Almost two years ago, I went to Vietnam and came back with the worst case of the runs I've ever had.  I waited a week and then when I didn't get any better, I went to the Adventist Hospital.  (For those of you reading outside of Hong Kong, the Adventist Hospital is one of the top private hospital here).

To cut a long story short, the Adventist ran 3 stool tests on me and caught nothing.  My doctor told me to do a colonoscopy and that I most likely had Irritable Bowel Syndrome ("IBS"). 

I knew in my gut (so to speak) that I didn't have IBS and I went to see Miles Price, Chief Functional Medicine Officer at Biorna Quantics.  At the time, he ran a Comprehensive Stool Analysis and lo and behold, we found 3 parasites, a whole host of bad bacteria and yeast issues.

Miles Prices helps us understand why that is.

Q:  Miles, thanks so much taking the time to help us understand our gut health better.  You helped me through that horrible gastro infection and I shudder to think what would have become of me if I had gone down the route of a colonoscopy and potential IBS misdiagnosis. Could you please explain to us in more detail why the stool test I did with you turned up the parasites, bacteria & yeast when the THREE stool tests I ran with the Adventist could not?

The standard tests you do at hospitals do not go in depth at analysing the gut microbiome. We now know that the gut microbiome houses hundreds of species of good and sometimes bad bacteria and to really appreciate accurately what is happening there it’s best to choose a specialised lab which conducts a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis. (CDSA).

The standard hospital stool test usually identifies only 1 or 2 pathogenic species together with occult blood. This really doesn’t serve any use at all from a clinical perspective as we need to explore all aspects of potential pathogenic activity. A CDSA test does analyse nearly all potential pathogens together with good bacterial counts and levels of inflammation, immune activity and digestive function.

Q:  What's amazing is how fast the technology is advancing in this field as well.  That stool test I did with you almost two years ago is no longer the best in class. Can you tell us why Biorna's GI Microbial Assay Plus ("GI MAP") is the most advanced stool test available on the market today?

Biorna's GI-MAP test covers more pathogen identification than any other CDSA test out there. When evaluating the microbiome we need to cast the net as wide as possible to see what is causing the issues. GI -MAP evaluates viral infections which no other lab does and has advanced DNA screening techniques which are more reliable at giving true positive infections in the gut.

 Q:  Is it easy to do?  

Yes – it’s just a one day sample needed. That’s it. A set of clear instructions come in the box and we even provide a link to the video that describes how to use the kit.

Q: Who performs the analysis on the samples and how long does it take to get the results?

The analysis is done by a lab in the USA called Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory and the results take around 2 weeks to return.

Q: Doing a stool test when you have an acute problem, such as a potential parasite infection, is obviously a no-brainer.  But can you describe other instances in which you would recommend a stool test?

A Stool test can be valuable when someone has general gut issues, bloating, gas intermittent bowel movement, constipation or acid reflux. Gut problems can not only arise due to pathogens, a client may have gluten sensitivity, low pancreatic output, inflammation or low good bacteria and these markers are helpful to understand when putting together a complete picture of gut health.

As we will soon (by Jan 2017) be measuring leaky gut levels, a stool test is invaluable in supporting clients with auto-immune diseases (like Hashimotos thyroiditis) as it can help find the trigger (gut pathogen) and track progress of (zonulin marker) any gut healing protocol which is given to the client.

Q:  How does the knowledge gained from the GI MAP help practitioners & clients develop a digestive health plan that works?

It helps practitioners develop a systematic protocol in removing any pathogen/ antigen which is triggering the inflammation or gut dybiosis, then rebuilding the gut with good bacteria and specific nutrients to get the gut back to normal function. It also serves as a benchmark in assisting clients understand if progress in gut healing has been successful or not, by repeating the stool analysis 3-6 months after a gut healing protocol has been implemented and seeing any improvement in the gut biomarkers.

Q:  Miles, you've got over ten years of experience in helping people deal with digestive, autoimmune and many other health issues.  How do you as Biorna's Chief Functional Medical Officer support the doctors, practitioners, nutritionists and other clinicians who use the GI MAP?  

What we offer is support in GI-MAP interpretation with specific gut healing protocols according to the clients’ needs. If the practitioner or nutritionist is looking for specific supplementation we can help with that also with supplying pharmaceutical grade supplements which support all aspects of gut health. We want to ensure that the practitioner / nutritionist has utmost confidence in conducting and interpreting the test. This will help grow their practice and reputation as a great Functional Medicine practitioner.


Thanks so much Miles for sharing your expertise with us and I look forward to working with Biorna on making the GI MAP test and your other tests available to people who want a more functional and holistic approach to their health.

Let's start the new year with an optimal plan for digestive health.

Because, we're not just what we eat.  

We are what our body is able to absorb.  

If our gut isn't working optimally, we are exposing ourselves to physical and emotional upsets.  

In honour of POOP month, I am offering my clients an exclusive 5% discount on Biorna's GI MAP test.  

Don't miss this opportunity to get to the bottom of your digestive health issues.  On the back of the results, I will develop a full nutritional protocol, complete with gut healing recipes, dietary, supplementation and lifestyle recommendations.  

Pop me an email and give yourself the gift of health this Christmas.

Offer expires on 31 January 2017.  


Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice. Please join her Facebook group "Thrive Nutrition Practice" for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.