Category Archives for Health Conditions

What is Microbiome Testing?

We have billions of bacteria living in our gut that produce chemicals, hormones, amino acids, vitamins and other components which are utilised by the body to maintain health every second of the day and night.

Alterations to the distribution, types and ratios within the microflora in the gut, can lead to multiple health problems and produce symptoms in many different body organs. As more and more research is done it becomes clear that the state of the microbiome is the base underlying instigator and the fall guy when things are not ideal elsewhere.  It’s can be a  vicious circle … we need to address the microbiome as an integral part of the whole picture.

We can now perform microbiome testing of the gut to establish a clear picture of the environment of the gut, being the gut microbiome. From there we can alter your diet and treatment to re-establish balance or maintain balance.

So what is microbiome testing …. and how does the testing work?

The extended Faecal microbiology performed by Bioscreen is far more comprehensive and useful than the CDSA or other tests used by most GP’s which only looks for abnormal bacteria and parasites that should not be found in the gut.

The testing we used is a specialist test that cultures and counts the bacteria that would normally be found in the gut – but most importantly it also looks at the ration that are needed  for a healthy gut microbiome.

Your body needs a variety of microbial metabolites to function effectively. When these metabolites are scarce, or alternatively, in excessive supply, body functions and processes are impacted and symptoms likely surface.

The test is an extensive investigation of the microbiome of the lower intestines/Gastrointestinal Tract, collected from a faecal sample. Microbes from your sample are grown and the presence and exact quantities of faecal bacteria, both aerobes and anaerobes, gram negative and gram positive bacteria and yeasts are identified.

If these individual sets of microbes are significantly outside the normal percentiles, representing an imbalance of the intestinal ecosystem, they can be specifically identified and then addressed. This imbalance has been evidenced in many disorders including Depresssion, Fibromyalgia, Parkinsons, Dementia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, ADHD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and inflammatory Bowel disease, as well as immune, mood and neurological disorders.

Fatigue…it’s making me tired just thinking about it

As you are no doubt aware, fatigue means that you cannot function as you feel you should.  It can also contribute to many other symptoms and conditions that may not be so obvious such as depression, headaches, joint pain, kidney, liver and skin issues.

The reasons that people suffer from fatigue are as many and varied as the individuals themselves and therefore each instance needs to be treated differently. The basis of fatigue may be related to stress, poor liver function, insulin resistance, allergies, inflammation, imbalance of the microbiome or other metabolic abnormalities to name but a few or ‘simply’  just a lack of sleep.  Lack of sleep in itself can also be caused by a number of factors and has far reaching health implications particularly if it is long term.

So, what is making you tired?

  • Do you have digestive problems? Do you get more tired after eating?
  • Are you getting enough … food & specific nutrients for energy?
  • Do you sleep properly? Do you wake tired?  Do you have trouble getting to sleep?  Do you wake up during the night?  How long has this been going on?
  • Are you feeling stressed or anxious?
  • Do you have other health issues? Hormonal problems?  Weight gain or loss?
  • Are you bloated often?
  • Do you suffer from a mid afternoon slump?

What can you do about it?

  • Keep a food diary and see if there is any correlation between certain foods and your symptoms.
    Are you eating high GI foods and at what time of the day?
  • Keep a sleep diary and note other factors in your life (including mood and food) at each instance of inadequate sleep
  • Take steps to reduce your stress levels and improve your sleep patterns.
  • AND/OR … Visit your nutritionist so that they can evaluate your health and help you on your way to your optimum energy and health.