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Biomarkers are one of the essential ways practitioners are able to assess the flora residing in the gastrointestinal tract. Although different lab companies provide their own research and tests to help practitioners discover their patient’s diverse microbial communities, a gold standard test by Genova Diagnostics has been developed. 

Genova has made interpreting the results of patients unique bacterial communities easy to understand, ensuring that the patient is able to follow along with their own lab results. A healthy gut will house an abundance of diverse anaerobic bacteria. For patients to have optimal health, it is recommended to view results as an entire system of organisms rather than each individual species. 

D.I.G.

Genova breaks down lab results into a D.I.G. method, representing Digestion and Absorption, Inflammation and Immunology, and Gastrointestinal Microbiome. These are all key factors in determining, diagnosing, and treating leaky gut, intestinal permeability, and other health conditions. 

D: The biomarkers being checked in “D” are secreted by the pancreas. Low levels have been associated with chronic pancreatitis, gallstones, diabetes, celiac disease, and irritable bowel disease. In addition, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are also checked for here. Elevated levels of SCFA’s suggest bacterial overgrowth. 

I: Inflammation is highly common yet detrimental when it comes to the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation has been linked to leaky gut, the onset of chronic health conditions, and linked to autoimmune disorders. Identifying inflammation and the source determines the course of action warranted by the practitioner. One biomarker specifically looked for is fecal secretory IgA. This biomarker is produced across the mucosal surface and is the first line of defense when it comes to immunity. 

G: Often times compared to a fingerprint, the gastrointestinal microbiome is unique to each individual. Several biomarkers are considered here, generating a report showing which specific microorganisms are overgrown or depressed. Considering that microbiomes are different across the globe, there is no “ideal” microbiome set in place. Two specific markers to pay attention to in this section are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. These are generally found in probiotics and if a patient is specifically low in these two factors, probiotics may be used as direct intervention.  

Although this test provides a significant amount of information, it is recommended patients combine other tests with this one for optimal results and recovery. Other tests that are recommended include SIBO markers, an IgG and IgE food antibody test, celiac and gluten intolerance, and a general nutritional status test to ensure food is being properly digested and absorbed.   

Lab testing is always recommended in my book. Without proper laboratory testing, patients’ treatment is not fully optimized. Lab work provides clinical data leading to a more educated and more concise treatment plan. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach 

 

References: 

Stubbe, Christine. “Advanced Stool Diagnostics: GI Effects and the Evolution of Gut Health Assessment.” 7 May 2020, www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/members/1054.cfm.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.  

 

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Advanced Diagnostics: Breaking Down Results" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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