Curious about the GI MAP? I’m sharing the Intestinal Health portion of my personal test results so you can learn how the GI MAP can help you too. As a FDN Practitioner, I test—never guess. The GI MAP is one of my go-to tests to help you uncover the root cause of your symptoms as well.
As someone with a history of debilitating GI symptoms that included horrible pain and cramps, irregular bowel habits and gas that sometimes left me stuck at home, I use this GI MAP test on myself at least once a year to make sure everything is OK “in there”. I also use it at the first sign of consistent GI distress in order to catch anything BEFORE it gets out of control. Because of my past history of IBS, IBD, parasites and SIBO, I’m intent on catching imbalances before they get out of control and leave me back in a place I never want to be in again. Not only did I suffer from GI symptoms but also had fatigue, brain fog and anxiety among other problems. My story is the reason I do the work I do, since I don’t want you or anyone else you know to suffer.
In September 2018, I started experiencing some mild symptoms so I tested myself. You can see those results below and my retest from April 2019 right underneath them.
The GI MAP tests for pathogens, parasites, worms, fungus, viruses, good and bad bacteria and intestinal health. Aside from what you see here, I can tell you in September, I also had a very slight case of Giardia (a parasite) some bacterial imbalances mostly consisting of a deficiency—meaning several of my good bacteria were low. I treated those with a protocol specific to my findings and retested in April 2019. I’m happy to report the Giardia was gone and my good bacteria were now abundant! A WIN WIN!
Before I get into these results, keep in mind I eat organic, 100% gluten and dairy free.
For those who are just interested in the bottom line, the quick interpretation is this: The original test revealed low gut immune defense, an immune reaction to gluten (mystery: I don’t eat it) and high inflammation. Based on my results and further testing, I eliminated the triggers and retested. The results still showed low gut immune defense, but no more reactivity to gluten and NO INFLAMMATION! If you’re still curious and want to know more, keep reading.
So what do these markers mean?
According to the lab directly, this is the portion of the test that includes markers of immune function, inflammation, digestion, and gliadin sensitivity. Let’s go down the list of the flagged markers seen above.
Secretory IgA is the body’s first line of defense in the gut. As a first line of immune defense against pathogenic microorganisms. Impairment of secretory IgA may increase the risk of infectious, allergic, and inflammatory diseases of the intestine. Chronic stress may also disrupt levels of sIgA.
My Results: As you can see mine is very low. Test two it actually dropped. This means I still have some work to do to build up my immune defense in my gut. This is why I may be susceptible to bad bugs to begin with. I believe this is from chronic levels of ongoing stress in my gut for so many years and continues to be a hard one for me to improve, but I’m working on it.
Anti-gliadin is the presence of fecal anti-gliadin antibodies and can indicate an immune response to gluten in the diet. Gliadin is a component of gluten, the protein found in wheat and other field grass grains such as barley, malt and rye.
My Results: Remember I eat a 100% percent GF diet, so this puzzled me to see my body was reacting to gluten. Where was it coming from? I needed to investigate and find out where. I checked my personal care products and other items to find the culprit. Gluten was lurking in my my shampoo and conditioner (which I thought was clean) so I changed that. As well, I stopped my daily green powder. Although the powder was technically GF, it had “cereal grasses” in it which can cause a reaction for some people. These are wheat, oat and barley grasses. As you can see by test two, I no longer have a reactive number!
Fecal calprotectin is the most studied marker of gastrointestinal inflammation and the gold standard marker for the diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is used to discriminate IBD from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It helps the integrative and functional medicine practitioner measure the level of immune activation in the gut, often associated with infection and/or inflammatory bowel disease.
My Results: This results of test two was a BIG WIN for me. With a history of inflammatory bowel disease, and the high results from test one, I was thrilled to see how I was able to put out the fire inside my gut. I balanced out my good and bad bacteria, and removed the sources of gluten. The results of the GI MAP also inspired me to do further food sensitivity testing from Vibrant Wellness which indicated I was also having immune reactions to several other foods. When I removed the triggers of infections and foods, as well as increased the good guys, my gut inflammation went away.
These markers, and the others on the GI MAP are crucial to maintaining a healthy gut and healthy you.
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