What is Your Gut Trying to Tell You?
We have all become a little snack-happy at a party, eaten too much cake, and had to undo the top button of our jeans to make room for the food baby. However, if you feel and look bloated regularly without overindulging, your gut microbiome might be trying to tell you something!
A healthy microbiome is a flourishing and diverse ecosystem containing a wide variety of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms, with minimal potentially harmful or disease-producing bacteria. When the microbiome is balanced, you are able to create and absorb important vitamins, your immune system functions well, and you clear waste products effectively (yes, I mean poo!). However, if your gut ecosystem needs a little TLC, life and your belt buckle may be quite uncomfortable.
Bugs Out of Balance
An imbalance in your gut microbiome is known as ‘dysbiosis’, which is a reduction in both the number and/or diversity of the beneficial microorganisms within your gut, with an increase in less beneficial bacteria as a result. Dysbiosis disrupts the healthy functioning of your gut, leading to a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms, including digestive pain, bloating, nutritional deficiencies, or even a compromised immune system. What causes it? Poor dietary choices, frequent antibiotic use, a lack of exercise or unmanaged stress. (To read more about the causes of microbiome disruption, click here).
Dysbiosis and bloating have also been linked with digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is a type of chronic infection in which bacteria that usually reside in the large bowel reproduce in large numbers and migrate to the small intestine, somewhere they should not be. This can cause excessive bloating, flatulence and digestive discomfort., If you suffer from a digestive disorder, you could have an imbalance in your gut microbiome that needs addressing.
Meet the Methanogens
If you have dysbiosis, ‘methanogens’ may be lurking in your gut. These bacteria release methane gas as they break down fibre from your food, which can cause bloating, sluggish digestion, slow transit time (the amount of time food takes to travel from your mouth, through your gut, and out the other end), constipation, bloating, flatulence and gut discomfort. As excess methane production is connected with chronic constipation, it may be worth finding out if methanogens are making you feel stopped up.
Bad Bugs Take You For A Ride
By disrupting your internal gut microbiome, dysbiosis can create an environment where disease-causing organisms have the opportunity to flourish. We pick up little gut hitchhikers in the way of potentially harmful bacteria and stubborn yeasts in our daily activities. If our gut microbiome is fighting fit, it is able to kill off and dispose of these critters very effectively, however, if our gut microbiome is struggling, disease-causing bugs can take over.
Can you perhaps trace your gut issues back to a nasty bout of gastro or even Bali belly? Lingering symptoms can include bouts of nausea, gut pain, loose bowels, constipation (or both), brain fog and severe bloating. Even after an infection is identified and successfully treated, dysbiosis can persist, leaving you vulnerable to further infection.
There are multiple reasons why you could be chronically bloated, so how do you find out what’s going on in your gut? The best way is with a microbiome test.
Introducing the Metabiome™ Test
Based on cutting-edge science, the Metabiome™ stool test uses innovative, accurate and comprehensive testing methods to provide you with an in-depth understanding of your gut microbiome. It also measures how well your microbiome is able to function to keep you healthy, for example by helping you create vitamins and digest your food.
The test is able to identify all the microorganisms living in your gut, good and bad, showing you the types and amounts of beneficial bugs and the functions they are able to perform for you. It also measures the type and number of potentially harmful microorganisms (including methanogens) in your gut, and how they might lead to your bloating, constipation or other gut symptoms. Once you have the ‘why’, you can begin to address the cause of your issue and improve your symptoms.
If you’re curious to know how your gut measures up, the Metabiome™ test also scores your microbiome out of 100, based on 11 key signs of a healthy microbiome. The closer your score is to 100, the happier your gut microbiome is, and the greater your potential for fabulous health.
The stool sample is easily collected in the comfort of your own home, and can be mailed in the supplied reply-paid envelope. There is no awkward, tiny sample jar; all that’s needed is a swab from your toilet paper after wiping. It couldn’t be easier!
It’s Best to Test
If your skinny jeans have not seen the light of day for a while and your microbiome is yelling at you with symptoms of bloating or discomfort, dysbiosis may be the cause. The results of the Metabiome™ test can help you bring balance back to your gut microbiome and reduce those uncomfortable gut symptoms. Make an appointment with your Natural Healthcare Practitioner to access this simple test and get some answers.
 Cao H, Liu X, An Y, Zhou G, Liu Y, Xu M, et al. Dysbiosis contributes to chronic constipation development via regulation of serotonin transporter in the intestine. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 4;7(1):10322. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10835-8.
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