Functional Stool Testing
The microbiome is the 100 trillion bacterial friends that reside in your gut that you didn’t know you had. Your body and these bacteria are intricately connected; the microbiome has a critical role in your overall health.
The type of bacteria that make up your microbiome is extremely important. The microbiome affects the health of our gut – by helping break down foods, neutralizing toxins, and even converting foods we eat into necessary nutrients.
But the effects of the microbiome reach far past the digestive system. Research continues to discover more and more about the complex relationship of the health of the microbiome and the rest of our body. Our immune system, mood and hormones are all affected by the microbiome.
An unhealthy microbiome is often one of the root causes of chronic disease. Hippocrates has been noted to say “Disease starts and ends in the gut”, and we are finding these ancient words of wisdom to ring true now more than ever. It is for this reason a functional medicine approach to treating disease will often start by addressing gut health.
What is the best way to know if you have a healthy microbiome? Test it!
Functional stool analysis is pivotal to determining the health of your GI tract. Not only will it determine how much beneficial bacteria you have, but can also find triggers of inflammation and disease. We gain powerful insights on the health of your GI tract, immune system, and ability to break down and absorb foods. This allows a precise plan to address not only gastro-intestinal symptoms, but improve systemic health.
Functional stool analysis is now widely popular. There are many labs that offer microbiome analysis. It it important choose a test performed by a lab that is respectable and using the proper testing techniques to ensure the data obtained is accurate and actionable. Shine Functional Health has chosen to use the GI-MAP and the BiomeFx tests. Both of these tests are performed by highly rated laboratories and provide key information on gut health. Dr. Lechner will help you decide which test is right for you.
Just about everyone would benefit from functional stool analysis. Often times, there are significant findings on testing in patients without any symptoms.
Some conditions that warrant testing are:
- Auto-Immune disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Digestive Issues – heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, bloating
- Brain Fog
- Skin Disorders- acne, eczema, psoriasis
- Mood disorders- depression, anxiety
- Weight loss issues, obesity
- Metabolic syndrome, Diabetes
The GI-MAPs test done through Diagnostics Solutions Laboratory (DSL) can be submitted to your insurance. DSL is an out of network lab with all insurance plans, but many plans do recognize the testing and will cover a portion of the cost. The lab does require a deposit of when filing to your insurance. Insurance plans vary, and the patient is ultimately responsible for understanding their insurance coverage.
Biome-Fx is not covered by insurance and the patient is responsible for the cost of the test ($299).
Testing time varies, but typically once your specimen arrives at the lab, results will be available in 3 weeks.