All health (and disease) starts with the gut, and the balance of different microorganisms living in your gut play a crucial role in whether you are healthy or sick. Scientists now know that an overabundance of particular species of bacteria in the gut can lead to obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, kidney stones, excessive flatulence, and other chronic conditions that are becoming increasingly common in modern society.
Similarly, other types of bacteria help keep us healthy. These beneficial bacteria are often wiped out by antibiotics, infections with pathogenic bacteria, antibiotic residues in food and groundwater, chronic stress, disrupted sleep cycles, sedentary lifestyles, and poor dietary choices.
Finding out which bacteria is most prevalent in your gut (and which ones are missing) can help you make informed lifestyle choices to get your microbiome back into balance and improve your health. For instance, knowing you have an excess of a particular type of pathogenic bacteria can help you make food choices that don’t “feed” that species of bacteria. Likewise, knowing you have low amounts of a particular beneficial species of bacteria can help you understand which foods you need to be incorporating into your diet on a regular basis.