It’s not just what you eat, it’s what you digest, absorb and eliminate. Digestive health has always been recognised in Naturopathic medicine as the foundation of overall health and now research is finally catching up!
Evidence supports that digestive health and the gut microbiome affects just about every body system directly or indirectly and includes:
• Immunity: a huge proportion of your immune system actually resides in your gut.
• Mood and brain function: 90% of serotonin (the feel good hormone) receptors are located in the gut. Gut bacteria also produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood.
• Skin: inefficient elimination of waste, inflammation and increased gastrointestinal permeability (known as ‘leaky gut’) are all factors which can contribute to skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
Unfortunately, according to the Gut foundation of Australia, at least 50% of Australian adults experience unpleasant gut symptoms such as bloating, gas and constipation.
There are usually a number of causes and contributing factors to poor gut health which can be challenging to identify. This is where functional pathology tests such as the MetaBiome or Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA ) can help remove guesswork and ensure more targeted and personalised treatment.
What are the tests?
The MetaBiome uses comprehensive and up to date microbiome assessment technology to provide a complete picture of the bacteria within the gut and their functional potential. This test can identify individual genes in the bacteria that may contribute to the function of that bacteria and its influence on microbial and functional health.
The Complete Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) is a simple, non-invasive sampling test and provides an overview of the components of digestion, absorption, intestinal function and microbial flora, as well as identifying pathogenic bacteria, parasites and yeasts.
What can these tests tell me?
These tests can provide more information about your:
• Pancreatic function
• Beneficial Bacteria
• Presence of Pathogenic Bacteria and parasites
• Gluten sensitivity
• Inflammation (Inflammatory Bowel Disease versus Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
• Peptic ulcers
• Gastric cancer markers
• Colorectal cancer markers
Are these tests suitable for me?
In a naturopathic consultation thorough case taking is the first step and only once that is complete will testing be considered. However, you may be an ideal candidate for a functional pathology test if you experience the following conditions or symptoms:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Irritable Bowel Disease
- Abdominal pain
- Bad breath
- Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances
- Hormonal imbalances
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Skin conditions – acne, eczema, psoriasis
- Poor liver function
- Malabsorption / Maldigestion
By measuring your diversity and potential to produce specific gut metabolites with these simple, non-invasive tests you will gain an understanding of your unique microbiome and how it may be affecting your health. This is priceless information as it allows an individualised approach to your treatment plan through diet and lifestyle, as well as nutritional and/or herbal medicine.
If this interests you, book in with our Naturopath today!