Stool Testing: Everything You Need To Know

Many people struggle to find the cause of their digestive issues. Targeted tests are expensive and may miss out on important pathogens that can wreak havoc in the gut. Comprehensive stool testing gives a broad overview of gut microbes and other important health parameters. Given the amount of information it generates, the cost of stool testing is well worth it. Despite this utility, knowing what type of stool test to get and how to analyze and interpret the results can be difficult.

In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about stool testing, including what it is, what it covers, and tips for choosing the best provider and analysis.

What is a stool test?

A stool test examines fecal (or stool) samples to diagnose health issues and provide insight into overall well-being. One primary outcome of the stool test is identifying the microbial species in the gut and their relative abundance.

This information is crucial for diagnosing digestive tract diseases and microbial imbalances. For instance, Candida, an opportunistic pathogenic fungi, can overpopulate the gut, cause discomfort, and eventually cause severe disease. A stool test can detect Candida species and their levels, allowing for a corrective course of action. Stool tests also probe digestive function and inflammatory and other health markers.

A comprehensive stool test is an excellent starting point for getting to the root cause of digestive discomfort or even a general feeling of unwellness.

What does a stool test tell me?

A stool test gives you a complete overview of the species present in your gut. This includes pathogenic microbes, parasites, and healthy bacteria that we need for optimal digestive function. You’ve probably heard it said many times, but a balanced and diverse gut microbiome is a healthy gut microbiome.

Ultimately, you never want one type of microbe to overgrow the others. A stool test will tell you the balance between the good and bad species for bacteria and yeast. However, for some pathogens and parasites, the ideal number you want in your gut is zero. These bugs must be monitored carefully because they can cause chronic and severe disease if left untreated.

A comprehensive stool test will analyze many parasites, including the most common ones. This means a precise intervention can be made, rather than a non-specific approach that treats symptoms but not the underlying cause.

Besides analyzing the species in your gut, a stool test gives you information on inflammatory and digestive parameters, such as pancreatic elastase, a marker for pancreatic function. A skilled professional can provide you with a timeline for recovery based on your test results.

Stool tests offer an ideal way to track your health. Getting a test before taking a supplement like CanXida Remove (Formula RMV) gives you a baseline to compare to, which means subsequent tests will tell you if the treatment is working.

Do I need a stool test?

Gut health is central to overall health, which means that a stool test can provide many important insights into our holistic wellness. If you are experiencing prolonged digestive discomfort, a general feeling of unwellness, or have taken a long course of antibiotics, we recommend getting a comprehensive stool test. If you know something is wrong with your gut, it may be tempting to go online and self-diagnose with whatever pathogen you find first. The thing is, most pathogens that affect the gut produce very similar symptoms like bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. A comprehensive stool test will tell you what the problem is without any room left for doubt. This ensures that you don’t waste time and money on doctor visits or other tests that won’t give you the information you need.

A comprehensive stool test costs $400; is it really worth it?

This is one of the most common questions we receive, and the answer is a resounding yes. If you already know you have a specific problem, you can tailor your test to that issue. However, nothing beats a comprehensive stool test to find the root cause of your problem. Tests like endoscopy or colonoscopy are expensive and invasive and don’t tell you anything about what microbes are in your gut. Some of our clients spent years trying to figure out their problems, sometimes spending up to $100,000 on doctor visits and fees. Is $400 worth it for one of the most robust, fast, and non-invasive health tests out there? Yes.

How do I get a proper stool test?

Okay, you’ve decided to get a stool test. Now what?

There are many options for stool tests and a constantly growing marketplace of stool test providers. However, it’s important to know precisely what test to get, what analysis needs to be done, and which providers are trustworthy.

Let’s cover all three of these now.


You can find a practitioner who truly understands stool testing by looking at associations such as naturopathic and integrative health associations. You can also contact laboratories directly. Providers we like include Doctor’s Data and Genova Diagnostics.

Type of Stool Test:

The best test to get is the comprehensive stool analysis x 3. With this test, you give samples on three concurrent days. If you have severe constipation, it’s fine to skip days as required as long as the samples come from three different days. Giving three samples instead of one results in a better representation of your gut.

Furthermore, different microbial species appear in different parts of the stool, so giving three samples ensures all species are included in the analysis. These extra samples typically increase the cost by $20-40, so it’s well worth it to get all three. Subsequent tests normally use one sample because the problematic species or issues have already been identified with an initial comprehensive stool analysis x 3.


Lastly, you must cast as wide a net as possible with the first test. It’s better to test for as many things as possible straight away. For instance, some practitioners will only provide bacteriology tests and completely forget about parasites. It’s better, faster, and cheaper to do everything straight away rather than going back for multiple tests.

How do I prepare for a stool test?

Some preparation is required to perform a stool test properly. This mainly concerns your diet and what supplements you take. These preparations are not intended to improve your digestive health but rather to allow the stool test to get a more accurate snapshot of the state of your gut. These preparations include:

  • Avoid taking probiotics for two weeks before the test.
  • Avoid antimicrobials for at least one week before the test.
  • Avoid digestive enzymes 1-2 days before the test.
  • Continue taking prescribed medications as normal.
  • Continue your diet as normal. Do not begin a new diet or radically change your eating habits in the ten days leading up to the test. Diet can help solve your problems, but you need accurate stool test results first.
  • If you’ve just made a dietary change, revert to your normal diet, even if you suspect it’s the cause of your issues.
  • Try to give your three samples across a normal working week rather than during holidays. Also, choose days that best represent your overall lifestyle. For instance, giving samples on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (two work days and a weekend day) is preferable to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for giving representative samples. This is just an example. Pick the days that make the most sense for you.

How do I analyze the results?

The results of a stool test are easy to read and understand. Without prior training, you will be able to see what good and bad species are in your gut and gain a relative understanding of how prevalent they are. Most test results are clearly presented with a traffic light color system or an even simpler “good or bad” format. This is great for giving you an idea of what is going on.

However, turning the results into a plan that will help you improve your health isn’t easy. For this, we recommend contacting a specialist who can interpret your results accurately and help you devise a solid strategy. From our experience with clients and our scientific knowledge, taking CanXida Remove (Formula RMV) is a great place to start if you discover you have Candida overgrowth.

Is there anything I should watch out for?

Navigating this market can be tricky. Here are a few things you should know before looking for a stool test:

  • Good stool test providers will analyze the three samples you provide individually. Bad labs will mix the three samples together. Be sure to ask how they will conduct the analysis.
  • Some providers will try to charge you over $1,000 for a comprehensive stool test. However, it’s usually possible to get one for $400-$500. If the price seems high, look elsewhere.
  • Naturopaths or other professionals may recommend many different tests to determine if you have a parasite, fungal, or bacteria issue. However, none of these are as direct and effective as a comprehensive stool test. Make sure to ask for this test and as many analyses as possible.

A comprehensive stool test is a critical tool for diagnosing gut health issues by revealing the microbial makeup of the gut, including pathogens and beneficial bacteria. It also provides insights into digestive function, inflammation, and pancreatic health. Its relatively low cost and comprehensive nature make it a valuable investment for those experiencing digestive discomfort or seeking to optimize their overall health.

Other, more specific tests may miss out on important microbes and parasites. In contrast, a stool test covers all bases and allows individuals to take targeted actions to address their health issues. Choosing the right test and provider, followed by expert analysis, enables effective personalized strategies. Stool tests are a fantastic way to monitor your health and should be a priority for anyone with digestive issues or general health concerns.

Check out our dedicated YouTube videos for more information on stool tests. If you’ve taken a stool test and found you have Candida overgrowth, our products can help*.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.