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Know Thy Poop

Today was Day 2 at the AFMCP (Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice) in Phoenix, AZ. We were treated today by Doctors Data and Genova Labs to use one of their stool analysis tests, (Sadly, I can’t use it on myself 😕 ) but one lucky person will know thy poop. This test will give me a very thorough view of an individuals gut health. A few tests with great value are:

  • Calprotectin
    • This will tell me how much inflammation is going on in my gut.
  • Elastase
    • Tells me how well my pancreas is spurting out those digestive enzymes.
    • Additionally this stool analysis will show if there is any undigested fat, protein or carbs in your poop.
  • Intestinal Permeability (lactulose and mannitol)
    • Mannitol is easily absorbed by a healthy gut and Lactulose is not. BUT if your gut has some ‘holes’ in it, both Mannitol and Lactulose will be absorbed and we can measure this!
  • Secretory IgA (sIgA)
    • Immunoglobulins are the protective proteins our immune system makes to neutralize and expose foreigners (bad bacteria, viruses, etc.). sIgA is most abundant in the gut, and can give a good idea to the immune function of your gut.
  • Butyrate
    • Lately, I’ve been a bit obsessed with this fat. Butyrate makes your large intestine cells feel like Superman! This fatty acid is the main fuel for your colonocytes and allows them to heal, repair and regrow, not many things can do that (besides a great diet of course).
  • Of course: the good (Probiotics) and bad bacteria.

This really smart gut a long time ago, Hippocrates, said “All disease begins in the gut.” About 2,400 years later, (thats now, 2016) we learned that this can’t be more true. Men tend to ignore their gut problems, and sometimes they just think their bloating, gas, acid reflux and constipation is just a normal thing for men.

But a man’s gut is a key part in improving his overall health.

  • The intestines play a role in absorbing and eliminating cholesterol which can impact hormone (testosterone) levels.
  • The intestines is a way for men to eliminate estrogens (yep, that’s the “female hormone”)
  • Often prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain, is related to intestinal health.
  • If you’re not digesting and assimilating your foods then your time in the gym may not be optimized.
    • Yes, that means those protein farts are wasted/undigested protein.

Moral of the story: Make sure you pay attention to your gut health, because this can be an unrecognized obstacle to improving your health.

Big thanks to Doctor’s Data. Check out the lab test here.

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