One of the most uncomfortable topics to breach between doctor and patient is the icky subject of passing stools. Exploring statistics about this potentially smelly situation does not bode well for a relaxed atmosphere during an office visit. However, it is an important piece of information when providing care from a holistic point of view. Depending on the reason for the office visit, this information is key to understanding why someone is having gastrointestinal complaints. Most often, the conventional field will treat according to symptoms and/or when your condition has already progressed to a moderately severe stage. This approach often ignores detecting the root cause of the situation and prolongs the discomfort and anxiety.
As naturopathic doctors, we have access to credible and comprehensive testing that allows us to investigate microorganisms in stool samples. This type of testing identifies bacteria, fungus (yeast/candida), protozoa and gut inflammatory factors. It not only reveals the names of the microbes, it also quantifies these findings letting us know if something is being produced in optimal or less than optimal numbers. In addition, the test examines the activity of organs such as the pancreas, stomach, gall bladder, small intestine and large intestine or colon. Exposure to medications, foods, additives, and other international influences from travelling abroad will also impact our gut health. For example, the processing of food is at an all-time high so we are often missing beneficial microbiotic organisms that boost our immunity.
One does not have to wait until problems arise to get testing, although it is usually the reason that initiates it. Everyone has their own personal pie chart so there is no exact number to strive for; the goal is to have your internal flora balanced for optimal health. Looking at this thorough report gives the practitioner more information to give individualized probiotic, diet and detox recommendations in a strategic manner. Other conditions that can be addressed with this information include fertility, weight loss, allergies and vaginal health to name a few. Gut health can often be dangerously simplified and it is often overlooked in its impact to affect our overall immune system. Contact the office if your gut needs some care.
Dr. Magda Peronel, ND