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What Your Poop Can Tell You

“At Home” Stool Tests Enable You to be Your Own Health Advocate

Have you ever taken an “at home” stool test? Ever wondered what an analysis of your poop can tell you? There’s no need to be intimidated, its actually a very simple way to identify problems within your gut.

What if I told you it’s the best way to learn about your health and to shed some light on the root cause of symptoms you may be experiencing. Everyone should consider testing as the first step in finding out more about the health of your gut and systems. 

Dr's Data testWhat Does a Dr.’s Data At Home Stool Test Help Determine? 

  • Digestive conditions such as Crohn’s and Colitis
  • Abdominal, cramping and diarrhea causes
  • Reasons for nausea, vomiting and bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Absorption of nutrients
  • Parasites 
  • Infections from bacteria, viruses, or funguses
  • Liver problems
  • Pancreatic function

How is Dr.’s Data Test Different From Other At Home Stool Tests?

Doctor’s Data labs have been examining stool samples  for over 40 years.  Doctor’s Data became the first lab in the functional medicine industry to introduce MALDI-TOF (Matrix- Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time of Flight) as a method of identifying bacteria and yeast in stool culture. MALDI-TOF works by measuring the unique “fingerprints” of our microorganisms. This spectra is then compared to a reference database for verification and identification.

What Makes the MALDI-TOF a Superior Measure for Stool Testing?

Doctor’s Data utilizes MALDI-TOF in combination with “high-complexity” culture for rapid, accurate and reliable identification of hundreds of gastrointestinal bacterial and yeast species, and even subspecies. The MALDI-TOF reference database is the most expansive and is growing by about 100 species per month. To date they have identified over 180 yeast species; 65 of these are Candida alone. This ability to differentiate is extremely important since some patients may have up to 6 or 7 different strains.

Why Stool Test?

When you’re considering an at-home stool test ask yourself this question; will knowing the results of this test change my treatment plan? If not, maybe you can skip the collection. If you’re like most people, you know that your poop holds information that could very well be the key to good health. Collecting it and shipping it off could be the easiest way to gather helpful information that will put you on the right path for a treatment plan.

When you are looking for clues for any digestion issues or concerns, start by being your own health detective and try the Doctors Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology test. The results could end up saving you time and money while enabling you to focus on a treatment plan tailored to your specific issues. 

Yogurt May Not Provide Enough of the Probiotic Bacteria You Need

probiotics for good gut health - yogurt not enoughMany people who consider taking a probiotic for good gut health turn to yogurt. And while yogurt does typically contain some live cultures, often it’s not enough to make a difference in digestive health. Sometimes, the friendly bacteria in yogurt are not even alive at all. In addition, using yogurt as your sole source of probiotics could contribute to more gut complications than an individual already has, due to the excess sugar in many kinds of yogurt.

Taking a probiotic to keep the gut healthy is a great idea, but it’s imperative that you choose the right one. If you don’t, you could be taking a supplement that’s not working at all or setting yourself up for further health issues.

Why Yogurt Is Not a Reliable Source of Probiotics

Even though evidence strongly suggests that probiotics are good for intestinal health, the science behind the evidence is not without doubt. We know they benefit the gut by keeping a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria, but we’re still learning about the best ways to get friendly microbes to propagate and thrive in the intestines.

Contrary to what many people believe, yogurts are not the best source of probiotics. Sonia Michail, pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said that although yogurt can be healthy, it’s “not a consistent or reliable source.” She goes on to say that even if yogurt is initially made with tons of good bacteria strains, they’re likely killed by yogurt’s low pH level.

In a 2010 study, yogurt that sat for 10 days in the refrigerator had only 30 percent of its probiotics left in the mixture. Many brands say that they contain “live cultures,” but they don’t usually express how many live cultures are inside, and they certainly don’t guarantee that those live cultures will remain by the time a consumer eats the yogurt. Research suggests that, for a yogurt to be semi-effective, it must have at lease 106 to 108 live cultures per gram of product. That’s a huge amount that most companies simply don’t offer.

Probiotic Supplements as a Better Choice

If you want to take a probiotic, you’re better off choosing a powder or powder capsule. Supplements like Perfect Pass Probiotic and Perfect Pass Prebiotic have been used in studies with good digestive health results. These probiotic powder supplements contain billions of live cultures, they’re created to withstand the probiotic’s trip through the acidic digestive system, and they don’t contain substances that could potentially feed bad bacteria and help it flourish.

Perfect Pass, can help with many digestive and intestinal issues like IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, and even minor stomach bugs. These probiotics and prebiotics are safe for kids and adults, and they can be just what you need to heal the gut and keep it healthy.

Hidden Causes of Constipation

Toilet humor may be funny—but regular constipation is not. Constipation can greatly affect a person’s quality of life and general sense of health and well being. More importantly, constipation can take a significant toll on the body. Here’s a list of surprising triggers for constipation:


Prescription Painkillers

Painkillers are a common medication prescribed by physicians after surgery or in the case of chronic pain. However, several common painkillers, especially narcotic-based medications, cause constipation. If prescribed narcotics or similar painkillers, it would be wise to also take a mild laxative to ensure regularity.

Chocolate and Dairy

Some of our favorite foods can also cause constipation. Chocolate and dairy products have both been linked to constipation. Sadly, there have been studies linking chocolate to constipation, mostly among individuals who already suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Diets containing too much dairy including cheese, yogurt, eggs, and milk have also been linked to constipation. Limiting chocolate and dairy and incorporating more fiber into your diet is a good place to start if you suspect you may be constipated.

Vitamins and Over-the-Counter Medications

Sometimes we head to the drug store when we’re not feeling well. But hidden in those over-the-counter remedies can be causes of constipation.

Vitamins, for example, are great to take as daily supplements, however, too much of a good thing is usually not so good. Excessive iron and calcium may cause constipation.

The overuse of laxatives can actually cause serious constipation issues as well. As is the case with most drugs, the body will eventually become dependent on laxatives to function and won’t regulate on its own.

Antacids are another, seemingly harmless over-the-counter pill that can actually cause constipation. Antacids containing calcium or aluminum are usually suspect. Fortunately there are options available without these two ingredients. You could also cut back on foods that cause indigestion and heartburn.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) include the chronic conditions of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of these conditions can manifest symptoms of constipation, resulting from various points of inflammation in either the small intestine or the rectum.

People with advanced diabetes may experience constipation whether they’re aware they have diabetes or not. Diabetes may cause significant damage to the nerve endings that are responsible for digesting food. Constipation may result in these cases.

Depression affects millions of people, and it can cause constipation in two distinct ways. Depression causes the body’s systems to slow down, which can affect the speed of the bowels. Moreover, antidepressants containing serotonin reuptake inhibitors (like Prozac) have also been linked to constipation. Fortunately, there are new medications available that do not result in bowel obstruction.

Finally, hypothyroidism results in a slowing of the metabolic processes, which leads to constipation and issues in the gut.

Fortunately there are ways to combat constipation safely and effectively without resorting to major lifestyle changes. Taking a natural laxative can increase regularity and ultimately improve the health of your gut.

A OK Natural Laxatives also assists in removing harmful toxins and contains cleansing agents and natural herbs. Don’t wait until you can’t go to do something about constipation. Keep a natural laxative handy and take it at the first signs of irregularity to ensure a happy and health gut.

What Does a Colitis Diagnosis Mean?

Large Intestine

While there are many intestinal diseases, viruses, and disorders, colitis is a little different. Simply put, colitis is an irritation that causes the colon to become inflamed. Colitis can be a result of Crohn’s Disease, but isn’t quite the same. Both Crohn’s and colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases, but the difference is that Crohn’s can impact any part of the entire gastrointestinal tract while colitis is limited to the colon, caecum, and rectum.

Treatment plans are tailored to what may be causing your colitis. It’s important to ask your doctor what your options are and be ready to do some trial and error work. Some of the best treatment plans include using medication and a regulated diet, but of course not all diets and medications work the same on every patient.

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Microbiome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD

Human Microbiome for IBD treatment

Courtesy of : ondineblog.com

There’s a lot of recent talk about something called the human microbiome. I read a very interesting article by Chris Iliades, MD that was reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi. They say that the human microbiome has now become one of the most researched medical subject. Those of us who have been advocating use of probiotics for years and years now, have been well aware of the importance of probiotics and microbiota to a healthy digestive tract. Finally, allopatic medical research is catching up, and their findings could lead to a revolution in human health. For those suffering with crohns and colitis, i.e. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), this microbiome research could hold the key to future successful treatment and even prevention.

Keith Sultan, MD, assistant professor at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and gastroenterologist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. tells us that the human microbiome is all the microbes that normally live inside the human digestive system and he says that for doctors who treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the big interest is in bacteria that live inside the colon and small intestine. He thinks that these bacteria may be the key to controlling the condition (IBD).

He goes on to explain how everyone has zillions of microbes living inside their digestive tract. These microbes, collectively known as the microbiome, help the body digest their food, also produce vitamins, prevent digestive tract infections, and also control the immune system. Now the research is showing that a healthy balance of these microbes is essential for maintaining good health. So, when the balance of the microbiome gets upset, it is called dysbiosis. Researchers now think that its dysbiosis that may be the trigger for both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This would mean that by preventing dysbiosis it could be possible to control Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD, known to affect more than a million Americans.

The Journal Genome Medicine published a review of microbiome research in 2013. They found the human microbiome to be an important in the lifelong role of maintaining health. The bacteria in the microbiome have been closely linked to a lot of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including IBD. Now the next step is to profiling the microbiome through the study of microbial genes so that we may look towards new kinds of treatment. The Probiotic Symposium that I attended in San Antonio, Texas in November of 2013, also provided new research in this field.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science sponsored a symposium on the microbiome in 2012. The researches spoke about the discovery of the 4 million or more genes in the microbiome and predicted that this research may lead to a revolution in treatment of infections, malnutrition, diabetes, obesity, as well as Inflammatory Bowel Disease  IBD. The big leap i.e. the ability to do gene sequencing for all the different bacteria in the microbiome rather than the old inefficient way they had to learn about it was by doing bacterial cultures.

Sultan says that the current thinking is that people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD inherit genes that predispose them to the disease but not everybody with the genes gets the disease. It’s something in the environment that has to trigger the genes to cause disease. More and more its pointing to bacteria in the microbiome that are a major trigger.

Many studies have shown that people with IBD tend to have dysbiosis, having less of the friendly bacteria and more types of bacteria that cause gut inflammation. But what comes first, the chicken or the egg. Does IBD cause the dysbiosis that leads to gut inflammation or does dysbiosis trigger Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD? This is still the one of the big question that remains to be answered. My sense is that both conditions exist. I think that its not a matter of either/or, but both possibilities, sometimes the IBD will trigger the dysbiosis and other times the dysbiosis will lead to IBD. I look forward to watching as the research conclusions develop.

I attended a dinner sponsored by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America a few weeks ago. I learned about the research they are sponsoring to help understand the role the microbiome plays in IBD. It’s called the Microbiome Initiative. They started in 2008. The researchers have already completed the collection of DNA data from the microbiomes of people without IBD and now they are collecting data from the microbiomes of people that do have IBD. They are looking to identify the changes in the microbiome that occur during IBD flare ups and also when they are in remission.

“The dream scenario would be that we discover which bacteria trigger IBD and eliminate them,” he says. “That could cure IBD.” But he says that a more complicated relationship is more likely. “The links between the microbiome and IBD are probably part of the puzzle,” he says. “What we learn may allow us to customize treatment for each patient with IBD based on their own genes and the genes of their microbiome.”

We already know that people may inherit 169 genes that can predispose them to having IBD. And it’s also known that bacteria inside the digestive tracts of people with IBD are different from bacteria of people without IBD. Now we will rely on the experts to start ‘putting the puzzle together’, he says. He knows that there is a lot of time and money being spent on profiling the microbiome. His opinion is that there is too much going on for there not to be some big breakthroughs in the near future.

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