GUT | Parasitology
"JOINCIRCLES enables you to own your own medical data. When you receive your biochemistry results, we strongly advise that you contact one or more of healthcare practitioners listed under our "Practitioner Circle' who have been trained to interpret these tests. Once you have a plan from your practitioner, you can come back and shop your personalised daily nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices. As the medical director, I'm available to help you chose the right test and/or practitioner for your needs". Dr Heidi
The Comprehensive Parasitology test is non-invasive diagnostic assessment that enables you to evaluate the status and levels of intestinal beneficial, commensal, and pathogenic bacteria and yeast/fungus, as well as parasites.
This test does not directly assess abnormal digestion/absorption, inflammation, or other specific aspects of gastrointestinal health. Typically, the Comprehensive Stool Analysis + Parasitology test is done first and then this test is used as a follow-up test to measure whether or not the treatments you have used are having an effect or not. Depending on your symptoms or condition, you could repeat the whole Comprehensive Stool Analysis + Parasitology test for a more comprehensive measure of your treatment.
A thorough patient history will help assess the possibility of parasitic infection and the need for appropriate testing to confirm the suspicion. Parasitology testing can include one-, two- or three-day collection, based on practitioner preference.
Benefits | Features
- This test also looks at which bacterial and fungal species antimicrobial treatment, pharmaceutical or natural, will be best for your condition.
The Comprehensive Parasitology profile is an important tool for identifying imbalances in intestinal microflora. It includes comprehensive bacteriology and yeast cultures to identify the presence of beneficial flora, imbalanced flora including Clostridium species, and dysbiotic flora, as well as detection of infectious pathogens and evaluation for the presence of parasites.
A good balance of beneficial microflora has been known to be associated with health benefits since the turn of the century. At that time Metchnikoff drew attention to the adverse effects of dysbiotic gut microflora on the host and suggested that ingestion of fermented milks ameliorated what he called "autointoxication." He proposed that the consumption of large quantities of Lactobacillus species would reduce the number of toxin-producing bacteria and result in better health and increased lifespan.
Over the past 90-plus years there has been extensive scientific research demonstrating that a good balance of Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and beneficial E. coli bacteria are important to the functional health of the gut, and as a consequence, to the whole organism. The benefits identified include inhibition of microbial pathogens, prevention and treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, prevention of travellers' diarrhoea, reduction of lactose intolerance symptoms, reduction in serum cholesterol levels, enhancement of the immune system, and inhibition of the proliferation of Candida albicans. Research has shown that improved biological value of food can be achieved through the activity of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria which have been reported to produce folic acid, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, biotin and vitamin K.
The mechanisms by which these benefits are derived are not yet fully understood. However, research suggests that some of the beneficial effects may be due to the following activities of beneficial bacteria:
- The release of substances antagonistic to enteropathogenic microorganisms such as lactocidin, lactobicillin, and acidolin
- Competition with pathogens for adhesion receptors
- Production of lactase
- Production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate, propionate and acetate
- Daily exposure to chemicals in our drinking water might be toxic to friendly bacteria
- The use of antibiotics
- Chronic consumption of highly processed foods (low in fibre, high in sugar)
- High stress levels
Infection with yeast species can cause a variety of symptoms, both intra- and extra-gastrointestinal, and in many cases, may escape suspicion as a pathogenic agent.
Controversy remains as to the relationship between Candida infection and episodes of recurrent diarrhoea. However, episodes of yeast infection after short-term and long-term antibiotic use have been identified in patients with both gastrointestinal and vaginal symptoms.
There is some evidence linking yeast infections with more chronic extra-gastrointestinal conditions. Studies suggest that the production of antibodies against Candida albicans may contribute to atopic dermatitis in young adults. Other studies have identified the potential role of candidiasis in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Identification of abnormal levels of specific yeast species in the stool is an important diagnostic step in therapeutic planning for personalised protocols for chronic gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal symptoms.
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing to prescriptive and natural treatment agents is also performed for appropriate fungal species at no additional charge. This provides the clinician with useful clinical information to help plan an appropriate treatment protocol.
According to Dr. Hermann R. Bueno of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London, "parasites are the missing diagnosis in the genesis of many chronic health problems, including diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and endocrine system".
While parasitic infection may be an underlying etiological factor in several chronic disease processes, doctors often do not consider the potential for parasitic involvement because signs and symptoms of a parasitic infection often resemble those of other diseases. However, it has been shown that parasite testing is a useful tool in the detection of causative agents for chronic gastrointestinal disorders.
Most Americans are inclined to believe that parasitic infections are a rare and exotic occurrence, limited to those who have travelled to distant, tropical lands. However, for a number of reasons, there has been an increase in the incidence of parasitic infection in western countries. Reasons may include:
- Increased travel to, and visits from, countries where parasitic infection is endemic
- Consumption of exotic and/or uncooked foods
- Contamination of our water supply
- Increased spread in daycare centres
- Household pets
- Antibiotic use
Signs and symptoms of a parasitic infection vary from one individual to another. The more common symptoms include:
- Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Increased allergic reactions
- Skin lesions
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased energy
- Decreased immune function
Infection can occur by four different pathways. These routes include:
- Contaminated food or water
- Insect vectors
- Sexual contact
- Passage through the skin and nose
Who would benefit from this test?
Anyone with 1 or more of the following symptoms or conditions:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Food allergies and food sensitivities
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)/IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Nutritional deficiencies
|Additional Pathogens culture; stool|
|Bacteriology culture, aerobic; stool|
|Day 2 Parasitology, trichrome; stool|
|Day 3 Parasitology, trichrome; stool|
|Giardia lamblia; stool|
|Parasitology, concentrate; stool|
|Parasitology, trichrome; stool|
|Yeast culture; stool|
Lists of all the possible micro-organisms this test might find:
Test sample report
Test sample type
- Stool sample: a fresh stool sample, in a small sample bottle, done on two different days
About 2 weeks
Lab's name for test
Comprehensive Parasitology x 2 ('x2' means this test requires a stool sample from 2 different days for best test results)