I’ve been asked on many occasions whether it’s worth it to spend $400 US on a comprehensive stool analysis. I can honestly say, after decades working in this field, that a comprehensive stool analysis (CSA) is worth the price.
A stool test isn’t something you’re going to get in a conventional medical office. It’s not really in the ballpark of most family doctors. Even gastroenterologists are not usually going to order a CSA.
The problem with limiting yourself to standard tests from your doctor’s office, is that often these tests come negative – but it turns out to be a false negative. When nothing is found on the standard tests, people are told that they have irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes they are even told that they have a psychiatric problem – somatization – and need an antidepressant. I’ve heard those kinds of stories again and again and again. The theory goes, if you can’t find something in a test, it must be in the patient’s head. It problem must be psychiatric rather than digestive.
Comprehensive stool analysis is an essential test for naturopaths and functional medicine doctors. These are professionals that are primarily interested in the function of the body and in correcting problems before a full-blown disease state develops.
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A CSA can be used both as a preventative measure and for diagnosis. On more than two occasions, I’ve had the patient come back saying, “I was wrongly diagnosed, Mr. Bakker. You were correct. I had ulcerative colitis, but the doctor missed it.” That’s how good these stool tests are. They can pick up diseases that have been missed by the GI specialist.
I highly recommend having a comprehensive stool analysis if you have been unwell for a long time or if you’ve been on pharmaceutical medication for many years. A CSA is a great starting point for many people. I’m surprised how many people have never had a comprehensive stool test despite never being well since undertaking a course of antibiotics.
Doctor’s Data Labs in Chicago provides excellent stool analyses. For $400, the test will show you what is going on in your gut. You need that information in order to select the right treatment
for your health condition. Stool testing also provides a baseline that you can use to measure the success of your treatment over time. You may need to re-check your stool several times to make sure you’re on the right track. Yes, there is a cost but stool testing also saves you the time, energy, and money you could be spending getting the wrong treatment. Stool testing expedites treatment and recovery, and that’s why I recommend it for many of my clients.