The importance of gut health testing from a functional medicine perspective - and when it’s appropriate to undertake advanced testing

Data from the 2021 census revealed that almost half of the UK population reported having a long-standing health problem. 

Rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure & depression, just to name a few, continue to rise – in fact, a study conducted by the University of Liverpool in 2021 found that the number of adults living with more than two diagnosed long-term conditions increased by approximately 70% between 2004 and 2019. Even more worrying, the age of multi-morbidity onset has decreased during that period from 56 years in 2004 to 46 in 2019.  

So, you may well be asking, what does gut health have to do with all of this? The father of medicine Hippocrates stated nearly 2500 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut” and increasingly the scientific literature is backing this up, demonstrating how the health of the gut influences most chronic disease states. At FMA we are passionate about helping people get to the root cause of their diseases and health issues using a functional medicine approach and we always consider the health of the gut in any disease state.

From Simple Investigation to Testing

So where do you begin to investigate someone’s gut health?We begin by identifying key symptoms in individuals – what are they, how often, how severe? This information can provide key insights and baseline information longside a patient’s health history (for example, do symptoms get worse in stressful situations?).

Imagine a patient that experiences bloating during and after meals. After speaking with the patient, we discover they rush their food and eat too quickly. A simple intervention here would be to encourage mindful eating and taking a digestive enzyme – we have seen results using this approach with many patients in the past.

For other patients, their gut issues may be more complex and require in-depth testing and a thorough investigation that may run alongside their other disease processes or conditions. These complex cases need a lot of due care and attention from an experienced functional medicine practitioner.

For people who have some symptoms but may not require an expert analysis and thorough program, there is help available. 

Our founder Pete Williams took part in a gut health test through Healthpath, a company that aids people in their journey to health through gut health testing. They offer basic gut health testing for less complex gut health issues, giving advice and suggestions on supplements and meal plans to help tackle these gut issues

"Healthpath is a great testing option for those who have less complex digestive issues to help you on your path to health."

Pete Williams FMA

Watch the videos below to learn more about Pete’s experience with Healthpath.

Why Choose Healthpath?

We appreciate that people with complex medical conditions including digestive problems may need intensive testing and treatment strategies from an expert over a prolonged time frame. This may have cost implications that are not accessible to everyone. We believe that Healthpath can provide an excellent service at a very reasonable cost.

There are multiple different test options/packages available through Healthpath to help those who are experiencing digestive issues. The test packages include an easy-to-read report of your results, expert advice from experienced practitioners, and personalised health plans to help you improve your health from the roots.

Do you feel like you could benefit from learning more about your gut health and how you could improve it? Book a call with Healthpath to find out which type of testing they would recommend for your health journey. If you think you need more comprehensive advice, then please contact us at Functional Medicine Associates.

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