What’s Possible For Microbiome Testing at Home?

health and wellness

Gut health continues to be the superstar in the health and wellness space. As more and more research studies confirm the intricate link between our gut microbiome and our overall health, people all over the world are starting to pay more attention to the friendly bacteria that live in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

These bacteria help the enteric nervous system (ENS) regulate many physiological functions, such as communicating with the central nervous system (CNS), regulating the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, and absorbing nutrients from the food we eat. An unbalanced gut microbiome has been associated with autoimmune disease, weight gain, mental health issues, and even cancer.

gut health

It’s no wonder so many health-conscious people are starting to pay attention to their gut health. One of the biggest obstacles to improving your gut health is knowing how to improve it. Because our intestines have hundreds of species of bacteria, identifying which ones are missing can be hard–if not impossible–to do without a gut health test.

Luckily, scientists are working on making gut health tests more accurate, more accessible, and more affordable for people all over the world. Whereas gut health tests required a visit to the doctor just a few years ago, new technologies have made at-home gut tests cheaper and just as reliable as in-clinic tests. Keep reading to learn more about how at-home gut health tests can help push the boundaries of gut health.

What Kinds of Gut Microbiome Tests Are There?

All gut microbiome tests are faecal tests. Whether you take the test at home or at the doctor’s, you will need a fresh stool sample so the lab can analyze the types of bacteria in your gut. This stool sample is then sent to a lab to be analyzed.

Doctor’s Office Tests

Visiting the doctor for a gut health test isn’t much different than doing a test at home. The overwhelming majority of doctors lack the facilities to analyze a stool sample in-house. Instead, they will send your sample off to a laboratory to be analyzed. 

One of the benefits of visiting the doctor for a gut health test is that they may be able to diagnose you with any gastrointestinal issues, like IBS or celiac disease, based on your gut health report. Note that at-home tests also report this kind of information, you just won’t be able to get a diagnosis without a doctor. 

At-home Tests

At-home tests in 2022 include just as much information about your gut as tests at the doctor’s. These tests are shipped to qualified labs to be analyzed and thus contain largely the same information as a doctor’s test would.

At-home tests are also often more convenient, cheaper, and faster than in-person tests. With companies like OSbiome offering Gut Health Test Kits for under $200, at-home tests are now more affordable and convenient than ever. 

Another benefit of at-home tests is that companies that offer them tend to have comprehensive care plans based on your results. OSbiome customers enjoy 15 proprietary health scores with numerous diet and lifestyle recommendations based on your results. This can result in a more complete experience than a simple visit to the doctor’s office. 

Is It Better to Test at Home or at the Doctor’s? 

Overall, at-home gut health tests are more convenient than doctor’s tests and contain largely the same results. An at-home test will get you important information on your gut microbiome as well as any potential signs of gastrointestinal issues. 

If you’re trying to get a test so that you can better understand your gut health, then at-home tests will undoubtedly be the better choice. Gut health companies like OSbiome offer a suite of complementary apps and treatment programs that will help you reach your gut health goals. Pair this with a complimentary one-on-one session with a certified nutritionist, and you can count on receiving personalized instructions on how to improve your gut health. 

Doctor’s tests, on the other hand, may be more helpful if you already suspect that you have a gastrointestinal issue, like IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, or Crohn’s disease. The doctor will be able to look at your gut report with you and diagnose you with any of these diseases based on the results. If any indication of these illnesses comes back on an at-home test, you will have to take your report to the doctor’s for a formal diagnosis. 

Are At-Home Gut Health Tests Less Accurate Than Clinical Tests?

DIY gut microbiome test kit - OSbiome

At-home gut health test kits from reputable companies backed by doctors and scientists are just as reliable as clinical gut health tests. What many don’t know is that stool samples taken at the doctor’s office are almost always sent to off-site labs for analysis. At-home gut tests may be sent to the same lab for the same type of analysis. 

Sequencing technology has increased drastically over the past few years, making it much easier, cheaper and more accurate to get gut health reports from stool samples. This is why gut health companies have been popping up to offer inexpensive testing available from the comfort of your own home. 

However, when choosing a gut health test company, you need to make sure that you’re going with one that’s backed by science. At OSbiome, we have a team of doctors, scientists, researchers, and engineers who help us stay at the frontiers of gut health and sequencing technologies. This allows us to offer the very best results at extremely affordable prices for our users. 

Are Gut Health Tests Expensive?

Gut health tests are extremely affordable ways to get a handle on your gut health. Thanks to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, companies like OSbiome are able to offer comprehensive gut health tests for under $200. 

Increased scientific and research interest in gut health and the gut microbiome have accelerated technological advances in the field. This means that what was once an expensive and complicated process is now a matter of a couple of weeks and a couple of hundred bucks. 

Plus, you should also consider the possible downsides and complications of not getting a gut health test when deciding if it’s worth it. If you suspect that you suffer from a GI problem and are looking for a diagnosis, spending a couple hundred dollars today to get a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible may save you thousands of dollars down the line if the illness is left untreated.

Similarly, if you want to use your gut health report to kickstart your gut health journey, you stand to benefit tremendously from getting a gut health test early on. Since food diversity is one of the biggest indicators of gut health, getting a detailed analysis of what foods you need to incorporate into your diet for a more balanced microbiome can potentially save you hundreds of dollars and many hours from trial-and-error. 

What You Can Expect From a Gut Microbiome Test

If you’re not sure that a microbiome test is what you need, you should consider what type of information will be available in your report. When you take a gut microbiome test, whether at home or at the doctor’s, you can expect the following.

Personalized Results

Few pieces of health advice are applicable to everybody. When it comes to health, what works for you may not work for your neighbour. This means that finding what works for you personally will involve a lot of trial and error, which comes with a significant time commitment and a lot of waste.

Your gut health test results will cut down the amount of time and money you spend trying out new diets. A comprehensive gut health test kit will be able to tell you exactly what you need to eat more of, what you need to eat less of, and what you’re doing right. 

Custom Treatment Plans

Nobody will be able to give you a custom gut health treatment plan unless you take a gut test. A licensed nutritionist with experience in the gut health field should be able to review your results and give you a customized treatment plan. 

At OSbiome, our Gut Health Test Kits come with a free session with a licensed nutritionist who will be able to help you put together a custom treatment plan. This is crucial for improving gut health and reversing dysbiosis, which will bring plenty of physical and mental health benefits.

Detailed Information About Your Gut

Every gut health test is a little bit different, but all of them should provide comprehensive information about what is going on in your gut. Otherwise, what would be the point of having a gut health test done in the first place? 

The OSbiome at-home gut health tests will provide you with detailed information on all of the following:

  • Breakdown of bacteria composition in your gut, including which species of bacteria are present and which are missing.
  • Overall gut microbiome diversity score, highlighting the positives and underscoring the negatives of your gut flora.
  • 15 proprietary OSbiome health scores covering different sides of wellness affected by your gut microbiome, such as:
    • Digestive Wellness scores. These scores will give you an overview of the digestive capacity and efficiency of your GI tract, as well as indicators of gas production levels and internal inflammation. 
    • Mental Wellness scores. This will show you how your gut is influencing your mental health, including cognitive functions and even sleep quality. 
    • Physical Wellness scores. This score will show you how your gut is influencing your physical performance, including your stamina, metabolism, and muscle recovery.
    • Microbiome based Disease Risk Indicators. These scores will point out any possible illnesses being picked up from your test. Possible disease indicators include Arthritis, IBS, IBD, Type-2 Diabetes, and more.

As you can see, even at-home gut health tests can include incredibly detailed information about your gut microbiome. Whatever test you decide to go with, make sure it provides complete information about your gut. 

Who Should Get a Gut Microbiome Test?

Everyone would benefit from understanding their gut microbiome more deeply with a gut microbiome test. Whereas these tests used to be reserved for those looking to confirm whether they have gastrointestinal diseases or autoimmune diseases, gut microbiome tests can now help us get a glimpse into the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut. 

Gaining a better understanding of what our gut microbiome looks like can help us optimize our health. A gut in dysbiosis can trigger a host of issues and diseases, from IBS to even cancer and autism

Getting a gut microbiome test regularly can help us keep track of what’s going on in our gut. The good news is that healing an unhealthy gut is much simpler than you’d think. With diet and lifestyle changes, such as increasing consumption of fermented foods, avoiding alcohol, and increasing the amount of sleep we get can cause significant positive improvements in our gut health. 

So, not only should everyone get a gut health test, but everyone should get regular tests to keep track of their gut. Monitoring your gut microbiome on a regular basis can help you optimize your physical and mental health and prevent dysbiosis.    

Should I Try A Gut Health Test At Home?

Yes. New sequencing technologies have made gut health tests much more accessible to the general population. This means that you no longer need to visit the doctor’s office (who will send your stool sample to a lab anyway!) to get an accurate overview of your gut microbiome.

Companies like OSbiome are working to bring healthier guts to people all over the world. Our easy-to-use Gut Health Test Kits are affordable, convenient, and fast, allowing anybody to bypass the doctor when getting a gut health test. 

Simply order your kit, collect your stool sample, and let us know when our courier can come to pick it up. We’ll take your sample to a lab, where next-generation sequencing equipment will analyze your stool. Within four to six weeks, you’ll receive a fully-personalized gut health report with all the information you need to start working on improving your gut health.