Greetings. New Zealand naturopath, Eric Bakker. I’m the author of Candida Crusher and formulator of the Canxida range of dietary supplements. Today, we’re going to talk about the inflammatory markers and comprehensive stool testing.
When you do a comprehensive stool test, there are many different areas that I’m interested in looking at when the report is completed. One panel is the culture of beneficial bacteria or you can also look at what we call the commensals or bacteria that could be in transition from good to bad. And we can also look at the dysbiotic or the bad bacteria. We also look at parasites. We look at a whole lot of different things, which we’re going to go over in other videos.
One thing that we also look at are what we call “inflammatory markers.” And these are particularly important if you’ve got a chronic condition. Particularly, if you’ve got conditions like weakness, tiredness, maybe blood loss, diarrhea, watery stools, been sick for a long time and they can’t work out what’s wrong with you. Especially, if you’ve got anemia. You may have lost a bit of blood or you could’ve had a blood showing some signs of low ferritin counts or low iron counts. You may have an inflammatory bowel condition. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve actually diagnosed inflammatory bowel from a stool test. Sent the patient off for a colonoscopy and that’s what we found. We found ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. That hasn’t happened once and it hasn’t happened twice. It’s happened many, many times over the past 20 years that I’ve actually done stool testing.
There’s a couple of markers here we’re going to talk about. I’ll just read a little bit out of my book, Candida Crusher. Inflammation in the digestive system can significantly increase your chances of intestinal permeability, indicating an underlying leaky gut and compromising your ability to absorb nutrients. The extent of this inflammation whether caused by bad bacteria or Candida yeast or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be assessed and monitored by examination of the levels of biomarkers such as lysozyme, Lactoferrin, white blood cells and mucous.
These markers can be used to differentiate between inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease or colitis, we call it inflammatory bowel disease. And less severe inflammation we call IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome can be associated with yeasts and bacteria, but so can inflammatory bowel disease. What differentiates one from the other, the more severe inflammation from the less severe inflammation? And these particular markers we’re going to talk about now.
There are two markers. One called Lactoferrin and one called calprotectin are basically products associated with white blood cells. So when we see an elevation in these markers, we know that there are more severe forms of inflammation going on. And the higher these markers are, the more severe the inflammation, and the more likelihood that I’m going to recommend you go for a colonoscopy, to a gastroenterologist, to distinguish if you’ve got IBD or IBS.
Lactoferrin has got to do with iron, this particular kind of a marker. It’s actually likes iron and will bind to iron. Lactoferrin is found a lot in breast milk. It’s also found in mucous. You’ll find it in different secretions of the body and in the blood, but it’s actually very important to stop viruses and bacteria from attacking our body. Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-cancer, anti-allergenic, so it’s a very important substance to have in the body.
Colostrum, the mother’s milk, contains eight times more Lactoferrin than standard milk, so it’s very important to have this marker in your body. And, in fact, breast milk has a higher chance of reducing yeast infections because Lactoferrin helps to count Candida and it’s associated also with eradicating helicobacter pylori infections and yeast infections from the body. This is why I really encourage breast feeding for babies to stop bacterial and yeast infections. Very elevated markers in the stool can indicate a significant immune dysfunction that requires further examination.
Calprotectin is a protein found in white blood cells called neutrophils, which make up three quarters of a white blood cell. Some stool testing labs use calprotectin as their main anti-inflammatory marker and some experts consider calprotectin to be the gold standard measurement in the test for inflammation. The main disease that cause an increased excretion of fecal calprotectin are Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and bowel cancer. Levels of fecal calprotectin and lysozyme will be found to be normal in patients with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome or just very slightly above normal. It’s important to get your inflammation checked if you’ve been sick for some time to determine how severe the inflammation is. And then maybe what further testing will be required.
Lysozyme is different. It’s an enzyme and it’s a protein enzyme. It’s found in tears, saliva, and mucous. It’s a very, very interesting marker because if you’ve got a big elevation of this, it can often mean a bacterial infection and that’s something I often look for. And we often see elevate lysozyme in conjunction with low beneficial bacteria. This is one of the best inflammatory markers for inflammatory bowel disease.
You can imagine now if you’ve got all three of these markers elevated and we’ve got low beneficial bacteria and we’ve got Candida. If you’ve got a significant elevation, I recommend you go straight off for a colonoscopy. And in many cases, the diagnosis will come back as either borderline inflammatory bowel disease or you’ve got inflammatory bowel disease. These are, again, reasons why I like doing stool testing.
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