Functional Medicine & Wellness

Important Gut Health Markers: Part I

At Omnia Health, we believe in sharing our wealth of health knowledge. Helping others to feel their best is what motivates us every day. One of the ways we are able to fulfill that mission is by utilizing important gut health markers for the majority of our patients. 

The two main factors we take into account are stool pancreatic elastase (yes, we test stool) and steatocrit. These variables are directly related to the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. As we discuss these gut health markers in more detail, please try to absorb all the relevant information. 

Pancreatic elastase focuses on a person’s exocrine pancreatic function. In other words, how is your pancreas secreting all of those great digestive enzymes? The idea is to confirm your body is successfully absorbing all of those healthy proteins and carbohydrates you are consuming. 

 

Pancreatic elastase concentrations from 100-200 mcg/g are suggestive for moderate exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Source: mayocliniclabs.com

If your levels turn out to be good (you want to aim for pancreatic elastase concentrations above 200 mcg/g), that’s fantastic! However, it is common to see this health marker decrease — especially as we age. Symptoms of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency include:

  • Abdominal pain, gas and bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatty stools 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Failure to thrive in infants and children

 

As you can see, many of the symptoms listed above are what most people would deem Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This makes it all the more important to test specific markers in order to narrow down the actual cause. Another valuable gut health marker is steatocrit. 

The Functionality Of Fat Absorption

Steatocrit levels tell us about fat absorption. Upon examining the amount of fat in your stool, an elevated level can be a sign that your gallbladder and liver are not functioning properly. This can be the reason certain people have chronically low levels of important nutrients such vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.

Once we are able to determine the fat absorption and digestive enzymes are not doing their job, we can come up with an actionable plan to fix things. It’s time to stop imagining what life would be like without chronic gut health symptoms and to start actually living that life of optimum health. 

We have so much knowledge and support to offer. You can always follow us on Instagram or Facebook {omniahealthcolorado} or join our newsletter to learn more about the power of functional medicine and wellness. The time to invest in your health is now. 

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