Updated on 19 October, 2021
One of the most powerful ways to gain a thorough understanding of the inner workings of human gut microbes is via gut testing. But what about gut testing specifically for children? Is it helpful and can it impact how effectively support child's intestinal health? Or, is it best left as the responsibility of pediatricians?
The science of intestinal infections, or "leaky gut syndrome", is complicated and not well understood. What we know is that some strains of bacteria grow out of control, causing symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression and fatigue. A similar condition, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is also caused by an overgrowth of certain yeast strains. Although both appear to be relatively common, neither has been proven to be a cause of cancer, nor are they associated with an increased risk of heart disease. There is some speculation, however, that certain types of Candida might play a role in allergic reactions, inflammatory bowel disease, memory loss, depression and allergies.
A natural approach is an excellent way to decrease the likelihood of developing any of these conditions. For many sufferers, even eliminating intestinal yeast could not prevent or significantly reduce the number or severity of their symptoms. This is why many sufferers turn to alternative means. One such method is the use of homeopathic Candida Cleanses.
Gut testing in particular can detect various potential problems in the ecosystem. For example, there are many different microbes within the GI tract: there are probiotics (which prevent or treat infection), bifidobacteria (which live on the intestinal walls and promote digestion), and anaerobes (which produce hydrogen sulfide and volatile sulfur compounds). When testing for any of these kinds of bacteria, samples are taken from the upper GI tract. The reason why this is called an 'upper' is because samples can be taken anywhere from the mouth down to the lower intestine.
There are many potential sources of food for these bacteria, including refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, white flour, saturated fat, diary products, antibiotics, processed foods, junk food, sugar, additives and preservatives. All of these foods can exacerbate or worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, thus making it necessary to look for ways of improving this part of one's health. It is possible to reduce symptoms by avoiding the above-mentioned foods. However, for many people this will not be sufficient. For those who continue to suffer from symptoms, there are ways of improving the overall gut health of those affected through the use of holistic and alternative methods.
For example, since the GI tract is where there is the greatest concentration of bacteria and other microorganisms, any food that introduces additional bacteria or other species will also increase the likelihood of suffering from symptoms. Therefore, those suffering from inflammatory bowel syndrome will need to avoid foods that are high in sugar as well as those that are fermented or have yeast. Similarly, foods that are high in carbohydrates should also be avoided as these can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which can further trigger symptoms. However, some experts believe that a diet change alone may not be enough to improve symptoms. To add to the treatment, it may be necessary to take part in a colon cleansing program to remove the built-up waste materials in the GI tract.
For many who are interested in trying out this form of personalized treatment, it is important to seek a doctor who can perform a thorough assessment and recommend changes in one's diet and lifestyle that will address the specific issues being faced. Once these have been addressed, experts can start implementing personalized dietary and lifestyle plans that will help restore the normal bacterial balance in the GI tract, and consequently improve one's overall health and well-being. For individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, this is an ideal way of addressing the problem with its many possible solutions.
For the most part, we can't emphasize enough the importance of considering the role of the gut in our bodies. Improving our immune system can only happen if we know exactly what we are putting into our mouths. And when it comes to antibiotics, we know that they will only have a positive effect if they are taken as directed by their manufacturer. However, the best way to help us regain control of our GI tract is by identifying and addressing the problems that can lead to it. In the case of antibiotics, this means going for the more natural forms of therapy like the ones mentioned above, and by opting for more holistic approaches like gut testing and the use of probiotics.