Tummy Tests: Are They Worth It?

Tummy Tests: Are They Worth It?

Tummy Tests: Are they worth it?

If you’ve been to a pharmacy or browsed the web recently, you’ve probably seen ads for “Gut Bacteria Tests,” “Food Sensitivity Tests,” or the like.

At Betr, we are always talking about the gut and how food and gut bacteria work together to impact overall health.

Now that you are in Level 2, you might think that these “tummy tests” will provide some valuable information and help speed along the “reintroduction” process.

In our experience, we’re not sure these tests provide much useful information.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. They may not measure the right thing
  2. They are just a snapshot at a specific point in time
  3. Your microbiome is your unique microbiome

Let’s explore each of these limitations in a bit more detail.

Show us the Evidence!

Let's face it, gut microbiome testing is kinda gross.

The testing laboratory will use a sample of your poop and test it using one of two methods.

  1. Growing bacteria from the species that they find in your poop
  2. Performing a DNA analysis to see which bacterial DNA is present in your poop

The problem with both of these methods is that they only measure what’s in your poop. What’s in your poop isn’t always the same as what’s in your gut. This is especially true with tests using DNA analysis.

DNA testing doesn’t tell if a bacterial species is alive or dead. So, if your body is killing off a harmful bacterial species, and that DNA ends up in your sample, it could look like a toxic species is setting up shop in your gut.

When it comes to food sensitivity testing, most labs evaluate levels of antibodies that our bodies produce naturally. Your immune system makes these antibodies when it recognizes a foreign molecule, and most research indicates that these antibody levels don’t accurately reflect food sensitivities, intolerances, or allergies.

Takeaway

These tests will give you some information, but we’re unsure how useful or accurate that information is.

Not the Whole Picture

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There is a lot going on in your body all of the time. The food you’re eating, how much water you’re drinking, if you’re sick or well - all of these things can influence ANY test results. One big issue with these tests, especially microbiome testing, is that they only show results at a specific time. That’s why your doctor will often order several repeat tests, especially when they base your treatment on that test result.

These at-home testing kits don’t work this way. You pay your money, submit your sample, and then get your results. The results analyze only one moment in time and may not be a good reflection of the “bigger picture“ of your health.

This is ESPECIALLY true if you’re undergoing a significant lifestyle change, as with the Betr protocol. The test results that you see before starting the program could be completely different from the results after completing the Level 1 protocol.

As you know, the level 1 food protocol is designed to heal your microbiome and replace unhealthy bacterial species with healthy ones. After completing the anti-inflammatory and gut-healing level 1 protocol, we’ve seen many members are now able to eat food they thought they were sensitive to.

Takeaway

These at-home tests give you results at a specific moment in time. This information can change and may not help you make long-term decisions about your diet or health.

Your Microbiome is YOUR Microbiome!

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With hundreds of trillions of bacterial cells being different based on genetics, geographic location, dietary practices, culture, and health status, everyone’s microbiome is unique!

There is no black-and-white, scientifically accepted, baseline of how an ideal microbiome looks. There are just too many variables. The reality is that the science supporting lifestyle changes based on the test results just isn’t there yet so at-home tests can’t reliably tell you that your gut bacteria is “out of whack.”

Currently, the most reliable way to determine if you have an unhealthy gut microbiome and food sensitivity is a careful review and tracking of your symptoms, like the Betr approach.

Starting with Level 1, we heal the microbiome and reduce ongoing inflammation. Once this healing has taken place, the Level 2 protocol is about listening to your body and determining which foods work best for YOU!

Takeaway

Everyone’s microbiome is unique. No test result can accurately assess whether your microbiome is healthy or unhealthy.

Your body doesn’t need a test to tell you what to do - it already knows Betr!

In closing, there aren’t any shortcuts here. If there were, we’d tell you. And if an at-home test gave us information that would help Betr get you healthier faster, we’d use it!

Our experience has shown that gut healing followed by careful food reintroduction keeps your bacteria healthy and accurately identifies actual food sensitivities.

The Betr recommendation is to save the money you were saving for that food sensitivity test and spend it on healthy, high-octane, natural food instead. :-)

Help create a solid foundation for yourself with the Daily Essentials Pack. Click Here to learn more.

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