Harboring Bad Bacteria, Parasites or other Pathogens?

By Joan Haynes, ND

I’ve been trying out a new test on patients for that last year with great results. I’ve helped diagnose Giardia in a 2-year case of diarrhea after cancer treatment, a little boy with failure to thrive with C. diff, and a Lyme patient with Microsporidia. These results are exciting
because when I first began my practice almost 20 years ago, the only way we could test for pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract was a culture which left up to 50% of the bacterial species undetectable. I hardly ever ran tests looking for a microbe because it was so expensive and inconclusive. Now we have access to new and affordable testing using DNA, which has transformed the field of microbiology, making diagnosis much easier.

Paraphrased from the lab’s web page: The Gastrointestinal Microbial Assay Plus (GI-MAP) was designed to assess a patient’s microbiome from a single stool sample, with particular attention to microbes that may be disturbing normal microbial balance and that may contribute to illness. The panel is a comprehensive collection of microbial targets as well as immune and digestive markers. It screens for pathogenic bacteria, commensal (friendly) bacteria, opportunistic pathogens, fungi, viruses, and parasites.

If you are harboring pathogens, you might have some of the following symptoms:

Gastrointestinal symptoms:

Abdominal pain

Bloating
Constipation
Crohn’s disease
Diarrhea
Food poisoning
Gastric cancer
Gastritis
Gastroenteritis
Gastroesophageal reflux
Irritable bowel syndrome
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Ulcer
Ulcerative colitis
Vomiting

Autoimmune conditions:

Ankylosing spondylitis
Reactive and Rheumatoid arthritis
Thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s, Grave’s)

Allergic Disease:

Asthma
Eczema

If you think you might have an imbalance in your microbiome, consider testing.  Look at a sample test here.   The Diagnostic Solutions Lab will bill your insurance, you need to enclose a $179 deposit with the sample.  If your insurance doesn’t cover, or you haven’t met your deductible, you may be responsible for up to $357 in total.