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uBiome, SmartGut, BIOHM and Viome - my test results and gut microbiome evolution

In April 2017, I posted the results of my very first gut sequencing test. The company i used was uBiome and I did their $89 standard test. The results were abysmal. In brief, i had little to none of the most common protective bacteria (see below).

The standard gut test from uBiome:

Sad, sad numbers of Bifido and Lactobacillus

Interestingly, in the chart below, you'll also see that despite having low numbers of the best-known beneficial bacteria, my diversity was pretty high (which is good). I later learned that low bifido levels / high diversity is often commonly found in non-secretors (me!). What is a non-secretor, you ask? It's someone who does not secrete blood antigens into their mucus membranes and other bodily fluids (including the lining of the gut). Bifidobacteria love feasting on those blood antigens, so we poor suckers who don't secrete have no effortless food source for those particular gut buddies. Boooo! I determined my non-secretor status via DNA testing from 23andme.com. It's a simple and inexpensive way to find out which genetic SNPs could be f*ucking up your carefree life. But not to worry! There are hacks - very simple ones - like eating mango and blueberries and consuming particular prebiotic supplements that can help feed your bifido buddies and get them happier about sticking around in your gut.

Not bad for someone whose gut was wrecked ;)

So, what did i do to improve the state of my gut? A few things: I did a green juice detox, which helped clean out some gunk that may've been taking up good real estate in my gut and allowing pathogens to party while making my good gut buddies very unhappy. An overly alkaline gut can cause that unfavorable-to-the-good-guys environment, so I acidified and balanced my gut pH with - ironically - an alkaline juice cleanse. Right? So confusing. A lot of people think an alkaline diet alkalizes the body. Nope. It balances the pH, including lowering it - acidifying - the parts that need to be more on the acid side. Lactic acid bacteria (those lovely lovely lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) adore a nice low pH (which i observe on a daily basis while cooing over my fermented food creations). Taking a Betaine HCl supplement can also be very helpful.

Another thing i worked on (but still struggle with) is lowering my stress levels. Stress. Destroys. The. Gut. I can't emphasize that enough! Having a sedentary job, worrying about kids, finances, etc., driving in traffic, having too much on your plate, etc. can all negatively impact the gut. Stress plucks the good gut buddies from our bowels. Booo!

In the way of supplements, etc., i did a little weeding of pathogens (including a mold in the zygomycota division which shouldn't have been there; see results from BIOHM below) and as you'll see from more recent test results, i completely annihilated the mold with a protocol i learned in my health coaching course, combined with another trick or two i picked up in my seemingly endless studies.

Before cleansing my gut; too much zygomycota, May 2017 from BIOHM Health:

After cleaning my gut; no zygomycota, December 2017:

Incidentally, i also obliterated all candida in my gut (although i'm sure there's likely a cell or two floating around; there should be. They're good in small numbers.

Small amount of candida, May 2017 (my results on left; general population range on the right):

No candida, December 2017:

In between all of that, I decided to try out uBiome's SmartGut test. It was being offered at the time for free, so why not? SmartGut showed that I had successfully reestablished my lactobacillus levels, but that my bifido levels were still low (not suprising, again - we non-secretors have to take extra steps to bring those up).

September 2017 from uBiome's SmartGut test:

Let's fast-forward to my most recent gut sequencing results and what other steps i took to show further improvement, and more importantly, let's discuss how I feel after the changes i've made.