Although he had no clue what it was, and I had barely a clue, at my request my medical doctor ordered the Metametrix 2100 Gastrointestinal Function Profile for me in October or so. Steve and Jordan recommended it (SCD Lifestyle.com), and as my GI issues were not resolved, it seemed like a benign plan. When I took the physician’s order to the local lab, they had no clue what was being ordered. I felt foolish. “Am I buying into too much of this alternative stuff?” I thought. “Well, as I’m a licensed physician I guess I’ll just order the test for myself directly from the company.” I didn’t want to go that route because I try to follow the “correct” routes. Luckily, the doctor’s office called back and said, “The lab can get that test.” I didn’t pick the test kit up from the lab for a few weeks, and then I didn’t “do” the test for another month or so because this was all around the Holidays.
When I finally submitted the test (with collected stool specimen) to my local lab, it was apparently missing an absolutely necessary requisition form, and Metametrix told the lab the form HAD to be submitted with the test–and there was no way Metametrix could fax it to them. Metametrix absolutely would not process the specimen unless they had the requisition either. So after some wild runaround conversations with Metametrix and my laboratory, I figured there was no chance in a million of getting the test results. It has to be processed within a certain time frame of a few days or so.
Metametrix, my lab, and I finally figured out that my lab had not gotten the test kit through Metametrix, but from an outside distributor. The third party distributor needed to receive the test kit, slap the requisition form on it, and submit it to Metametrix. My lab should have realized this, and Metametrix should have been able to explain it better to them instead of just telling them, “You’re not on our list of providers. You don’t have a requistion form. There’s no way we can get you signed up in time for that stool sample to be processed.” End of conversation.
I don’t think I would have been persistent enough to get the test if I did not understand how much my doctor and my lab were walking on uncharted territory. I knew this was not a test typically ordered by mainstream MDs and therefore very confusing for them all. The whole time, my doctor kept deferring questions from the lab to me; he didn’t want to mess with it. This would probably be the last time he ever ordered it. Metametrix kept asking why he wasn’t the provider and telling me how he could sign up to be a provider. It was quite a runaround. I asked Metametrix how they expected to become readily accepted by medical doctors when the ordering process seemed much more complicated.
The point of this story:
- Your medical doctor and lab may have no clue what Metametrix and its labs are. You may get a runaround going through typical means to try to get Metametrix 2100 GI Profile.
- If the lab does give you the kit, realize that the “provider” as recognized by Metametrix may not be your doctor or the lab. It may be a middle man the lab received the test from or outsources to. Or something like that. In fact, my Metametrix lab results have ARUP Laboratories and Sherrie Perkins, MD listed as “ordering physician,” but that is not my doctor or lab!
- Try to make sure the lab knows where the sample needs returned to and who has that requisition form before you collect the specimen. The collected specimen must be in Metametrix’s hands for processing in a narrow time frame. I can’t remember exactly how many, but it’s something like 3-5 days.
- I read you can order the test without a physician’s order, but I don’t know how you go about that. You can read some of those forums on-line where people did that. I’m trying to follow the appropriate avenues.
I will be posting more about the GI Function Profile as it pertains to what I’ve learned and understand. It has required quite a bit of reading to interpret my tests and the significance of them. My doctor just mailed them straight to me, so it’s my ballgame. I’ve got another doctor friend checking with another doctor friend to see what he knows about Metametrix. And I’m taking the result of the immunology section to an immunologist appointment I made. And I’m probably going to end up calling an infectious disease friend about the opportunistic bacteria section of the test. So I’ll be doing some more checking. Once you get the test results, you have to figure out how much store to put in them and what, if anything, to do about them.
The next post should be about the first section of the test, the organism (bacteria, yeast, and parasite) section.
Here are some sites I looked at while reading, in no particular order:
1. What it tests for: http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/gastrointestinal-function/dna-stool-analysis-gi-effects?t=clinicianInfo and
2. From Metametrix, the page describing the test: http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/gastrointestinal-function/dna-stool-analysis-gi-effects
3. Another blog who talks about Metametrix: http://cfspatientadvocate.blogspot.com/2010/02/gut-treatment-including-metametrix-gi.html
4. Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom’s take on these tests…where she shows how her obligate anaerobes should be shifted to the right, I argue, how does a person really know? What is normal? Who are normals based on?: http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2011/03/hello-flora-how-you-doin/
5. An interview with Dr. Lord, PhD, who works for Metametrix. But seems like reasonable honest information. No grossly exaggerated claims: http://media2.podbean.com/pb/e64868505071afc83ee9ed318e2069f1/514a6244/blogs2/57655/uploads/Gifx-FAQs.m4a
6. Metametrix interpretive guide: http://www.metametrix.com/files/test-menu/interpretive-guides/GI-Effects-IG.pdf
7. From SCD Lifestyle’s page (aka Steve and Jordan), discusses tests to consider when you’re feeling bad or GI symptoms not clearing up: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/03/are-unreliable-lab-tests-stealing-your-money/