I am a Naturopath and have worked with many patients over the past 19 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, why is it the best, and answer more of your questions.
What is the GI MAP Test?
GI-MAP Test is a stool analysis test that uses qPCR technology to test a patient's stool sample to identify bacteria, parasites, viruses, fungi, and key intestinal health markers. This provides a more accurate picture of your gut health to your physician.
It has been the number one 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.
How Can GI Map Test Help?
GI Map Test can help your physician 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.
Who can Order the GI Map Test?
A healthcare practitioner will need to order the GI Map test for you. Patients cannot order the test directly from DSL.
You can ask you physician to order the test for you or you can buy the test from Planet Naturopath and I will be able order the test for you and your test kit will be delivered to your home within 2-4 business days.(Varies with location)
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.
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 absolutely 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.
When will I Receive my Test Results?
For Planet Naturopath Customers: You will receive your GI Map results via email within 7-15 business days of the lab receiving your sample.
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. There is absolutely no need to prepare before collecting your stool sample.
The whole point of having a GI Map test 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.
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.
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
- Acid reflux
- Diabetes and weight loss
- Brain Fog
- Mood disorders, depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue
- Pain in the stomach
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Skin problems such as acne and psoriasis
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.
What does a GI-MAP Test for?
The GI Map test assesses 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.
Noteworthy: Not all bacteria are bad, the GI-MAP test will assess your levels of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria.
You can read more about them in this article: GI Map Test – Bacterial Pathogens and Parasites
Why GI MAP Test is better than Other Stool Tests Today?
The GI-MAP Stool Test by Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory is more comprehensive as it 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.
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, which is less accurate in providing the data.
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. It also makes use of inflammation, digestion, and mucosal immune system markers to make it even more effective.
Related Articles: GI-MAP And Viome Tests – What Is The Difference?
The GI Map test is 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 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.
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.
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.
Is GI Map Test Covered by Insurance?
No, GI Map test generally isn't covered by insurance, but you can ask your insurance provider for further information. For 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 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.
Is GI Map Test Worth It?
Yes, GI Map test is worth it. It is expensive and if you are buying the test without any insurance then that can really put a dent in your pocket but if you are suffering from a complex and chronic digestive disorder like IBD or IBS then this test can help your physician prescribe the right diet and medicine to treat and prevent the disease.
GI Map Test is the best stool test that can help diagnose your gastrointestinal issues. It is the most comprehensive and accurate test for your gut issues, and you can get it done from anywhere in the world. If you are suffering from a chronic digestive disorder, then this is one of the best tests can help you find the right solution to prevent and treat your disease.
It is highly recommended if you want to diagnose your gastrointestinal and hormonal issues.