doing well, then the others can express symptoms of the imbalance that you are experiencing. So on that note, I thought that I’d look into GI Stool Mapping.
You may wonder ‘What is GI Stool Mapping?” This is a type of functional test looking at the health of your gastrointestinal system. I use this, (among others which I will talk about further on down the track), to assess various markers that are the by products of your digestion. These markers give me a snapshot of what is going on.
GI Map – what is this?
GI mapping, also known as a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis(CDSA), looks at end products that show where and why you may be experiencing digestive issues. This is test is generally performed by Naturopaths, Nutritionists, and Functional Medicine Practitioners. Especially when traditional stool testing by your local GP, can’t shed a light on what is happening with your health.
When I order this test for you, I do it because I need to see what your microbiome is doing. That is I am looking to see if –
- There is an imbalance
- Signs of inflammation – such as IBD
- Coeliac disease
- Liver disfunction
You need to do this test while still maintaining the same dietary intake. So do not go Gluten/Dairy Free, etc until after you have given your sample. This is because, if you remove any foods that may be causing digestive, or other health issues, the tests will not provide a true picture of what is going on in your intestinal and digestive system. If anything, depending on what your dietary intake is, I may ask you to add in more missing food groups or specific food items; I want to make sure that you get the most accurate analysis.
It will take about 2weeks for you report to come through and this will let me know if you there are any issues, that need to be addressed, such as
- Food allergies
- Poor nutrient absorption
- Food intolerances
- Skin issues – eczema, rosacea
- Others – anxiety, joint pain, etc
Your comprehensive digestive stool analysis will give me a breakdown of various markers, which if are out of whack can cause you subtle or major health issues. Several of these markers are looking at ‘by products’ produced after you eat such as –
- Secretory IgA – is an antibody that you release when your body is reacting to something. You generally produce this in your intestinal system, indicating that there is something causing inflammation to the lining of your intestines.
- Zonulin – is a protein produced mainly in your intestines, which affects the junction of the mucosal cells. When these become ‘loose’, it affects your ability to absorb nutrients; as well as not being able to contain things within, ‘leaking’ out into your body. This occurs due to inflammation of the cells, generally due to gluten and/or bacteria.
- Beta glucuronidase – is an enzyme that is used by your digestive system to process and eliminate things such as – hormones, proteins, neurotransmitters, and drugs. These occur in phase II of your liver detoxification pathway. This enzyme also interacts with the bacteria in your intestines. So the balance of having normal levels can be affected by an imbalance of that natural microflora in your intestines.
- Calprotectin – seen in neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. You produce this when there is inflammation. This can be due to bacterial infection, inflammatory bowel disease, some medications or, food allergies/intolerances.
- Steatocrit – is a marker that looks at how well your liver is working at breaking down fats, to be either used by your body for various things (such as making hormones); or for you to eliminate it. This indicates that your body is not producing enough stomach acid, which is what stimulates the release of other enzymes and bile. You may experience symptoms that are similar to having a fatty liver, or gall bladder issues.
Other things to consider
- Bacteria – when your intestinal microbiome is in balance, you are able to excrete that which you don’t need and, absorb that which you do. If you have been exposed to chemicals over your lifetime, eat badly prepared meals (nutrient wise, not cooked well, etc), this can affect the delicate working balance of your intestinal system.
- Worms & Parasites – you may be experiencing symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, loss of appetite, nausea, etc. And it’s these charming little things that can be the cause, from which you may have acquired through poor hygiene, contaminated water or food. The main one being Giardia or Blastocystis.
- Anti-gliadin IgA – this antibody is produced by you if you are sensitive to gluten. This is a test that can see if you have an issue with gluten, in particular having Coeliac disease.
- Yeast – you can experience all kinds of health issues that are related to a yeast imbalance. Some of you may have experienced thrush (oral, vaginal) after having had antibiotics!
You all have a natural order of bacteria within your digestive system. Some of them can cause disease and illness, but ‘if all is good in the hood’, then life is good. Just remember to keep them happy!
So just think, you could be experiencing ‘something’ that won’t go away or, the doctor says ‘there’s nothing there’. Remember, come and see me. Together we’ll get to the bottom of things.