GI Effects Stools Test - What is it and how can it help you?

I don't know about you but 50% of my patients have GI symptoms as well as their cheif complaints they come with. Weather is acid reflux, fat in stools, undigested food in stools, cinstipation, bloating, intoleranaces etc most patients have something.  Now this isn't part of the physiotherapy assessment but with my functional medicine hat on I can see how this may be adding to the patients complaint of joint pain, synovitis, muscle or ligament pain, slow healing and repair or multi - joint pain. This is where the GI Effects stools test can help you.

There are 4 functional pillars to the test.

1. Infection

This pillar is where common infectious mircororganisms are reported. Think "usual suspects" for GI infections: common pathogenic bacteria, fungal organisms, and intestinal parasites.

2. Inflammation

This pillar is where biomarkers that indicate inflammatory changes in the GI tract are reported. Biomarkers of the GI inflammation and immunology provide information about the GI tracts interactions with, and responses to, the outside world. They indicate how well the GI tract is maintaining its role as a barrier, as well as weather the GI tract is undergoing pathological responses to external or internal challenges. The biomarkers are Calprotectin, a marker of neutophil-driven inflammation, Eosinophil Protein X (EPX), a marker of eosinophil-driven inflammation and allergic response, and Fecal Secretory IgA, a marker of gut secretory immunity and barrier function

3. Insufficiency

This pillar is where biomarkers that indicate digestive function are noted. Biomarkers of digestion and absorption provide information about nutrient breakdown and entry into the circulation. They ultimately indicate how well the GI tract is performing its basic digestive functions. The biomarkerrs are Pancreatic Elastase-1, a marker of exocrine pancreatic function, Products of Protein Breakdown, markers of undigested protein reaching the colon, and Fecal Fat (Total), a marker of fat breakdown.

4. Imbalance

This pillar is where imbalances in the population of GI organisms ( i.e., dysbiosis) is noted. Biomarkers of the GI Mircobiome provide information about the health, function, and abundance of the the trillions of mircobial cells in the GI tracts. They indicate how well the microbiome is performing its shared metabolic functions with the human host. Abnormal results in this pillar may be associated with a large number of conditions and symptoms. The biomarkers which assess gut mircobial imbalance are Metabolic indicators, which demonstrate specific and vital metabolic functions performed by the mircobiota commensal bacteria, which demonstrate the composition, and relative abundance of gut organisms, all of which are being linked to general health, and Bacterial and mycological culture, which demonstrate presence of specific beneficial and pathological organisms. Testing for Zonulin which is a protein modulator of intestinal tight junctions. When tight junctions open, the intestinal barrier becomes permeable (intestinal permeability). this is important in normal function but when you have prolonged release of Zonulin this leads to a dysfunctional intestinal barrier. 

How does this all relate to your pain or inflammation?

  • There are multiple associations between reduced microbial diversity and disease

  • Prolonged zonulin release is associated to joint pains

  • Gram negative bacteria (which are all tested for in GI Effects) have lipopolysaccharides which promote inflammation through several pathways at synovial joints
  • Reducing inflammation systemically in the body reduces fatigue and anxiety as well as increasing energy levels.
  • Its obvious, but any infection, imbalance, infecton or insufficieny will lead to your GI symptoms which will reduce once these are identifyed and treated.

 

 

Krina Panchal