Gastrointestinal Health

DiagnosTechs Gastrointestinal Health Panels measure the overall health and function of the gastrointestinal tract noninvasively with up to 22 separate diagnostic and screening tests of stool and saliva samples.

To ensure high sensitivity and specificity of pathogenic organism detection, DiagnosTechs employs state-of-the-art equipment and testing methods, capable of identifying over 4,000 specific microorganisms.  This is 100 times more than standard laboratories. Our equipment is primarily found in advanced reference laboratories and provides extremely rapid and precise results.

DiagnosTechs Gastrointestinal Health Panels address:
  • Pathogen screening for bacteria, yeast, and various parasites.
  • Digestion-related screens for enzyme levels and immunochemical markers for sensitivity to common offending foods.
  • Intestinal function markers to evaluate irritation and inflammation; markers indicate overall status of gut immunity and integrity, such as occult blood.
Why consider using our Gastrointestinal Health Panels?
  • Convenient, at-home noninvasive sampling using saliva and stool
  • Economical and potentially reimbursable through insurance
  • Comprehensive—detects a broad spectrum of common pathogens and includes digestion efficiency evaluation
  • Improved wellness—general GI complaints can be identified and resolved
  • Modular—retesting of one or several abnormal findings is available without repeating the entire panel
The GI Health Panels may be helpful for patients with:
  • Chronic or vague abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Gas or bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Heartburn or GERD
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Suspected or known malabsorption issues
  • Chronic skin conditions
  • Excessive eating or anorexia
  • Chronic fatigue
Our Gastrointestinal Health Panel (GI-1) Includes:
  • Stool culture for yeast**
  • Ova and parasites, pooled (x2)**
  • Bacterial stool culture, enteric pathogens, including Campylobacter antigen and Shiga toxin**
  • Clostridium difficile toxins A & B**
  • Giardia lamblia antigen**
  • Cryptosporidium antigen**
  • Entamoeba histolytica Ab (sIgA)*
  • Helicobacter pylori Ab (IgG)*
  • Total intestinal sIgA**
  • Lysozyme**
  • Alpha 1-antichymotrypsin**
  • Gluten (Gliadin) Ab (sIgA)*
  • Chymotrypsin**
  • Occult blood**
  • Fecal pH**

* Saliva   ** Stool

Our Expanded Gastrointestinal Health Panel (GI-2) Includes all GI-1 tests plus:
  • Milk (casein) Ab (sIgA)*
  • Soy (protein) Ab (sIgA)*
  • Egg (ovalbumin) Ab (sIgA)*
  • Toxoplasma gondii Ab (sIgA)*
  • Taenia solium (tapeworm) Ab (sIgA)*
  • Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm) Ab (sIgA)*
  • Trichinella spiralis Ab (sIgA)*

* Saliva   ** Stool

Additional Tests: Our Gastrointestinal Health Panels may be ordered with an Expanded Bacterial Stool Culture (GP3x) and Calprotectin (CAL):
  • Bacterial stool culture, enteric pathogens, including Campylobacter antigen and Shiga toxin, with complete aerobic identification**

The expanded bacterial stool culture (GP3x) is a complete aerobic culture that reports all of the bacterial colonies isolated on the culture plates, rather than simply the most dominant species as reported on our standard culture results. The culture and identification methods for the GP3x are comparable to the GP3, with the additional MALDI-TOF identification of all isolated bacterial colonies.

  • Calprotectin**

Calprotectin (CAL) is a marker of intestinal inflammation and may be used to help distinguish IBD from IBS.

* Saliva   ** Stool

Gastrointestinal Health:

Maintaining a healthy GI system is essential to your overall health. GI infections and inflammation can lead to a wide range of symptoms and decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Commonly thought to be found only in developing countries, parasites and pathogenic bacteria are a cause of GI symptoms in millions of people in the United States as well.

Mode of Transmission and Risk Factors:

The predominant method of transmission of parasites is the fecal–oral route. This can occur through hand contact with infected individuals or via contaminated water, soil, or food. Many parasites are highly transmissible within a household environment. All family members should be tested if one member is positive for GI infection.

People with suppressed immunity are at risk for longer and more serious GI infections. Individuals receiving chemotherapy for cancer are very susceptible to parasitic infections. Medications commonly used for autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also lead to a higher risk of infections. Frequent or excessive antibiotic use can render the GI tract more susceptible to chronic overgrowth of harmful microorganisms.

Presently, the risk of being infected or infested by pathogenic organisms through food and water is ever-increasing. This is due to a variety of reasons including immigration, frequent overseas travel, importation of vegetables and fruits, lack of a public health policy to screen food handlers for transmissible pathogens, outdoor and wilderness excursions, agricultural pollution, and pets at home.

Currently, World Health Organization studies indicate that about a half a billion individuals are infected annually by Entamoeba histolytica and a similar number are infected by Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Considering all parasites, more than one-quarter of the earth’s population is infected at any one time. More serious efforts must be made to prevent, identify, and treat these widespread and debilitating infections.

Stool-Based Testing:

The Regular and Expanded Gastrointestinal Panels include comprehensive testing of three stool samples to ensure the most accurate results. We screen for dysbiosis, GI pathogens, inflammatory markers, mucosal immunity, occult blood, and GI functional markers:

  • Culture for yeast
  • Microscopic ova and parasite study
  • Bacterial stool culture to identify pathogenic, opportunistic, and commensal organisms
  • Antigen and toxin assays for Shiga toxin, Campylobacter, Clostridium difficile, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium
  • Inflammatory biomarker levels – lysozyme, alpha 1-antichymotrypsin, and total intestinal sIgA – to detect significant irritation in the small or large intestine
  • Chymotrypsin measurement to aid in assessment of pancreatic function
  • Occult blood and fecal pH testing to further assess GI health and function
Saliva-Based Testing:

In addition, the DiagnosTechs GI Health Panels provide non-invasive, immune detection of specific parasites, bacteria, and food sensitivities via saliva markers including sIgA and IgG.

Clinical Indications:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Acute loose stools or diarrhea, particularly after travel or camping
  • Chronic loose stools or diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Gas and bloating
  • Suspected or known malabsorption issues
  • Chronic abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Chronic skin conditions
  • Excessive eating or anorexia
  • Chronic fatigue