Question: Why poop in a tube?

Answer: Because while chia seeds, cherries, and chickpeas might be one person’s superfood, they’ll be another’s poison. And sometimes, that poison can more dangerous than you might think, affecting not only how your gut feels, but the functioning of crucial organs too.

Case-Study: Abby’s Gut Microbiome Test

Take Abby (not her real name), who came to see me after her cardiologist diagnosed her with atrial fibrillation (A-fib). A-fib is an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots in the heart. It increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications.

The cardiologist recommended surgical ablation, but after doing some of her own research and thinking, Abby wanted to try everything possible to avoid major heart surgery. Instead, she wanted to see if she could pinpoint what was causing the A-fib.

Abby had a strong suspicion that her condition was caused by a gut imbalance, and after discussing this with me, we made the decision that it was safe to do some further testing before opting for surgery.

Following Abby’s intuition, as well as my suspicion that there was likely inflammatory activity in Abby’s gut, we opted for a comprehensive gut microbiome test. Using an extremely easy-to-use and discrete stool sample collection kit, Abby was able to collect the sample herself and then it was sent directly to a specialised lab in the USA.

The Results & What We Did Next

About two weeks later, when we received the results, not only did we understand what the gut imbalances were, microscopically speaking, but the report offered some clear recommendations on how to fix them too.

According to the report, onions, tomatoes, and cauliflower were the worst kind of food that Abby could eat. Her affinity for chia seeds, chickpeas, and cherries was making things worse, and basil, carrots, and papaya were found to be Abby’s superfoods.

Abby diligently removed all the foods that the report recommended she avoid altogether (or minimise) and focused on her superfoods. She also paid heed to a few of the other suggestions, such as what ingredients in supplements to look out for as beneficial to her gut microbiome.

The results were quite incredible.

Within a few months, the frequency of Abby’s A-fib episodes had reduced drastically, her gut symptoms had completely resolved, she felt full of energy, and her reflux had disappeared.

As a functional medicine specialist, I am acutely aware of the impact that the gut has on a person’s metabolic fitness and propensity to develop disease, but this case highlighted just how much small changes in the gut can have on critical health functions.

To give you an idea, prior to making changes Abby was experiencing multiple A-fibs per week. Today, she hardly experiences any. In fact, when I last spoke to Abby, A-fibs are as low as once per month and are monitored under medical supervision.

The point is, as uncomfortable as it might be for some people, sometimes we need to take a long, hard look at our poop, so that we can see what our unique gut micro-organisms are up to.

Your unique signature of bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and worms (yes worms) keep you alive and, when they’re out of balance, will make you sick.

Some Questions We Ask When Investigating The Gut:

  1. What byproducts are the micro-organisms producing, and are these harmful to you? For example, they may be creating inflammatory byproducts, causing systemic inflammation and therefore symptoms like brain-fog, joint pains, muscle aches, fatigue, and water retention
  2. What micro-organisms are present in unhealthy numbers and “bullying” the rest?
  3. How efficiently are the micro-organisms digesting your food? (by the way please help them by chewing your food slowly and thoroughly)

The bottom-line is that a lifetime of stress, alcohol, antibiotics, steroids, pesticide-rich foods, glyphosate (commonly known as “Round Up”), inappropriate diet, can all result in an imbalance in your gut microbiome.

If you have persistent gut issues, chances are these are having a knock-on effect on other parts of your health. Sometimes all you might need are a few specific adjustments, but if you keep trying and nothing works, I would highly recommend considering a gut microbiome test.

Click here to find out more about Dr. Rav’s Gut Microbiome Testing Package.

Below – The multi-page report is made up of two parts: Viome Gut Intelligence & Viome Recommendations. This screen capture is one of many metrics found in the Gut Intelligence report.

Below – As well as tomatoes, it was recommended that Abby avoid onions and cauliflower.

Below – There are multiple pages similar to the above recommending each patient on what is a SUPERFOOD, what to ENJOY and what to AVOID