Gut Health

Gut health is a hot topic out there right now. Since Covid-19 has made PCR testing a household phrase, it seems gut health testing might be a little easier to understand now for some. But what do we actually mean by “gut health” and how do we test it?

“Gut health” refers to the overall health and function of our digestive system which starts in your mouth and extends all the way to the rectum. There is so much going on here as you can from the image below. Digestion is a complicated dance of interactions between different systems and reactions with the simple goal of breaking down and absorbing nutrients from our food efficiently so that our cells can function optimally. So simple yet so many things often go wrong in this process.

anatomy-of-digestive-system.jpg

This is where gut health testing comes in.

We can test the health of our guts by using PCR analysis (Covid-19 anyone?) on a stool sample. It sounds a little gross on first glance but our stools can tell us a lot about what is going on inside our digestive system, so while they are considered a human waste product, they are valuable for human diagnostics.

For stool testing with clients, I usually use either Genova diagnostics or Invivo Healthcare, both are excellent CQC approved laboratories with decades of experience in the field.

Genova offer the GI Effects Comprehensive Profile which is excellent. The sample report below gives you an idea of the areas under review.

  • Poor digestion – How well are you breaking down the macronutrients like protein and fats in your food?
  • Inflammation – The bedrock of most modern chronic diseases
  • Dysbiosis – The balance of good and not so good bacteria that live in your small and large intestines
  • Metabolic Support – How well are your gut bacteria performing?
  • Infections – Any nasties (parasites, pathogens) detected down there?

This test requires taking small stool samples each day for 3 days. This gives excellent scope to the diagnostics as it is not limited to a single day (which could be an off day!) so it averages out by using 3 samples over 3 days.

TAT (Turnaround time) for results is about 15-20 days (not working days, just days) and your nutritionist will be able to step through your results with you and develop a personalized protocol to help you resolve any issues detected.

A healthy gut is foundational for human health and is too often overlooked or misunderstood.

If you need help improving your gut health, please reach out on the Contact form.

Be well,

JP

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