Some of the most common complaints we receive from clients are about gastrointestinal (GI) issues. They are widely common. In fact, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 60 to 70 million Americans are suffering from digestive diseases right now. Oftentimes, what can be most frustrating about GI issues is that they can be difficult to diagnose and therefore, to treat.

However, thanks to our resident naturopath and Medical Director, Dr. Lea McKinstry, Starkel Nutrition has access to multiple labs and dozens of lab tests that can help pinpoint exactly what is getting in the way of your gastrointestinal health! Let’s take a look at a recent case study, written up by Dr. McKinstry, as a great example of this process. 

“Client is a 34-year-old female presenting with bloating, reflux, and constipation. She tested positive for hydrogen and methane positive SIBO, was treated with pharmaceutical antibiotics, herbals antimicrobials, and completed a three-week elemental diet.  Her hydrogen levels were still positive after treatment, but lowered after an elemental diet. Unfortunately, she continued to have persistent GI symptoms. She reported fatigue from insomnia due to GI distress, treatment burnout, and weight loss due to a lack of interest in food. Stress and anxiety were high due to symptoms and work, but relationships and social support were strong. 

I suggested a stool analysis to look at the diversity of the bacteria in her digestive tract and to assess yeast or candida growth which had never been addressed. Results showed a lack of beneficial bacteria, overgrowth of commensal bacteria, and a candida albicans infection. I often wish I had a magic wand for resolving symptoms immediately, but treatment rarely works as quickly or as easily as both I or the patient want it to. But she continued on with her treatments, we checked in every 4 weeks or so, and eventually, she started to see improvement. There were weeks when she felt she was backsliding with her symptoms but we discussed how healing is never linear, and she was able to continue on and see improvements. We also focused on adrenal support, stress management, and hormone balance. After 6 months, she was having a bowel movement daily, reflux was gone, and bloating was no longer affecting her sleep. She is still doing some treatment and we have shifted toward restoring the GI lining and are considering food sensitivity and cortisol testing next to try and understand the underlying cause of how these symptoms developed in the first place.”

So there you have it! The lab testing we have available to us is an essential part of the healing process, as is the interpretation of your results by a trusted physician. Starkel Nutrition has both of these available to you! Please give us a call at 206-853-0534 or shoot us an email at if you have any questions about potential lab testing, or if you would like to begin appointments with Dr. McKinstry. If any of Dr. McKinstry’s current patients are reading this and thinking that it may be time to discuss lab testing options, go ahead and book yourself an appointment through our scheduling tool to do so!

Interested in learning more? Schedule an appointment with Dr. McKinstry to get support on your journey to holistic and kind health.

Written by Starkel Nutrition provider, Dr. Lea McKinstry, ND

Edited by Starkel Nutrition Marketing Assistant, Mairin McCurdy