Dysbiosis testing: what does it mean for your patients?
The word ‘microbiome’ is on everyone’s lips at the moment; there is growing awareness of what this actually means and a real emphasis on balancing your diet to achieve a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Our understanding of how the microbiota in the gut actually influence health and wellbeing is expanding at a rapid pace, and it’s now well recognised that every bacterial species naturally at home in the human gut has its own unique function. Patients with gastrointestinal diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in particular, are keen to know the bacterial composition of their own gut, how it functions as a result, whether specific bacteria or proportions of bacteria are contributing to their symptoms, and what can be done about it.
The gut microbiota DNA analysis tool GA-map® Dysbiosis Test is the first test to use a standardised approach to identify and characterise the imbalance of the microbiome – dysbiosis – from a faecal sample.
What will my patient learn from having a dysbiosis test?
The GA-map Dysbiosis Test will give you and your patient a full overview of what’s really going on in their gut, which bacteria are the major players and whether these are health-promoting or health-inhibiting microbes. Armed with this knowledge – and your tailored advice – they will be able to identify what specific diets or supplements are needed to try and normalise their microbiome and, in turn, improve their gastrointestinal symptoms and overall health.
This simple but effective test can answer the following:
Does the patient have an abnormal gut microbiome?
How far from a healthy reference point are their results?
How severe is the dysbiosis?
What bacterial species are present in the gut?
What proportions of these different bacteria make up the microbiome?
Does the patient have probiotic bacteria in their gut?
Does the bacterial composition suggest inflammation is present?
Would dietary changes help?
Would supplements, such as probiotics, have a positive impact on the microbiota?
Knowledge means power
Based on the results of this test, you can give your patient clear advice on diet and lifestyle, or personalise their treatment, and having a better understanding of their own microbiome will help them to fully engage with this. Looking at what and how much they eat, and whether their diet supports useful bacteria but suppresses harmful species, educates and empowers patients to make changes that can potentially reduce their discomfort, alleviate unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhoea, and help them return their gut microbiome to a healthier composition.
Keeping track of gut health
Repeating dysbiosis tests over time is also an effective way to monitor your patients and demonstrate whether dietary changes or supplements have been effective in normalising their microbiome. They will be able to see if the lifestyle changes they have made – such as losing weight, reducing alcohol intake, and including more fermented foods and fibre in their diet – have increased the diversity of microbes and led to a larger proportion of healthy bacteria in their gut and, in the case of IBS and IBD, whether this has affected symptoms.
Click here to find out more about how the GA-map Dysbiosis Test could help your patients.
About BIOHIT HealthCare
BIOHIT HealthCare is a Finnish biotech company, headquartered in Helsinki, that specialises in the development, manufacture and distribution of kits and assays for the screening, diagnosis and monitoring of digestive diseases. Its core disease focus areas include stomach health and dyspepsia, reflux and acid dysregulation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and gut microbiota dysbiosis.
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