About Gut Health
Whether you are suffering from IBS symptoms, simple or complex health complaints, the health of the gut is the foundation for all health and should be considered first. Bacteria and other microbes (including fungi and viruses) are often thought of as sources of disease, but in fact many play an essential role in keeping you healthy. Your body contains trillions of microbes, most of which are beneficial.
They play a key role in the development of the immune system, digestion of fibres, production of energy metabolites, elimination of toxins, regulation of hormones, synthesis of vitamins and neurotransmitters and in the defence against pathogens and the list goes on. Supporting gut health is central to our functional medicine approach, here at the London Clinic of Nutrition.
Conditions linked to gut health
When you hear about poor gut health, you might think of conditions like constipation and diarrhoea but an unhappy gut can manifest itself in many other ways:
- Unexplained weight gain – Several studies now suggest that overweight and lean people have very different microbial diversity within the gut. These differences may affect appetite and satiety, resulting in different eating behaviours.
- Skin issues – Emerging research in this area suggests that poor gut health has a profound effect on our skin’s functioning and microbiome.
- Mood swings, depression, anxiety. A recent review suggests that the gut microbiome and its interactome can have an impact on a persons mental wellbeing.
- Brain fog and memory problems: There is a link between our microbiomes and our brains, also known as the microbiota-gut-brain axis.
- Sleep disturbances: The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in your bowel. Gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well so speak to a doctor from Instant Consult right away if you start to feel these symptoms.
- Recurring cold and flu and other infections. 80% of our immune health is located in our gut so it makes sense to look after it to fend those bugs off.
- Food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities sometimes to foods that were not a problem before can be a result of a negative shift in your gut microbiota. Find our articles on food sensitivities and digestive health here.
- Sluggish metabolism, low energy and fatigue – new research has revealed that there is a strong association between chronic fatigue/ME and dysbiosis of the gut.
How do we test gut health?
There are typically two main routes to test your gut health at our gut clinic:
The breath test is an easy, non-invasive test that measures gases: hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4). The breath tests usually use glucose and/or lactulose as substrates to diagnose Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, also known as SIBO.
Depending on the condition we are looking to investigate, there are many levels of stool tests available. A fully comprehensive stool test will typically measure gut bacteria, yeast, fungi and parasites; markers of inflammation, immune function and markers for digestive health. In our experience, the best and most accurate type of stool tests uses PCR-DNA analysis.
Find out more about stool and gut health testing here.
What do we do to improve your gut health symptoms?
As one of the largest functional medicine clinics in Europe, we will investigate all possible routes and causes during your visit. Our gut health specialists look closely at the myriad of interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health. While a good diet is a foundation of building a healthy microbiome, other factors are fundamental too.
Unfortunately, the growing demands of a modern lifestyle are having a significant impact on our nutritional health - stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, dieting and poor nutrition all impact the body’s ability to absorb and utilise the nutrition needed for digestive health.
Due to the complex pathophysiology of gut conditions, it’s important to approach it with a holistic, in-depth and comprehensive support. So, before embarking on a supplement spree we would always recommend that you consult one of our practitioners at our clinic.
Where can I get more advice?
Choice is a great thing, but it can be overwhelming. The supplement market is full of products, and many are fantastic but some aren’t. Same goes for testing companies and labs. It takes a lot of time to learn, understand, and trust labs, brands and products. Our gut specialists have done the legwork for you. We have investigated and found the best, most accurate and highest quality tests and products through extensive education and research.
Get in touch to find out more
Our relaxing treatment clinic is located in Marylebone, London, a few minutes away from the renowned Harley Street. We offer a range of appointments in-person or online. Get in touch to discuss your health concerns and how to match you with the most suitable practitioner.
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