Gastro-intestinal Health Tests and Panel
The gastrointestinal tract is an external part of the body (like skin). This is the reason why we do not have to sterilize our food. The risk of being infected or infested by pathogenic organisms through food and water is increasing, primarily due to overseas travel, immigration, imports of fruits and vegetables, alternate lifestyles, pets at home, agricultural pollution, lack of public health policy to screen food handlers, etc. According to World Health Organization (WHO) more than one quarter of the Earth's population is infected at any given time.
The predominant method of transmission of parasites is the fecal-oral route through hand contact or via contaminated water and food. All family members should be tested if one member is positive for GI infection. Individuals with cancer and those with weakened immune system are very susceptible to parasitic infection. Additionally those who overuse antibiotics are more likely to have overgrown harmful microorganisms.
Intestinal infections cannot be clinically differentiated exclusively on the basis of medical history or physical exam. Specific diagnosis requires laboratory evaluation and conformation. Regular testing for stool ova and parasites screening alone usually is not sufficient enough to detect sometimes ubiquitous organisms. In the beginning accurate and specific diagnosis of causative organism (s) is made, then specific therapeutic agents target and eradicate offending microorganism (s).
This panel can detect various pathogens (bacteria, fungi, yeast, parasites), performs related screens for digestive enzymes, checks the intolerance to common offending foods, and also intestinal function markers. It is non-invasive and economical, testing saliva and stool samples collected at home. Retesting requires only a repeat of a specific problem and not the whole panel.
Individuals with chronic and vague complaints like bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, frequent travel, eating outside the home, homosexuals, institutionalized individuals, food handlers and preparers, uniformed services, dormitory residents, and children that go to daycare centers would benefit from these tests.