Introducing one of our favorite tools at the office…. a stool test! Yes… a stool test ☺️
A large percentage of clients we see at Clem&Thyme Nutrition have GI symptoms. Sometimes these are mild and for others, they can be debilitating and have a huge impact on their daily life! As many of our clients know, we work hard to get to the root cause of our clients complaints; but this can be challenging without knowing exactly what is going on in their gut. In combination with a thorough patient history, evaluation of current symptoms, diet review and understanding our clients goals, we have been taking it one step further over the last year and offering the GI Effects Comprehensive Stool Profile from Genova Diagnostics to clients. Read on to learn more about it, as well as find out how easy it is to do while never stepping foot in our office (we are currently working remotely!)
What is the GI Effects stool test?
Taken directly from their website, it is a “comprehensive assessment of complete gut health, assessing the root cause of most GI complaints.” These complaints include but are not limited to gas, bloating, indigestion/reflux, abdominal pain/cramping, diarrhea, and constipation.
The test measures different biomarkers that are focused on the three key functions of gut health:
With your report in hand, the dietitians at Clem&Thyme Nutrition can formulate a plan that focuses on resolving functional imbalances, provides gut healing support and reduces inflammation.
How much does it cost?
Clem&Thyme does not mark up the test and all payment is between Genova and the client. Unfortunately it’s not cut and dry. The initial payment is $171. Genova will then send a claim to your health insurance company and then bill you for the balance, depending on what your health insurance says you owe. They may not bill you at all, or they could bill you an additional $229. Basically the test could cost anywhere between $171 and $400, depending on what your insurance pays. According to Genova, the average client pays $229 total for the GI Effects test. The good news… you can use a health savings account to pay for the test.
See this document from Genova: Average Cost of Genova Lab Panels
How it works:
The first step is having a consultation with a dietitian, whether you are already a client or totally new to the office (we are still taking new clients!). Once we know a client is appropriate for the test, we will contact Genova Diagnostics to have a kit mailed directly to your home. The test is completed in the comfort of your own (bathroom :)) home. Clients will then have to ship the kits via FedEx (Monday-Friday) within 24 hours of obtaining the sample. A billable stamp is included in the kit.
There are some medications, supplements and foods that may impact results. Your dietitian will review the recommended prep beforehand.
Once you have the test kit in hand….
Included in the kit is a Requisition Form that must be completed that includes client information, insurance and billing sections which we recommend completing first.The night before, read over all instructions for obtaining the sample so you are fully prepared in the morning. We’ve found it to be helpful to lay everything out in advance (label sheet, pen, gloves, collection container, tubes, biohazard bags etc).
This seems like the part where you might be getting squeamish but the process is very simple! In short (and don’t worry, they have an extensive directions insert), you will eliminate into a cardboard tray (provided), add your specimen to a tube with a liquid solution, mix and shake. Then label with your name and date. There are several containers, one of which (the white top container) which has slightly different directions.
Store the sample in the biohazard bags provided in the refrigerator or at room temperature until shipped along with the Requisition Form.
Make sure to inform your family members of what is being stored in the fridge to prevent any mishaps. 😉
Head to FedEx Monday through Friday within 24 hours of collection with your biohazard bag packed in the FedEx pre-paid shipping bag.
Results take about four weeks and will be sent to your dietitian through a provider portal.
GI Effects Results Review and Recommendations
With results in hand, your dietitian will develop a plan that could involve dietary and lifestyle changes in conjunction with supplement recommendations to help promote digestion and absorption, decrease inflammation and improve the integrity of the gut microbiome.
Supplement recommendations made will be through Wellevate, an online dispensary that Clem&Thyme Nutrition uses to ensure we are providing quality supplements from reputable companies, at a discount. These recommendations come via an email which includes a link to Wellevate. There you will find your dietitians recommendations and can order them to be mailed right to your doorstep!
Let us know if you have any further questions about the testing, and be on the look out for a PART 2 blog post about this topic, as Leslie is going to share her results with you.
If you are interested, schedule an appointment with us directly on our website or call the office: 937.206.1131. 🙂