When it comes to stool testing, I tend to work with Doctor’s Data Laboratories out of Chicago, Illinois. Genova Diagnostics is another lab I have used. It is vital that you work with a lab that is known for doing good work. The test is only as valuable as the accuracy of the results, so select your laboratory carefully.
The best stool analysis test is referred to as “times three” because it uses three stool samples, taken on three separate days. It doesn’t have to be consecutive days, just as long as it is different days reasonably close together. The samples undergo a comprehensive stool analysis (CSA), the test I recommend to many of my clients. This test is particularly helpful if you’ve been chronically unwell and aren’t responding to multiple treatments. I also strongly recommend the test to clients who have a history of extensive antibiotic use.
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Using three samples is considered the gold standard in stool testing. By using multiple samples, something that gets missed in the first specimen is likely to get picked up in the other specimens. Multiple samples mean a better rate of detection.
If you do several subsequent stool tests to monitor the results of your treatment, you may only need a single sample, but the very first test should include three. The initial analysis should be comprehensive and always include Candida, bacteria, and parasites. Stool testing can also comment on inflammatory markers. You want to cast a wide net with your first stool test to ensure that you don’t miss anything. You can be more selective on subsequent tests, but initially, you don’t want to miss any findings that could influence your treatment plan. Effective treatment follows from accurate diagnosis, and the CSA is often a vital step in arriving at a correct diagnosis.