Microbiome Health Tests and Understanding Gut Health

The Gut microbiota is a community of trillions of microorganisms, all of which play a key role in Microbiome health or more commonly refered to as gut health. 

Good gut health plays a key role in our overall health and wellbeing.

The vast array of organisms in this unique environment play a key role in healthy gut health

Having a Healthy and Efficient Digestive System

Microorganisms influence the absorption of nutrients, produce digestive enzymes, ensure healthy motility and protect the gut wall from infection and inflammation.

gut health for men

How Does Your Immune System Work?

Whether you have a strong or weak immune system, or if you are likely to develop an autoimmune condition, if you have food or environmental allergies.

Therefore, the microbiome health can influence whether you are susceptible to most chronic diseases, from gut-related illnesses such as Chron’s disease and IBS to allergies, including anaphylaxis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and all forms of cancer.

gut health

If  Your Gut Can Detoxify Toxins  Efficiently

–The gut is a key detoxification organ, and many species assist in the removal of toxins, including chemicals, and ensure healthy recycling of hormones.

 Maintaining A Healthy Weight or Losing Weight

– Gut Health influences whether you are prone to putting on weight, and many gut flora species can aid in weight loss.

Having a Healthy Mood

– You may have heard the term “the gut is the second brain.” A healthy balanced microbiota directly influences mood, clarity of thought, and depression.

Gut Microbes

When it comes to having a healthy gut biome, it’s all about the number of healthy bacteria and the balance of microbiome bacteria.

 Healthy Gut Biome

The word dysbiosis is used to describe the imbalance of gut flora resulting in detrimental symptoms. This imbalance can be between the so-called bad bacteria or pathogenic bacteria and the healthy bacteria. Still, it can also mean a lack of diversity in the species present in the gut.

This imbalance can result in gut symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, pain, reflux, bloating, and inflammation.

How You Can Have a Healthy Gut Biome

Research has found that spending time outside in nature, playing a sport, being physically active, and having pets can positively influence the health of our microbiome.

Microbiome Diet

A diet that includes various healthy non processed foods full of fibre is ideal for supporting a healthy microbiome. The more variety in the diet, the more likelihood of having a diverse microbiome.

Highly processed foods and a high sugar diet feed yeasts and pathogenic bacteria, causing an imbalance of flora and can cause a leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the gut wall is damaged, and it allows the movement through the intestinal lining of small food particles and cell wall fragments of bacteria. This process can put you at risk for various health conditions, including autoimmune illnesses, inflammatory illnesses, and allergies.

Enjoying a range of raw and cooked organic plant-based foods can be very beneficial to the gut. It provides all-important fibre and delivers prebiotics into the gut, which is the food source for beneficial bacteria.

microbiome diet

Fermented foods can also help improve the diversity of our microflora.These include foods such as Kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut.

Other prebiotic foods include kiwifruit, beetroot, chickpeas, peaches, green peas, and cashew nuts.

It is worth noting that if some of the prebiotic foods cause symptoms of digestive discomfort, wind, and bloating, it may mean you have a condition called SIBO ( small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and that is worth investigating that further.

Microbiome Health Testing

It has been challenging to understand or know for sure what is happening with your own Microbiome health until recently.

Functional medicine has changed this, and it is now easy to have extensive analyses of your gut bacteria, gut immunity, enzymes, and much more.

Complete Microbiome Mapping and Comprehensive Digestive stool analysis tests are available from Laboratories in Australia and The USA.

You can do these tests from the comfort of your own home.

Click here to learn more about these tests – Microbiome Mapping, or for the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis.

Probiotics for Gut Health

Regular use of a good probiotic can definitely improve your microbiome health. In addition, because many probiotic species are eliminated in the stool, it is good to include them in your diet regularly.

The key message, though, is you need a really good, researched, and live probiotic.

Probiotic strains are many and varied, and it is important to know what strains are beneficial and what may potentially throw the balance of the flora out more.

Some probiotic species are great for reducing inflammation. Some balance the immune system and are great when there are allergies or autoimmunity. Some species are great for weight loss, and some for improving overall immunity.

If you have a great probiotic, you can increase the health of your gut and potentially your whole body.

Many probiotics are on the market, and just because a bottle lists many different strains doesn’t mean it is good. It is most likely that given the foreign environment of many species in a capsule or bottle, they often kill each other off, and you are actually getting no probiotics at all. Additionally, most shelf-stable probiotics are not shelf-stable, and it is likely again you are getting no or very little flora when you buy these.

When it comes to buying probiotics and prebiotic supplements, it’s always ideal to be advised by a practitioner on what is right for you rather than buying hit-and-miss supplements from health shops or online.

About Functional Medicine Tests

Functional Medicine is the field of medicine that involves the use of specialised laboratory tests.

Functional Medicine Testing

Functional tests give full and comprehensive information on many health issues, allowing for a more accurate diagnosis and a more targeted treatment.

It focuses on the root cause of disease and allows for a more holistic approach to regaining health.

functional medicine testing

I offer a range of Functional Medicine Tests, which can be particularly useful when health problems have been unresolved for a long time and more in-depth information is required.

There are no FX laboratories in New Zealand, so tests are sent to Australia or the USA, where there are specialist Functional Medicine laboratories.

All Functional medicine tests require a consultation once the test results are through. Results must be interpreted accurately and with relevance to you and your health situation. Consultations can be done via Zoom, phone, or at my clinic.

Functional Medicine Tests Available

Adrenal Cortex Stress Profile  

Are you feeling exhausted and losing your ability to cope with stress.?   Adrenal Health is crucial for coping with our busy and often stressful lives, and imbalances of the key adrenal hormones can leave us feeling run down and burnt out. Read More

Comprehensive Thyroid Profile

The Thyroid gland influences nearly every cell in the body and has crucial roles in controlling metabolic rate and energy levels. Unfortunately, Thyroid disorders remain one of the most underdiagnosed health conditions resulting in patients having to live with many of the debilitating symptoms. Read More

Complete Microbiome Mapping

More and more information is coming out about how crucial good gut health is to all aspects of our Health. This test gives a comprehensive overview of your microbiome and is particularly useful if you have digestive disorders, autoimmune conditions, or are interested in great health.  Read More

Hair Mineral Analysis

Are you concerned about heavy metal toxicity?

Do you wonder whether you are getting enough minerals in your diet?

This Hair Test Analysis  17 key minerals and 18 toxic metals. Read More

hair test analysis

MTHFR Gene Mutation

This genetic variation makes it very difficult to absorb your B vitamins, including folic acid. This can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other health risks, including elevated homocysteine levels in the body. Read More

SIBO Breath Test

The SIBO Breath Test is an easy to perform test which identifies bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine. Read More

Organic Acids Profile

The Organic Acids profile is a great test when you feel generally unwell and unsure where to start with your health journey. Read More

Comprehensive Stool Analysis

There are a range of CDSA Tests available

This allows flexibility depending on what your health needs are. Read More

DUTCH Hormone Test

(Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones)

Precision Analytical USA offers a range of hormone tests depending on your needs. Read More

All Functional tests need to be accompanied by a Naturopathic Consultation as these tests must be interpreted accurately.

Functional Medicine Testing

We can do this over Zoom or in the clinic. Once the test results arrive, I will contact you to schedule an appointment.

If you are unsure which test would be right for you, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.  The test is important to your health situation, so you benefit most from the results.

The test kits are non-refundable once you have used the kit and sent it off to the lab for testing. If you decide to cancel the test before using the kit, we will refund your money once the Kit has been returned. There will be a $65 administration fee.