We Took A Stool Test! Results Explained…

Did we pass?

Sometimes to get to the bottoms of things, you have to start from… the bottom. When our director of sales, Vanessa Lee, told registered dietitian, Sarah Greenfield, that she was stumped by ongoing bloat, Sarah proposed a unique solution. Stool testing. Read on to learn more, or watch this video recap!

What Is A Stool Test?

“It helps show what is going on in the body,” Sarah tell us. “We can look at inflammation, we can look at malabsorption, we look for parasites, infection – all of these things are so crucial to your health. While it may sound kind of disgusting to get your poop tested, it gives so much insight into your health overall.”

Who might benefit from stool testing? People who are suffering from digestive issues that they just can’t seem to figure out. “If you’ve modified your diet, changed your lifestyle and are still not seeing movement or change in your discomfort – then examining your poop is a really good place to start,” says Sarah. “Your poo doesn’t lie!”

How Does It Work?

You get a box with everything you need to collect your sample at home – and yes, a pair of gloves. A specimen is dispersed between four different containers which are closed, packed back into the box, sealed up, and shipped to a lab. The results come back two weeks later.

“It wasn’t as gross as I thought it was going to be,” Vanessa says after trying the process herself. “The weirdest part was it riding in my front seat in the FedEx bag and then handing it to the guy to ship.”

Vanessa’s Stool Test Results

The first page of Vanessa’s test results gives a summary of the overall results. She comes up clear of any digestive infections, inflammation or insufficiency. “Her digestive enzymes and pancreatic elastase all look great,” says Sarah. No surprise as Vanessa is such a big Flatter Me fan, but then what could be causing her discomfort?

You’ll notice that in the imbalance category there are some flagged concerns. We’ll get to those in a bit. For now, we also learn that Vanessa has a lower diversity of bacteria strains in her gut. The results even share a visual comparison of relative abundance compared to that of a healthy population.

Now, we can start to look more closely at the flagged imbalances. We learn that Vanessa is low in short chain fatty acids which are the main source of nutrition for the cells in your colon. Butyrate concentration is also low, which is a type of short chain fatty acid.

“This makes sense because good bacteria in your gut produces short chain fatty acids,” says Sarah. “We’ve already seen that Vanessa has a low diversity of bacteria strains so it would follow that she is low in short chain fatty acids and butyrate. One way to increase that is to eat more fiber.”

Next, we take a closer look at the levels of different bacterial strains in Vanessa’s gut. “I like to see these right down the middle,” advises Sarah. “You can see these are all really high.”

The next page looks more closely at bacteria culture. “There’s a couple here that are culturing out into a concerning area showing that these might be pathogenic,” Sarah indicates.

What Affects These Bacteria Levels In Our Gut?

It’s really connected to lifestyle. “There’s always good bacteria and there’s always bad bacteria in the gut,” Sarah tells us.  “Perhaps you take antibiotics and the bad bacteria grow and you never rebalance it. Alternatively, stress can cause bad bacteria to grow. Or, if you’re eating a diet that is highly processed, unbalanced, or high in sugar – that can cause bad bacteria to overgrow.”

What Should Vanessa Do With This Information?

“The reason why we did this test is to try and understand what’s going on with Vanessa’s digestion,” Sarah explains. “Now that we can see there’s all this weird bacteria in her gut, it could really be the missing link we were looking for.”

Vanessa might look into antimicrobial and anti-fungal herbal blend to gently clear out some of the bad bacteria and then repopulate  good bacteria using quality probiotics, like Gut Instinct. In terms of diet, Sarah recommends Vanessa increase her fiber intake with cooked vegetables and to limit dairy, alcohol, and sugar.

Would you try stool testing? Comment below and let us know!

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