The best way to prepare for a comprehensive stool analysis (CSA) involves your diet. My recommendation is to stay on your current diet, particularly if you feel your current way of eating might not be right for you. If you think the way you eat is making you unwell, the stool test can give you the facts about what your gut looks like when you’re eating that way.
If you’ve just recently changed your diet to improve your symptoms, revert to how you were eating before the changes. If you’ve changed your diet for a more extended period, I suggest that for the week leading up to the CSA, cut loose and eat on instinct. Eat according to your cravings. Eating on instinct will allow the stool test to show what your gut would look like if you ate based on your desires.
If you eat the kind of foods that you like to eat and you’ve got bugs in your tummy, they will express themselves in higher counts because they got what they wanted. They want their food. Based on my clinical experience, I have found it best to have clients eat on instinct before stool tests, allergy tests, and blood tests. You want the test results to reflect the real you, not the lettuce, lamb, and pears, you suddenly started eating a week before the investigations.
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Stop probiotic supplements for 14 days before any stool test. Antimicrobial supplements should be stopped one week before a CSA. Antimicrobials include oregano, grapefruit extract, neem, barberry, undecylenic acid, and other natural anti-infectious agents. Digestive enzymes should be stopped a day or two before the test. Most other supplements should also be held for a day or two before the stool test.
You can continue to eat yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir right up to the test. They’re foods, they’re not supplements.
Try and collect the samples on a typical working day. Preferably, I’d like you to obtain the three samples from Sunday to Tuesday instead of Friday to Sunday. Pick ordinary days for collecting the stool samples. They should be days where you are spending your time as you usually would. It’s not a good idea to do the stool test on holidays or when you’re on vacation eating new foods.