Are Unreliable Lab Tests Stealing Your Money?

by Jordan Reasoner

lab-company-stolen-money

Have you ever felt betrayed by the health community?

We’ve worked with a lot of betrayed clients in our 1-on-1 private consulting program

These are clients who spent thousands of dollars on tests… desperate to figure out what’s going on with their health. These were tests that turned out to be completely unreliable and useless.

So, today we’re gettin’ serious and sharing the only labs we use right now so you can save money and avoid using unreliable test results to make critical decisions about your health…

The Problem with Testing in the Alternative Health World

Recently, I wrote about wasting money on the wrong medical tests, which is frustrating in and of itself. There are literally thousands of medical tests out there… and depending on who you see, they’ll likely recommend different ones. So, how can you make sense of all these recommendations and know where to spend your hard-earned money?

We like the methodology Chris Kresser follows for deciding whether or not a test is worth ordering. He likes to ask, “Would the results of this test change the treatment protocol?” 

I like the approach because it instantly rules out unnecessary testing. If you spend money on a test that doesn’t’ give you enough info to change your treatment plan… it’s basically wasting your time.

Now, I want you to imagine spending $1,000’s on the “right tests” that will likely change your treatment plan.

Imagine you’ve got the “right information” in your hands and you’re working with someone that “gets it.”

And when the test results come back in you start a therapeutic program based on what you found.

But imagine you don’t get better… and it just doesn’t make sense.

In fact, imagine you start to get worse. What could possibly be going on?

The truth is: many test results are unreliable.

Knowing which tests to order is important, but once you have a good idea where to spend your money, choosing the wrong lab will still waste a substantial amount of money.

And the worst part is… you may never get the therapeutic treatment you need if your whole plan is based on false results. That’s the betrayal I’m talking about today.

That’s what we’re seeing with some of our private clients. But let me start by sharing an example of when I felt betrayed by an unreliable test result.

Betrayed By Unreliable Saliva Hormone Results

A while back, I was exhausted. My energy was low. It was hard to get out of bed. I couldn’t work out. I wasn’t sleeping well. And I knew something was up with my hormones.

I spent $273 on “the right” saliva hormone panel. It was the first time I was testing my hormones and I was excited about exploring this new area of my health that was probably broken for a long time.

So, when the test results came in I was confused. Everything was normal. Granted, it was on the low end of normal, but there was no obvious Adrenal Fatigue. The cortisol rhythm was good and total cortisol was good.

Here’s a screenshot:

Jordan-Hormone-Panel-1

 

But it just didn’t add up. These results didn’t jive with how I was feeling.

Next up, I ordered a new saliva hormone panel from BioHealth labs, which our trusted practitioner friends confided was the most reliable.

The results?

Stage 3 adrenal fatigue… here’s a screenshot:

Jordan-Hormone-Panel-2

These results finally lined up with how I was actually feeling.

And we used these results to treat my adrenal fatigue… which transformed how I felt. It was like having a whole new body!

In doing our research, BioHealth labs is the trusted lab we use with our clients for Saliva Hormone Panels. It’s also the lab of choice among our trusted circle of mentors and practitioners.

Why are they more reliable?

I can’t speak officially, but our insider info suggests other labs use serum (blood) hormone test kits and modify them for saliva, therefore creating the unreliability in the results. Things may change if something happens with ownership or company direction, but for right now, we use BioHealth for saliva testing with all our clients.

Betrayed By Unreliable Stool Test Results

Most of our clients have digestive problems, so the majority of people working with us have spent $100’s on stool testing in the past.

They come to us saying, “I’ve already been tested for gut infections and they didn’t find anything.”

For example, one of our clients, which I’ll keep anonymous and call her June, had stool tests in the past and nothing turned up. She is an incredible woman working hard to take control of her health and it’s been incredible working with her on this journey.

I had this conversation with her about stool testing betrayal… about how most conventional stool tests are unreliable. They may find some infections, but it’s just not enough for what we’re dealing with.

Don’t get me wrong, stool testing is notoriously hard. So, I explained to her how we do stool testing with our clients…

We use two different GI stool testing technologies to gather the most reliable information we can.

First, we order the #401H from BioHealth. This is a stool culture test. The test uses 3 stool samples, one each day for three days, and cultures the samples in a lab to see what grows.

Next, we always order a 2nd test along with it and that would be the Doctor’s Data Parasitology x3. This is also a growth-based culture, the standard of practice in clinical microbiology. It also uses sensitive biochemical assays and microscopy, and thoroughly evaluates the status of beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms including aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, yeast and parasites.

Together, this 1-2 punch of testing is the most reliable solution we know of right now. It’s also being used among our circle of friends and health practitioner mentors.

Rewind back to our case study June. Her symptoms suggested she likely had a GI infection, so she went forward with the testing we normally recommend. Here’s her #2105 from Metametrix (no longer recommended), which showed positive for H. pylori and Endolimax nana:

Example-2105-Stool-Results

 

And here’s the #401H, which showed positive for a Cryptosporidium infection:

Example-401H-Stool-Results

 

You’ll notice these tests were done at the same time and showed very different results. They each found different species that were infecting June, even with clean test results in the past. She’s now in the process of taking care of these 3 infections, but imagine if she only ordered one of these tests. It would have only been half the picture.

Both of these tests are from very reliable lab companies using very reliable GI stool testing technology, but done independently would have missed some critical information for a treatment program.

How to Avoid Test Result Betrayal

The best way to avoid wasting money on unreliable test results is to work with a skilled practitioner who knows which lab companies can be trusted right now.

Right now is the keyword there… companies are always changing and we have to be aware of our options when new and more effective methods of testing come out. In fact, this post could likely be outdated in 6 months. (Note: As you can see, we’ve updated to reflect our current recommendations as we’re no longer telling people to order the Metametrix #2105.)

Look, we’ve been there. We’ve wasted money on the WRONG tests and we’ve wasted money on the WRONG labs. It wasn’t until we started working with people that showed us the RIGHT labs to order and the RIGHT companies to use that we finally started to find some health breakthroughs.

If you’d like to work with us to see whether or not these BioHealth or Doctor’s Data tests are right for you, I invite you to sign up for a 1-hour case review to start working with our recommended practitioners 1-on-1. After being betrayed by test results for so many years, we’re so grateful to save you the experience.

–> Book a case review with our recommended practitioners

In good health,

Jordan

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About the author

Jordan Reasoner Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Fites March 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

Dear SCD Lifestyle:

I am a medical doctor (now happily staying home with my kids) sifting through GI issues, particularly severe lifelong constipation. You kindly answered an e-mail awhile back suggesting a few things, which I’ve implemented. Finally, after a runaround at several points, the recommended Metametrix (2100) results are back. Obviously the medical doctor who kindly ordered the test for me sent the results promptly to me, as he admittedly knows nothing about any of this. The ordering of the test was quite comical. Anyway…

I am reading up trying to best interpret my own tests, while also trying to answer validity/sensitivity/specificity/etc questions regarding the test.

I understand (enough) about the collection/analysis of the Metametrix 2100 tests. However, actually finding literature to support its application and utility is difficult.

For example, how does the presence and quantification of bacteria/yeast/parasites actually relate to disease? The estimated CFU is high, does that translate to pathology? Is the test only a snapshot in a brief time? If I repeated it three days later, would it be different? Where can I find who they based their “normal” ranges on? What’s the significance of anti-gliadin antibodies in the stool? And so on and so on.

Finding scientific articles on this has been challenging. I will keep searching. Do you have in your files anything that may reassure me on the utility of these tests? Metametrix has stuff, but I was hoping for other information outside of them. Dr. Fine (is that his name–my kids are now up and pestering me–no time to look) at the other lab which also does fecal DNA testing for similar things has a bit–but again, conflict of interest.

In summary, just looking for information validating the use of the fecal DNA tests for the areas reported on the 2100.

Perfectly understand if you don’t take time to respond to this. But if you do, great. I appreciate your site’s information and your positive encouragement to people.

Sincerely,

Terri Fites

Reply

Steven Wright March 19, 2013 at 11:07 am

@ Teri – all awesome questions, in general these are the types we cover in our personal consults with people. We’d be more than happy to help you and transfer any knowledge we have. In general your bacteria are always changing in your gut base on what you are feeding them with each bite, what environment you are in, and your stress levels.

Each case is different but 95% of the utility of the tests is in finding the gut pathogens. Otherwise all you can really tell from the levels of bacteria is how much dysbiosis is present. That is why we use the 2105.

Reply

maria April 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm

What about Diagnos-Techs, Inc? Is this a reliable testing source? The dr I’m seeing had my saliva test done through this company. Thanks

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ammy September 16, 2013 at 12:23 am

Hi there! I am a Nutritional Therapist and always trying to unravel my own health mysteries. I have had the Biohealth 401H done but am not able to find any info concerning whether or how to treat the “few cyst forms of Endolimax nana” and abundant Escherichia coli. My symptoms involve energy/ motivation, mood and mental clarity problems, and sporadic loose stool. I am gluten intolerant. Perhaps I need to order the Metametrix 2105 to get a fuller picture? Any help appreciated!

Reply

Steven Wright October 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Hey Ammy – In short we would do a treatment plan if we got that kind of lab back for a client. I think you know that I cannot give you the answers you want openly like this. I would love to serve you and help you take care of those issues. Hopefully you’ll join the consulting practice.

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Mimi August 1, 2015 at 12:53 am

Terri’s comments are exactly what’s wrong with the medical community. Exactly why most people do not get help for GI issues from traditional medicine. Really lady! Steven your response was so sweet. Thank you for all you do in helping those of us that have had ZERO answers from traditional medicine. 18 years and counting you’re website has provided me the most help these past 2 years then anything else.

Reply

Susan November 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Hi,

I so wish you had responded about the Diagnos-Techs test. I am Googling for people’s thoughts, and was hoping to hear yours~

Reply

Lori Jo Berg November 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Hi Susan, thank you for reaching out! Which tests are you curious about?

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Susan November 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Hi! Thanks! The Diagnos-Techs expanded GI panel.

Reply

Deidre November 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Hi. I too am looking for information about the Diagnos-Techs screenings.
I am a 70 year old retired prof living in southern California.
Twice, I tested positive for Ascariasis (Roundworm) on their their SIgA (Saliva) test. On my conventional medicine stool test there were no roundworms.
Thanks for your reply!

Reply

Lori Jo Berg November 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Hi Deidre, thank you for reaching out! You can find a complete list of tests here: http://www.directlabs.com/scdlifestyle/OrderTests/tabid/28099/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Reply

Deidre November 11, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Please cancel my request. Thank you.

Reply

Lori Jo Berg November 13, 2014 at 12:06 am
Jodi September 15, 2015 at 2:21 pm

My reputable (ND) practitioner uses diagnos techs as well. I too am searching for info about them, a good sign to see others inquiring..? The lack of response from scd is frustrating. It is disheartening to see all the replies from scd asking for $$$business. I think more business would be obtained providing the information people came here for. Obviously you can’t get personal as this WOULD warrant a consult but general information is fair to expect an answer to. I don’t think Terri was out of line at all, just asking for literature to back up testing…ANYTHING? All These tests are pricey. And the article that brought us here is titled “Are unreliable lab tests stealing your money”? Throw us a bone, not a hook..

Reply

Mariel Heiss September 15, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Hi Jodi – I’m so sorry you’re frustrated.

Steve and Jordan know from personal experience (they spent a ton of money trying to get better) what it’s like to wonder if you’re throwing your money at useless tests/treatments/doctors. Their goal is to share as much information as they can with people, but they refrain from sharing info that is better discussed one-on-one in a consult via comments. We hope you’ll utilize all the information we share via the blog on your journey to better health.

We appreciate you sharing how you feel!

Reply

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