Digestive Problems


 

Gut bacteria (microbiome) is an important and essential component of the overall health of each person.  The microbiome plays a critical role in stabilizing essential nutrients, synthesizing vitamins, blood vessel formation, and nerve function.  The overall health and colonization of gut bacteria have been implicated in the number of chronic diseases including:


The human microbiome is constantly under stress from the environment that we live in.  Our environment and lifestyles are toxic to the thee pounds of bacteria that make up our microbiome, which is negatively influenced by many things:

  

Approximately 80 percent of each human’s immune system lives in the gastrointestinal track.  Ultimately if your GI system is not healthy, there is no way for the human body to be healthy. Weight Loss and Vitality commonly run the sophisticated biomarkers from the GI Effects Profile.  This testing looks at the complete GI Health and includes:

Digestion/Absorption:

  • Pancreatic Elastase-1, a marker of exocrine pancreatic function
  • Products of Protein Breakdown, markers of undigested protein reaching the colon
  • Fecal Fat, markers of fat breakdown and absorption

Inflammation/Immunology:

  • Calprotectin, a marker of neutrophil-driven inflammation; produced in abundance at sites of inflammation, this biomarker has been proven clinically useful in differentiating between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)*
  • Eosinophil Protein X, a marker of eosinophil-driven inflammation and allergic response
  • Fecal Secretory IgA, a marker of gut secretory immunity and barrier function
  • Additional biomarkers available: Fecal Lactoferrin

Gut Microbiome

  • Metabolic indicators, demonstrating specific and vital metabolic functions performed by the microbiota
    • Short-Chain Fatty Acids, a metabolomic indicator of GI microbiome health
    • Beta-glucuronidase, an inducible enzyme involved in the metabolism and bioavailability of food and drug compounds; also produced by gut bacteria

Commensal Bacteria

  • Commensal Bacteria, demonstrating the composition, diversity, and relative abundance of gut organisms, all of which are linked to both gastrointestinal and general health
  • More than 95% of commensal gut organisms are anaerobic and are difficult to recover by traditional (aerobic) culture techniques; molecular DNA techniques are now considered the standard for anaerobic bacteria assessment in research, permitting identification and quantification of multiple organisms with a single specimen.
  • The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) methodology can identify bacterial populations at any level of taxonomy, as broadly as phylum and as narrowly as species. This ability permits analysis of the gut microbiome at a desired degree of complexity.
  • GI Effects assesses a key set of 24 clinically relevant genera/species that map to 7 major phyla.

Bacterial and mycological culture

  • Bacterial and mycological culture, which demonstrate the presence of specific beneficial and pathological organisms
    • Traditional bacterial culture complements DNA-based tests to provide an expanded survey of a patient's gut microbiota, beyond the specific organisms targeted by PCR.


Parasitology

  • GI Effects provides microscopic examination of fecal specimens for ova and parasites (O&P), the gold standard of diagnosis for many parasites.
  • Enzyme immunoassay (EIA), widely recognized for its diagnostic utility in the detection of pathogenic antigens, is used for the identification of Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia.
  • Determination of one-day or three-day sample collection is based on clinician's clinical index of suspicion for parasitic infection. If no/low suspicion, a one-day sample will likely be adequate. If high suspicion, a three-day sample collection is optimal.


Additional biomarkers available:

  • Campylobacter EIA
  • Clostridium difficile EIA
  • Escherichia coli EIA
  • Helicobacter pylori Stool Antigen EIA 
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