Functional Medicine Testing And Psoriasis
Comprehensive stool analysis with psoriasis makes a lot of sense. Have you read my book entitled The Psoriasis and Candida Connection yet? You will need to get hold of a copy of The Psoriasis Program if you want to learn all about the connection between psoriasis and candida yeast infection. This is important information, because research has shown that up the three-quarters or more of those with psoriasis have in fact an underlying yeast infection.
The identification of abnormal levels of yeast species, bacteria and parasites in the stool is an important diagnostic step in therapeutic planning for patients in our clinic with chronic gastrointestinal and other symptoms that may be linked with psoriasis. The CDSA test provides me the clinician with a wide array of the most useful clinical information to help me plan my most appropriate treatment protocol that is quite specific to you – the individual patient.
You may be thinking right now, what on earth does a stool test have to do with my psoriasis? Why would I want to do a stool test if my problem is my skin? How can they be linked, wouldn’t I be looking in the wrong area if I have a problem with skin and not my digestive tract? I can tell you this, if you optimize your digestive system, you stand the best chance of beating your psoriasis. A 2001 study1 showed a clear cut link between a candida overgrowth in the digestive system and psoriasis. In fact, over three-quarters of those with psoriasis have a yeast infection.1
Your doctor or skin specialist (dermatologist) may have you thinking that there is nothing wrong with your digestive system, and that treatment should be primarily aimed at your skin and not your digestive system nor diet. Wrong thinking. Your immune system is at fault with psoriasis, which you may well be aware of. The drugs your doctor or skin specialist prescribes are often immune-suppressing drugs. It is worth mentioning that your small intestine has a very high concentration of your immune system in it, in fact, some experts say as high as 60 percent. Does it not make sense to optimize the function of your digestive and immune system? It does to me, and nearly every single chronic psoriasis case will have some kind of digestive problem that needs fixing up. Can you also remember (see The Psoriasis and Candida Connection) that previously I’ve mentioned of the connection between a candida yeast infection and psoriasis, and that many experts have noticed a very definite link between the two? The stool test will give you the answers you are looking for in terms of the health of your digestive system and what you can do to optimize its function.
While this test is not for everybody, it is expensive, but it can help to solve some of the most difficult psoriasis cases by providing me with all the answers I am looking for. The CDSA x 3 with parasitology is the most comprehensive and commonly ordered functional stool test, assessing the widest range of intestinal conditions. This test will provide information on your ability to digest, metabolise, and absorb nutrients, as well as report all bacterial flora (beneficial, imbalanced and disease causing, all yeasts, and all intestinal parasites (worms, eggs, larva, and protozoa).
It is important to analyse both the intestinal digestion/absorption functions as well as the levels of yeast, bacteria, and parasites because symptoms of mal-digestion or mal-absorption often mimic those of chronic bacterial, yeast, or parasitic infections. Additionally, chronic bacterial, yeast, or parasitic infections may have adverse effects on the body’s metabolic and absorptive processes, which can all be assessed using this most comprehensive test.
As you probably aware by now after reading my other books about psoriasis, most patients with psoriasis have an underlying digestive issue, and correct assessment and treatment of these issues is a sure fire way to get your health in top shape. Most patients I have seen over the years that have psoriasis, come into my clinic with some kind of digestive symptom which often includes varying degrees of some of these complaints: abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation and/or various forms of digestive irritations.
Yeasts, bacteria and various pathogens such as parasites are not uniformly dispersed throughout the stool, which is a good reason why you should insist on three stool samples, and by only having one sample performed it may lead to undetectable or low levels of yeast for example identified by microscopy, despite a cultured amount of yeast. Conversely, microscopic examination may reveal a significant amount of yeast present, but no yeast cultured. Having three stool samples assayed, and NOT all mixed together and assayed as one sample, something many labs do, you are increasing your chances of yeast detection.
While candida does not always survive transit through the digestive tract rendering it unviable, the microscopic finding of yeast in the stool is helpful in identifying whether there is proliferation of yeast or not. Although some yeast may be normal; yeast observed in higher amounts is considered abnormal.
My Personal Choice Of Testing For Psoriasis Is Functional Stool Testing
Personally I like the CDSA test the best out of all the functional tests because it goes right to the heart of the problem, the digestive system. The CDSA give me the most useful information of all the tests, and here are the main points this test reveals:
- Bacteriology culture
- Yeast culture
- Parasitology microscopy
- Giardia and cryptosporidium assay
- Digestion & absorption markers (elastase, fat stain, muscle & veg. fibres, carbs)
- Inflammatory markers (lysozyme, lactoferrin, white blood cells, mucus)
- Immunology (secretory IgA – sIgA)
- Short chain fatty acids (the end product of bacterial fermentation of beneficial bacteria in the bowel)
- Intestinal health markers (red blood cells, pH, occult blood)
- Macroscopic (visual) appearance
The CDSA test in my opinion is the Rolls Royce of digestive tests, and if you can afford the price tag then you should definitely do this test, no question about it. I have solved an amazing amount of difficult right through to “impossible” psoriasis cases with this test, when all else failed the patient.
- Mycoses. 2001 May;44(3-4):77-81. Incidence of Candida in psoriasis–a study on the fungal flora of psoriatic patients. Waldman A, Gilhar A, Duek L, Berdicevsky I.