Updated on 19 October, 2021
When you are considering a colonoscopy, a Microbiome Test may be recommended to make sure that everything goes well. Although your doctor has told you that he or she will perform the test, some people wonder if it is necessary. The answer is yes. Here's why.
Microbial communities in the environment vary greatly from one person to another. Most gut microbes look only at the good and bad bacterium in your intestine, indicators of possible intestinal pathogens, inflammatory and immune markers, and so on. Although a blood or saliva sample can detect certain common microbial types, including anaerobes, prokaryotes, heterotrophic and anaerobic bacteria, there is no way to predict the existence and activity of different types of these microbes. Therefore, unlike a simple blood test or saliva test, a Microbiome test is a bit more involved.
A good microbial community, in its normal function, supports healthy digestion and other normal functions of the human body. To that end, the Microbial biome is considered to have an ecology system that enables it to obtain energy, metabolize food, and protect the human body from infectious agents and pathogenic microbes. However, any disruption of this delicate balance can result in both short-term and long-term health consequences. For instance, excessive growth of anaerobic bacteria in the colon can cause severe harm to the gastrointestinal tract, which has a large number of microorganisms responsible for maintaining a normal intestinal environment. Similarly, a decrease in the levels of the anaerobic bacteria within the gut can result in diarrhea, irritable bowel, and other symptoms that may be associated with a variety of diseases.
A major goal of the microbial biodiversity study has been to determine how these microbes affect humans. This study has provided insight into how the anaerobic bacteria cause the common illnesses that we encounter; as well as the possibility of combating such diseases by reintroducing these organisms into the GI tract through the diet. The research has identified a number of species of yeast and fungi that are unique to the GI tract, including several that cause disease. These findings have led to the identification of the need to develop tests that specifically detect the presence of these microbes. Among the most promising of these test products is the alexandra falconer gut test, which is designed to aid in both the diagnosis and treatment of a number of digestive disorders.
A popular way to measure the level of microbial diversity in the GI tract is the use of stool samples from healthy individuals. Microbial diversity can also be determined through the examination of saliva samples taken from individuals who do not suffer from chronic health conditions. Specially designed microbial vagus tests can also measure the population of potentially pathogenic microbes in the gut, which are likely to increase in occurrence in people who become immune to certain types of antibiotics. However, in many cases, an individual's immune system may be too low to support the growth of these potentially pathogenic microbes, rendering the use of antibiotics in treating certain ailments futile.
In addition to examining the population of potentially pathogenic microbes in the GI tract, researchers have used the abundance of naturally occurring bacteria to diagnose or identify a medical condition. For instance, some tests, such as the RFLP analysis, can be useful in the diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. In this test, cells from the small intestine are differentiated against those of other normal cells. Once differentiation occurs, the field of gastroenterology can use the differences in DNA sequences to reveal whether the individual possesses a predisposition to certain illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, or HIV.
In addition to studying the role of microorganisms in the GI tract, researchers have explored their potential to reduce the risk of cancer. A clinical trial, which was conducted by the University of Wisconsin Madison and published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that the microbiomes of the mouth were resistant to antibiotics. Furthermore, the study found that the most common thread between the microbes in the mouth and the development of ulcers and cancer was the presence of hypoxic agents. Such agents are toxic, causing ulcers and cancers in people with compromised immunity to them.
Understanding the relationship between the microbes in the gastrointestinal tract and the development of diseases is a complicated process. Microbial diversity is high in nature, making it difficult to culture many microbial species under controlled conditions. However, the insights obtained through the use of multiple lifestyle parameters, such as diet and stress, will greatly impact the makeup of the microorganisms in the GI tract, potentially leading to improved immune function and better overall gut health tests.