Kind of a funny title isn’t it?  We hope you got a chuckle from this and that we’ve got your attention. There is truth to this comment though. The digestive system is integral to overall health. The digestive system breaks down food for nutrients and eliminates wastes. I think we all get this concept.

What you don’t know is that the digestive system can be used as a measuring stick for the patient’s overall state of health. The digestive system and the gut, in particular is the “little brain” (http://thecfim.com/gut-brain-grains).   Garbage In = Garbage Out. Health In = Health Out. Eating a diet of refined grains, sugar, dairy products and food laced with chemicals does impact your health. This impact transfers into many of the vague chronic symptoms that doctors manage. There is also a link between the digestive system and the immune system’s response to disease.  Did you know that estimates now call for approximately 70% of the immune response to be linked to the digestive system? Did you know that you could learn a lot about a patient’s health from their poop?

The jokes are endless with poop!

The jokes are endless with poop!

Stool tests are especially helpful for many chronic health and chronic digestive conditions:

  1. Gas
  2. Bloating
  3. Skin Problems (Urticaria, Hives, Eczema, Rashes, Psoriasis, Acne and others)
  4. Crohn’s Disease
  5. Ulcerative Colitis
  6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  7. Chronic Headaches
  8. Fibromyalgia
  9. Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  10. Adrenal Fatigue & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  11. Constipation
  12. Diarrhea
  13. Chronic Pain

Many doctors don’t routinely recommend this test despite many of the above mentioned conditions filling the waiting rooms of physicians across the United States.

We don’t know why the test recommendation is not made.  Maybe the reason is the “poop perception?” We don’t like to talk about this topic (poop) to begin with and especially not with our doctors. Maybe the reason is because traditional medical training undervalues the importance of stool tests except in third world countries? News flash, parasites, bad bacteria and other problems exist in this country as well and are not just a problem of third world countries. Maybe it’s because it requires a little more work on the patient’s part to follow through with the test?  Either way they are PHYSICIANS! They are supposed to recommend the best course of action regardless of the stereotypes. The patient may not choose that recommendation, but they need to hear it is the right course of action.

There is so much information and so much benefit to getting a snapshot of the internal environment of the body, especially in chronic, unresolved health conditions. You can’t find this info in blood, saliva or urine.

Our stool tests screen for:

  1. Good Bacteria Vs. Bad Bacteria Levels in the Gut
  2. Parasites
  3. Harmful (Pathogenic) Bacteria
  4. Yeast/Fungi/Mold
  5. Digestive Markers
  6. Supplementation and Medication Strategies to Eliminate Microbes (Bad Bacteria, Parasites, Yeast, Fungi, Mold, etc.)
Too many of these guys are a real problem.

Too many of these guys are a real problem.

At this point you are thinking, so what happens when we capture the sample? The test results typically come back within 2-3 weeks. The test comes with a comprehensive print out of results. We give the patient a copy for their records. We then discuss the best treatment recommendations. All our recommendations are patient specific based on the test results and patient preferences. Some patients prefer natural and conservative treatment options which could include supplementation, dietary modification and nutrition/health counseling. Some patients prefer referral back to a primary care physician or to a gastroenterologist for medical interventions. Some patients need time to “digest” the results (pun definitely intended here). Some patients prefer to do nothing with the results. It’s always the patient’s choice here. The bottom line is that THEY NOW HAVE A REASON FOR CHRONIC POOR HEALTH!  We also just learned a heck of a lot about the patient from their poop.

Call The Center for Integrated Medicine at 708-532-2346 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Marie Tholl-Pappas to discuss your chronic health concerns and to find out if a stool test is right for you. “Why Put Off Feeling Good?”

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