How Many Medical Doctors Does It Take To Order A Metametrix Stool Test?

In my pursuit for regular bowel movements, a couple of weeks ago Steve, as in Steve and Jordan from scdlifestyle.com, recommended a Metametrix 2105 stool test.  That sounds very objective.  I like objective, cut and dry tests, diagnoses, and treatments!

But this isn’t the stool test we typically order in medicine!  If I wanted to check somebody for a parasite, I would order a “stool for ova and parasites X 3 ” and usually get an enteric culture, as well, to check for certain bacteria, too.  Three stools would be collected and checked for actual eggs and parasites themselves.  Yes, it is true.  The test is not very sensitive.  But it’s what we have.  There may be too few parasites to detect.  Even if you have them.  That’s why we run three samples–to try to catch those “suckers.”

As doctors, it’s what we’re trained to order!  I guess Metametrix (and other labs) offers different tests–ones maybe not so medically accepted.  I checked them out a few months ago.  It was mind-boggling.  It was going to take more research time than I had to explore all the different tests.  Which one to order?  Were they really reliable?  Just because they found “something” in my stool, was it really indicative of a pathological problem leading to my constipation?  I couldn’t decide if these stool tests were really providing “sound” medicine or if they were a scam.  Typical doctor attitude.  Wary of anything different and not mainstream.  So I passed at that time.  Several months later and lots of things tried later–I was willing to give them a second look.

My dear husband curb-sided a good general surgeon here in town about my constipation while they were both between cases at the hospital.  A “curb-side consult” is a medical doctor term for when we pick your brain about a patient when we see each other out and about.  As we have no gastroenterologist in this small town, the general surgeons do the colonoscopies here.  This surgeon said they see about five slow transit constipation patients a week.  They can get most better.  He proceeded to talk about the neurological deficits in slow transit constipation and how fiber is no help.  He sounded like a good place to start here in town, and Brandon knew he was a good surgeon.  So I got my appointment with him.

The night before my appointment, Brandon (my husband and an orthopedic surgeon)  and I lay on the sofa talking about my impending appointment.  If we thought I’d get anywhere.  What I wanted to accomplish.  I told him I wanted Dr. L to order a Metametrix stool test.

“A Meta-what?”  he asked.

“A Metametrix stool test.  It looks for bacterial overgrowths.  Candida.  Parasites,” I said.

“Oh.  Do parasites cause constipation?”

“Sure.  I guess they can.  It’s atypical, though,” I answered.

“Huh,” he said.

Like any good patient, I had my list ready for Dr. L when I went.  I wanted a colonoscopy, a TSH, and  Metametrix 2100 stool study.  He told me I absolutely needed a colonoscopy.  It had been too long messing around with this.  He thought I’d be surprised at the number of atypical cases of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis he’d seen.  And a TSH.  Yes.  And he added on his own choice of a calcium level to check my parathyroids since I’d had kidney stones.  “And will you order me a Metametrix 2105 stool study?” I asked. “Sure……[long pause] what is it?” he asked.

Sure.  What is it.  I was medical doctor number one who had no clue about this.  My husband was medical doctor number two.  And here was medical doctor number three.  Sure.  What is it.  Now, I know there absolutely have to be medical doctors who order this.  But the ones I know don’t.  So it’s certainly not common.  I gave him the same answer I gave to Brandon.  He wrote “Metametrix 2100” at the bottom of the laboratory order slip.  I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t going to get anywhere with that lab slip.  And I didn’t .  I took it to the lab, and I heard the lab assistant calling back to the surgeon’s office to see what it was.  I jumped up and told her what I knew as the doctor’s office had not a clue.    I was a little embarassed that I was even asking for this test.  Voodoo, as I like to say.  At this point, I had a suspicion that if I wanted this test, I’d either have to go see a naturopath or order it myself.

Luckily, my suspicion ended up being wrong.

I went home.  Relooked at the Metametrix site.  And I ordered the test myself, but nothing has to be paid until the specimen is sent back in.

I could have called back to the surgeon’s office and explained to them that they had to go the Metametrix website, scroll through to find the test I wanted, and fill out an application to become a clinical provider of the test.  They would have done it for me.  But, uh-uh.  No way was I doing that.  I have been a working medical doctor.  An over-worked, busy-as-heck, cant’-see-through-all-the paperwork medical doctor.  And I didn’t want to be the problem patient who puts a wrench in the whole day.  Especially when I didn’t even really know what this test really was and if it was really even good at all.  So the test is on its way to my house.  I’ll send that one back, I guess, though.  Because the next day, the office nurse called me and told me the lab had figured out what the test was and had ordered it.

Traditional medicine came through!  Yee-haw!  Go, team!  Go, team!  We’re not as backwards as they say we are!

So my Metametrix stool test is on its way to the hospital lab where I got my other tests done.  It will be a fun experiment to submit the test and see the results.  And analyze them.  See if any results correlate with symptoms.  Is it a parasite?  Oooooh.  Is it candida?  Aaaaaah.  Maybe, I don’t have any gut dysbiosis!  Umm–no.  Not possible.

Now, what is it? What is a Metametrix stool test?   It is a stool test that uses DNA to detect bacteria, yeast, and parasites rather than actually looking for the organism itself or trying to culture it out.  This may sound like a very good thing.  And it indeed, it can be.  But the question is, just because the organism is there, does that really make it pathological?  No.  It doesn’t.  Most likely I have MRSA on my skin from working in the hospital for years.  But it’s not pathological at this point.  I’m not going to test for it.  I’m not going to try to eradicate it.  I may have candida in my gut, but how much is pathological?  And the answer will be variable for each individual.   I think that’s where a good clinician comes in, trying to tie together tests and the patient who is sitting in front of them.

I guess after my tests come back, I’ll have more to say and more areas to scrutinize.

Here is the Metametrix site:

http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/gastrointestinal-function/dna-stool-analysis-gi-effects

Here are some comments regarding Metametrix that I found, trying to figure out the validity of this test.  I could not find much.  I do not agree or disagree with the following posts.  I don’t have a clue who the people are who wrote them, so don’t criticize me for putting the page here.  I just read them and found it interesting to compare their views.  I am putting them here so you may look at them if you want to.  The slam on Metametrix doesn’t really seem to lie too much with their stool studies.  It seems to come with some of their other, perhaps more questionable, tests.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/urine_toxic.html

http://forums.owndoc.com/candida/lufenuron-and-gut-parasites/

http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/are-metametrix-tests-valid-are-the-treatment-suggestions-useful.18575/

Would love to hear of any reader’s experience with Metametrix and how it played into their treatment program.

Terri

Further Metametrix posts:

More on My Metametrix GI Function Profile Test
Muddling Through Page One
Beginning Page Two

21 thoughts on “How Many Medical Doctors Does It Take To Order A Metametrix Stool Test?

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Not yet. I just got the results back last week. Now I’m sorting through them. I will be posting about them hopefully not too long from now! As the MD who ordered the tests just ordered it to appease me, he is kindly leaving the interpretation to me. Which is totally understandable!

      Reply
  1. Elizabeth Moriarty

    You have me hanging by a thread. Didn’t you order these tests in October? Why so long for the turnaround? Please, give us all the details of your results with both conventional medicine and Metametrix.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Oh! And I didn’t submit the test until a couple of months ago! I got them back about a month ago, and it is taking me through biochemistry, microbiology, statistics, and pathology to review them! Thanks for pushing me along!

      Reply
  2. T

    any update? 🙂 I just went to someone who has recommended the metamatrix stool test for me. He says he has gotten quite good at evaluating the results (and has found the test very useful for helping his patients). I could pass along his info if you want to confer with someone else for help.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment and offer! I did finally get the results, and I’ve posted up until yeasts and parasites–complicated subjects, I think! Luckily, no parasites on my test and only very low yeast. However, I did have some gluten sensitivity. GI-wise I’m functioning much better using mostly dietary changes! I think this test certainly has a role, and I’m curious if you think it has/or will have an effect in your outcome!

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I’ve worked for Metametrix now Genova Diagnostic for over 2 years. The tests are scams, the science is far from sound and worse yet the technicians have no idea what they’re doing and often corrupt any validity the tests may have originally had. The SOP’s don’t even follow the scientific method. You’d have a better shot at flipping a coin and guessing what you have.

    Reply
      1. Joe kosh

        He is full of it. I’ve seen metametrx diagnose serious parasites regular o and p tests could not. The regular tests are useless.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Since they use DNA probing to detect them, Metametrix does a way better job at picking up ova and parasites compared to the typical tests. You are right. However, as far as cost goes and screening, the typical tests are a great place to start.

  4. John H

    Homeschoolingdoctor – what have you learned now 2 years later about Genova as I’m considering getting a cardiac panel done for hypertension root cause diagnostics?

    Reply
      1. Veronica

        I’m a patient being treated for Lyme, and my doctor urged me to read Dr. Richard Horowitz’s book, WHY CAN’T I GET BETTER? (2013) In it, Horowitz mentions Metametrix several times while discussing case histories that led to protocols for dealing with tick-borne infections and various overlapping symptoms (the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferei produces symptoms which mimic those of other diseases). Have you read this (I think, excellent) book?

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Hi Veronica! Thanks for the comment. I have not read that book, and I love to read all books I can about this kind of stuff. I just added it to my Amazon cart! I’ll go through it. I hope you are recovering from your chronic illness and soon will be with good energy and no aches and pains. Thanks for the book rec.

        Terri

  5. Nancy

    Terri, I had the DNA stool test done about 4 years ago. I had high mold counts in my body. My functional medicine doctor/chiropractor told me to have my house searched for mold. Sure enough we found black mold growing behind the baseboard and into the walls of our basement bathroom. Toilet had a slow leak and it was going under the floating laminate flooring. I would have never suspected it as there was no visual signs. I’m thankful I did the test. Also I have a naturopath doctor who does live blood cell analysis and can find parasite eggs among other things. It’s absolutely amazing and nothing that conventional doctors are taught to use. I did have parasites (as do most Americans especially those who work outside, have pets or livestock or who eat foods grown in other countries.) I think we could talk for a long, long time.
    By the way I’m trying to look over your articles so I can properly answer your question as to what has helped me that you haven’t covered. I will try to do that when I get spare moments.
    Love, Nancy

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Nancy, I’m so glad you’re feeling better. I just start getting uptight when I think of how expensive all of this is. I guess health is worth money, for sure. But, for example I’m reading a book I really like now by a Lymes specialist (Horowitz). The tests he recommends I know cost about $200 a pop. I start counting the ones that a patient may need and I’m like, “$200, $400, $600…” I start getting fidgety. It starts getting to be so much money! So as a conventional medical doctor (albeit now a stay-at-home mom) who has gained better health from “alternative medicine,” I am very interested in knowing what aspects of alternative medicine are truly reliable. I like researching that.

      Reply
      1. Nancy

        Terri, I think it is wise that you research what has come to be known as alternative medicine. It truly is the direction health care needs to go. I think you will be of great use to others in their path of healing. Iatrogenic instances are becoming so common I believe it’s now the 3rd cause of death in America; you were wise to move from that model. God designed our bodies to heal themselves given the proper rest and “fuel”; doctors would do well to learn that.

        People need to get out of the mindset that unless insurance covers the test or procedure they can’t afford it and that it’s too expensive to eat healthy, after all what you eat doesn’t change your health. Ugh. No wonder Americans are so sick. Each test we take is a piece of the puzzle to our health. I am happy to have the options and will thankfully pay for them myself. You know health is worth every bit of it! Keep joyfully plugging away!

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Yes, I think integration would be “fantabulous!” On the other hand, I worked as a hospitalist for several years, and I cared for some of the sickest of the sick in the hospital. What our medicines and procedures can do for severely ill patients is a gift also.

        Most patients are not simply willing or capable to do what it takes to turn their health around (I’m sure anyone reading this may want to spear me for that, but it’s my experience. Honest. But, if you remember, I still don’t have my Gaps Guide back. 🙂 ). I’ve seen it time and time again in my own loved ones—sometimes even in myself. But, there are some who do seek, and when they do, they are tossed off by conventional medicine and told it’s in their heads or that changing diet won’t help. That is disappointing.

        I’d like people to start with diet and a change in stress perception. For some, that may be enough without any testing. And I’ll keep reading about forms of testing. I believe there’s a reason for all things. As far as Metametrix, since that’s what this post is about, I think it could be a beneficial test for people with GI complaints that won’t budge, to pick up on excessive yeasts and parasites.

        I’m off to bed. Good night, Nancy! Thanks for your role in keeping me motivated!—Terri

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