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Gastrointestinal Testing

Traditional gastroenterology diagnoses diseases such as cancer, esophagitis, ulcers, pancreatitis, hepatitis, gall bladder stones, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis. Every person over 50 should have a colonoscopy at least every 10 years and testing for blood in the stool yearly. Many diseases and infections are diagnosed with sophisticated radiological imaging and blood testing.

However, major manifestations of dysfunction are generally diagnosed under the rubric of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Functional testing can be usefully expanded to detect more subtle symptoms of dysfunction before they become disease. In addition, many parasitic infestations lie undiscovered because the common testing parameters can miss mild and moderate infestations. Yeast is a common inhabitant of the GI tract, but usually is in controlled amounts. It is the rare gastroenterologist who believes in and tests for topical yeast overgrowth in the intestinal tract.

The functional gastrointestinal test employs methods capable of detecting subtle imbalances in digestion and absorption of foods, bacterial overgrowth and dysbiosis, yeast overgrowth, and parasite infestation. The test examines the bacteriology of the intestinal tract looking for signs of imbalanced bacteria, specialized pathogenic bacteria, hard to detect parasites, or yeast overgrowth within the intestinal tract. The test diagnoses inabilities to fully digest proteins or vegetable fibers, or to fully digest and absorb fats.

This testing consists of stool sample analysis at a specialized laboratory. The results allow a very specific determination of areas that need to be addressed. As an example, if the test indicates that you are not digesting meats or vegetable fibers correctly, taking pancreatic enzymes can be helpful. Or, the test may show that you are having problems breaking down or absorbing fats. In this case, you may be prescribed lipase with extra bile salts.

Author: Dr. David Luce

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a innovator and thought leader in the integration of Western medicine with complimentary therapies.

Dr. David Luce | MD

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a medical innovator, educator, public health advocate, and a leader in the integration of evidence-based Western medicine with complimentary therapies. Educated at Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale, Dr. Luce has over 20 years experience designing and implementing innovative treatment programs that restore health and wellness to his ...

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