Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) Infection
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers. It is a very common infection of the digestive tract that impacts half of the world’s population. Most people with an H. pylori infection never even know they have it because they do not experience any symptoms. However, having an H. pylori infection increases your risk of developing peptic ulcer disease, persistent stomach inflammation, and stomach cancer. The bacteria impacts the production of mucus in the stomach, thereby making it more susceptible to damage from digestive acid and peptic ulcers.
Some of the signs and symptoms of an H. pylori infection include:
- An ache or burning pain in your abdomen
- Abdominal pain that’s worse when your stomach is empty
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent burping
- Unintentional weight loss
Laboratory tests are ordered for many different reasons; because of a problem you've reported to your doctor, to check on a condition that has already been diagnosed, or maybe to see how you're responding to prescribed medication.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by eating grains that contain gluten such as wheat, rye and barley. It occurs in about 1% of Canadians and symptoms can vary dramatically and easily be mistaken for food allergies or intolerance. Undiagnosed celiac disease can:
- cause irreversible damage to the small intestine
- prevent your body from absorbing nutrients critical for good health
- lead to long-term complications
If you have been exhibiting the symptoms of celiac disease, or have a family history of celiac disease, this blood test can help you find the answers you are looking for.
When you have symptoms such as chronic diarrhea or abdominal pain, it could be due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Canada has one of the highest rates of IBS and IBD in the world. The Fecal Calprotectin test is a simple non-invasive stool laboratory test, that helps your doctor determine if you have IBD or IBS and thus plan your treatment accordingly.
IBS is a functional disorder that doesn’t affect your bowel tissue, but requires long term management and lifestyle changes. However, IBD causes chronic inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract, and can be even life-threatening if not treated properly.
Calprotectin is a protein normally found in the body in certain amounts. If the test finds a large amount of calprotectin present in the stool, it is more likely that you have IBD, while if the test comes back with low or normal levels, it points towards IBS. The Calprotectin test is hence very useful to differentiate between IBS and IBD.
Infectious Diarrhea Panel
The Infectious Diarrhea Panel (IDP) is a molecular panel test that replaces three separate tests for stool culture, O&P and
C.difficile. It tests over 14 of the most common viruses, bacteria and protozoa that cause diarrhea.
This test is available in British Columbia only; it is part of a provincial initiative to move to panel-based molecular gastrointestinal
Liver Fibrosis Testing
Liver fibrosis occurs when the healthy tissue of the liver becomes scarred due to repetitive or long-lasting injury or inflammation. As a result, fibrosis can reduce how well the liver works, and can also impair its ability to self-repair. Fibrosis is the first stage of liver scarring, and most types of chronic liver disease can eventually lead to fibrosis.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in developed countries. In Canada, it is estimated that 7.8 million people have this disease. NAFLD induced fibrosis is reversible when discovered at early stages, as such, it is recommended to screen NAFLD patients for liver fibrosis. By understanding the risk of liver disease progression through simple, non-invasive markers for liver fibrosis, the chances of early management and recovery are increased.