While most people understand that the gastrointestinal (GI) system is the body’s tool for taking in and absorbing nutrients and water, this system of critical organs also functions as one of our body’s frontlines in the fight against disease. The GI system includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon and rectum. The gastrointestinal tract itself is a long muscular tube with digestive organs attached along the way – at up to 10 metres long it begins at the mouth and ends at the anus.
A large reservoir of microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, live within our digestive system. The gut microbiome is made up of bacteria and microorganisms that exist in the lower intestine and play an important role in healthy digestion, which allows food converted to glucose, fats and acids to be absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream and nutrients carried on to each cell in the body. Beyond digestion, gut microbiota helps with metabolism, immune function and brain health.
Each person has a unique bacteria profile. Our gut microbiome begins development early in life and can be influenced by health conditions, diet, lifestyle, geographical location and medications.
Our Microbiome Screen Gut Analysis takes a comprehensive look at the overall health of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the balance of microbiota. It is one of our most popular assessments as it is a unique screening test that is tailored to the individual. This straightforward stool sample analysis evaluates:
- Gut flora and beneficial bacteria (the gut immunity system)
- Gut bacterial overgrowth assessment (where symptoms commence if too much is present)
- Gut parasites (can be caused from a variety of factors including recent travel or poor hygiene)
- Gut yeast and fungal overgrowth.
There are thousands of different types of bacteria in your intestines, most of which benefit your health. However, having too many unhealthy microbes can lead to disease. The microbiome can also affect gut health and may play a role in intestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). An imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may also contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other disorders.