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The gut contains 2kg of microorganisms!

The gut contains trillions of microorganisms weighing up to 2kg and is as unique to you as your fingerprint. Your microbiome has many useful functions which include absorbing and producing nutrients, maintaining the gut lining to keep out toxins and inhibit unwelcome microorganisms, providing immunity, and producing mood regulating hormones such as serotonin. The microbiome can be disrupted by a number of lifestyle and environmental factors including medications and antibiotics, chronic constipation, stress and diet. Refer to our blog - The forgotten organ, the thriving population that lives in your gut - for more information.

Gut flora

The modern diet has reduced the diversity of the microbiome

Dysbiosis is an unhealthy imbalance in the gut microbiome which not only affects bowel function (causing irritable bowel symptoms), but can also lead to inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, and even mental health problems. This comprehensive digestive stool analysis will show you if you have an undergrowth of overgrowth in specific gut microbes. If you'd like a nutritional review and assessment of your test results by our Clinical Nutritionist, consider adding on a Nutrition Assessment.

What we test

Faecal Macroscopy

Macroscopy looks at stool colour and formation, as well as for evidence of mucous or blood which may require further investigation.

This macroscopy test measures

Brown is the colour of normal stool. Other colours may indicate abnormal gastrointestinal conditions.

A formed stool is considered normal. Variations to this may indicate abnormal gastrointestinal conditions.

Mucous production may indcate the presence of an infection, inflammation or malignancy.

The presence of blood in the stool may indicate possible gastrointestinal ulcer, and must always be investigated immediately.

Faecal Microscopy

Microscopy is performed for detection of blood cells which may indicate infections or inflammation, as well as markers of maldigestion.

This microscopy test measures

The presence of red blood cells in the stool may indicate the presence of an infection, inflammation or haemorrhage.

The presence of white blood cells in the stool may indicate the presence of an infection, inflammation or haemorrhage.

The presence of food remnants may indicate maldigestion.

Too much fat in your faeces is called steatorrhoea which can be a sign of malabsorption. This means your body either isn’t absorbing nutrients properly or isn’t making the enzymes or bile needed to digest food effectively.

The presence of starch grains may indicate carbohydrate maldigestion.

Digestive & Metabolic Markers

The presence of meat fibres may indicate poor digestion from too little gastric acid or reduced output from the pancreas.

This stool test measures

The presence of meat fibres may indicate maldigestion from too little gastric acid or reduced output from the pancreas.

The presence of vegetable fibres may indicate maldigestion from gastric hypoacidity or diminished pancreatic output.

Imbalances in gut pH influence short chain fatty acid production and their effect.

Beneficial Bacteria

Significant numbers of bacteria are normally present in the healthy gut. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in particular, are essential for gut health because they help to inhibit gut pathogens and carcinogens, control pH, reduce cholesterol and synthesise vitamins.

This stool test measures

Bifidobacteria are considered "friendly” bacteria that are found in fermented foods like yogurt and cheese, and are used in probiotics. The gut needs these bacteria to perform several jobs, including breaking down foods, taking in nutrients, and preventing overgrowth of "bad” pathogenic bacteria.

Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are essential for gut health because they prevent overgrowth of gut pathogens, and contribute to managing intestinal pH, cholesterol, and synthesis of vitamins and disaccharidase enzymes.

Most E. coli strains are harmless and play an essential role in keeping the digestive system healthy, helping to digest food and producing Vitamin K. However, some E. coli bacteria are pathogenic and can cause disease.

Together with other healthy bacteria and fungi, enterococci work to keep unhealthy (pathogenic) bacteria from flourishing and helps to restore the balance of the microbiome.

Potentially Pathogenic Bacteria

This panel also looks for evidence of other bacteria which may be pathogenic in nature, such as Citrobacter and Klebsiella.

This stool test measures

Klebsiella forms part of the normal gut flora in small numbers, but can be an opportunistic pathogen

Pseudomonas is found in water and soil as well as fruits and vegetables, and is considered an opportunistic pathogen.

Campylobacter infection (campylobacteriosis) is a bacterial infection which most commonly causes gastroenteritis (also known as 'gastro') but may also cause illness affecting the entire body.

Citrobacter is considered an opportunistic pathogen and therefore can be found in the gut as normal flora. It is occasionally implicated in diarrhoeal disease, particularly C. freundii, C. diversus and C. koseri.

Yersinia infection (yersiniosis) is a bacterial infection of the bowel (intestine). It occurs worldwide, but is fairly uncommon. Many domesticated and wild animals carry Yersinia in their intestines, and spread to people occurs by eating food or water contaminated by infected faeces.

Other bacteria tested for include alpha-haemolytic Streptococcus, gamma-haemolytic Streptococcus, Pseudomonas species, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Bacillus species, Citrobacter amalonaticus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae

Yeasts

This test looks for evidence of candida or other yeast overgrowth. Whilst yeasts are a normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract, they may become an opportunistic pathogen after disruption of the mucosal barrier, imbalance of the normal intestinal flora or impaired immunity. This can be caused by things like antibiotics, antacids and stress.

This stool test measures

Candida albicans is the main type of yeast which colonises the human body. It normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body without causing problems, but imbalance in the microbiome can lead to overgrowth.

Whilst yeasts are a normal inhabitant of the gut, they may become an opportunistic pathogen after disruption of the mucosal barrier, imbalance of the normal intestinal flora or impaired immunity. This can be caused by things like antibiotics, antacids and stress.

Parasites

Some gut problems can be a consequence of an undetected gut infection. A significant number of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) cases could actually be due to undiagnosed gut parasites such as Blastocystis hominis and Dientamoeba fragilis.

This stool test measures

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrhoeal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are commonly known as "Crypto."

Symptoms of Giardia infection can occur with 3 to 25 days and may include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, pale greasy foul-smelling stools, stomach cramps, passing excess gas, bloating, weight loss and fatigue.

Amoebiasis is a parasitic disease (also known as amoebic dysentery) caused by infection with Entamoeba histolytica or another amoeba (for example, E. dispar). The disease may not cause symptoms in most individuals.

Some research suggests that people with IBS may be more likely to have Blastocystis hominis organisms in their stool.

Test instructions

Your test kit and all instructions are posted directly to you, and there is no need to visit a collection centre.

Mail your sample back to the lab in the prepaid envelope.

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