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I regularly recommend having a comprehensive stool analysis (CSA) to my clients. In my mind, the CSA is a superior opening test compared to the organic acid test or hair analysis. I also think that a CSA is an excellent foundational test that should be used at the beginning of the care journey. I much prefer starting things off with the CSA compared to food allergy profiling or neurotransmitter testing.
For the CSA to be useful, you need to prepare properly. Before the test, all probiotics should be stopped for fourteen days. Withhold any vegetable-based microbial supplement for at least a week. I instruct my clients to not suddenly go on a strict elimination diet before having the CAS. I prefer my clients to eat as they normally would for a week to ten days prior to testing.
I recommend sending the samples to either Doctor’s Data Laboratories or Genova Diagnostics for analysis. You can choose to do the test and read the results on your own. However, I don’t recommend if you’re very unwell to do the test and then treat yourself based on the test results. You’re better off seeing someone with experience.
When you receive a Doctor’s Data CSA report, you get a bacterial panel, a yeast panel, and a parasite panel. These panels give you a wide range of information, including commenting on the number of good bacteria, the presence or absence of yeast such as Candida or molds such as Geotrichum, and whether parasites like Blastocystis are present.
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After the microorganism panels, the CSA report includes a digestion and absorption panel. Fat stain and elastase are measured, as is fiber and inflammatory markers. Stool testing will also provide a measure of secretory IgA, which gives you information about the health of the immune system. Short-chain fatty acids are also measured.
Other useful information provided by Doctor’s Data is found in the sensitivity panel. This panel tells you what supplements, such as grapefruit seed extract and caprylic acid, will be effective against the harmful microorganisms found in the stool.
It’s quite simple to read a stool test, but it’s not simple to understand how to put all the information together properly and create an appropriate treatment protocol. It’s also not simple to know when to repeat the second test and change the direction of your treatment plan. Knowing how to apply the results of a stool test comes with experience.
My years of experience interpreting stool tests contributed to the development of the CanXida line of products.