If you suffer from IBS and other digestive problems then it is very possible that you have a microbial imbalance in your digestive tract. My clinic (The IBS Treatment Center) is proud to be one of the few clinics in the country where you can now get DNA testing to measure the presence of the bacteria, yeast and parasites in your digestive tract. This is done via a stool sample. All microbes have DNA, and that DNA can now be detected and quantified with Nobel Prize-winning PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology, which is commonly used in other forms of DNA testing.
DNA testing is far superior to all previous tests that assessed the presence or absence of microbes in the digestive tract. In the past, bacteria and yeast had to be grown or cultured on a Petri dish, and parasites and yeast were looked for under the microscope. In both cases there were numerous factors that could affect the test and result in inaccurate results. With DNA testing these problems have been eliminated, and an incredible range of microbes (see graphic) can be detected.
This test will demonstrate the amount of all friendly bacteria, unfriendly bacteria, and yeast growing in your digestive tract. It also includes the presence of all forms of parasites. (Note: Some aspects of our test still done via conventional microscopy, but far more organisms are covered than with conventional testing.) It is far more comprehensive than standard stool tests which typically only measure the presence of parasites, or the ugly bacteria that cause potentially life-threatening bloody diarrhea. Standard tests do not cover the wealth of other bacteria and yeast whose presence or absence can lead to IBS and related digestive problems.
This test is quite simple for you. When you visit the clinic for your first appointment you will be provided with the appropriate sample collection kit to take home with you. You then mail the kit directly to the lab from your house.
When your tests are complete, the results and recommendations for treatment will be sent to the IBS Treatment Center. We will then spend the time necessary to explain your test results to you and provide you with the information and prescriptions necessary to treat any problems found.
Dr. Stephen Wangen is the award winning author of two books on solving digestive disorders, and a nationally recognized speaker on IBS. He has been on ABC, NBC, and Fox as well as public radio. He was recently named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine.