Have you ever wondered what’s going on in your intestines or gut? It is filled with good and bad bacteria. Your microbiome is a community of microbes that lives in the intestines, mouth, nose, and skin.
The microbiome is very personal, and they’re unique to each person. They have a symbiotic relationship with the human immune system, as the latter can’t survive without them. They may also change throughout life depending on one’s diet and lifestyle.
What Is A Microbiome Home Test
There are two main components of the human body: physical appearance and the microbiome. The latter comprises of trillions of microorganisms that live in a symbiotic relationship with the human body. They perform functions such as digesting food, regulating hormones, and protecting the body against infection. Most of them live in the gut and have been linked to weight loss, brain function, mood, and cancer.
A microbiome home test may be conducted to see how these organisms work. This test contains a sample collection kit and instructions on how to perform the collection.
Pros And Cons Of Getting A Microbiome Home Test
The test is designed to assess the composition of your microbiome. There are mixed reviews as to whether this test is worth getting.
Here are some of the perceived general advantages of a microbiome home test.
- Microbiome home tests are a new way to learn more about not just your gut microbiome. Others say that it offers insights into the health of your immune system, too, which is critical to understanding gastrointestinal functioning. This information may also be applied to other areas like food intolerances, allergies, neurological conditions, and even heart risks.
- The tests are believed to be typically cheaper and more convenient than going to the doctor for an exam especially if you have insurance coverage in place already. These test kits are priced from the lowest at around $15 to the highest at $300.
- The most common test for the gut is to collect a stool sample. This method may be done anywhere with minimal preparation or equipment. It only requires toilet paper, a plastic container, and an envelope to seal it in. Another way of testing intestinal health includes collecting saliva samples from inside your mouth or swabbing certain areas around the cheek. You may then send the kit back for analysis (usually postage included) and receive a breakdown of the type and quantity of bacteria within just a few weeks.
- One of the most significant benefits of microbiome testing at home is it’s an entirely non-invasive procedure. You can get tested for food sensitivities or intolerances without going under the knife. (By the way, an excellent option to have a healthy microbiome is to take probiotic foods.)
Some also believe in the accuracy of the microbiome home test results. Many people have reported feeling better after taking control of their diet and supplement regimen based on the results they got from these tests.
- Finally, there are no difficult decisions on getting one or not. They’re just another tool that can help you make the best health decisions for your gut.
Despite these benefits, some people see the drawbacks of getting the test kit. Their reasons are stated below.
- One is that the at-home kits only test for two weeks’ worth of data. Therefore, these tests may not be used to see how diet or medication affects your gut over time. This is something you might want if you’re looking for advice on changing what’s currently happening in your microbiome.
- Another is that majority of these home testing kits are not yet FDA-approved. Probably because it’s still a new tool in the market. It may be challenging to say if a home test is accurate or not. This means if you order and try one, you need a way of getting more information about your microbiome. This is by asking your doctor or doing further research on your own.
- It’s a relatively new way to check your microbiome, and so you may not find a test near you just yet. However, the more people getting aware of these products, the more likely it is they’ll become available in your area.
Is The Test Worth It
Home testing kits are a great way to get insight into your gut health. One is the microbiome home test, which offers many advantages, like pinpointing other conditions affecting your gut health. You’ll also be able to learn about your food intolerances or allergies without having to go through invasive procedures.
However, there are also disadvantages in using at-home-kit-only tests. They utilize only two weeks’ worth of data and don’t provide information on the types of bacteria in the guts. They’re also relatively new, and a majority aren’t FDA-approved yet.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether microbiome home test kits are for you or not. Hopefully, you’ve gained insights into what experts know so far about these fascinating creatures living inside the human body.