Gut Health Test
How do you assess your gut health?
The health of the gut is determined by a delicate balance of gut bacteria, virus and fungi that creates the microbiome.
As this balance becomes disrupted (dysbiosis), ‘bad’ bacteria (and other pathogens) start to proliferate. They ferment on the foods we eat, creating toxic substances; damaging the gut lining; and making the environment conducive to parasitic growth.
With the appropriate gut health tests we can understand exactly what types of bacteria have overgrown, where it has overgrown and how much damage it has caused. This knowledge enables us to select the most appropriate foods, probiotics, herbs, food supplements to treat the dysbiosis, bringing the gut back to a state of health.
How do you know if you have bacteria in your gut?
A person has about 500-1000 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. While many of these organisms are beneficial, and even essential for our health there could be some potentially harmful bacteria's that could shift the ecosystem out of balance.
Many facets of modern life such as stress, not enough sleep, eating processed and sugary foods, and taking antibiotics can all damage our gut health. IBS type symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation and gas are the more obvious signs but an unhappy gut can affect our health in unexpected ways:
- Skin health problems.
- Unexplained weight gain.
- Brain fog and poor memory.
- Sluggish metabolism and low energy.
- Recurring colds and infections.
- Mood swings and depression.
- Sleep disturbances.
Is there a test to check gut health?
Here, at the London Clinic of Nutrition, we use two main types of testing to assess the health of the gut microbiome:
Stool testing is one of the best and most comprehensive gut health tests available. It provides a precise assessment of gastrointestinal health and the gut microbiome. It accurately measures levels of gut bacteria (good & bad), yeast (e.g. candida), parasites; H-Pyloria, and markers for inflammation, immune function and digestive capacity.
Here at the London Clinic of Nutrition, we carefully select the best stool tests available that provide us with actionable markers.
Stool test options:
GI EcologiX by Invivo laboratories £374
GI 360 by Regenerus laboratories £370
GI Effects by Genova Diagnostics £382
Small Intestinal Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO a condition in which the bacteria normally present in the gut, start to proliferate in the small intestine. As they feed off carbohydrates from food, they create fermentation gases such as methane and hydrogen – causing a large array of gut-related health problems.
The SIBO test an easy, non-invasive test that measures gases: hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4). The breath test usually uses glucose and/or lactulose as substrates to diagnose SIBO. For best results, we often recommend testing for both of these gases.
Invivo - SIBO breath test £180
Please be advised that this is only a small range of tests available. We would generally recommend the most appropriate testing following an initial consultation, and the practitioner will always work with your budget.
Does the test cover my whole digestive system?
A comprehensive stool test, provides a wide range of markers that give us a great insight into your overall gastrointestinal health. We will look at markers relating to gut integrity, immunity, enzyme function and beneficial and pathogenic microbes. A SIBO test on the other hand provides insight into one area in the digestive system - your small intestine.
Here at the London Clinic of Nutrition, all of our practitioners work under the functional medicine model. This framework allows us to determine the root cause of the illness. For best results, we will consider how your genetics, environment and lifestyle interact as a whole system to diagnose and treat based on patterns of dysfunction and imbalance.
Based on scientific evidence, we now know that species of bacteria within the microbiome are not simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Rather, how microbes participate in health or illness is dependent on their abundance in the overall ecosystem and how they relate to one another. A perfectly healthy-looking microbiome might be doing things that aren’t healthy for an individual. One person’s healthy microbiome might not be healthy in another context. So, when investigating a person’s gut microbiome, it’s all about putting test results into context; looking for patterns and evaluating how a particular ecosystem relates to the health of the host (our patients). This type of approach is the most effective way to treat and heal the gut holistically.
Is a stool sample part of a gut health test?
It depends on the type of test your practitioner feels is appropriate and necessary for your particular situation. Due to the complex pathophysiology of gut conditions, the testing method and treatment plan will be different for everyone. Therefore, it is important to approach it with a holistic, in-depth and comprehensive support. We would always advise that you consult one of our practitioners at our clinic. Get in touch for a complimentary discovery call to discuss your health concerns and how to match you with the most suitable practitioners.
Can I get a gut health test on the NHS?
Comprehensive gut test isn’t currently available on the NHS. Mainly because in the primary health care it isn’t generally accepted that gut health influences the development of chronic diseases.
If your doctor suspects a particular gut condition or infection, they may refer you for a specific stool test to investigate for blood, parasites and other microbes. Some hospitals may do breath tests but for most patients, that’s the full extent of the gut tests available. In fact, according to the current NICE guidelines, testing gut health isn’t necessary for the diagnosis of IBS.
Therefore, a private stool test is the only option for a comprehensive gut health assessment.
Experts in gut health
The London Clinic of Nutrition is the first clinic of its kind in the UK, offering a full holistic experience. We pride ourselves as the biggest functional medicine practice in Europe. We combine industry-leading nutrition and functional medicine expertise, alongside the latest testing, so we can attend to all your health needs in one trip. We specialise in Lyme disease, autoimmune disease, gut health, hormone health and unexplained illness. To understand what to expect when you attend the clinic and how successful our approach is, please have a read of our Google reviews and testimonials.
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