Mind your microbiome!
There is an abundance of research telling us how important your microbiome is for your health. The collection of good bacteria and the important environment created within your gut plays a huge role in your immune health, mental health, weight management and of course digestion and absorption of all the nutrients you need to get from your food.
How to keep your microbiome healthy
It has been shown that eating a diverse diet with a range of fruit, vegetables and fibre-rich foods is the best way to maintain a healthy population of ‘good bacteria’. Sometimes the balance can be tipped however, which can easily lead to the destruction of the friendly bacteria. This can happen through the use of antibiotics, steroids, hormone pills, high alcohol and sugar consumption and even stress. Once large colonies of these friendly bacteria are destroyed you may be vulnerable to infections and problems relating to the proliferation of unfriendly bacteria and yeasts.
What’s different about this test?
This comprehensive test is the most accurate analysis of your gut microbiome. The technique used to examine the microbe populations looks for the presence of DNAand also the growth of the microbes under laboratory conditions. Gut microbes live in a very different environment to that which is replicated in the lab.
What does the test measure?
The test is looking at five different aspects of your digestive health.
- Metabolite Imbalance
You need to digest your food in order to absorb the critical nutrients it supplies. This test shows whether you are digesting fats and protein efficiently and whether you have a need for digestive enzymes.
Markers of your immune defences and the presence of active inflammation is an important component of this comprehensive test. Understanding whether you have active inflammation or whether your body is able to fight off bacterial overgrowth or infection is critical to your recovery.
Dysbiosis – an imbalance of gut bacteria
This test measures your levels of good bacteria, bad bacteria and everything in between. Your good bacteria are essential for your health and the regulation of your immune system and should be present in good numbers in order to crowd out the bad guys. Opportunistic bacteria are those that under normal circumstance will be kept in check by the good bacteria but given a poor gut environment can grow and could symptoms.
The test can show you whether you have a greater need for prebiotic support. It also measures an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase which can be raised in the presence of harmful bacteria. If the level of beta-glucuronidase is too high then toxins and hormones like oestrogen which are meant to be excreted through the digestive system are then re-circulated and reabsorbed by your body. This is particularly important to know for women with oestrogen dependent conditions like fibroids, endometriosis and certain breast cancers.
The test checks for an infection of yeasts, pathogenic bacteria and parasites.
Some yeasts are normal in the gut, but an overgrowth of yeast or different yeast strains might indicate an unfavourable environment and may contribute to symptoms of ‘brain fog’, sugar cravings, bloating and discomfort.
While unpleasant to think about, many parasites do not cause us trouble. However, if you have a lowered immune response, a sensitive gut or another infection or overgrowth, it is thought that parasites may cause symptoms in some individuals.
Other pathogenic bacteria which can cause infections and disease including E. coli, C difficile and Helicobacter pylori can be added on to this test.
Who should take this test?
Anyone with any of the following symptoms should take this test:
- Digestive issues from reflux, irritated stomach or bowel, distension or bloating, feelings of extreme fullness after eating, cramps, diarrhoea or constipation, fatty or floating stools
- If you have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis
- Reactions to foods which may be difficult to pin-point
- Immune-related issues such as skin rashes, unexplained joint or muscle pain
- Those with a diagnosed autoimmune condition
- Unexplained fatigue, brain fog
- Difficulty losing weight or gaining weight
- We organise for the lab to send you the test kit
- The instructions are detailed so please read carefully before proceeding.
- The test results will be returned to your nutritionist in 3-4 weeks of receipt of the samples. Test results will be interpreted by your nutritionist at the consultation and a protocol tailored accordingly.