The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Health: Test Your Gut
Posted on by Margo Gladding
When dealing with any health challenge, including eczema, joint pain, brain fog, gas/bloating, anxiety, depression, sinus and respiratory symptoms, etc., addressing and optimizing gut health is an essential starting point. The gastrointestinal (GI) system is complex and plays an incredibly important role in your overall health and wellness.
Village Green is offering a new lab package, Digestive Health Panel & Customized Recommendations. This lab panel provides important insights into your GI health, and includes interpretation and a personalized action plan created by a skilled naturopath.
Why Gut Health Matters
A well-functioning GI system forms the foundation of good health. It is responsible for digesting and absorbing nutrients from food, providing immune protection, removing toxins, housing a delicately balanced microbiome, communicating with the nervous system and the brain, supporting neurotransmitter health, and serving as an important barrier to the outside world. When any of these functions are disrupted, health is impacted.
Some of the biggest factors affecting our health today include stress, toxins, allergens, pathogens, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits, and taking medications. The GI system is vulnerable to these insults and can result in a breakdown in digestive function, toxin build-up, intestinal permeability (leaky gut), unhealthy bacterial overgrowth, infections and neurotransmitter imbalances. Research shows that over time, GI dysfunction and inflammation can lead to chronic conditions, such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and autoimmune diseases.
The gut microbiome, in particular, has a tremendous potential to impact our physiology in both health and disease. Imbalances in microbial composition are believed to be a key factor in setting the stage for disease pathogenesis. Fortunately, there are many ways to help restore a healthy and diverse microbiome.
Assessing GI health through specialty lab testing, such as a comprehensive stool analysis, allows for the evaluation of a person’s microbiome composition, including the amount and identification of beneficial and imbalanced bacteria, pathogenic bacteria, and yeast/fungus. In addition, stool testing provides important information regarding the efficiency of digestion and absorption, as well as inflammation and GI immune health.
Based on lab testing and one’s symptoms/health history, a personalized plan can be created to address GI dysfunctions and optimize gut health. For example, a comprehensive approach for supporting GI health may include diet, lifestyle, and nutrient recommendations for eliminating pathogens, reducing exposure to irritants, supporting enzyme activity, supplementing with pre- and probiotics, as well as repairing the mucosal barrier.
Digestive Health Panel & Customized Recommendations
Our Digestive Health Panel & Customized Recommendations package includes a comprehensive stool analysis, interpretation of lab results, as well as a personalized nutrition plan created by naturopathic physician, Dr. Courtney Roberts. A unique and exciting feature of this lab package is having Dr. Roberts recommend a custom blended herbal formula specific to your needs.
Around the world, herbs have a long history of use as therapeutic agents. Because herbs contain a wide variety of active compounds, they have a unique ability to support multiple body systems. And, when it comes to GI health in particular, herbs can work rather quickly to initiate a healing response. Therefore, including an herbal formula in one’s GI healing protocol can be a very effective way of addressing and correcting imbalances. Like custom compounded nutrient formulas, this custom herbal formula can be created and purchased from our compounding pharmacy.
Research has shown more and more how our gut plays an extremely important role in our health and can have a profound impact on influencing the development of chronic conditions. No matter what health challenges you may be facing, investigating and targeting root causes of GI imbalances is the ideal starting point. Having expert guidance and a customized plan helps one best take steps in the right direction to optimizing whole-body health and wellness.
Village Green offers a number of other specialized lab panels, as well, to help assess various aspects of health.
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