A lab analyst holding an agar plate while performing a gut test to access whether the patient has a healthy microbiome.

Gut Health Test – Is Your Microbiome as Healthy as You Think?

A lab analyst holding an agar plate while performing a gut test to access whether the patient has a healthy microbiome.

People are becoming more aware of how important digestive health, particularly the gut microbiome, is to their overall health as they try to improve their health, slow down the aging process, and perform at their best. This trend has led to the popularity of gut health tests and the search for effective ways to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. 

Today, we’ll talk about the gut microbiome, how a gut microbiome that is out of balance can show itself, and the different ways to test and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

Microbiome Definition

The microbiome (microbiota) refers to the trillions of microorganisms – including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses – that live inside the human body and interact with our health. The microbiome is unique to each individual, shaped by factors such as genetics, environmental exposures, and diet.

A healthy microbiome has both helpful and potentially harmful microorganisms in the right amounts. The helpful microorganisms boost the immune system, break down toxic food compounds and synthesize vitamins and amino acids.

Balancing the Symbiotic Relationship with Your Microbiome

A redhead woman sitting and meditating in her home while trying to stay balanced.Balancing the symbiotic relationship with the microbiome is critical to maintaining good health. “Good” microbes help keep the body healthy and well, while an excess of “bad” microbes can cause illness. Maintaining a diverse gut microbiome is important to get the most out of its benefits and reduce the negative effects of dysbiosis, which is an imbalance in the gut microbiome.

Several strategies to manage the microbiome balance include dietary changes, such as consuming probiotics and prebiotics, reducing exposure to antibiotics and other drugs that can disrupt the microbiome, and reducing stress levels.

Probiotics, for instance, are live bacteria and yeasts similar to the helpful microbes found in the gut and can help restore a healthy balance to the microbiome. Individuals can improve their gut and overall health by managing their microbiome balance. We’ll get into more detail about this later.

Of all the solutions available, one of the most important and valuable actions one can take in this area is utilizing a gut health test.

What is the Gut Health Test?

A microscopic image of green-colored microorganisms.A gut health test is a diagnostic tool that looks at the balance of microbiota in the gut and tells how healthy a person’s digestive system is as a whole. The test measures the presence and levels of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that make up the gut microbiome. This will flag any departure from balanced, normal microbiota levels.

An unbalanced gut microbiome can cause digestive and overall health problems, so it’s important to understand how the gut microbiome works to stay healthy. There are several types of gut health tests available, including:

Stool sample tests

Stool sample tests are the most common type of gut health test. The test involves collecting a sample of the person’s stool and analyzing it for the presence and levels of different bacteria and other microorganisms. This test looks at the gut microbiome as a whole and can help figure out if there are any problems.

Blood Tests

Blood tests look at the levels of certain biomarkers, like antibodies and markers of inflammation, that can show if there are health problems in the gut. These tests are often used to assess the gut-liver axis, a connection between the gut and the liver that is critical for overall health.

Breath Tests

Breath tests measure the levels of certain gasses, such as hydrogen and methane, produced by the gut microbiome. These tests assess digestive function and identify gut motility and transit time issues.

At-home gut health tests are also available for individuals who want to monitor their gut health from the comfort of their homes. Most of the time, these tests involve getting a stool sample and sending it to a lab for testing.

The results of the gut health test are used to check the overall balance of the gut microbiome and find any imbalances that may be causing digestive or overall health problems. The results can also help guide treatment options, such as probiotics or other therapies, to improve gut health and balance the gut microbiome.

How are the Test Results used to Assess Gut Health?

The microbiome test results give important insights into the balance of different microorganisms that make up the gut microbiome. There could be health problems if there isn’t enough variety of bacteria.

Gut microbiome test results determine if there are too many harmful microorganisms or not enough helpful ones. With this information, you can figure out if you need to change your diet, take probiotic supplements, or do something else to restore and improve your gut health. It is important to note that gut health tests are not a diagnostic tool but a starting point for further investigation and conversations with a healthcare provider.

What does a Healthy Microbiome Look Like?

A man on a grass field eating green leaves while holding a round mirror with his other hand that reveals the rest of the unhealthy food and drinks that sits on the table.A healthy gut microbiome1 is essential for optimal health and wellness. To understand what a healthy microbiome looks like, it is important to understand the factors contributing to its health and stability. Gut bacteria play a role in overall health and the immune system. Researchers have found that gut bacteria are a key part of how the immune system works and how disease is prevented.

The gut microbiome helps break down toxic food compounds and utilizes vitamins and amino acids to help boost the immune system. This helps improve overall health and prevent long-term problems like autoimmune diseases and inflammatory bowel disease from developing.

Several factors contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. A balanced diet rich in fiber and prebiotics, such as fruits and vegetables, is important for promoting gut health. Probiotics can also be taken as a supplement or eaten in fermented foods like yogurt. It’s also important to be aware that antibiotics and other drugs can upset the balance of the gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome can also be helped by getting enough exercise, sleep, and stress relief.

In addition to these lifestyle factors, environmental exposures can also impact the gut microbiome. Pollutants like pesticides and toxic chemicals can upset the gut microbiome balance and make you more likely to get sick. Similarly, poor gut health can also be caused by not taking care of your body well, like not washing your hands often or not keeping your kitchen clean.

Having a healthy gut microbiome is not just about having a high number of “good” bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome should have many different microorganisms that live together and help each other. This helps ensure that the gut microbiome can do all its important jobs, like helping the immune system, keeping the metabolism in check, and breaking down toxic food compounds.

The gut microbiome is an essential component of overall health and wellness. By understanding what a healthy gut microbiome looks like and the factors that contribute to its health, individuals can take steps to promote and maintain optimal gut health.

Symptoms of an Imbalanced Microbiome

When the microbiome is out of balance, it can show up in different ways and can be a sign of deeper gut health problems. Some common gut health concerns include:

Digestive Issues such as IBS and Leaky Gut

Digestive issues are common symptoms of an imbalanced gut microbiome. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements. Leaky gut, also called increased intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the gut wall becomes more porous, letting harmful substances and toxins leak into the bloodstream. An imbalanced gut microbiome can contribute to IBS and leaky gut, so it’s important to address these symptoms to promote overall gut health.

Autoimmune Diseases and their Connection to Gut Health

Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, causing swelling and damage. Researchers have found that an unbalanced gut microbiome can make autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus more likely. Taking care of your gut microbiome can lower your risk of autoimmune diseases and improve your overall health and well-being.

Mental Health and the Gut-brain Connection

Depressed woman holding her head down with one hand while hugging her legs with the other hand.Gut health and mental health are intricately connected. Around 95% of total body serotonin2 is made in the gut. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in controlling mood. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems have been linked to a gut microbiome that is out of balance. Keeping your gut microbiome healthy can improve your physical and mental health and well-being.

We need to know how the gut microbiome affects our health as a whole and take steps to keep a healthy gut to reduce the risk of digestive problems, autoimmune diseases, and mental health problems.

It’s important to remember that symptoms of an imbalanced microbiome can vary greatly from person to person, and some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all.

But if you have persistent digestive or other health problems, you might want to get a gut health test to see how well your microbiome is balanced.

Improving Gut Health

There are many ways to improve gut health. The following are some ways to improve gut health and maintain a balanced microbiome:

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

a top-view of a bowl filled with healthy food, mostly its fruit.The foods you eat can have a big impact on the health of your gut microbiome. A diet rich3 in fiber and fermented foods, such as yogurt and kefir, can help promote a healthy gut. On the other hand, a diet high in processed foods and sugar can lead to an imbalanced gut microbiome and even contribute to obesity.Nature 444, 1022–1023 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/4441022a >4 In addition to diet, lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep, and exercise can also impact gut health. Getting enough sleep and doing things to reduce stress, like yoga or meditation, can help keep your gut microbiome healthy.

Supplements and Probiotics

Taking probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, can help improve gut health. Probiotics are available in supplement form and can also be found in fermented foods. Certain supplements, such as fiber and prebiotics, can also support gut health. Before taking any new supplements, you should talk to a doctor or nurse to ensure they are safe and right for you.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you have digestive problems like bloating, diarrhea, or constipation that don’t go away, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor. They can help you determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop a plan to improve your gut health.

At-home Gut Health Test

Image representation of the human intestines, medicine and the microbiome. There is a written text on the image that writes: "Intestinal Microflora".An at-home gut test is available and can be a convenient way to assess the health of your gut microbiome. Most of the time, these tests involve taking a sample of stool and sending it to a lab for analysis. An at-home gut health test can be a convenient way to find out how healthy your gut is, but it may not be as thorough as tests performed by medical professionals. You should note that a doctor will require a professional test before proceeding with any treatments.

A professional gut bacteria test usually uses more advanced testing methods, like blood tests or breath tests, which can give a much more in-depth and complete look at your gut health. Medical professionals trained to do these tests can look at the results and make suggestions based on your needs and health goals.

With the rise of concierge medicine and advances in medical services, it is now possible to get a professional gut health test performed in the comfort of your home. This is the best way to figure out how healthy your gut is because it is easy and done by a professional.


Maintaining a healthy gut is important for overall well-being. Regular gut health testing can help find problems in the gut microbiome and possible health problems. Improving gut health can be done through diet and lifestyle changes, supplements, and probiotics. Of the many options you have to improve in this area, few are as effective or informative as taking a gut health test. We invite you to contact our office to find out if this would be a good option for your goals.

Schedule your at Home Gut Microbiome Test with Driphydration

Drip Hydration enables you to get a gut microbiome test in the comfort of your own home. It is one of the most effective and straightforward methods for monitoring the health of our digestive system which consists of a comprehensive group of stool tests that assesses the gut microbiome and provides immediate clinical information about detectable parasites, bacteria, and yeasts. By booking an appointment with Drip Hydration online or over the phone, you skip the hustle of going to a doctor's office.

Once you schedule an appointment, one of our medical professionals will visit your home to collect samples for lab analysis. These lab tests are then sent to labs, where we examine them and provide you with the results, along with an interpretation of the results. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment right now and get yourself tested!

Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?

It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.

What does a routine blood test cover?

A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.

How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?

A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

What is the cost of a lab test?

In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.

Read More: Lab Testing FAQ


[1] Deng F. - The gut microbiome of healthy long-living people. National Library of Medicine. Published January 31, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6366966/;

[2] Appleton J. - The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health. National Library of Medicine. Published August 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6469458/;

[3] Valdes AM, Walter J, Segal E, et al. - Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health BMJ 2018; 361 :k2179 doi:10.1136/bmj.k2179;

[4] Ley, R., Turnbaugh, P., Klein, S. et al. - Human gut microbes associated with obesity. Nature 444, 1022–1023 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/4441022a;