Our intestines are host to billions of bacteria – both good and bad. Collectively, they form a complex ecosystem comprised of over 1000 different microbial species. This is known as the gut flora. In a healthy adult gut, the bacteria co-exist with the host to create a well-balanced, symbiotic relationship. However, any disruption in this fragile ecosystem can have a negative impact on our health. Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of disorders are now being associated with disturbances in the gut flora.
Recent research shows that a significant number of patients who suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) have a gut flora composition that differs from the gut flora composition which are found in healthy guts.
Although this mechanism is not fully understood, it is widely accepted that an imbalance in the gut flora – known as dysbiosis – can trigger the onset of symptoms commonly associated with these conditions. Re-establishing a healthy gut may help to improve IBS & IBD.
Although dysbiosis has an important role to play in IBS/IBD, approximately 30% of IBS/IBD patients exhibit a normal gut flora despite experiencing symptoms associated with their condition – this is known as non-dysbiosis. IBS/IBD patients can, therefore, be divided into two distinct groups: dysbiotic and non-dysbiotic:
Symptoms of IBS & IBD Can Include.
- Abdominal Pain
- Lack of Energy
- Lack of Sleep
- Bowel Changes
How Does The Test Work?
The test itself is a FloraPrint test.
FloraPrint® is a highly sensitive laboratory technique that detects the presence of over 300 bacterial species from a stool sample. Unlike other gut flora tests available, the FloraPrint® bacterial panel has been specifically selected based on its clinical relevance with IBS/IBD.
By detecting small segments of DNA unique to the individual bacteria (or groups of bacteria), FloraPrint® offers an accurate and reliable method to profile the gut flora and identify IBS/IBD-related dysbiosis.
Taking the Test
Once you have ordered a FloraPrint® test, a Sample Collection Pack will be sent to you within 3 working days. This contains all the components required to collect a stool sample.
How to Collect the Stool Sample
1. Put on the disposable gloves.
2. Collect a stool sample using the sample collection tray. Where possible, avoid contaminating the stool sample with urine or toilet water.
3. Remove the cap from the sample collection tube.
4. Using the spoon attached to the cap, transfer fifteen (15) heaped spoonfuls of stool sample from the tray to the sample collection tube. The samples should be taken from different locations in order to obtain a diverse microbial population.
5. Replace the cap, ensuring that it is screwed on tightly.
6. After use, place the sample collection tray in the black plastic waste bag and dispose of it in household waste.
7. Write your name, date of birth and date/time of sample collection on the sample collection tube.
8. Place the sample collection tube into the clear plastic bag containing the absorbent paper and seal the bag completely.
9. Place the sealed bag and Test Order Form into the cardboard kit box.
10. Stick the label over the flap to secure the kit box during transit.
11. Place the box in the plastic pre-paid return envelope and post to lab immediately.
Your FloraPrint results should be available around 15 working days after the lab receives your sample.
To find out how the results are sent to you, please click here to find out more information.