Tummy issues? Where do you start when you're trying to work out what's going on?
If you're like many of my clients who ask me for help with digestive issues, you'll possibly be referred for a new medical test to check for an underlying gut infection. A parasitic or other infection in the bowel can cause a wide range of symptoms, yet can go undetected for years, with people spending a great deal of money and time trying to address their symptoms instead of getting rid of the actual problem.
Testing for gut bugs has been notoriously inaccurate, with people needing 3 different faecal samples to be tested, and results often still not revealing the underlying bug/s (the accuracy of traditional testing varies between 11% & 90%). There's now a new test available that's 100% accurate and tests for a total of 10 different pathogenic (disease causing) gut bugs. This test needs a referral (from your GP, or I can refer direct) and is available via QML (Queensland Medical Laboratories). I usually ask my clients to also request a traditional test alongside this new test, as a couple of extra gut bugs can be tested this way. The traditional test is called a Faecal MC & S (Microscopy, Culture & Sensitivity). If you wish to ask your GP about the worth of the new test, it's called a Faecal Multiplex PCR test and you can find a Doctor information sheet here.
As I'm all for treating the underlying causes of gut issues, I'll consider gut infection as a possibility, as well as checking you out for food intolerances, enzyme deficiencies, liver & pancreatic function, unhelpful eating practices and the impact of stress on your digestion.
If you've not checked out my information on food intolerance testing, feel free to have a look at the information under my investigations page. I'm testing multiple people with these kits weekly, and they're a brllliant way of taking the guesswork and difficulty out finding out what you should & shouldn't eat.
The gut is your interface between you & your nutrient world, so if it's not functioning properly, not only will your life be less comfortable, you'll also be missing out on the benefits of your diet or any supplements or medications you're taking. For your health's sake, I recommend you don't just accept the popular but non-diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but find out what's really going on inside, get the correct treatment and begin living life in a healthier way.