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Rated excellent 4.8 on Trustpilot and 4.8 on Google reviews.
This company is truly amazing. I’ve used other testing services in the past and all they do is send you the report which means absolutely nothing to the normal person. Healthpath go above and beyond and actually give you special advice about the supplements you need to take and break down your reports to give a clear understanding of what is going on inside you. Just so you know, they aren’t pushing for a sale either of their supplements, Alex who is helping me offered a suggestion for a product which they don’t even have in stock right now so I can start improving my health straight away while he waits for my SIBO reports to come back. Honestly, the company actually care and it is refreshing. Their customer service is also top notch and they go above and beyond to help out. They’ve also introduced a monthly payment option and will help me out when I need to re-test. I 100% recommend testing with Healthpath to get a real tailored program of the specific issues causing your digestive suffering, otherwise you’re just throwing money at supplements which don’t even work. Thank you team.
But First Why Test Your Gut Health
You might be wondering what the advantage is when you test your gut health. After all, cant you just guess and start taking probiotics to improve your microbiome?
Its not quite that simple. There are about 100 trillion bacteria that live in your gut. The only way of determining what your specific gut profile looks like is by completing a test. Your results will point you in the right direction when it comes to dietary changes you should make, supplements you should utilize and the kind of lifestyle you should be following.
When we make changes not really knowing if theyre right for us, this can end up doing more damage. Theres room for error in some of these gut health tests, but you still have the ability to gather some pretty great information.
Gut Metatranscriptome & Microbiome Analysis
Im super excited about a new kind of testing that allows us to have a deeper picture of what is happening inside the gut. Weve all heard the studies about the importance of the gut and how it impacts every single aspect of our lives, and now we can actually get a glimpse of what is happening inside the gut and know how to impact our own gut environment.
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Microorganisms Rule Our Body
There are trillions of microorganisms in the gut . As humans, we have more bacterial cells than human cells and these bacteria drastically affect our lives on a daily basis.
These crucial gut organisms help us digest food, produce chemicals and substances within the body, control infections by pathogens, regulate the immune system, and even control emotions.
Viome, a company Im about to tell you more about, explains on their website:
Studies consistently link these microorganisms which make up your gut microbiome to many chronic conditions, including diabetes, obesity, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, coronary artery disease, psoriasis, lupus, and even autism.
Basically, if we want to be healthy and happy our gut bacteria needs to be healthy and happy too!
May Promote Heart Health
The level of gut bacteria in the body can influence cardiovascular health. Scientists suggest a link between the activities of the gut microbiome on food and cardiovascular diseases.
Research showed that the gut bacteria in our body produce a metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide . This biological process occurs when they act on food molecules Choline and L-Carnitine.
These molecules are present in foods such as fish, beef, and poultry. TMAO is known to harm people suffering from heart diseases by producing cholesterol-inducing chemicals.
Nevertheless, some gut microbiomes can influence cardiovascular health positively. A good example is Lactobacilli.
Lactobacilli taken in the form of probiotics can help reduce cholesterol. Abnormal cholesterol levels act as one of the risk factors for heart diseases.
Scientists are also looking at the treatment possibility of grapeseed oil in cholesterol-related forms of cardiovascular diseases.
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Can You Improve Your Gut Health Without Doing A Test
Absolutely! There are many ways to support your microbiome through food choices and lifestyle habits. Here are a few ideas:
- Learn to manage stress
- Spend more time outside
These factors can influence your gut and microbiome health over time, helping you create an environment where beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms can thrive.
The health of your microbiome is essential for your overall health, but gut health testing doesnt have all the answers . You may be able to gain some intriguing information, but you must interpret it in context and with a skilled provider. We have a long way to go before microbiome testing is robust enough to be used for individually-targeted medical advice.
How To Test Your Gut Health Online Or At Home
You can order a gut health test from several online providers.
Do your research. You want to make sure that your gut health test kit provider a) looks at bacteria, yeasts, parasites and digestive markers, and b) will help you understand what they mean for your health. If you dont have those two elements, youll be left with set of data thats both incomplete and baffling.
Heres how the process works at Healthpath:
Youll also fill in a detailed symptom survey on your Healthpath account. We encourage this because youre more than just datahow you feel is an important part of your health picture.
After that, the lab will analyse your sample, and youll receive a report detailing which microbes have been found. In your Healthpath report, a practitioner will consider both your results and your symptoms to give you personalised, practical advice.
To make results as accurate as possible, its also important to prepare for the test properly. You should:
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How To Heal Your Microbiome
- Collect data. Keep a food diary to track reactions or monitor your stool consistency and color. Recording this data can allow you to identify patterns and help your doctor assess your health.
- Consider taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements. Probiotics and prebiotic supplements and foods help to replenish your microflora.
- Cultivate a healthy diet. Eat plenty of plants and legumes to improve your fiber consumption. Remove heavily processed foods and beverages. Be mindful of your sugar intake, as it disrupts microbiota and can lead to a number of health conditions.
- Exercise. Incorporate at least 30 minutes of intentional movement into your daily routine.
- Manage stress. Reduce stress as much as possible, as it disrupts digestion, sleep, and mental health.
- Sleep. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Having a nighttime routine in place will help you wind down and get to sleep more efficiently.
Ways To Test Your Gut Health
In the world of chronic illness, autoimmune disease, and the pursuit of better health, were all very aware that we should be focusing on our gut health. We know that our gut is connected to everything in our body including our immunity, our mental health, and our hormones. We can all assume that we need to be focusing on our gut but how do we really know what to focus on?
Though its true that there is a myriad of things that we can all implement in our lives for better gut health, testing is always best! Heres the thing I know that testing is expensive. Trust me, Ive been around the block with all of these! The tests listed here are thoroughly worth the cost, and two of them can easily be done at home, essentially for free!
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Investigate Your Autoimmune Disease
One of the things that you must check to know if you are having an unhealthy gut is to investigate the cause of your Autoimmune Disease. These diseases are linked to having a poor gut health due to the fact that the immune system attacks healthy tissues. This happens as a result of having a small number of good bacteria in the gut. However, we indicated here that you must investigate the cause of these autoimmune diseases because there are other factors that affect its escalation. Some of those factors are overuse of medications, mold exposure, chronic stress, and genetics.
What Happens After A Gut Health Test
After youve sent off your sample, you should receive your test report within a few weeks . Your test should show you which microbes you have and explain the current research findings on each. It should also tell you how to optimise the richness and diversity of your microbiome.
The specifics of this guidance will vary according to whats found in your sample. Here at Healthpath, we give personalised recommendations for:
Diet You may be eating too much of a food type that encourages dysbiosis, or you might not be eating enough of a food type that encourages the growth of healthy bacteria. A good test report should tell you which foods will benefit your microbiome.
Lifestyle Although your dietary habits shape your microbiome, other habits have an impact too. These include your sleep, stress and level of activity. A Healthpath gut health report gives you extra resources to help you improve all three.
Supplements You should always optimise your diet and lifestyle first, but supplements can be a helpful tool to support your gut health. Typical recommendations include probiotics, prebiotics and antimicrobialsbut this will vary depending on your specific results.
You should expect to follow these recommendations closely for eight to 12 weeks. After that, the goal is to make your diet as relaxed and as inclusive as possible, all while continuing to support a healthy microbiome.
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How Does Testing Work What Do I Have To Do
We use a stool test collected with a lab-certified sampling swab from soiled tissue paper.The process is simple and unlike other tests on the market, Tiny Health doesn’t require gloves, a spoon-like collection device, or that you handle stool at all, other than on a regular tissue paper.The sample is then stored in the included container and zippered back and mailed back to us on the prepaid envelope included with your kit.
But Im Curious Anyway
Most companies ask you to send in a stool sample, which you take yourself and post in a secure package to a laboratory to analyse the results.
Each company is different
Different companies analyse your stool sample in different ways.
For instance, some tell you the relative abundance of bacteria down to the genus level . Some tell you which strains of microbe are present and their function. Some tell you which of the microbe genes are expressed and active.
All of these are legitimate approaches to analysing your gut microbiome, and you could expect a reasonable degree of accuracy.
How do you interpret the results?
The companies also differ in how they supply and interpret the results. The company may compare your results with others theyve analysed. But they cant compare them with an average or healthy microbiome because an individual company doesnt sample the whole population, and scientists havent yet defined a healthy microbiome.
Some companies advise the types of foods you could eat to boost levels of particular bacteria. You might also be told that a certain bacteria can be associated with some health condition, like obesity or constipation.
Ideally, alongside your results would be an explanation about the types of research the insights are based on, limitations of the evidence, and a caution the results cannot be considered medical advice.
What about privacy?
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Should I Change My Diet If The Results Say So
Some microbiome test results go into great detail about how your diet may contribute to an overgrowth of unfavorable bacteria or an abundance of good bacteria. They may include particular recommendations on which foods you should eat more of or avoid. As long as you dont take advice that would lead you to consume foods to which you have known allergies, following a diet with your microbiome in mind can be a powerful boost to your well-being. Still, some dietary changes can result in nutrient deficiencies, so its best to speak with your physician first.
It is impossible to link certain microbiome features directly with symptoms. High-quality microbiome tests analyze your microbiome and then rely on identifiable patterns between microbiome composition and symptoms. They use that information to offer suggestions for how you could improve your gut health and overall wellness.
How To Pick The Best At Home Microbiome Test
If you’re struggling to pick the best gut test, pay attention to what your body tells you. Gut health tests reveal different things about your microbiome, digestion, and overall health.
You should choose a microbiome test that fits your needs:
- Ombre and Ixcela can reveal connections between your gut and health
- Biohm can test for imbalances in your gut microbiome
- Verisana Lab can help you find out if you have a leaky gut
- Viome and Wellnicity can uncover the reasons behind your digestive symptoms
My Obgyn Said Theyd Never Heard Of The Microbiome Before Why Should I Take A Test
Traditional medical practitioners donât get training for microbiome health and as such, are not always familiar with the latest research and recommendations on this field of medicine.However, our tests are developed by a team of leading pediatric scientists and physicians who are on the cutting edge of this impactful field.Often, itâs up to your doctor to keep up on the latest research and most donât have the time. In addition to this, it can take 10 – 15 years for academic research to be put into medical practice. So itâs possible that your doctor hasnât heard about the gut microbiome. âBut that doesnât mean that itâs something to wait on.âEspecially during pregnancy and the first few years of life. Recent studies show just how important the microbiome is to your babyâs immune development. You can use microbiome testing to make sure your baby has bacteria that protect health.
What Can You Learn From A Gut Microbiome Test
If you and your doctor decide that gut microbiome testing is right for you, get ready to learn a lot about your gut health. The digestive system is an extremely complex part of the body, so these tests dont check one or two biomarkers. In fact, depending on the exact test used, they can test for a bunch of different things, including:
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What Does The Science Say
While the gut microbiome may be part of standard care at some point in the future, according to a review in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology from 2021, were not quite there yet.
Thats why experts view these tests with deep skepticism.
Nobody should waste their money on these tests, says Rabia De Latour, MD, a gastroenterologist and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City. The top researchers at the most innovative laboratories at the worlds best academic institutions with the highest levels of funding cant do what these companies are claiming. We still cannot pinpoint which microbes are associated with which health outcomes.
Dr. De Latour added that a person’s gut microbiome is constantly changing, and one sample does not provide an accurate picture of a rapidly evolving ecosystem, which is why the tests are not a diagnostic tool, not covered by insurance, and not FDA approved.
For tests like Verisana, De Latour points out that a doctor can perform an antigen test that is the gold standard for H. pylori, as well as prescribe medicines to eliminate an H. pylori infection.
A study published in 2019 in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology pointed out that the gut microbiomes changeable nature makes it difficult to treat, and its a pitfall for doctors to assume it will remain stable.
Conduct A Bowel Transit Time Test
What is this bowel transit time test we are talking about? This refers to the time consumed from swallowing the food we eat until its elimination from our bodies by the form of stool. This test can help you to see if you are experiencing constipation which is one of the signs that your gut is probably imbalanced in fermentable substrates. Also, if the transit time is very fast, diseases like Crohns might be the possible result. Crohns disease is the product of abnormal absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract. To conduct a bowel transit time test at the comfort of your home, here are some of the foods that you can use.
1. Sesame Seeds put some sesame seeds in a glass of water then drink. Swallow the seeds whole then check your stool every time you defecate to calculate your bowel transit time.
2. Red Beets cook a cup of red beets then eat. Raw or shredded is okay depending on which you prefer most.
3. Corn Kernels a cup of cooked corn kernels can also be utilized to check your bowel transit time. Eat it alone apart from other foods.
Heres the procedure on the whole process of bowel transit time test:
Note:Red beets can make your urine looks pink.
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