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Testing for IC Root Causes

The following is a summary of various scientific tests that can help reveal root causes and guide you on a healing plan specific to your unique situation. We're all different so what works for one person may not work for another. 

Same as sample that is collected and sent to lab for culture over 2-3 days but

lab report will show all levels of possible bacteria, even low Colony Forming Units (CFUs).

Best to do a first or second morning urine sample so that urine is more concentrated.

LabCorp has this option. Code is: 8086 Urine Culture, Comprehensive 

 

We recommend to request this enhanced reporting of the same test to show all levels of found bacteria.  Without this add-on request, the report will likely only show bacteria with high concentration, as measured by colony forming units (CFUs).  That is, only bacteria with above a certain threshold will be deemed infection level.  Ideally you would want the full report so you can work with your doctor if symptoms persist and low level of bacteria CFUs are found.

Most labs use a standard of a measure of bacteria greater than 100,000 colony forming units (CFU)/mL to indicate an infection.  It is possible that lower CFUs may indicate an infection, especially if symptoms persist. We recommend discussing the findings with your doctor.

Comprehensive Urine Culture

Aperiomics

This test uses sequencing and genomic analysis approaches, which can identify any known pathogen. They compare the complete genetic fingerprint of a sample to a database of more than 32k+ microbes/pathogens, the largest database of its kind in the world. This testing can possibly identify bio-film infections. 

 

Watch out for our upcoming blog about this test! In the meantime, here's a link for more information about Aperiomics (link).

MicroGenDx

Use of DNA sequencing to detect pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, candida, and others at the molecular level that standard urine cultures may have missed. This testing can possibly identify bio-film infections (link).

 

These tests are becoming more readily available and can be ordered by your doctor.

Next Generation DNA Sequencing

Additional testing to identify possible imbalances include (but are not limited to):

Pelvic Ultrasound
This non-invasive test can be helpful to see if there are any other possible causes for your symptoms, such as ovarian cysts or fibroids.

Post-Void Residual Urine Test
This test checks to see if you are retaining any urine. Can be done at the same time as pelvic ultrasound.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD): a trained Physical Therapist can help tremendously if symptoms are caused by PFD.

 

Full Blood Work including: CBC, Kidney Function, ANA, and HNK1 CD57.

Thyroid: there is a direct connection between the thyroid and bladder.

Hormones: for example, low estrogen is known to cause bladder issues. Dutch Dry Urine test is a good option to determine any imbalance (link).

Vitamin deficiencies: Vitamin D3 being a common factor with bladder health and immunity.

Lyme Disease and Co-Infections: These pathogens commonly cause bladder issues.

Gene mutations such as MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase -- don't worry we can't pronounce it either). It's important to test for MTHFR a1298c and c677t gene mutations since many people with bladder issues have this gene mutation, so it's good to know if this needs to be addressed.

 

Please note if taking a B12 vitamin please ensure it is the Methylated form, "Methylcobalamin" and not the synthetic form, "Cyanocobalamin." The cyanocobalamin version of B12 is made from cyanide, which is not ideal and for those with MTHFR gene mutations. Watch out for a blog on the MTHFR / bladder connection!

Systemic issues such as Candida: Natural cleanses and practitioner-led protocols can help the body recover.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): Genova has a popular test that can be discussed with your doctor (link).

Interference Fields / Previous Surgeries or Injuries: Scar tissue or injury can affect the meridians and blood flow to certain areas of the body so it's helpful to get these checked. Mud packing can help clear these interference fields to promote healing and strengthen the area. A C-Section is a good example of a surgery that affects circulation and can be addressed. Also, any injury to the spine can directly affect the bladder. 

Comprehensive Stool Analysis:  Tests such as Doctor's Data (link) or Genova Diagnostics (link) can be ordered by your doctor to detect imbalances, possible pathogens and parasites . For example, low elastase levels (enzyme produced by special tissue in the pancreas) can contribute to painful symptoms as well as Yeast and/or bacterial imbalances. Make sure analysis report includes a list of herbs/supplements and medicine that any found pathogens are susceptible to. Blog on this coming soon!

Additional Testing 

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