Why do Naturopaths (and Nutritionists) like Testing Your Stool?
It seems a rather unlikely thing to ask someone if they would collect a sample of their stool (sometimes several samples) and send it to a laboratory for testing. (Welcome to my world!) However, there are some very good reasons healthcare practitioners like testing your stool. It can tell us a great deal about your digestive health and microbiome (the bacteria that live in your gut), among other things.
A complete or comprehensive digestive stool analysis, referred to conveniently, as a CDSA or CSA, is not used as a diagnostic test as such, but rather a test that tells us about the way your gut is functioning.
When Should I Do a CDSA?
There are many digestive conditions that could warrant this investigation to gain more information on some underlying clinical drivers that may be contributing to your condition. If you experience any common digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation are good reasons.
Other digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), could benefit from the more functional information that we receive from the test. Other health conditions that may also benefit from the information a CDSA can give, may not be so straightforward.
Conditions like any skin conditions, mood disorders or migraines, or dysbiosis (an overgrowth of the ‘wrong’ gut bacteria) from a poor diet, excessive alcohol, stress and frequent antibiotic use. The test can also tell us about any gut parasites you may have, so, if you are unwell after travelling, this could be why?
What Do I Have To Do?
You may be asked to do a test that requires 1 stool sample or if you are checking for parasites, this can require 3 stool samples. The CDSA kit will come with all the directions and equipment (gloves, sample collectors, and containers).
Is this the Same as the Bowel Screening Kit from the Government?
At the age of 50 and for 2 years thereafter, we all recover a bowel kit in th mail. This test is looking for hidden blood in the stool that can alert us to bowel cancer. It is the same principle. We can look for hidden blood in a CDSA, but a Bowel Screen will not give the more comprehensive information about your gut health, or any idea about parasites or gut bacteria.
Which Level of comprehensive digestive stool analysis Should I Do?
There are 6 different levels (1, 2, 3. 3+, 4, 4+, 5). At each level, there are similar (and different) markers that your healthcare practitioner will be aware of. They will be able to guide you on which is the most suitable level for you.
How Will a CDSA Help?
The more information we get about your gut function, the better. Most CDSA’s will cover many digestive markers that we could not know about otherwise. These can provide answers to the health issues listed above. This test can cut out the guesswork and can aid us in getting a more specific (and more effective) treatment plan to help you gain relief from your gut symptoms and health concerns.
How Long Does it Take to Get the Results?
Unfortunately, all the samples get sent to the U.S., to the pathology labs there. So, a turnaround time of 10 to 14 business days is needed.
How Much Does It Cost?
Because the testing is done in the U.S., we have to convert to $US, which means that there is more expensive. The cost depends on the levels and what is included, again your practitioner will be able to tell you specifically. But the process ranges from $AU130 for Level 1 to $AU669 for the most comprehensive CDSA.
This comprehensive digestive stool analysis test can be ordered as part of an initial, or follow-up consultation at Handcrafted Health. You are welcome to call for a Discovery Call today to find out if this test is right for you right now. Or book a consultation.