The GI Map Functional Stool Test
Hands down, the GI Map is my favorite functional stool test to check your gut microbiome and digestive function. This test is offered through Diagnostic Solutions lab.
What is so great about the GI Map?
It’s super easy to do.
You then collect one small stool sample, then pop the vial in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning you have FedEx pick up the kit from your doorstep, or drop it off at a FedEx overnight delivery counter. Easy peasy. For children or adult family members who have an aversion to collecting a stool sample, you can ask them to poop in this convenient handy-dandy poop collector.
State-of-the-art genetic testing.
Diagnostic Solutions uses genetic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology for every single sample. This is the most accurate and thorough method to test for microbes.
You don’t get this kind of testing from your conventional labs, or through your conventional gastroenterologist. There is not a great explanation as to why, other than the fact that newer medical technology takes a long time to make it into the conventional standard of care practices.
Diagnostic Solutions will bill your insurance, and the turnaround time is fast.
If you have a PPO (preferred provider) plan that covers out-of-network labs, then the lab will bill your insurance for you. Processing your sample typically takes five to ten business days, which is timely to treat GI problems.
The GI Map thoroughly tests your gut microbes
Your little stool sample is tested for the presence and levels of:
- The common beneficial friendly gut bacteria.
- Commensal bacteria – these are neither friendly nor unfriendly, they are fine when present in small amounts and problematic if overgrown.
- Pathogenic bacteria that cause inflammation.
- Bacteria associated with autoimmune disease.
- Amoebic parasites – these are microscopic and more common than you may think.
- Viruses like H. pylori and Epstein-Barr.
- Yeast and fungal organisms such as Candida.
The GI Map assesses your digestive function
Besides microbes, the GI Map evaluates:
Your pancreatic enzyme production. If your enzyme production is low, you may see undigested food in your poop.
Fat in your stool. This identifies a problem with fat digestion, which is often a liver or gallbladder issue, as your liver makes bile to emulsify fats, and your gallbladder squirts it out on demand. You can detect liver or gallbladder issues before they become big problems.
Anti-gliadin antibodies. Your immune system makes these when gluten is a problem. Also, for people who are off gluten, the presence of these antibodies indicates that you are reacting to gluten cross-reactive foods. This is important to investigate especially if you have autoimmunity.
Inflammation in your GI tract through a marker called calprotectin. I use this frequently with my autoimmune colitis and Crohn’s patients to monitor how our autoimmune treatment is working.
The immune activity in your GI tract by measuring secretory IgA. This tells you if your gut immune system is underactive, overactive, or working perfectly.
Who should take the GI Map test?
Anyone with digestive symptoms that are unresolved, such as bloating, indigestion, food intolerances, GERD, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), IBS, and poop that is not a #4 on the Bristol scoring chart:
This test is also useful for investigating the source of inflammation in other parts of your body, including arthritis, aches and pains, osteoporosis, excessive allergies, sinus inflammation, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline. A functional approach to searching for the source of these inflammatory conditions always includes checking out your digestive function and your microbiome! A disruption in a healthy microbiome is correlated with these conditions.
Lastly, for anyone with an autoimmune disease, it’s useful to do a G.I. map test because healthy gut function and an optimal microbiome are hugely important to keep autoimmune diseases in remission. Often flares of autoimmunity are triggered by gut issues such as dysbiosis (unfavorable gut microbe populations).
Learn more about this test directly from Diagnostic Solutions. See a sample report. Order it here.
I welcome your questions and comments below,
I love your bristol tool chart. Where can l download one like this?