A stool test! Maybe the thought of makes you a little squeamish.
What if this one simple test could uncover why you can't conceive!
First of all most people that we see that are struggling with infertility don't just struggle with infertility, they have other health conditions.Often these other health conditions are the key to unlocking why they can't get pregnant or carry a baby to term.
Conditions such as digestive problems, gas, bloating, acid reflux, IBS or Crohn's can be related to a pathogen, parasite or fungal infection.
What if you aren't experiencing any digestive issues? Why would you want to do a stool test?
Dr Dan Kalish (Functional medical doctor and founder of the Kalish Method), finds in his practice that 50% of the people that take a stool test and experience no digestive complains, actually have a pathogen, parasite or fungal infection.
These patients may be complaining about fatigue, anxiety, depression or insomnia.
These health issues can be corrected when we begin to heal the gut.
"Parasite infections in particular can be silent but destructive, perpetuating chronic stress on the infected individual 24/7 by raising cortisol levels and causing inflammation. Treatment protocols using natural methods and/or prescription drugs are often necessary to resolve infections". 1
When the body is under attack and the immune system is suppressed and it may not be able to procreate.
When you begin to heal your body you can finally get to the root cause of your infertility!
There are many different stool tests.
You may even have taken a stool test with your conventional doctor.
Perhaps your stool test results came back normal?
Stool testing from your conventional doctor
If your conventional doctor has ordered a stool test he/she may be checking for Fecal Occult blood (blood in the stool (eg. bleeding colon), malabsorption (failure to fully absorb nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract, which results in malnutrition) and the most common pathogens.
The problem with these conventional stool tests is that we are not always shedding the pathogens in our stool.
There may be a gut infection, but we will not shed the pathogens/bacteria/fungal infection until one week later (and then the pathogen will be missed!).
Conventional stool tests do not test for fungus.
These conventional stool tests will only check for parasites/bacterial infections and will look for normal bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella and teracocis.
There are many more that can be tested including:"Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Enterococcus, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Proteus, and Pseudomonas. Visual and automated identification of yeast, including, but not limited to Candida". 2
The conventional stool will measure when these bacteria get out of control.
It will not tell you how much bacteria is present.
Candida is very difficult to find in a conventional stool test due to the normal gut flora, it is hard to gauge what is in the stool.
Which Functional Stool Test is right for you?
There are a number of Functional Stool Tests available that can help pinpoint exactly why you are experiencing specific health conditions and help you get to the bottom of your infertility!
1) Biohealth 401H – (approx. $ 353 USD)
- Collects stool over three (3) days
- Since there is testing over the course of three days, this test is more apt to pick up pathogens as many pathogens can shed/be eliminated at different times
- The pathogens are then cultured (placed in a pitri dish with solution for a few days to determine if any pathogens grow)
- Includes the antigen test – an antigen is a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies.
- Tests for H.Pylori – bacteria infection (this is the best test for H.Pylori)
- Tests for Giardia Lambia – parasite
- Tests for Cryptosporidium Parvum – parasite
This test picks up H. Pylori which other test may not detect.
For more information:http://biohealthlab.com/test-menu/gi-screening/gi-pathogen-screens-401-401h/
2) Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory PCR DNA Test – (approx. $ 454 USD)
- First DNA pathogen test approved by the FDA
- Checks for the DNA of bacteria/pathogens/fungus/viruses
- Checks gut health markers
- Measures antibiotic resistant genes – continued use of antibiotics may lead to antibiotic resistance
- New technology – it is more comprehensive than the Biohealth 401H
- Checks for the following:
- secretory IgA (e.g determines if the immune system is on high alert such as leaky gut)
- anti-gliadin (antibody in gluten)
- Elastase – marker for liver enzymes – if liver is not breaking down enzymes will have lower levels and could indicate liver congestion
- Lactoferrin – measures reaction to dairy (protein present in milk products)
- Occult Blood levels – to determine if blood in stool
- Good bacteria – determine if good bacteria is low
- Bad Bacteria – checks for autoimmune triggers
- Checks for H. pylori but doesn't check for the antigen- so may miss H. pylori
This test is very comprehensive and includes the gut markers too. We recommend this test as the best place to start with stool testing.
For more information: http://www.diagnosticsolutionslab.com/gi-map%E2%84%A2
3) DRG Laboratory(approx. $ 470 USD)
- Similar to GI Map but does not test for as many markers
- Covered by medicare/insurance – (out of pocket approx. $ 125 if submit through insurance)
- Lists the antibiotics and if resistant.
- Checks for a more limited amount of parasite, bacteria, and fungi.
- Includes secretory IgA, anti-gliadin, elastase and lactoferrin.
Good option as insurance may cover part of the cost, but it does not test for as many markers as the GI MAP test.
For more information: https://drglab.com/
We recommend the GI MAP Stool test as it is the most comprehensive.
If you would like to request a stool test the best place to start is to book your free 15-minute health history review. We'll make diet, lifestyle and functional testing recommendations that are right for you!
What is H. Pylori?
"H.Pylori s a type of bacteria. These germs can enter your body and live in your digestive tract. After many years, they can cause sores, called ulcers, in the lining of your stomach or the upper part of your small intestine. For some people, an infection can lead to stomach cancer".3
What should you do if you discover you have a pathogen/parasite/fungal infection?
It is important to heal the gut or the infection may return.
1) Holistic Route
- Combination of herbs is recommended for approximately 60 days or the entire lifecycle of the infection
- Start a gut healing protocol which may include probiotics and gut healing foods and herbs that heal the gut lining and repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria
2) Pharmaceutical Route
- Short term antibiotics dose for 1-2 weeks
- However if the gut healing is not addressed the infection may return
How do you heal the gut after discovering an infection?
1) Take a Probiotics
- Garden of Life Probiotic – non dairy/soil based
- Prescript Assist – non dairy/soil based
- Dr Ohhira – dairy/fermented
- Mega Spore – non dairy
2) Consume Fermented Foods (Be careful though – could get a histamine response if have very leaky gut). You could have a histamine intolerance if you have irregular periods, your face flushes when you have red wine, or you experience anxiety or unexplained headaches)
- Coconut Kefir
3) Remove inflammatory foods
- The Fertility Preparation Program will guide you through eliminating the top inflammatory foods.With chef prepared recipes you'll learn exactly how food affects your body and fertility.
4) Eliminate Pathogens
- Using either holistic protocol or pharmaceutical protocol
5) Add L- Glutamine - 3000-5000mg per day
6) Add Collagen Hydrolysate/Collagen Peptides and Gelatin
- Great Lakes
- Vital Proteins (marine collagen–good for vegetarians) - Vital Proteins - Pasture-Raised Collagen and Gelatin (this is an affiliate link)
- Aloe for those upset stomach, ulcers, IBS and Crohn's
- Combination products that include things like marshmallow root, slippery elm, DGL, aloe, turmeric extract, and quercitin.
- Support Mucosa by BioMatrix is one of our favourites for healing the gut lining.
- DGL – deglycyrrhized licorice root (tablet that can be chewed before meal) – helps with heartburn (helps to coat the stomach lining).
8) Digestive Enzymes
- Ensure no HCL – as this will worsen symptoms of H. Pylori, our favorite is Designs for Health Plant Enzyme Digestive Formula.
Thank you to Brandy Buskow, Functional Nutritionist for her recommendations.
If you would like to run a stool test please book your 15 minute health history review to see which test is right for you!
If you would like to purchase any of the supplement or herbs recommended you can visit our online store (Canadians only) using Fullscript.
For US and International you can use Designs for Health online store. Contact us for details to order. We are pleased to offer discounts for Fab Fertile clients!
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!