What is a GI MAP Stool Test and How Can It Help?
The GI MAP Stool Test, otherwise known as the Gastrointestinal Microbial Assay Plus or GI-MAP test, has been the number one stool test for a while now to identify gut health issues.
The test has recently been updated with new markers and a new format to present the results, which we will highlight in this article.
The new markers that have been added in September 2022 are Roseburia spp., Desulvibrio spp., and Eosinophil Activation Protein.
The main goal of this test is to use one stool sample when examining your microbiome to identify pathogens, opportunistic bacteria, beneficial bacteria, and key intestinal health markers.
The assessment mainly focuses on the specific microbes that tend to disturb the normal balance of your microbiome, triggering issues in your gastrointestinal flora and causing digestion problems as well as other chronic health conditions.
Noteworthy: Not all bacteria are bad; the GI MAP test from Diagnostic Solutions laboratory will assess your levels of beneficial, pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria.
If you prefer to watch a video about the GI Map test check out the youtube video below.
Noteworthy: Not all bacteria are bad, the GI-MAP test will assess your levels of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria.
Who is the GI MAP Stool Test for?
This test is ideal for those who are suffering from digestive issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, acid reflux, pain in the stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
It can be done at any age, and I have run stool tests for 12-month-old babies, right up to people in their 80s, you are never too young or too old to optimize your digestion.
It is also a valuable test for those who are dealing with hormonal imbalances, as the GI-MAP Stool Test works in measuring the amount of beta-glucuronidase in your body, which can affect the detoxification of estrogen. High levels of beta-glucuronidase will lead to your body reabsorbing the estrogen, and environmental toxins that have gone through phase one of liver detoxification, causing estrogen dominance.
The GI-MAP test also aims to get an extensive collection of microbial targets and digestive and immune markers, making it a huge help for those who have or are suspecting that they have autoimmune disease and chronic ailments.
With the connection between gut flora and many health conditions, testing the microbiome can be beneficial for anyone with conditions like anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, skin issues, and many other conditions associated with the gut microbiome.
GI-MAP Commensal Keystone Bacteria
The commensal bacteria, otherwise known as keystone bacteria are meant to be present in the GI tract, most of these bacteria have an optimal level.
Most people have heard of the common beneficial bacteria like the Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus as these are found in most probiotic supplements and fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut.
Some of the other important keystone bacteria include Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalbacterium prausnitzi and the Roseburia spp
*Roseburia spp. has recently been added to the GI Map and the common thing that Roseburia, Akkermansia and Faecalbacerium all have in common is that they are key species that help your body produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA's).
The most important SCFA is butyrate and it has a wide range of benefits not only for gut health but also brain health.
Roseburia spp. - Roeburia is one of the core genus of bacteria that is found in populations around the world and makes up 3-15% of your gut bacteria.
The benefits come from the ability to produce Butyrate which has been shown in numerous studies to protect against pathogens and diseases, even cardiovascular disease.
Diet is a major influence in the levels of Roseburia, and prebiotic foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds can help to promote the growth of Roseburia.
A diet high in processed foods, simple sugars and saturated fats (standard Western diet) can lead to lower levels.
Akkermansia muciniphila - this bacteria is hard to culture so it can only me measured with DNA/PCR techniques like the GI Map test uses.
Akkermanisa is also important for producing SCFA's and butyrate, low levels are associated with intestinal permeability, autoimmune disease, pre-diabetes and diabetes as well as weight gain.
High levels are associated with inflammation and increased mucus as it specializes in mucin degradation
Faecalbacterium prausnitizi - this is one of the most important gut bacteria that many people have not heard of, and is one of the main butyrate producers.
Low levels are associated with increased inflammation, IBD, IBS and is correlated with the development of colorectal cancer.
GI-MAP Potential Autoimmune Triggers
Citrobacter spp. - a lot of the research has focused on rheumatoid arthritis but high levels of this bacteria can be a trigger for other autoimmune conditions.
Klebsiella spp. - the research shows this bacteria is linked with Ankylosing spondylitis and RA. This is a common opportunistic bacteria that can overgrow in the digestive tract and can be associated with high carb diets. Possible cause of high histamine levels and gut inflammation.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis - elevated levels are often seen in immune-compromised people, and seen when there are significant dysbiosis and overgrowth of other bacteria.
Prevotella Copri - also linked with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disease. It causes reduction of beneficial microbes and can increase lipopolysaccharides which increase inflammation.
Proteus spp. - In the GI tract, this bacteria can produce hydrogen sulfide. Increased levels of bacterial hydrogen sulfide stimulate the production of destructive compounds (ROS) that inhibit mitochondrial function.
There has been a lot of research into gut bacteria and autoimmune conditions - this is going to be worse if there are low levels of SIgA and or high Zonulin and anti-gliadin antibodies.
Anxiety and Depression
If you're experiencing anxiety or depression this can be strongly influenced by your gut bacteria, there is more and more research coming out to confirm this, the gut has a strong influence on the brain.
I have also seen this many times when working with clients, by improving their digestion symptoms so many times I also see anxiety eliminated, depression improved and general brain fog disappears.
The Benefits of the GI-MAP Test
Comprehensive Analysis of the Microbiome
What’s good about this stool test is that it works efficiently in screening the body for commensal and pathogenic bacteria, parasites, fungi, opportunistic pathogens, and viruses – all of which have a negative impact on your body and overall health if imbalanced.
An Aid in Detecting Autoimmune and Chronic Conditions
With the aid of this test, your stool will be used in determining if there are certain pathogenic organisms within your body that might cause you to suffer from illnesses like autoimmune problems, arthritis, and most chronic conditions can be influenced by your gut bacteria.
Desulvibrio Spp. - New Marker
Desulvibrio spp. - Desulfovibrio is a genus of gram-negative sulphate-reducing bacteria. This genus has been positively correlated to IBD, colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, liver disease and autism.
Desulvibrio spp are a potential cause of hydrogen sulfide SIBO and high levels can be caused by processed foods high in simple sugars and refined fats.
Helicobacter Pylori and Virulence Factors
Helicobacter pylori is a controversial bacteria, it is correlated with gastritis, ulcers, gastric cancer, GERD, low stomach acid, skin conditions, SIBO and other digestive problems.
Yet many people can have H.pylori and have no symptoms.
The presence of H.pylori does not mean that you do need to treat it, I would assess the Helicobacter pylori virulence factors, the level of H.pylori and a clients symptoms as a low level infection may not require treatment.
Fungal/ Candida and Virus Infections
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) are common viral pathogens that a lot of people have been exposed to, and many people will have positive antibodies on a blood test to indicate a past infection.
A positive result on the Diagnostic Solutions GI Map indicates a current active infection, for most people this results comes back negative.
Testing For Parasites And Worms
The GI Map test also assesses for a number of the common parasite infections like Dientamoeba fragilis and Blastocystis hominis. These are parasites that at low levels may not be an issue or need to be treated but at high levels can cause inflammation and GI distress.
It's important to also review the intestinal health markers before deciding whether to treat these parasites.
The Cutting-Edge Automated Methodology
It is also beneficial in the sense that it provides functional and integrative medical professionals with a clearer view of what’s happening in your gastrointestinal microbiome with the help of an automated and multiplex DNA analysis.
With the high specificity and sensitivity, as well as the fast turnaround, of the test from a single stool sample, it is no longer surprising why many functional medical practitioners, as well as other medical professionals, use it.
Noteworthy:The GI-MAP test takes out the guesswork, so that I can formulate an effective treatment plan for my clients.
Testing Zonulin on the GI-MAP Test
Food intolerances, bacteria and parasite infections are one of the main causes of leaky gut and one of the best ways to measure leaky gut is by testing Zonulin.
Zonulin regulates the intestinal barrier, so if you have high levels of Zonulin the intestinal wall becomes more permeable, this means that things that should be eliminated from your body are able to pass through into the bloodstream.
When toxins and larger proteins "leak" from your gut into the bloodstream this creates an immune response by your body, and this is what triggers inflammation and autoimmunity that can affect any part of your body.
Addressing the intestinal permeability and help to resolve food sensitivity, especially if they have been increasing over the past few years.
Other Intestinal Markers
Many people who have bacteria and parasite infections can often struggle to eliminate them from the body, this is because they usually immediately treat with antibiotics or natural anti-parasitic herbs, but because their gut's immune system is badly compromised these treatments often fail.
Identifying markers such as Secretory Immunoglobulin A (SIgA), Zonulin and Pancreatic enzyme levels reveals a lot about the health of the gut, and the best way to treat your digestion problem.
With low levels of SIgA and pancreatic enzymes, it is going to be more difficult to treat gut infections.
The initial focus needs to be to boost SIgA and digestive enzymes to make the elimination of pathogens like parasites and bacteria more successful.
Eosinophil Activation Protein
New Marker - Eosinophil Activation Proteins are associated with increased levels of intestinal inflammation, associated with inflammatory bowel disease. This can be used to diagnose and also monitor treatment for conditions such as Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis.
Also chronic diarrhea, GERD, NSAIDs and even chronic alcohol use can irritate the gut lining and increase levels of Eosinophil Activation protein.
What does the GI-MAP Test assess?
Aside from testing for opportunistic organisms, GI pathogens, and commensal bacteria, it also aims to examine all markers relevant to GI health, such as:
Noteworthy: It should be noted that proper gastrointestinal (GI) function is crucial to attaining the best general health.
You know that you have a good GI function if the beneficial microbial flora found in your gut has the right balance, thereby providing several health benefits. Excellent GI health also aids in the proper absorption and usage of nutrients, digestion, and the removal of pathogens and wastes within your body.
On the other hand, poor digestion and absorption can trigger a number of health conditions, like nutritional deficiencies and immune dysfunction. A poorly functioning gastrointestinal system can also trigger food allergies and other forms of toxicity.
Why the GI-MAP is the Best Option
It is necessary to undergo specific tests designed to diagnose dysfunction in the G.I tract to identify the cause of your digestion problems and other chronic health conditions, and this will help determine the perfect solution for certain health issues.
Noteworthy: This type of detailed testing is usually not done by the average doctor who sees you for a 7-minute appointment.
The GI-MAP Stool Test, which assesses for a wide variety of pathogens and other digestive health markers and is one of the go-to tests to identify what is happening with your digestion, this takes out the “guesswork” when it comes to a treatment plan.
What Makes GI MAP Test Different from the Other Stool Tests Today?
What’s good about the GI-MAP Stool Test is that it is something that you can do at home just by getting a test kit shipped straight to you with Planet Naturopath. Fortunately, it is easy to do this test since we can ship the GI-Map test to you, regardless of where you are in the world.
It is an exciting and new health test that can provide the best out of all the other stool examinations and tests combined.
The test does so with the help of a new process known as PCR. It works by closely examining the bacteria’s DNA, which is one of the reasons why it is quickly becoming the leading solution when it comes to testing for bacteria.
While other stool tests that are currently available also seem to be based on DNA, take note that some of them only use matrix-assisted laser desorption (MALDI/TOF) as a means of detecting stool microbes.
Noteworthy: The GI-MAP Stool Test is more comprehensive as it really performs deep scrutiny of the problem. It is different than other tests as it makes use of a multiplex and automated PCR analysis technique, which makes it possible to measure multiple viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria simultaneously with just one stool sample.
Another thing that makes it different is its ability to do the DNA sequencing process with expertise. The result is superior specificity and sensitivity when it comes to detecting up to fifteen of the most common triggers of chronic diseases and gastroenteritis.
In addition, the test makes use of intestinal health markers, making it possible for it to analyze your gut microbiome comprehensively. It also makes use of inflammation, digestion, and mucosal immune system markers to make it even more effective.
The GI Map test is the also the most comprehensive assessment of Helicobacter pylori, not only will it tell us how much H.pylori is present but it also assesses the virulence factors.
The virulence factors help to determine if you have a more pathogenic strain of H.pylori that can potentially lead to ulcers or stomach cancer.
How to Order GI MAP Stool Test
The GI-MAP Stool Test provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis of various factors and markers, which is the reason why you can expect it to provide evidence-based, clear, and transparent results.
The fact that it is FDA-approved also means that it is really capable of doing a genuine DNA-based assessment of your gut microbiome using just one stool sample.
Such results in obtaining actionable and well-researched details regarding microbes that trigger your ailments and disrupt your microbial balance.
Working with your practitioner you can then expect to identify the proper treatment approach for several metabolic, autoimmune, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, and other forms of chronic ailments since the GI-MAP Stool Test offers you a correct assessment of your present condition.
To order go to the GI-MAP Test page or if you have any questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org