Gastrointestinal Functional Testing
Gastrointestinal (GI) functional tests are used to determine the health of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in patients of all ages. Both stool tests and saliva tests are used to screen for parasites, infections and other pathogens that may be found in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, stool gastrointestinal testing checks the gastrointestinal functions. Stool and saliva samples are collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. Stool samples check for a variety of food sensitivities and parasites such as –
Toxoplasma Gondii – This tissue parasite is often present in contaminated food, under-cooked meats and cat feces. If a patient has this parasite in the gastrointestinal tract, he or she may have cognitive disorders, stress intolerance, insomnia and depression. Additionally, brain cysts and muscle cysts are common in patients with this parasite.
Taenia Solium – Taenia Solium is a tapeworm often found in undercooked pork. A patient who has this tapeworm may experience blurry vision, headaches and seizures. The parasite may also cause abdominal discomfort, skeletal, muscle cyst, and brain cysts that may cause a decline in cognitive functions.
Entamoeba Histolytica – This intestinal and tissue parasite comes from fecal to oral contamination as the result of sexual contact. Patients suffering from this parasite may experience colon ulceration, abscesses of the lung or liver, diarrhea and perianal itching.
Trichinella Spiralis – This tissue worm happens when a patient has contact with wildlife or consuming improperly processed meat. Symptoms may include nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, edema of the eyelids and fever.
Ascaris Lumbricoides – Ascaris lumbricoides, also known as roundworm, is the most common gastrointestinal worm infection in the world. This worm is found in contaminated water, vegetables and fruits. Symptoms for roundworm include reduced pancreatic and liver functions, colic, cough and diarrhea. Many patients with a roundworm also have nutritional deficiencies.
Helicobacter pylori – This bacterial liver in the stomach lining and is responsible for over 90 percent of the ulcers, acid reflux and upper GI problems, including stomach cancer.
Giardia Iamblia – This intestinal parasitic disease is the most common for travelers with chronic diarrhea. Symptoms can last two weeks or longer.
Cryptosporidium Parvum – This parasite can cause weight loss, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. It is often found in the large intestine and stomach; however, it can also be found in the respiratory tract and pancreatic and biliary ducts.
Yeast – One of the most common reasons for gastrointestinal distress is an imbalance gut flora. When this happens, an overgrowth of Candida, or yeast, occurs. Imbalances often occur due to stress, antibiotics, bad diets and unhealthy lifestyles. Symptoms for overgrowth include headaches, fatigue, depression and mood swings.
Patients who have weakened immune system or have visited an area with poor sanitary conditions may benefit from a gastrointestinal test. Additionally, those who are experiencing gastrointestinal woes, such as frequent or recurring diarrhea, acid reflux, and fever may benefit from gastrointestinal functional testing.
This test can be completed in the privacy in the patient’s own home and the sample sent in to the laboratory for testing. The physician will discuss the test results with the patient and recommend treatment options.
Learn more about Gastrointestinal Disorders
Are you suffering from digestive or gastrointestinal disorders? Please call us at (571)529-6699 and set up an appointment with our integrative physician.
We gladly serve Northern Virginia including Fairfax, Loudoun, Alexandria, and Prince William counties, Washington DC metro area, and Maryland.