As a naturopath I recommended my fair share of CDSA’s. That’s Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis’s – or in other words – POOP TESTING.
Now I am sure you all know, we naturopaths are obsessed by poop. We LOVE it! We look at it, we talk about it, we study it, we think about it, and I even know a naturopath who gives her poop a poke with a rolled up bit of toilet paper every now and again. Doing a CDSA (the POOP TEST) is a wonderful way for us to gain a whole other insight to our favourite topic.
Being a naturopath comes with an unwritten law that includes a LOT of self experimentation. So I decided, as a New Year’s Resolution, to get my poop under the microscope and see exactly what this test was all about.
The testing company says it’s easy, private, quick and relaxed because you do the test in the privacy of your own home, so that’s what I have been telling my patients. Wow. There’s a bit more to it I can tell you! Here is what I learned:
First of all you call up, pay and order your test kit which they send you the next working day – (or order it online here) The very helpful gentleman on the phone offered to send it to my work so I could get it quicker but I declined. I didn’t think my work mates would appreciate lunching next to my package that has the word STOOL SAMPLE on it! As it turns out, it came in a very normal looking express post bag with no mention of POOP or STOOL anywhere.
Upon opening it I found a box with three jars, gloves, plastic bag, blue sheet, small plastic take away container, and the instructions. Now I must say the instructions were clear, but I did need to unpack everything, line it all up on my bed like a kid at Christmas, and read the instructions about three times over.
It is important to call the courier the day before you do your poop test so they can come and pick it up. That was my first hurdle. I had to let people know the day before I did my poop that they had to come and pick it up? Talk about POOP ANXIETY! What if I couldn’t poo on cue? What if I got too nervous and nothing happened? I decided I would stress more about this if it actually happened, so I called up and ordered my poop collection truck.
On POOP DAY I woke early and immediately started stressing that I might miss my poop o’clock deadline. I was due to work at 9am, so what was going to happen if I didn’t go before then? Did I have to take the kit to work and do everything in the public toilets? Heaven forbid! Luckily for me all my stressing worked wonders on the bowels and before 6.30 I was ready to go!
Note 1: Stressing about not pooping may cause you to poop!
I shut myself in the bathroom, said a silent prayer that my room mate would sleep in and not come banging on the door, then started laying out my kit. Too late I realised it would have been a good idea to put newspaper or a towel down to put the equipment on and hover over.
Note 2: Put down newspaper and clear your house so you can poop in peace.
Almost too quickly it was all happening. As I filled my container I started worrying what would happen if there was too much and it all came out over the top? The container is only little!
Note 3: Get a bigger container just in case!
Luckily no mess was made and I now faced the next hurdle. Smell. I know I said we naturopaths love poop, but in all honesty I don’t love SMELLING poop! So I couldn’t help but wish I had a little face mask dabbed with lavender oil to help me do my work in comfort.
Note 4: If you have a sensitive nose, invest in a mask!
It was about this time that my room mate woke up and started knocking on the door wanting her morning pee. Again I wished I had a second toilet. See Note 2. I was now put into POOP PANIC! Hurriedly I started trying to use the scoop in each jar to take my sample and transfer it into the container. This is where I started to wish for a couple of plastic teaspoons.
Note 5: Bring along 2 plastic teaspoons to aid in scooping.
Finally, with a little mess (the newspaper would have come in handy – See Note 2.) I got all my samples into their respective containers and faced my last hurdle. How to get the remaining poop out of the container and into the toilet? Shaking was dangerous and ineffective as I seemed to have secured my sample onto it’s plastic container. This is when I started wishing for those teaspoons again. See Note 5. After some messy use of toilet paper I realised I had nothing to put my dirty container in, which brings me to my next note.
Note 6: Make sure you have a coloured, sealable bag on hand to help dispose of the rubbish.
I really didn’t relish the though of parading my poop container out into the living room in front of my room mate who was still desperately waiting for a pee, so I wrapped it in the instructions and told her to shut her eyes.
Success! I had my samples, I tidied up the bathroom, sprayed a WHOLE lot of citrus toilet spray and vacated the bathroom. Next I put my samples into their bag, sealed the box, attached the return address and faced my final hurdle. My poop needed to come to work with me. And not just to work, INTO work!
You can’t leave your sample in the car or anywhere hot, so off we went, me and my poop, first to my health food store job, then to a lovely home consult, then we popped down to my old house where my poop waited patiently in the airconditioning while I dropped off my old house keys. Finally, we reached the arranged pick up hour and I happily handed my sample over to the courier, avoiding eye contact and commenting on the weather. And here we come to my final note:
Note 7: Do this on a day off! Call in sick, take some leave, organise some time in lieu, but seriously, save yourself the drama and stay at home!
Drama over, I now wait excitedly for the results! Will I have parasites? Low stomach acid? Poor protein digestion? Leaky gut? Low friendly bacteria? The possibilities are numerous! Whatever the outcome may be I know that once I find out WHAT is going on I can go about FIXING it!
For more information on CDSA’s go to www.digestionhealthreport.com and for more fun on poop – make sure you watch this video of Leisa having a colonic – A Colonics Experience – It’s Safe to Watch We Promise!