Complete Guide To the GI Map Test

Complete Guide to the GI-Map Test

I am a Naturopath and have worked with many patients over the past 20 years to help them optimize their health and overcome many chronic ailments.

For the past 7 years, I have been using the GI Map test for my own clients to accurately diagnose complex digestive issues and have a lot of insights to share with everyone. 

In this guide I am going to help you understand what this stool test is, who might need it, what factors it analyzes, and what other comprehensive DNA stool analysis I have been also recommending lately.

What is the GI MAP Test?

GI-MAP Test (GI Microbial assay plus) is a stool analysis test that uses qPCR technology to test a patient's stool sample to identify bacterial infections, parasites, viruses, fungi, beneficial bacteria and key intestinal health markers. This provides a more accurate picture of your gut health to your physician.

It has been the number one comprehensive stool test in the US for a while now to identify gut health issues. This stool test was created by Diagnostics Solution Laboratory and is approved by FDA.

GI Map test uses DNA-based qPCR technology to accurately determine the quantity rather than quality (positive or negative) of each pathogen, bacteria, virus, and parasite in your GI tract.

If you prefer to watch a video about the GI Map Test, check out the YouTube video below.

What does a GI-MAP Test for?

The GI Map test assesses the quantity of bacteria, parasites, virus, fungi and other intestinal health markers present in a patient's stool sample.

Detailed health markers assessed by GI Map are listed below.

  • Normal Bacterial Flora (Bifidobacter, Enterococcus, E. coli, Lactobacillus, Akkermansia mucinophila, Clostridia (class*), Faecalibacterium prausnitzii)
  • Opportunistic Bacteria (Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Proteus, Yersinia, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, H pylori, Methanobacteriaceae (family), Bacillus spp, Fusobacterium spp., etc)
  • Pathogenic organisms (E.coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Yersinia, Giardia) - these are the more serious gut pathogens
  • Viral Pathogens (Adenovirus, Norovirus, Rotavirus)
  • Parasites (Blastocystis hominis, Dientamoeba fragilis, Endolimax nana, Entamoeba coli, Chilomastix mesnelli, etc)
  • H pylori (H Pylori virulence factors, cagA, vacA), H pylori antibiotic resistance genes
  • Fungi/Yeast (Candida albicans, Candida spp., Geotricum spp., Microsporidia spp., Trichosporon spp.)
  • Additional Tests (SIgA, Anti-Gliadin, Elastase, Lactoferrin, Occult Blood) These markers measure how well you're absorbing nutrients, inflammation, immune function and gluten intolerance)
  • Fungi/Yeast (Candida albicans, Candida spp., Geotricum spp., Microsporidia spp., Trichosporon spp.)
  • Additional Tests (SIgA, Anti-Gliadin, Elastase, Lactoferrin, Occult Blood, eosinophil activation protein) These markers measure how well you're absorbing nutrients, inflammation, immune function and gluten intolerance)
  • Zonulin which is a leaky gut marker can be ordered as an add-on
  • Normal Bacterial Flora (Bifidobacter, Enterococcus, E. coli, Lactobacillus, Akkermansia mucinophila, Clostridia (class*), Faecalibacterium prausnitzii)
  • Opportunistic Bacteria (Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Proteus, Yersinia, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, H pylori, Methanobacteriaceae (family), Bacillus spp, Fusobacterium spp., etc)
  • Pathogenic organisms (E.coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Yersinia, Giardia) - these are the more serious gut pathogens
  • Viral Pathogens (Adenovirus, Norovirus, Rotavirus)
  • Parasites (Blastocystis hominis, Dientamoeba fragilis, Endolimax nana, Entamoeba coli, Chilomastix mesnelli, etc)
  • H pylori (H Pylori virulence factors, cagA, vacA), H pylori antibiotic resistance genes
  • Fungi/Yeast (Candida albicans, Candida spp., Geotricum spp., Microsporidia spp., Trichosporon spp.)
  • Additional Tests (SIgA, Anti-Gliadin, Elastase, Lactoferrin, Occult Blood) These markers measure how well you're absorbing nutrients, inflammation, immune function and gluten intolerance)
  • Fungi/Yeast (Candida albicans, Candida spp., Geotricum spp., Microsporidia spp., Trichosporon spp.)
  • Additional Tests (SIgA, Anti-Gliadin, Elastase, Lactoferrin, Occult Blood, eosinophil activation protein) These markers measure how well you're absorbing nutrients, inflammation, immune function and gluten intolerance)
  • Zonulin which is a leaky gut marker can be ordered as an add-on
Noteworthy: Not all bacteria are bad, the GI-MAP test will assess your levels of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria. Not all bad bacteria need to be treated, we will assess the clinical significance of the test as a whole

You can read more about the GI pathogens in this article: GI Map Test – Bacterial Pathogens and Parasites

How Accurate is the GI Map test?

GI Map test provides consistent, reproducible and highly accurate quantitative results. It's accuracy and reliability makes it a very popular stool test among medical health professionals.

Opposing Study

A study claimed that the GI Map test has a sensitivity (Ability of a test to correctly identify people with the disease) of 80% and a specificity (Ability of a test to correctly identify people without the disease) of 26%.

You will probably see this study whenever you search for the GI Map test on Google but what you won't find so easily is the response from DSL.

DSL Response

Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory refuted all of these claims in its response. Their main concern was that this study was funded by DDI which is a direct competitor and that questions the unbiased opinion of researchers. Furthermore, they claimed that many results were misstated, and the study lacks accepted scientific practices.

In its response, DSL claims that GI Map identified all the spiked pathogens with 100% accuracy (100% sensitivity), and the claim about low specificity of 26% is also false as the other stool tests couldn't detect many pathogens that GI Map detected. So, the limitations lie with other tests used in the study and not with the GI Map test.

From my own experience, the GI Map test is more accurate and comprehensive when diagnosing gastrointestinal issues than other stool tests available.

Who is the GI MAP Stool Test for?

Who-is-the-GI-Map-Stool-Test-for

GI Map test is an ideal test for those who are suffering from health issues, such as

  1. Constipation
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Bloating
  4. Acid reflux
  5. Diabetes and weight loss
  6. Brain Fog
  7. Mood disorders, depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue
  8. Pain in the stomach
  9. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  10. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  11. Autoimmune Diseases
  12. Skin problems such as acne and psoriasis
  13. Leaky gut syndrome
  14. Joint pain

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.

If you are still confused about whether you need this test or not, then just simply book a consultation and I will be able to help you figure out the best steps for you.

GI-MAP Benefits - How Can The GI Map Test Help?

GI Map Test can help your physician or functional medicine practitioner find exactly the factors that might be causing your illness. It takes the guesswork out of the diagnosis.

This in turn helps medical health professionals to create specific health plans for each patient's digestive issues and can help resolve the root causes of even the most complex cases.

It is important to work with someone who is experienced in understanding the GI Map test, many doctors are unfamiliar with these advanced functional medicine tests, and how to treat based on the results.

It is often functional medicine practitioners and integrative health practitioners who use these advanced tests and not your local doctor.

I can help you interpret the gi map testing and more importantly help you implement a treatment plan, even if you did not order the test through us.

Is GI Map Test Worth It?

Yes, GI Map test is worth it. It is expensive but it can save time and money by taking out the guesswork so that you can start a treatment plan to address your GI health issues.

If you are suffering from a complex and chronic digestive disorder like IBD or IBS then this test can help us prescribe the right diet and medicine to treat and prevent the disease.

If your not sure whether to order the GI Map test or the Vibrant Wellness Gut Zoomer you can schedule a consultation and we can help to guide you on the best option for stool testing and other tests.

GI Map Test Preparation

There are no special preparation instructions for the GI Map Test. Just eat your normal diet and do not stop taking any prescribed medications.

The whole point of having gi map testing is to find out how your lifestyle is affecting your gut health. So, changing anything about your daily routine (diet or prescribed medicines etc.) will defeat the whole purpose of getting tested.

In regards to special instructions on probiotics and herbal medicines, once you order your kit from Planet Naturopath I will send you more detailed instructions, including recommendations on supplements.

What is Included in the GI Map Test Kit?

You can just check out the video below and understand exactly what will be included in the test kit and how you can use it.

The kit will contain everything you need to collect your sample plus a prepaid FedEx clinical pak to send the sample back to the lab.

How to Perform the GI Map Test?

A patient can simply collect a small stool sample into the specimen vial provided with the kit. This vial is then sent back to Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory where it is analyzed for various markers.

Here are the official(detailed) instructions on how to collect the stool sample by Diagnostic Solutions Lab: GI-MAP Collection Instructions

It is a non-invasive test, and you can do this from the comfort of your home. You don't have to go to a clinic or a hospital or need a nurse to supervise this. Instructions manual will also be provided with the test kit.

How long will it take to get the results?

It takes about 8-10 business days, or approximately two weeks to get the results.

How much does GI MAP test cost?

The price of the test starts at $420 and includes shipping in the U.S. There is the option to get an additional add-on markers.

How do I order the test?

You can order directly from Planet Naturopath, you don't need a referral or consultation before ordering the test, but we do recommend a follow up consultation once the results are ready, or speak with your practitioner.

Who can Order the GI Map Test?

A registered healthcare practitioner will need to order the GI Map test for you. Patients cannot order the test directly from Diagnostic Solutions lab.

You can ask your physician to order the test for you or you can buy the test from Planet Naturopath and I will be able to order the test for you and your test kit will be delivered to your home within 2-4 business days.(Varies with location).

Once the results are ready you will have the option to schedule a consultation to discuss the results and treatment plan via a Zoom or phone consultation.

If you are unsure if this is the right test for you then you can just schedule a consultation with me and I'll be able to help you figure out the best steps for you.

Learn more about DSL's Policies on Ordering test kits.

What Alternatives Are there For The GI Map Stool Test?

What-Makes-GI-MAP-Test-Different-from-the-Other-Stool-Tests-Today

The Gut Zoomer Test by Vibrant Wellness and the GI Map stool test by Diagnostic Solutions are the two leading microbiome tests designed to assess the overall health of an individual's gastrointestinal system.

While I have been using the GI Map test for the last 7 years I am now recommending the Gut Zoomer test a lot more.

Simply because it tests a lot more of the beneficial bacteria than the GI Map, as well as doing a detailed analysis of the pathogens in a similar way to the gi map tests.

The Gut Zoomer Test offers a comprehensive analysis of your gastrointestinal health, measuring over 170 species of bacteria.

By detecting the root cause of acute or chronic illness stemming from the gastrointestinal tract, the Gut Zoomer can provide correlations to disease states and health risks, guiding primary and secondary interventions. 

This extra information on beneficial bacteria is important, especially now with the increased research into the gut microbiota and if you are focusing on optimal health.

On the other hand, the GI Map test focuses on the microbiome and utilizes quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology to capture low-level microorganisms.

This test screens for over 50 bacterial pathogens, viruses, worms, parasites, yeasts, and H-pylori, along with their virulence factors.

When comparing these two gut health tests, it is essential to consider an individual's unique health needs and goals.


Both the Gut Zoomer Test and the GI Map stool test provide valuable insights, but while the Gut Zoomer offers a broader range of microorganism analysis, the GI Map focuses on specific markers and potential pathogens within the gut microbiome. 

Related Articles: GI-MAP And Viome Tests – What Is The Difference?

The GI Map test gives a more comprehensive analysis 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.

They also cover antibiotic resistance genes, this can be helpful to know if you are planning to treat using antibiotics.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I Receive my Test Results?

For Planet Naturopath Customers: You will receive your GI Map results via email within 10-15 business days of the lab receiving your sample. Once your sample arrives at the lab you will be notified to let you know that the testing process has started.

Is the GI Map Test Covered by Insurance?

No, the GI Map test generally isn't covered by insurance, but you can ask your insurance provider for further information. For the majority of individuals the test won't be covered by their insurance providers as Diagnostic Solutions Lab is out-of-network with all major insurance providers.

Is the GI Map Test Covered by Medicare?

Yes, the GI Map test is covered by Medicare as Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory is a Medicare provider.

Please note that Medicare will only accept claims ordered by Medicare participating providers, which are PECOS certified. In most cases Medicare will only process claims ordered by the following clinicians, MD, DO, PA and NP.

Learn more about DSL's billing and insurance policies.

What is Fecal Gluten Peptide (Stool Gluten)

Fecal gluten peptide quantifies dietary gluten immunogenic peptide absorbed by stool within three hours following ingestion.

Results may help practitioners find and correct "hidden" gluten-related problems, thereby ensuring increased adherents to proper therapeutic diets. Gluten Peptide (tool Gluten) Markers can be included as an optional add-on

Can Infants and Children Benefit from the GI-MAP?

Yes, we have used this test with infants and children and can help identify the root cause of ADHD, skin problems like eczema and psoriasis, digestive problems and microbial imbalances and leaky gut syndrome can exacerbate Autism

Can you ship internationally?

Yes, we can ship to most countries and shipping costs will vary depending on where you live

Can I take the test while taking antibiotics?

Ideally it is best to wait at least two weeks after stopping antibiotics, that way you will allow the microbiome to improve after the antibiotics, and you can assess what damage has been done to the beneficial bacteria levels

How do I store my stool sample before sending it to the lab?

If you are sending it the next day or in a couple of days keep in the refrigerator, but if you are sending the same day there is no need to keep cold.

Do I need a consultation with a doctor when I get the results?

You are best to have a consultation with someone who is experienced at understanding the GI Map test, your family doctor does not likely have this training. At Planet Naturopath we provide consultations to help you understand the results and treatment plan.

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