Overwhelmingly, research indicates that gut health impacts overall health. The gut microbiome, in particular, plays a critical role in mediating the effects of diet and other factors on health, including digestive, immune, metabolic and neuroendocrine functions. Assessing GI health with the proper tools can help practitioners get to the root cause of chronic illness.
The GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus) is unique in the field of comprehensive stool testing. It relies exclusively on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology to detect parasites, bacteria, fungi, and more, by targeting the specific DNA of the organisms tested.
The GI-MAP includes the first comprehensive pathogens assay that is FDA approved, the GPP assay by Luminex Corp. The pathogen targets include bacteria, parasites and another first for the market, viruses!
Using the same molecular technology, Diagnostic Solutions has developed assays for microbes that are useful for integrative and function medicine practitioners. And unlike previous PCR assays, they have fully validated each target organism in our panel, so that you can have confidence in the results. The panel includes opportunistic organisms, normal flora, parasites, and fungi. DNA/PCR techniques also allow for the measurement of antibiotic resistance genes and virulence factors that contribute to pathogenicity. Both are used to help determine clinical significance and the most effective treatments.
Other available stool tests may appear to be DNA-based tests, but they are in fact using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF) only to identify stool microbes. Their methodology relies on cultures from stool and are not molecular/PCR based assays. With a culture based test it is not possible to measure strict anaerobes, viruses or virulence factors. They also lack the ability to deliver true quantitation of any of the reported organisms.
Considering the many advances in DNA technology over the last 10 years, and an FDA approved, PCR based technology and assay that is used by major hospital labs. Why would you still rely on culture and microscopy for stool analysis and assessment of the GI environment?
Almost every patient can benefit from a GI-MAP gut health assessment. Some patients are looking to achieve optimal health, while other patients have been chronically ill and frustrated without a diagnosis for years.
Some conditions that warrant testing are:
-Digestive complaints, diarrhea or constipation
-Skin problems, like acne and psoriasis
-Mood disorders, depression, and anxiety
-Diabetes and weight loss issues