Gastrointestinal Microbial Assay Plus (GI-MAP™) is a test to determine what microbes are in a patient stool sample, and in what quantities. It works by repeatedly copying any DNA in the sample and then analyzing what and how much DNA it finds. It is able to find germs in amounts as low as one cell per 10 grams. It is also very good at finding parasites, which is very important because it is estimated that up to one in four adults live with a parasite such as H. Pylori. Many are unaware of it.
A medical practitioner can spot problems in a patient’s gut flora with this test. For example, certain organisms which are common in healthy individuals, such as Candida, can cause health problems if they are in excess. This is a condition known as dysbiosis. Candida in particular can cause many chronic issues, such as fatigue, lethargy, rashes, joint pains, constipation, and diarrhea, among others.
The GI-MAP also measures certain non-microbial factors. It measures levels of certain immune system and digestive proteins which are considered to be especially good signs of digestive function and gastrointestinal health. Too much or too little of these proteins can be a sign of a range of gut issues, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky Gut Syndrome is an especially important part of the test, as it is common but poorly understood by modern medicine. It is a problem with the lining of the intestines which lets germs and undigested food into the bloodstream and can cause bloating, gas, cramps, and food sensitivities.