Last updated on Jun 18th, 2020 at 06:34 am

Advancement in medical technology is fast-paced, and as people become increasingly health-conscious, medical tests and DIY examinations also become more accessible

Gut microbiome testing is a very specialised test, although it helps determine a number of health issues, many South African’s have never even heard of it.

Viome has developed a gut microbiome test you can do yourself, in the comfort of your own home.

Related: How fasting affects gut health 

What is a gut microbiome?

The inside of the human body is populated by various living organisms – many of them are in the digestive system. The bacteria, fungus, viruses and other micro-organisms in your gut form your guts microbiome.

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Dr Yvonne Holt, Chief Medical Officer at Next BioSciences, says understanding your gut microbiome can help you understand why your body reacts the way it does to what you eat and drink.

“With Viome, you will know what is present in your gut, but also understand what functions the microbes are performing and how this is contributing to your health, i.e. causing inflammation, bloating, etc,” she says.

Related: Healthy snack idea: Walnuts are good for your gut and heart 

Who should have a gut microbiome test?

Knowing what the different parts of your body do and how to get a better reaction from your body is great for everyone. While gut microbiome testing can beneficial to everyone’s gut health, it is especially useful for people with digestive problems, inflammation and even food allergies.

“Viome determines what foods you should and shouldn’t be eating. Certain bacteria do not react well with certain food types and cause your body to release substances which could cause you harm and affect your health, weight, mood, skin, etc. By following the recommendations provided, you will avoid and minimise consuming foods which could adversely affect your health and create a balance in your gut to promote a healthier you,” says Dr Holt.

Related: How to improve your gut health

Your gut microbiome can also give information about other parts of your body

Understanding your gut microbiome can directly help you make changes to your diet to avoid gut and digestive problems. Dr Holt says decoding your gut microbiome could also help you understand your immune system. 

Dr Holt explains that your gut forms part of your immune system as it processes food and drink that you consume. “The gut’s immune system (GALT) forms a large part of the body’s overall immune system. The GALT needs to help your body to tolerate the food and harmless substances which enter your gut and be reactive to any pathogens which enter,” she says.

Your gut reacts to beneficial, harmful and benign substances as part of your immune system.

“When this is disrupted, it can cause inflammation or infections. As the gut has such an impact on your immune system, scientists are constantly researching the microbiome and they believe that chronic illnesses to a large degree stem from your gut. With further research, they are trying to understand the role of the microbiome in chronic disease and are learning more and more every day,” says Dr Holt.

For more information about the gut microbiome testing kits visit https://www.viome.co.za/

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.