GI Stool Profiles Test Prep

GI Effects®, Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, and Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis 2.0


Thank you for choosing Genova Diagnostics for your gastrointestinal evaluation. We provide written instructions, videos and additional online resources to help prepare and collect for the test. Below you can watch the videos for the one- and three-day stool collections, as well as access patient and clinician preparation to consider prior to collection.


Step-by-Step Collection Instructions

These videos demonstrate preparing for and collecting a stool sample for the GI Effects, Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, and Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis 2.0 Profiles.

Both the 1- and 3-day collection instructions are provided.

Additional specimen collection instructions are also provided below for your convenience.

Important Prep Before Taking the Test

Certain medications, supplements, and/or foods may impact test results. Please note that the reference ranges were established based on patients who were taking no medications or supplements. In some instances it is unknown what potential impact a medication may have on test results.

Please consult with your healthcare provider before stopping any prescription or over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements. Genova never recommends that patients discontinue medically necessary medications or supplements in order to complete testing.

There may be times when your healthcare provider prefers that you stay on a medication or dietary supplement during testing in order to evaluate its effectiveness

Register your test

Register your test online at gdx.net/register. If you have questions about how to register your test, review this instructional video.

Use a calendar to plan for sample collection

Do not collect samples while experiencing active bleeding from hemorrhoids or menstruation.

If you are completing the 1-Day test: Make sure you can ship your specimens within 24-hours. Only ship Monday thru Friday and take note of any U.S. holidays that may impact your shipment.

If you are completing the 3-Day test: It is okay if the samples are not collected on consecutive days. However, the samples must be shipped within 7 days of the first collection and within 24-hours of the final collection. Only ship Monday thru Friday and take note of any U.S. holidays that may impact your shipment.

4 weeks before the test

Wait at least 4 weeks from colonoscopy or barium enema before beginning the test.

2-4 weeks before the test

If taking antibiotics, antiparasitics, antifungals, or probiotic supplements (acidophilus, etc.), it is recommended that you wait a minimum of 14 days after your last dose before beginning the test; 28 days may be preferred after antibiotics have been utilized.

14 days before the test

For H. pylori add-on testing, discontinuation of PPIs, antibiotics, and bismuth for 14 days is recommended.

2 days before the test

The following substances should be discontinued 2 days prior unless directed otherwise by your physician: aspirin and other NSAIDs (i.e. ibuprofen), rectal suppositories, enemas, activated charcoal, bismuth, betaine HCl, digestive enzymes, antacids, laxatives, mineral oil, castor oil, and bentonite clay.

Day 1 of the test

If you are completing the 1-Day test: Follow the collection instructions and place samples in the GREEN-TOP, ORANGE-TOP, PINK-TOP, and CLEAR-TOP TUBES. Perform the swab collection and place in the SWAB TUBE. Refrigerate until ready to ship.

If you are completing the 3-Day test: Follow the collection instructions and place sample in (1) GREEN-TOP TUBE only. Refrigerate until ready to ship.

Day 2 of the test

If you are completing the 3-Day test: Follow the collection instructions and place sample in (1) GREEN-TOP TUBE only. Refrigerate until ready to ship.

Day 3 of the test

If you are completing the 3-Day test: Follow the collection instructions and place samples in each of the remaining GREEN-TOP, ORANGE-TOP, PINK-TOP, and WHITE-TOP TUBES. Perform the swab collection and place in the SWAB TUBE. Refrigerate until ready to ship.

Within 24-hours of final collection

Follow the collection instructions and ship samples Monday thru Friday only.

Scroll to Top for Patient Instructions

Important Prep Before Patient Takes Test

Certain medications, supplements, and/or foods may impact test results. Please note that the reference ranges were established based on patients who were taking no medications or supplements. In some instances it is unknown what potential impact a medication may have on test results.

Genova never recommends that patients discontinue medically necessary medications or supplements in order to complete testing.

There may be times when a patient may stay on a medication or dietary supplement during testing in order to evaluate its effectiveness. The recommendation to discontinue any substance is intended to establish a baseline finding. Below you will find a list detailing the potential interference or influence of certain substances on the biomarkers.

Collection Pack Instruction Recommended Timeframe to Discontinue Possible Biomarker(s) Impacted
Anti-inflammatory and immune modulating medications
Aspirin and NSAIDs (i.e. ibuprofen, etc.)

2 days May influence inflammation/immune biomarkers (EPX, calprotectin, sIgA)
Steroid (i.e. prednisone, etc.) No recommendation to discontinue
Autoimmune medications (i.e. Humira, etc.)
Digestive tract medications and supplements
Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) 2-4 weeks May influence the beneficial bacteria levels on culture, as well as metabolic markers; the presence of beneficial bacteria may alter the levels of other bacteria, yeast and parasites
Antacids (i.e. proton-pump inhibitors) 2-14 days (if ordering the H. pylori add-on, 14 days is recommended) May result in false negative H. pylori if PPI not discontinued for 14 days (H2 blockers do not interfere); additionally, acid-blocking medications may influence levels of the digestion and absorption markers; PPIs may clear the body relatively quickly, however the antacid effect may linger 3-5 days
Bismuth 2 days; if ordering the H. pylori add-on, 14 days is recommended May result in false negative H. pylori if bismuth not discontinued for 14 days; may affect other bacterial levels
Antacids (i.e. Tums, Rolaids, H2 blockers) 2 days Acid-blocking medication may influence levels of the digestion and absorption markers
Bentonite clay Bentonite clay affects bacteria and parasites that may be identified through microscopic examination and culture growth; this substance is a direct interferent and may result in inaccurate findings
Betaine HCl Hydrochloric acid is intended to improve digestion; therefore, markers of digestion and absorption may be influenced
Digestive enzymes Enzymes are intended to improve digestion; therefore, markers of digestion and absorption may be influenced
Laxatives Laxatives are intended to alter transit time; if laxative use results in normalized transit, there may be no effect on biomarkers. However if transit time is rapid, the markers of digestion and absorption may be influenced
Mineral oil, castor oil
Activated charcoal Activated charcoal can make identification of organisms seen in culture and microscopic examination more difficult; this substance is a direct interferent and may result in inaccurate findings
Rectal suppositories, enemas These agents can alter the density of stool samples resulting in inaccurate biomarker findings
Please note that a period of 4 weeks between a colonoscopy or barium enema and stool testing is recommended. It has been observed that 4 weeks is sufficient time for most patients to resume their previous level of gut function, including the elimination of all traces of barium, dietary/digestive normalization, and re-generation of microflora populations.
Antimicrobial Agents
Antibiotics 14 days
(28 days may be preferred after antibiotics)
May influence levels of bacteria, yeast and parasites, as well as metabolic markers; may result in false negative H. pylori if antibiotic not discontinued for 14 days
Antifungals
Antiparasitics

Illness

We do not suggest collecting during an acute gastrointestinal infectious illness.

Pediatric Patients

We do not generally recommend stool testing in children under the age of two as they are still establishing their gut flora which can impact numerous findings on the test. Inflammatory markers, such as calprotectin and lactoferrin, can also be skewed in younger children, especially if they are still breastfeeding. Reference ranges for many of the markers have not been established for this population.

Genova will not accept add-on testing for Clostridium difficile in individuals less than 2 years old based on recent research indicating non-pathogenic colonization in this age group.1

Fecal Occult Blood Testing

If the patient has a bleeding hemorrhoid(s) or is menstruating, it may interfere with the fecal occult blood test. It is preferred that the patient collect samples when there is not active bleeding.

Colectomy and Colostomy

Genova's stool profiles and reference ranges were not designed with this patient population taken into account. Test results and applicability for a patient who has had a complete or partial colectomy is unknown. Removal of the colon would be expected to impact the microbiome portion of the test, as the colon is the site where the majority of the bacteria reside. The metabolic by-products made by these bacteria may also be impacted. However, there may be clinical value in some of the other biomarkers on the test regarding inflammation and digestion/absorption. It would also be useful to see if there are any pathogenic or potentially pathogenic organisms present.

References
  1. D'Ostroph A, So T. Treatment of pediatric Clostridium difficile infection: a review on treatment efficacy and economic value. Infect Drug Resist. 2017;10:365-375.