If your health takes a toll for worse, your instinct will be to find out why. When it is related to your digestion and gut health, you would want to know the reason behind the same. The opposite is equally true. If you are feeling very healthy and everything in your body is going well, you would want to find out why you are feeling in a certain way. The answer to all your questions is a gut microbiome test. The microbes present inside your gut will build your health. When you have a healthy microbiome, you will have a strong metabolism, it will regulate the immune system and it is critical for proper digestion and for the absorption of the nutrients. An unhealthy microbiome leads to cancer, liver disease, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
If you want to know what is going on inside the microbiome, you will have to go through a gut microbiome test. Your gut is considered as your second brain, which shows how important it is for your health and body. Research has shown that your gut influences your brain and an unhealthy gut can change the brain. Research shows that an unhealthy gut can lead to anxiety and depression amongst people. Apart from impacting your brain, the gut also influences your genetics.
Functions performed by microbes
- Microbes can transform the bile into a health giving chemical.
- They have the ability to synthesize a range of amino acids and vitamins.
- Microbiota can produce enzymes and it can break down the food which helps you provide with adequate energy.
- Microbes can provide antimicrobial protection from many dangerous microbes and it produces critical chemical constituents.
- They help prevent allergies by supporting the immune system.
- They produce hormones which have an impact on your memory and your mood.
Combination of microbes
There is a combination of microbes in our body which creates the gut health and this differs from one individual to another. It also changes from one region to another. There are bad bacteria and good bacteria in your body and the gut health improves when the good bacteria exceed the number of bad bacteria. All the microbes have different functions to play and different needs to meet. The microbiome is constantly changing and it changes even on the same day. There can be a change in the diversity of microbes due to exercise, your diet, age, the time of food consumption, the amount of light you receive, fasting, supplements, your location in the world and the medication you are on.
All of us are keen on analyzing our microbiomes but is microbiome testing an answer? It is important to understand that the tests are a snapshot of one moment and it might not correspond with the gut system. The test does not show the result of your gut health over a period of time but it only shows the result at one particular point of time. There are different microbes which are active at certain times of the day and the remaining are active at other times. Hence, the composition of your microbiome can vary as much as 60% in one day. This means a test done in the morning will show different results to the test which is done in the night.
A stool test is not the right reflection of what is going on in your gut. The microbiota which is present in the stool sample can be different from what is actually in your intestines. There could be a presence of different microbes in your stool than what is in your gut. This means that you will be able to achieve a higher result in a biopsy as compared to the stool gut test. A gut test will only be able to tell you what is coming out of the body and not what is actually inside the body.
Will it show parasites?
Your stool test may or may not be able to tell you if there are parasites in the body. Majority parasites die after they leave the host. They tend to release enzymes and chemicals which start to decompose their bodies immediately after death. Hence, when the gut test gets to the testing lab for an analysis, the parasites might have completely dissolved. The type of test will change what is revealed in the same. Different companies use different methods for the collection, storage and testing of the sample and the results will vary accordingly. Analyzing your microbiome is more difficult than you think.
How to improve the gut health?
When you know that taking a test is not accurate, why not take steps to improve the gut health?
Here is all you need to do.
- Time to get the gut moving : The GI tract inside your body will help you get rid of metabolic wastes and chemicals. Now, if you remain constipated, you are poisoning yourself and the microbiomes. Hence, you need to get the drainage path moving regularly to ensure that the microbes are in your favor.
- Consume fiber to feed healthy microbes : The best way to increase the population of good bacteria in your body is to consume fiber. If the microbes do not receive adequate amount of fiber, they will die and the ones that are left will scrounge for anything they can find. When you eat a variety of vegetables and stay away from sugar, you can keep the microbes satisfied and promote a strong gut health.
- Eat fermented foods : When you eat fermented foods, you can give the microbes the fiber they are looking for while you add microbes which can increase the microbiome diversity. Fermented foods are associated with a good gut health and a strong mental health, hence you need to add them in your diet.
Instead of looking for ways to get your gut microbiome tested, it is advisable to start working on building a strong gut health from today itself!