As a nutritionist, I answer a lot of questions about a variety of different health challenges. But, the body system that seems to bring the most people to Village Green searching for natural solutions is the digestive system. Uncomfortable symptoms such as indigestion, abdominal pain, heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea can be debilitating. And, many of the over-the-counter and prescription medications can act as bandaids and do not fix the underlying issues.
More and more evidence is showing that GI function and the gut microbiome are critical for optimal health and play a role in so many conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, autoimmune diseases and autism. Therefore, in my opinion, healing the digestive system truly is the place to start when dealing with any health concern, not just GI complaints. Tests for GI health can be very useful.
Getting to the root causes(s) of digestive distress involves taking a thorough look into diet and lifestyle factors that could be triggering or exacerbating symptoms. In addition, lab testing can also play a helpful role in determining troublesome foods, assessing digestive and absorptive function, as well as evaluating beneficial bacteria levels and identifying the presence of possible pathogens, such as yeast or parasites.
Two tests in particular that I think can provide valuable information are an IgG Food Sensitivity test and a Digestive Health Panel. Both of these tests can be ordered through Village Green and can be performed in the convenience of your own home. (IgG Food Sensitivity test is a dried blood spot test and the Digestive Health Panel is a stool test.)
The IgG Food Sensitivity test is especially helpful if you suspect that you may be reacting to certain foods (headaches, nasal congestion, joint pain, GI symptoms, etc.), but are having a difficult time pinpointing the exact foods in your diet. By measuring your immune reactivity in response to proteins in 93 different foods – including dairy, legumes, fruit, grains, fish, meat, nuts and seeds, vegetables, as well as Candida (yeast) – this test can map out the best food plan for you, including which foods to eat, what to eliminate, and which foods to rotate in your diet.
The Digestive Health Panel is a comprehensive test that can provide important insights into imbalances in GI function, your gut microflora, the presence of inflammation, or infection that can impact your overall health. Test results can be a very useful tool in creating a targeted supplement program.
As stated above, both the IgG Food Sensitivity test and Digestive Health Panel are available through Village Green on our website, along with an assortment of other lab tests. Each of these tests includes a complimentary overview of your results from one of our nutritionists. You are also welcome to make an appointment with one of our health experts for a more thorough interpretation of your results.