I can now run an at-home stool-collection test for my clients that measures levels of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
While this test is a great response to a market need from a highly reputable lab (Diagnostic Solutions Lab), I would argue that very few people, if any, would need to run it.
Why? Because at ~$160, there are a TON of other useful tests that you could run that will have infinitely more value to you.
In this post, I will go over a couple of them and show you that most of us are fearing extremely low-probability problems while we remain ignorant of extremely prevalent, high-probability issues that affect large swathes of the population.
And they could be causing you health distress as we speak, without you knowing it.
Let’s go over a few of them right now.
Ever hear of a little yeast called Candida? Of course you have.
We all live with them, and they are not a problem if our immune defences are in order. Unfortunately, Candida overgrowth is highly prevalent, and it causes subtle, but nonetheless serious, health issues over time.
Heck, even I have the bastards running rampant. This is from a stool test I did in April 2019:
Here’s the crazy part: yeasts are difficult to detect, even on the high-quality test I ran (read more about stool testing and the GI-MAP here).
This means that I had a BOATLOAD of Candida for it even show up on the test.
So, I did a lengthy pathogen eradication protocol after that stool test with various herbs and probiotics.
Fast-forward 10 months. Here is part of a food sensitivity test I ran in February 2020. It shows detected levels of IgG antibodies to various foods, as well as a few yeasts:
As you can see, Candida Albicans is in the yellow, which is low, relatively speaking.
However, most of the markers on that test were extremely low for me, indicating a very low immune response to the foods tested.
This is great, of course, it means the gut barrier is healthy and the immune system is not over-activated.
But it seems like Candida is still around and doing it’s thing, though probably not as much as before.
Now, imagine what it must be like for others who are not even aware that yeast overgrowth could be an issue for them? They haven’t even considered doing any herbal protocols to reduce Candida numbers.
Of course, yeasts are only one of many other virulent organisms that are damaging countless people’s health. Other common pathogens we live with include bacteria, protozoa, and parasites.
These little critters will undermine your health, often without you knowing it, for a long time unless you identify and oust them.
That stool test I ran in April 2019 also showed two parasites and several pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria to be present in my gut. Interestingly, I felt fine at the time I took the sample.
What does that tell us? It means that you won’t necessarily have gut symptoms if you have a pathogenic infection or overgrowth. But it doesn’t mean that your immune system isn’t fighting a silent war that will
For a more in-depth look into the topic, see my article Testing for Gut Pathogens 101. In there I have a list of factors that can help inform your decision whether running a gut pathogen screening is right for you.
Can you imagine a 32-year-old man having lower testosterone than a 60-year-old?
I don’t have to imagine it, because that was me in March 2019:
My testosterone was lower than the bottom of the range for men twice my age.
At the time of the test, I didn’t feel bad, per se. In fact, after seeing the test results, I called up the lab asking whether it could be a mistake. It wasn’t.
I couldn’t get it. I was eating only high-quality organic food. Going to bed at a reasonable hour. Had low levels of perceived stress. I was feeling OK. Certainly not what I thought “lower than the range for sixty-year-olds” would feel like.
In hindsight, though, I remember that I was going to bed earlier than usual. My energy levels were not great. I felt like I was forcing myself to exercise – it was a struggle, certainly not fun. And I was drinking a lot more coffee than usual.
It wasn’t just my testosterone that was rock bottom – all my androgens and estrogens were low on that test. But my stress hormone cortisol was way high:
Remember, I had low levels of perceived stress at the time. So what the heck was causing the high cortisol output?
This goes back to our previous discussion of pathogens. They cause internal stress in the body. Inflammation, immune reactivity, poor sleep, low energy levels, and many other issues can be attributed to nasty bugs running rampant in your gut, including hormonal imbalances.
In fact, running that hormone test is what prompted me to test for gut pathogens in the first place.
Think for a moment. How many people are living like this right now? How many of us are propping ourselves up with stimulants? Self-medicating. Ignoring subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, warning signs our bodies are sending us.
I hope that I can at least educate you about these all-too-common issues, so that you’re better able to spot and address them, if they are a problem for you.
Check out my article on Advanced Hormone Testing for more information on testing your sex and adrenal hormones.
Heavy Metal and Chemical Toxicity
Here is another ubiquitous problem. If you think you are not harbouring substantial amounts of heavy metals and chemical toxins in your body, I’m afraid I have news for you.
Every single person whose hair I’ve had tested, between the ages of two to 58, has at the very least had significant amounts of aluminium and mercury coming out of them.
What’s more, the less-healthy folks had less toxic metal excretion than the healthier ones. This is evidently because their bodies’ detoxification capacities are less able to deal with the onslaught.
And as people get healthier, I see them excrete more and more toxic metals, which is of course a good thing.
Here are my results over March to September 2019, where I was actively working on boosting my detoxification pathways:
As you can see, each hair test show higher levels of aluminium and mercury excretion.
It started to dip around December, which may be because my body had dumped a significant amount of metals, or maybe because I took the foot off the pedal in terms of actively working to detox metals.
What’s the moral of the story?
You need to:
- Not bury your head in the sand – acknowledge that we live in the most polluted time of human existence.
- Work to reduce your exposures to toxic compounds (future articles will cover that).
- Improve your body’s detoxification capacities using nutritional strategies (will also be covered in future articles).
- Use a sauna to aid detoxification as often as feasible for you.
I won’t even go into all the horrors of my last chemical toxicity test. Let’s just say that living in a small town by the ocean, away from big city pollution, and trying to minimise use of plastics wasn’t enough. There were still a number of nasty chemical toxins detected in my urine.
Here is a taster.
Toxins from plastics manufacture and car exhaust fumes:
Organic solvents (off the charts!):
On the other hand, here is proof that an all-organic diet is worth the extra cost:
To sum up this post, I would argue that we need to put a LOT more emphasis on cleaning up our diet and environment, making sure our guts are free from pathogens, and balancing our hormones.
This is the real pandemic. Look at the current health statistics if you doubt that statement.
Instead of running frivolous tests for things that are extremely unlikely to affect them, people need to learn the value of functional lab tests that can actually give them data on how to truly improve their health, longevity, and mental performance.
If you want to learn more about how I can help you reach unprecedented levels of wellbeing, I offer limited weekly 30-minute consultations. Book yours below: