If you’ve ever suffered from gas and bloating, or you constantly feel run-down and unhappy, it could be a sign that all is not well in your gut.
And one of the best ways to know for sure is with a gut test!
There are many gut microbiome testing companies now offering to solve your problems with a gut test. I’ll explain how this works, and how the right test can be a worthy investment. But first, let’s look at why a healthy gut is so important.
Why your gut health matters
You probably know that your gut bacteria are important for proper digestion. But what happens in your gut is much more complex than breaking down food.
In the past few decades, studies have shown that gut microbes have a massive influence on your overall health. The tens of trillions of microorganisms living in your body include at least 1,000 species of bacteria and over three million genes! In fact, your body is home to more bacterial cells than human cells.
That’s why many of your bodily functions depend on the delicate balance of your gut microbiome.
Not surprisingly, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria can have a serious impact on your health. Poor gut health has been linked to everything from inflammatory bowel conditions to anxiety.
What does your gut microbiome do?
Here’s a quick rundown of how your ‘good bugs’ work…
- They digest and absorb food
Your gut bacteria break down carbohydrates into glucose, a form of sugar that your body uses as fuel. Many of the carbohydrates in plants are also used to produce certain enzymes, which are then fermented and converted into short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate. Butyrate is a vital energy source for the cells lining your intestines. It also controls the proliferation of cells in the intestine and some research has even suggested it may harbour anti-carcinogenic properties.
- They maintain your immune system
When you’re exposed to harmful pathogens and viruses, it’s your “good” gut bacteria that work to fight them off. These tiny microorganisms are your main defence system from the toxins and diseases. Bacteria can actually elicit an effective immune response against viruses that not only infect the gut (such as rotavirus) but also those affecting the lungs, such as the flu virus.
- They produce your energy
Much of your daily energy comes from your gut! In fact, your body’s cells are constantly creating energy. Within each cell is a tiny ‘powerhouse’ called the mitochondria. These rely on the nutrients that your gut bacteria break down.
By digesting and absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat, these bacteria produce the important metabolites and fuel that allows your body to function.
- They maintain healthy mood
Scientists now know that there’s an intimate link between the brain and the gut, which has been termed the ‘gut-brain axis’. Your gut is acutely responsive to shifts in your emotions and mental states. This is a two-way street: your brain and emotions are also sensitive to what’s going on in your intestines.
BUT – an overgrowth of bad bacteria (known as dysbiosis) will mean none of these things can happen as they should.
The result? Along with various digestion symptoms, you’ll feel tired, you’ll be more susceptible to infections, and you may even be depressed.
That’s why a gut test is so important.
Signs that you should get your gut tested
- Digestive issues: bloating, gas, acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhoea and/or constipation.
- Sugar cravings
- Bad breath
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis
- Low mood, depression, anxiety
What is a gut test?
A gut test analyses the composition of the microbiome in the gut. This analysis shows how many different bacteria are present by analysing their DNA (sequencing). It can also show other markers of gut health, such as inflammation.
Your results can provide:
- An analysis of the microorganisms in your gut
- An explanation of your microbe profile, metabolism, nutrition utility, lifestyle status, and gut type
- A profile of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacterial strains
Why get your gut microbiome tested?
Research has shown that a gut microbiome test can provide some vital insight into your health – both short-term and long-term.
A gut test can provide a comprehensive picture of your own microbiome. From there, you can begin to understand what might be causing your symptoms.
Analysing the gut microbiome has been found to help diagnose and treat certain conditions. It may even be used to prevent some health issues from developing or from getting worse.
By working with me, you will be able to understand your gut in greater detail and take control of your health.
I will create a treatment plan that helps you to manage the levels of bacteria in your gut.
I provide you with custom dietary suggestions to implement based on your unique microbiome and related health issues. This may involve dietary changes, lifestyle recommendations, and/or supplements such as probiotics.
A personalised treatment plan based on your gut health can have you feeling better than ever before. Contact me today to discuss the best gut health test for you.