Digestive Health Functional Medicine Tests

When you are having problems with digestion, it’s so frustrating because every meal can cause an upset stomach, gas, bloating etc. Trying to figure out the offending food can be difficult and sometimes feel impossible. Elimination diets are challenging and very difficult to do properly. Th e good news is below are  3 key digestion tests that can identify where the problem is happening.

  1. IGG Testing: this test looks at IgG (antibody levels in your body). IgG is the most common antibody that comprises 85% of our overall antibodies. When we eat food, the food particles  combine with the IgG antibody to form an immune complex. Normally our liver can clear these immune complexes, but if we have a lot of inflammation, eat foods our body does not agree with or eat the same food over and over, our liver can get burdened and this is when symptoms can appear. The immune complexes can be stored in our joints, skin or other body parts causing issues. This is why we often see eczema with food intolerances, dairy is almost always the reason for eczema.

This test is performed with a small amount of blood drawn from a lancet puncture wound. Once the results come back, foods that are causing a problem are shown in red. These foods should be removed from the diet for a minimum of 30 days and often you will see improvements in migraines, IBS symptoms, weight loss due to lowering inflammation and less gas and bloating. If the inflammation is caused by the food, the problems ie) eczema, joint pain etc should clear. If this isn’t the case, more testing is required.

Elevated Foods on an IgG Report

IgG testing will run you between $300-$500 dollars depending on the panel you choose.

2. SIBO Testing: Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth can happen from low stomach acid, antibiotic use, heavy alcohol consumption and even oral contraceptives. When the bad bacteria have proliferated, they can interfere with digestion and absorption, cause leaky gut and even consume B vitamins and amino acids leading to nutritional deficiencies. Also because the bacteria can decrease fat absorption through their effect on bile acids, this can also lead to deficiencies in Vitamin A and D which are incredibly important for total body health.

SIBO can be treated either using herbs or antibiotics.  Now I’m not a medical professional, but sharing my own personal experience with all kinds antibiotics has led to years of struggling with yeast and candida overgrowth. When I take antibiotics, symptoms always come back worse.

In situations where the data is still somewhat uncertain as SIBO is one of the latest frontiers in medicine, I cross reference with a medical intuitive.  Lately my go to has been Anthony William (The Medical Medium) and see what his take is. According to Anthony,  SIBO is caused by an underlying strep infection. Every time an antibiotic is taken, the strep gets stronger and contributes to the overgrowth of bacteria. Anthony recommends juicing celery on a daily basis due to the celery containing bile salts. These will build up the hydrochloric acid in your stomach to help kill the bacteria. Read the full article here http://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/healing-sibo

If you decide to do the SIBO test, note you have to drink high amounts of sugar water which if you are sensitive to sugar, can throw your whole system out of whack.

SIBO Sample Report

SIBO testing costs approximately $300-$400 depending on the provider the clinician is using.

3.Stool Testing: looks at an overview of the health of the GI tract and will look at function through multiple biomarkers.  Stool testing shows digestion, inflammation, absorption and parasites. The great thing about this test is it can identify if your transit time is too long, if you have enough pancreatic enzymes, if your immune system is working overtime and if you have parasites..

The immune portion is shown by  looking at Secretory IgA which looks at inflammation. What this means IgA antibodies are produced in response to bacteria/pathogens/viruses etc. High or low IgA levels indicate an immune response to viral and chronic infections including the Epstein Barr virus.

Low IgA levels  are associated with those who have candida, SIBO, low overall immune functioning, celiac disease and even parasites.

If you feel as though you have absorption issues, you can see here with stool, but a better choice would be the organic acids test because the organic acids test will show exactly what levels you are low in.

Note for stool testing, if you are concerned about parasites, do the multiple sample test. A one sample test has less than 50% odds of picking up a parasite so make sure you do the 3 day sample. Oh and wear a mask and put essential oils on it, because this test is not pleasant to do.

Parasites/Microbiology Stool Test
Secratory IgA Stool Test

This test will run you between $350 – $550 depending on the lab your provider uses.