With all the scientific advancements of the 21st Century, I would have to say that one of the top discoveries would be the discovery of the role our gut plays in our overall health. Research is linking what happens in our gut (and in particular, with our gut bacteria, known as the ‘microbiome’) with not only the obvious signs of gut discomfort (such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases) but even seemingly unrelated health conditions such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, eczema, depression, pain-related conditions, and the health of our immune system. It is even thought to play a role in our susceptibility to Alzheimer’s Disease.
What is somewhat ironic about this discovery is that it really isn’t ‘new’ – naturopaths have been onto gut health long before it was trendy, and I am often amazed at some of the news articles I read that cover information that I learnt about quite a few years ago. Nevertheless, it is fantastic to finally see this topic rightfully taking centre stage in all things health.
While I have worked with gut health and digestive disorders since virtually my first day as a practitioner (they are incredibly common!), I have often felt that gut health is an area where it would be great to have an extra set of eyes (so to speak) to help guide the understanding of the underlying cause(s) of health complaints – and therefore, the right remedies and treatment plan.
Now, I am pleased to announce that we have a fantastic new screening test available that can provide us with so much more information about the gut health than ever before.
This new test is called MetaBiome™ and I am super-excited to be able to now offer this in the clinic!
MetaBiome™ uses cutting-edge technology known as ‘shotgun nutrigenomic sequencing’ to gain a valuable insight into your gut health, and how it relates to your overall wellbeing. In a sense, the test provides insight not only into the spectrum of microbes living in the gut, but also their potential activity.
By measuring your diversity and potential to produce specific gut metabolites, this test means that we can gain an understanding of your unique microbiome and how it may be affecting your health. From your test, a report is generated that gives you an overall score out of 100 – with above 70 being considered the healthy range, between 50-70 being average, and under 50 being below average. The report is also divided up into sections that are relevant to your overall health, including:
- General gut health
- Gut mucosal health (your gut barrier, which can become impaired in many conditions)
- Gut motility (factors that may influence conditions such as constipation or diarrhea)
- Metabolic health (blood glucose and cardiovascular health)
- Nervous system (production of certain vitamins and neurotransmitters that you need for healthy moods)
- Immune function
- Inflammatory balance
So as you can see, the report provides us with valuable information that we can use. Diet and lifestyle, as well as nutritional and herbal ingredients, have the potential to actually modulate your microbiome composition and function – meaning that this information helps me personalise your treatment plan and monitor the health of your microbiome.
Accessing a MetaBiome™ Test
This test is available now. I stock the kits in the clinic, and the collection process is very simple.
I’m more than happy to have a chat to you about how the test may be helpful to your particular needs, and how we can go about arranging a test for you.