Gut Health & Seasonal Allergies
Have you ever considered that gut health may be a key factor in the development of seasonal respiratory allergies such as rhinitis, hay fever and asthma? Each year as spring draws, millions of Australians experience flare ups of these debilitating conditions, manifesting symptoms such as blocked nose, itchy, swollen and sore eyes, difficulty breathing and wheezing. Ongoing research has been conducted to ascertain potential underlying causes of these increased seasonal reactions.
Historically the "hygiene hypothesis" was believed to be a compounding factor in the development of conditions such as hay fever. This was based on Strachan's observation that there was an inverse relationship between development of hay fever and birth order. Studies have since shown that incidence of such conditions may not in fact be a result of increased microbial infection in early life, but rather reduced microbial colonization. Stool analysis studies showed that children with allergies (ie. Atopic eczema, asthma, hay fever) had lower levels of Lactobacillus and Enterococcus and higher incidence of pathogenic organisms such as Bacteroides, Clostridium and Staphylococcus. Further studies even confirmed that babies with low levels of Bifidobacteria in comparison to higher levels of pathogenic organisms, were more likely to develop allergic conditions later in life. More-so studies have now confirmed that in fact gut microbiota begins to establish in foetal life and may influence the development of allergic conditions, indicating the maternal gut microbiota may in fact determine the diversity of foetal microbial environment.
This imbalance of beneficial and pathogenic organisms and overall gut environment, known as dysbiosis, has been found to have an effect on the regulation of the immune system and thus contribute to the onset of allergic conditions. Many contributing factors are believed to be associated with the development of these allergic conditions such as increased antibiotic use, mode of child delivery, increased psychological and physical stress and the western diet. Interestingly, these same factors also affect gut microbiota.
Short Chain fatty acids (SCFA) must also be considered. The gut microbiota ferments dietary fibre producing SCFA required for the production of energy for colonic epithelial cells a well as overall energy production, anti-inflammatory properties and have recently been found to be involved in metabolism and immune system support. Research has shown that there is a correlation between the immune function of the respiratory tract and the immunomodulatory activity of gut microbiota displaying that gut microbiota affects overall systemic immunity which in turn affects lung mucosa and therefore the resulting symptoms associated with this.
It seems that the microbial environment and gut health have a direct part to play in supporting overall immune health and the incidence of seasonal allergic conditions such as hay fever, rhinitis and asthma and therefore should not be overlooked when assessing seasonal allergies.
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Terms and Conditions of Service
It is your responsibility to ensure you carefully follow all steps provided to ensure the health and safety of the couriers, postage workers, specimen reception and laboratory workers.
There is no rebate offered through the Medicare Benefits Scheme for the kits available on the Intestinal Labs shopping cart. Some private health insurance companies may offer rebates, check with your health insurance provider for further details.
If your kit arrives through the mail damaged, contact us immediately for a replacement – do not use or send back this kit.
Intestinal Labs does issue refunds to unused tests for up to 6 months from purchase date, a cancellation fee of $30 applies to all kits. We do not issue refunds for kits purchased over 6 months prior to the refund request.
All kits to be returned are to have the referral form included with the samples. Without this form, there will be no patient allocated to the results and the test will take longer to process.
General Digestive Analysis
Recommended for monitoring treatment, identifying the presence of unfavourable organisms, gut infection, microbial imbalance, malabsorption or assessing whether probiotic supplementation is having a positive impact.
Analysis of your digestive function and gut microbial environment including an evaluation of microscopic and macroscopic markers, such as the presence of fibres, cells and food particles. In-depth analysis of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria including the presence of parasites or yeasts.
Essential Digestive Analysis
Our most popular test – Recommended if you have digestive function issues and require an in-depth analysis of your gut health.
All components of the General Digestive Analysis are included along with additional testing on biochemical markers, such as pH, breakdown and absorption of fats, carbohydrates and protein, pancreatic function and levels of short chain fatty acids (required to maintain normal bowel function).
Comprehensive Digestive Analysis
Select this test for a complete gut assessment and comprehensive parasitology screening.
Our most comprehensive digestive stool test includes all components within the General and Essential Digestive Analysis tests plus a 3-day parasitology test. This increases the probability of identifying parasites as they may not be present in every bowel motion as well as testing for antimicrobial sensitivities (if bacterial organisms are detected).