Gut Bacteria and Your Health - What is the Connection?

Gut health has been a hot topic for some time now as we are learning more about the gut microbiome and the impact it can have on our lives.

Did you know that our body is actually composed of more bacteria than cells? Collectively, these trillions of bacteria are called the "microbiome". Most of the bacteria reside in our gut, and they play multiple roles in our overall health. The gut is not only responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients, but it plays a major role in immunity, mood, detoxification, metabolism as well as hormone and brain function.

If you have been experiencing gut problems or other symptoms such as fatigue, mentally low or getting sick and run down regularly, my advice is to look to your gut.  It may hold some clues.

A shift away from “normal” gut microbiota diversity is called dysbiosis, and dysbiosis may contribute to disease. In light of this, the microbiome has become the focus of much research attention as a new way of understanding autoimmune, gastrointestinal, and even brain disorders.

Our microbes start out in life as mainly beneficial.  However, these microbes alter as we age through diet, stress, medications and exposure to toxins.  A healthy microbiome regulates our immune system, is critical to proper digestion and absorption of nutrients and influences the metabolism.  An abnormal microbiome may show significantly less diversity of bacteria than the typical microbiome, or may show overgrowth of certain bacteria.

Each of these bacterial species have very specific functions within your body.  You may be surprised to learn that an imbalance in your gut bacteria can be associated with several health conditions such as:  low energy, brain fog, anxiety, mood issues, sleep disturbance, cardiovascular disease, weight management, skin issues, food sensitivities and allergies and of course direct gut issues like inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, reflux and other digestive symptoms.

For example, extremely low e-coli can be associated with fatigue, mental fatigue, mood, anxiety, sleep disturbance and constipation. E-coli produces chorismate which is the precursor to tryptophan that produces serotonin, a major neurotransmitter in the brain related to mood.  GABA is also produced so low GABA can relate to poor sleep and anxiety.

So, you can see here how mood issues, particularly depression and anxiety may be due to low tryptophan/GABA due to low e-coli. The bowel also relies on tryptophan for motility so constipation can be an issue.  Low energy will also result as the body is unable to produce Co Q10 a major nutrient in energy production.

High Enterococcus may affect the brain with memory, concentration, reasoning, storage of memories, foggy brain, more emotional etc.  It may also cause mitochondrial toxicity resulting in low energy and will also affect sleep quality.

Low Bacteroides may cause fat malabsorption and other gut symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, loose stools and food sensitivities.  Low cholesterol may result which can then affect hormone production.

High Streptococcus can be related to night-time fears, cognitive, and oppositional behaviour.

These examples are only the tip of the ice berg, I could fill pages of different health conditions that may result from an imbalance in gut flora.  I will say though, it may not be as simple as the above examples, it really depends on your particularly bacterial diversity.

You may not have any digestive symptoms at all but if you can relate to some of the above physical symptoms you may want to have a closer look to the microbiome for some answers.

Your microbiome is a genetic snapshot of all the microscopic organisms in your body.  Microbiome testing can provide a clear picture so we can see exactly where the imbalances exist within your gut bacteria and bring them back into balance.

Depending on your specific results from gut microbiome testing, probiotics may not be required.  Probiotics can be great for gut health.  But, they don’t always work and the reason is that the probiotic you may be taking may not be tailored to your distinct microbiome.

By screening a patient’s microbiome, interpreting overall diversity, balance (or imbalance) of their gut bugs you can better target treatment, nutrition and lifestyle modifications to work more harmoniously with our microbes for better overall health.


Gut Microbiome Testing – Faecal Microbial Analysis Test is an extended investigation of the microscopic gut flora of the lower intestinal tract, which are collected from a faecal sample. Microbes from your sample are grown and the presence and actual quantities of faecal bacteria, both aerobes and anaerobes, and yeasts are identified.


A stool sample is collected in the privacy of your home and then sent to the specialist laboratory for full assessment. The test is easy to collect and you are provided with full step-by-step instructions.