How Can I Test My Gut Health?
Gut health, or microbiome, tests can be useful to better understand the collection of microbes in your gut is functioning. Typically, gut health tests involve collecting a stool (or poop) sample and sending it to a lab via your gut health test provider.
The lab will then process your sample, extracting the genetic material and then running data analyses to generate the relative abundances (percentages) of different microbes in your gut.
Reading My Gut Health Report
Here, we guide you through reading your Snapshot or RESET+ report.
Under the section ‘Gut Status,’ your report will contain these different sections:
- Gut Boosters – microbes that can help boost your energy and support your immune system, metabolism, and mental health.
- Chronic Culprits – microbes linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
- Gut Guards – microbes that can be protective against IBD.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome – microbes that are linked to this group of symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
- Fat Burners – microbes that can aid weight loss.
- Anti-Inflammatory Aids – microbes that help fight pathogens and keep your immunity in check.
- Probiotics – species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria that are bona fide celebs in the good gut space, owing to how beneficial they can be for your body.
- Other Microbes – such as Candida and parasites.
If you have a RESET+ report, you will also find a ‘Nutrional Suggestions’ section. This contains:
- Your key recommendations, based on your results
- Your RESET+ dietary plan
- A sample meal plan
If you have a Snapshot report, you will have a page with your Top 3 nutritional recommendations, based on your results.
Finally, all reports will conclude with a ‘Closing Remarks’ page, and contain a ‘Complete Overview of Microbes’ – which lists your levels and status for all listed microbes.
What is an Inverse Association?
In our reports, certain microbes are marked with an asterisk * to denote inverse associations.
This can mean one of two things:
- If they are considered a “good gut” microbe, an inverse association means having higher levels is not good. For example, Ruminococcus gnavus* has an inverse association under the Fat Loss section. Unlike the other microbes in this section, R.gnavus will not support weight loss in higher numbers.
- If they are a “bad gut” microbe, an inverse association means having higher levels is a goodthing. For example, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii* has an inverse association with IBS. This means that higher levels are more often found in people without IBS. So having higher levels is beneficial!
My report contains no Lactobacillus – but I eat cheese?!
Have you tested your gut and found little or no probiotic bacteria, even if you are actively taking probiotic supplements or enriched yogurts?
You may be surprised, but this is rather common.
Eating commercial probiotic products doesn’t mean they’re actually being cultivated in your gut. Remember, probiotics need food (prebiotics) to thrive! Support your gut by eating a Microbiome-Friendly diet. This means a diverse range of foods, including fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi etc.,) prebiotic-rich foods and a lot of plants!
Note: having no Lactobacillus does not indicate lactose intolerance.
Beans make me gassy – but they’re in my dietary plan.
Beans are so beneficial, it’s worth keeping them in your diet – any way you can. For instance, the indigestible sugars in beans that travel to our colon actually act as prebiotics!
There are certain tips to help reduce their gas-promoting capabilities.
- Pick the right bean. If you struggle with gas after eating beans, know that lentils, split pea, tofu and canned beans tend to cause less gas.
- Repeatedly soaking (for 12 hours/overnight) and rinsing dry beans can help, if you’re cooking from scratch.
- Boil and cook thoroughly.
- Optional: Sprouting beans can helpful additional step.
- Otherwise, certain supplements can help you break down bean sugars and get the gas out: simply look for some containing the enzyme alpha-galactosidase³.
Long-term, whether eating beans or broccoli, bulking up on high-fiber foods does not appear to create dramatic problems with gas1.
Some gas and bloating when introducing regular consumption can be seen, but this usually subsides once the relevant bacteria populate and get ready to break-down these foods.
The key is to start slow.