How does one detect digestive problems?
In our experience, most labs do not provide an effective stool analysis. We have had excellent results over many years using two different tests done by a select group of labs. The first is the comprehensive digestive stool analysis (or CDSA) that evaluates the stool for malabsorption, yeast, parasites, pH imbalance, and bacterial overgrowth. The second is a comprehensive parasitology test (CP x 2) with a purge, which is a more detailed test for parasites. While not routine procedure at the hospital or doctor’s office, these tests are crucial for identifying the root cause of GI distress and should be undertaken even if a standard stool test has revealed no abnormalities.
You may contact these labs directly or request that your health care provider do so to order these tests on your behalf:
Great Smokies Diagnostic Labs: 1-800-522-4762
Doctor’s Data: 1-800-323-2784
Parasitology Center: 1-480-767-2522
The first three labs offer both tests in one procedure; the last lab only offers the CP x 2 for parasites. For the most difficult cases, I prefer to do the comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA) at one of the first three labs and the CP x 2 at the Parasitology Center.
What is the treatment for digestive problems?
Any woman suffering from gastrointestinal upset, including a chronic sense of fullness or bloating, should first see their healthcare practitioner. Most of the time these symptoms are easily treatable, on occasion they may indicate a more serious condition.
My experience in working with women with dysbiosis, chronic candidiasis or parasite infection is that tests need to be done to evaluate the flora of the intestines and to establish if there is systemic yeast, parasites or food sensitivities (the latter often accompany digestive problems). With these test results as a guide, dietary changes are recommended and emotional issues, such as depression or stress, are addressed in conjunction with a regime of nutritional supplements.
Once the results of the tests are back, it is easily determined what nutritional changes need to take place, whether a blood test should be done for food sensitivities, and what particular supplements need to be added to the dietary regime. If we suspect food sensitivity — usually dairy, wheat, or sugar — we recommend eliminating the potential allergen from a patient’s diet for a week and then reintroducing it for a day. Most of the time it is immediately obvious that a sensitivity is present. Supplementing nutrition with a pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin is critical in restoring health to the digestive tract. Especially important is the addition of essential fatty acids that contribute to reducing inflammation in the intestines.
A daily dose of probiotics, such as acidolpholus and bifidobacteria, is helpful in maintaing the right ratio of bacteria in the intestines. This is especially important if you are taking antibiotics, as these drugs destroy both friendly and unfriendly bacteria indiscriminately. Be sure to find a probiotic with at least 10 billion live organisms per dose. Women to Women has a specially formulted probiotic that you can order here.