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Gut Health Tests - Are they worth it?

You may have heard about private gut health tests but aren’t really sure what they include or if they’re going to be helpful for your gut-healing journey. In this blog post, I want to talk you through everything that is covered in a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA), and when you should consider investing in one.

As a Nutritional therapist specialising in gut-health, a CDSA is an incredibly useful tool which I use with most of my clients. Not only does this specialised test give me a great view of someone’s overall gut health, but it can be really useful to help identify the root-cause of symptoms and give me actionable information to make my approach far more targeted.

I would usually use a CDSA with a client if they have been suffering with any of the following digestive symptoms long-term:

- Bloating

- Gut pain

- Excessive Gas

- Reflux

- Constipation

- Diarrhoea

However, we also know that gut imbalances can manifest through other body systems, so I would also consider using a CDSA if a client was suffering with any of these chronic symptoms or conditions:

- Acne, Rosacea, Eczema, Psoriasis

- Allergies

- Asthma

- Autoimmune conditions

- Chronic fatigue

- Brain fog

- Hormonal imbalances

- Depression/ Anxiety

But what useful information do you get from a CDSA? Well, unlike the standard gut tests available from your GP, a CDSA is extremely comprehensive and gives you lots of insight into all areas of your gut health.

Digestion & Absorption

The very first thing I will look for on a CDSA is someone’s digestive capacity. What is their stomach acid, bile and enzyme production like? This tells me how well they are able to break down and absorb certain foods and nutrients. For example, if someone has poor bile production, they might not tolerate fatty foods very well and have issues with absorbing fat-soluble nutrients (A,D,E,K).


Next, I will look at the balance of bacteria in the gut, looking first at the diversity of different species, the higher the diversity the better! Then I look out for some key ‘good’ species of bacteria which we want to see in abundance (like bifidobacteria and lactobacillus). These bacteria are so important for good gut health, but also have effects on other areas of our health like metabolism, immunity and hormone balance. If any of these species are low or missing, then I will look to reinoculate them with targeted pre- and pro-biotics.


I will also be looking to identify any pathogenic bacteria, yeasts or parasites which may be present in the gut. Sometimes these are ok if present in small amounts, but if they are thriving then they can cause lots of nasty symptoms and may need gently eradicating with targeted antimicrobial herbs. I may also want to asses presence of bacteria with links to certain conditions, such as histamine producing bacteria or those associated with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Functional markers

A CDSA will also show several other markers that your body is producing itself. These can tell us lots about how your gut is responding to it’s environment and how this may be causing other symptoms outside of the gut. They include markers of inflammation, immune reaction, leaky gut and damage to the gut lining.


So, as you can see, there is a lot that is covered in a CDSA (the standard test that I use includes over 70 markers!). While private gut testing does cost, in my opinion it is such a worthwhile investment! Gut health is so complex, and testing can really help get to the root cause of your symptoms and give you invaluable information to make the healing process so much faster. And, even if you aren’t experiencing any of the symptoms I outlined, you may still want to consider a CDSA for health optimisation.

CDSAs are designed to be interpreted by trained practitioners, and it is advisable to work under the guidance of your health practitioner for at least a couple of months to get the most out of your results.

If you want to know more about the gut tests I use in my practice and whether they could be helpful for you, get in touch and book a FREE 30-minute online consultation!

Girl looking through a microscope

1 Comment

test 4you
test 4you
Nov 21, 2023

At Tests4You, we understand the critical importance of food safety, especially when it comes to allergens. Our Food Allergen Testing service employs state-of-the-art technology to detect and quantify allergens in various food products. We are committed to providing you with accurate and timely results, giving you the confidence to make informed choices about your diet.

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