How To Choose The Best At Home Microbiome Test For You
Even with this list of reliable at-home microbiome tests, you might still struggle to pick the best test for your needs. Tests, despite their similarities, offer a variety of different assessments.
One of the best ways to choose a test is to consider what gut health issues you want to be assessed. For example:
- Viomes Gut Intelligence Test provides an in-depth test for an affordable price
- Verisana provides information about leaky gut syndrome
- Thryve and Wellnicity provide information to help you customize probiotics, vitamins, and diet plans based on your guts current health
Easy On The Painkillers For Your Gut Flora
Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory are painkillers that can alter the gut microbiome and lead to an upset stomach.
Better known as NSAIDs, these medications are among the most commonly prescribed. They are used to treat pain by targeting inflammation, and are especially popular because they help relieve menstrual pain.
However, even though they can produce short-term relief, chronic use can damage your gut lining and make your gut microbes sad. They irritate your intestinal lining, causing inflammation and even bleeding too both of which are detrimental to this organ and your microbiome.
TIPSome of these painkillers, like ibuprofen, can be bought at your shop, others prescribed by your doctor.
How To Improve Gut Health Naturally With Less Sugar
Sugar is everywhere, even when you cant taste it. Sadly, refined sugar can upset the balance in your gut and your metabolism.
If youre wondering how to get rid of bad bacteria in the gut, less sugar can help. Soft drinks, processed foods, takeaways, and restaurant food can contain high levels of sugar because it helps balance flavour and cover up poor quality ingredients. But dont get these sugars confused with complex carbs that your gut bacteria need to thrive and survive.
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Can Diet Affect Ones Microbiota
In addition to family genes, environment, and medication use, diet plays a large role in determining what kinds of microbiota live in the colon. All of these factors create a unique microbiome from person to person. A high-fiber diet in particular affects the type and amount of microbiota in the intestines. Dietary fiber can only be broken down and fermented by enzymes from microbiota living in the colon. Short chain fatty acids are released as a result of fermentation. This lowers the pH of the colon, which in turn determines the type of microbiota present that would survive in this acidic environment. The lower pH limits the growth of some harmful bacteria like Clostridium difficile. Growing research on SCFA explores their wide-ranging effects on health, including stimulating immune cell activity and maintaining normal blood levels of glucose and cholesterol.
Be aware that a high intake of prebiotic foods, especially if introduced suddenly, can increase gas production and bloating. Individuals with gastrointestinal sensitivities such as irritable bowel syndrome should introduce these foods in small amounts to first assess tolerance. With continued use, tolerance may improve with fewer side effects.
If one does not have food sensitivities, it is important to gradually implement a high-fiber diet because a low-fiber diet may not only reduce the amount of beneficial microbiota, but increase the growth of pathogenic bacteria that thrive in a lower acidic environment.
What Is The Microbiome
Picture a bustling city on a weekday morning, the sidewalks flooded with people rushing to get to work or to appointments. Now imagine this at a microscopic level and you have an idea of what the microbiome looks like inside our bodies, consisting of trillions of microorganisms of thousands of different species. These include not only bacteria but fungi, parasites, and viruses. In a healthy person, these bugs coexist peacefully, with the largest numbers found in the small and large intestines but also throughout the body. The microbiome is even labeled a supporting organ because it plays so many key roles in promoting the smooth daily operations of the human body.
Each person has an entirely unique network of microbiota that is originally determined by ones DNA. A person is first exposed to microorganisms as an infant, during delivery in the birth canal and through the mothers breast milk. Exactly which microorganisms the infant is exposed to depends solely on the species found in the mother. Later on, environmental exposures and diet can change ones microbiome to be either beneficial to health or place one at greater risk for disease.
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How Quickly Can You Improve Your Gut Bacteria
Having healthy, diverse bacteria in your gut is linked to many health benefits, including improving immune function, and lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, asthma, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and some allergies. But how quickly can your improve your microbiome?
Our microbiome is made up of trillions of cells, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, and the largest community of these is in the gut. In fact, there are more bacterial cells than human cells in the body. Good gut health is linked to the health of pretty much every other organ, says Dr Megan Rossi, AKA the Gut Health Doctor.
The British Dietetic Association lists important reasons why our microbiome helps us, including that gut bacteria has a role in digesting food, in particular breaking down fibre, and absorbing nutrients. The bacteria produce several vitamins, including folate, B2, B12 and vitamin K. They also produce short-chain fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation, protect against colon disorders, and lower cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. They stimulate infection-fighting cells in the blood stream, too.
Tips For Modifying The Microbiome
- Switch off the stress hormones and switch on the digestive processes by taking some deep breaths before starting to eat when we are stressed, rushing, distracted, we are in fight or flight mode, which means our digestive functioning is on hold. By pausing and focusing on your food before you start to eat, you will trigger the rest and digest mode. A few slow, deep breaths is an excellent way to achieve this.
- Chew, chew and then chew some more! Focus on what youre eating. Dont eat while distracted, on the computer or reading and put your knife and fork down between each mouthful so you eat slowly.;
- Stimulate your vegus nerve imperative for good digestive function from top to bottom. This nerve allows communication from the digestive tract to the brain and vice-versa. To ensure it is working well, try regular gargling gargle with water for 2 minutes twice a day; singing loudly and, if you can bear it, triggering the gag reflex as often as possible. A healthy microbiome is also essential for good vagus nerve function. A poorly firing vegas nerve can inhibit all aspects of digestion and absorption as well as healing of the gut wall.
- Rest the gut. Try and incorporate regular intermittent fasting in some form, to allow rest and recovery to take place in the digestive system.
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How Do Your Gut Microbiome Results Affect Your Treatment
Running these tests can give us a bounty of info and we can be more specific with treatment, says Dr. McConnell. For example, if you are low in beneficial bacteria, we need to load you up with probiotics and fiber. You may also have too much bad bacteria, which according to Dr. McConnell, would mean you could benefit from pharmaceutical-grade antimicrobial supplements that kill bacteria in the colon. And finally, if your gut shows that theres a lot of inflammation, your doctor may suggest an anti-inflammatory diet with additional anti-inflammatory supplements.
The results of microbiome testing can be extremely helpful, but its important to keep in mind that the science surrounding the microbiome is very new. Its always morphing and changing and a lot of the studies are still very small, says Dr. McConnell. Basically, these tests dont tell us everything, so we shouldnt rely on them alone to inform treatment. For example, there are specific bacteria that have been linked to specific health conditions, but the science isnt strong enough yet to make any conclusions. Getting too bogged down in the minutia isnt helpful. Its a much more big picture, says Dr. McConnell.
Its also best to do gut microbiome testing under the guidance of a doctor who can actually help you interpret your results. Without that, you run the risk of self-diagnosing and inappropriately treating.
What If I Find A Problem
How you deal with a gut health problem varies based on the severity of the problem. For instance, if you feel less-than-optimal and experience digestive symptoms like bloating or nausea, a few simple dietary changes can be enough to improve your guts microbiome.
If lifestyle and diet changes do not improve your symptoms, you should undergo a medical evaluation. Its also important to seek medical attention if you have severe symptoms.
Long-term gut health problems put you at an increased risk of serious health issues. This includes colitis, colon polyps, cancer, and more. Many of these issues can be prevented or minimized by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing good bowel habits, and getting screened for cancer.
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Gut Health Or Gut Microbiome
Registered Nutritionist Sarah Gray explains that the terms gut health and gut microbiome are linked.
Gut health generally refers to the health of the gastrointestinal tract. Gut microbiome describes the trillions of microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract, says Sarah.;
The main role of the gut microbiome is to help your body process food that isn’t digested in your stomach, and absorb nutrients. They can also be known as gut flora.;
So, if you want a healthy gut, one thing to look at is what could be affecting your gut microbiome. And then work out what steps you could take that may be able to help, such as finding out what foods promote healthy gut bacteria.
The amazing thing about the gut flora, is that everyones microbiome is unique, just like your fingerprint. No two people have the exact same makeup of bacteria in their gut, says Sarah.
If your gut is telling you something isn’t quite right, listen to it and consult a health professional.
Are Liquid Diets A Good Idea For Weight Loss
Losing weight is a very common goal.
Whether for health or appearance, many are searching for the ideal weight loss program.
One category of weight loss diets emphasizes the consumption of liquids, rather than solid foods.
Some programs simply replace certain meals with liquids, while others replace all solid foods with liquids.
This article discusses several types of liquid diets and whether they are recommended for weight loss.
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How To Get Things Moving Better
- Hydration make sure you are taking in two litres a day of liquids;
- Try including more soluble fibre in your diet, such as apples, oats, nuts, beans and pulses, grainsand vegetables;
- Try soaking chia seeds overnight in milk of your choice, and then add fruits and granola in the morning.;
- Move more make sure you move every day as that stimulates the gut motility .;
- If you sit down a lot, get up every 45 minutes;
- Engage in stress-relieving activities, such as deep breathing, stretching, and/or meditating.;
Be Diligent About Your Dental Health
It might seem strange to mention oral hygiene when discussing how to improve gut health, but its all connected. Multiple studies, including one conducted by Cornell University and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have found that harmful forms of bacteria that grow in the mouth often make their way into the gut or even the bloodstream. Regular brushing can keep those potentially harmful microbes in check-and your gut bacteria in balance.
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Foods For Good Gut Health
Research shows that changes that happen during fermentation make some foods healthier for your gut than non-fermented foods. For example, kefir and yogurt may do more to improve your gut health than will drinking unfermented dairy products. Same thing goes for kimchi and sauerkraut versus regular cabbage. While all three are healthy foods, fermentation helps bring different gut bacteria into the mix for a healthier gut biome. Which is yet another reason to eat and drink a wide variety of foods and beverage. Its also important to drink plenty of water to keep your gut biome healthy.
Probiotic & Prebiotic Supplements Can Support A Healthy Gut Microbiome
Probiotics are live microorganisms that positively impact our gut microbiome and, as a result, our general well-being. They can be found in fermented foods, like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, or nutritional supplements. Probiotics support a healthy gut microbiome first and foremost by simply increasing the number of bacteria that are present. Increasing bacterial populations in the intestines may help to balance the composition of the gut microbiome.
Probiotic supplementation is also associated with supporting the integrity of the intestinal barrier and regulating cytokine production. Cytokines are chemical messengers of the immune system that play a role in the immune response.8 Probiotics support this process by increasing the production of cytokines associated with lowering inflammation and decreasing production of those that promote inflammation.
Like probiotics, prebiotics can be consumed either as food in the diet or as nutritional supplements. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not live organisms; instead, they provide nourishment for live organisms.
Prebiotics are unique sources of energy for gut microbiota because they are able to avoid being digested in the GI tract so they can arrive undigested in time for dinner for gut microbiota. Types of prebiotics include:
^To date, shown in multiple animal studies, infants, and one adult human study.
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How To Improve Gut Health Naturally
At any given moment, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Known as a microbiome, this culture of microscopic organisms is essential to gut health, playing a role in everything from the digestion of food to the regulation of metabolism. Whats more, research suggests the condition of your microbiome can also impact your mood and your ability to fend of illness.
Although the market is saturated with expensive probiotics that can give your microbiome a boost, it turns out you can actually change your internal ecosystem simply by adapting your lifestyle.
The gut microbiota is very dynamic, so if you start taking up healthy food habits, it will respond and will modify very quicklyeven within 48 hours, says Corinne Maurice, an assistant professor at McGill University, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Gut Microbial Physiology and a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar for Humans and the Microbiome. But to improve gut health in the long-term, you need to stick to those healthy habits, because the benefits can disappear just as quickly. Heres expert advice on how to improve gut health naturally.
Ways To Improve Gut Health & Reduce Inflammation
In your small and large intestinesthe human gutyou host trillions of microbial cells. These microorganisms make up the microbiome, the bacterial community that affects how you digest food, process nutrients, and interact with every aspect of the physical world. For everyone, but especially people living with chronic metabolic conditions like Gaucher disease, the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in managing inflammation.
Lori Fish Bard, MS, HHC, is a clinical nutritionist and board-certified integrative health counselor. She develops personalized, highly supportive blueprints to help individuals and families identify and accomplish their health goals. Through her practice, Healthy Heartbeet, she uses a holistic, functional, and integrative approach to help people develop sustainable habits to live healthy, nourished, and balanced lives. She spoke with us about how gut health affects our overall health, especially for people living with Gaucher disease and other chronic conditions.
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Why Should I Care What Those Microbiomes Are Doing
If the good and the bad are balanced, your gut health will be happy. If that balance changes, it’s called dysbiosis which may be ; linked to a range of; health issues.;
A simple symptom of dysbiosis could be an upset stomach or bowel issues. This may potentially fix itself when whatever has upset your stomach has passed, such as antibiotics, too much alcohol or mild anxiety.
There is also research happening in genetic dysbiosis, which means you could be more vulnerable to certain health conditions within your family.
Keeping the bad bacteria in check and making sure the good bacteria are thriving is one way to try to support your gut health. And in turn, it could possibly help your overall health.Gut health may potentially play a role in other things such as whether youve got clear skin or acne breakouts, says Sarah, Imbalances in the gut aren’t just signs of gut issues, it could be bigger than the gut itself.;
Unlocking The Gut Microbiome And Its Massive Significance To Our Health
If you want to learn more about whats going on in your gut, the first step is to turn your poo blue. How long it takes for a muffin dyed with blue food colouring to pass through your system is a measure of your gut health: the median is 28.7 hours; longer transit times suggest your gut isnt as healthy as it could be. We are only now beginning to understand the importance of the gut microbiome: could this be the start of a golden age for gut-health science?
The gut microbiome is the most important scientific discovery for human healthcare in recent decades, says James Kinross, a microbiome scientist and surgeon at Imperial College London. We discovered it or rediscovered it in the age of genetic sequencing less than 15 years ago. The only organ which is bigger is the liver. And, for all that the internet may be full of probiotic or wellness companies making big health claims about gut health, We dont really know how it works, he says. At the risk of sounding like the late Donald Rumsfeld, theres what we know, what we think we know, and an awful lot that we dont yet have a clue about.
A very small Italian study using a similar commercial probiotic, Sivomixx, piqued his interest after it suggested acute Covid patients treated with it might be less likely to end up in ICU or to die, and eight times less likely to suffer respiratory failure. Bjarnason is hoping to start a larger study in the next few months.
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