The lactulose breath test and the comprehensive stool analysis are two tests used to determine what’s going on in your gut.
Many people these days are quite keen on doing breath tests such as hydrogen tests, methane tests, and lactulose tests.
Are breath tests better at telling you what’s going wrong in your gut and what to do about it? Or, does the comprehensive stool analysis have more to offer?
In my opinion, a comprehensive stool analysis (CSA) is the gold standard in gut investigations. With a CSA, you not only get the species but the levels of each. The CSA provides a measure of the diversity of the gut flora while the breath test just tells you whether a specific bacteria is present or absent. A breath test tells you a little, not a lot.
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In contrast, the CSA also provides measures of inflammation and your immune system. Because the CSA provides so much more information than a breath test, it allows for a much more evidence-based treatment plan.
Finding someone to interpret the CSA shouldn’t be too difficult.
If I were to start my career again as a naturopath, I’d probably only focus on stool testing and do nothing but, because that test has given me more results than all of the other tests put together. I genuinely believe a CSA is worth every penny.