Do you feel like you’re doing everything “right,” and still not getting the results you want? Are you gaining weight, or feeling digestive distress, despite doing all the things that have worked for you in the past? Do you feel like you’re more anxious, more lethargic, more tired, more wired, more irritable, more bloated, or more forgetful than you “should” be? (If so, read on, and be sure to get to the end, where there’s a great discount code on a potential solution for you!)
And did you know that ALL of those things (and more) are impacted by your gut health?!
What is the gut microbiome and how does it impact our health?
By now, many of us have heard the term “microbiome,” which refers to all of the microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that live in your digestive tract. Sounds pleasant, right? But these “gut bacteria” (I’ll use a collective term, but I’m referring to all of them!) are actually enormously beneficial to almost all aspects of our health. They help us absorb nutrients and minerals, synthesize enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids, and produce short chain fatty acids.
The microbiome does greatly impact our digestion (so if you’re feeling bloated, constipated, have diarrhea, or experience stomach pain, there’s likely something “off” in there), but it also does so much more!
- Immunity: Did you know that 70-80% of your immune system lies in your gut? So creating a beneficial environment for those bacteria to flourish can actually help you stave off everything from the common cold to a strong virus.
- Brain health: Your gut health is also critical to your brain health (including memory, brain fog, and more)
- Emotional balance: 95% of the serotonin, sometimes called a “happy hormone,” is produced by gut bacteria! And many other metabolites that are regulated by your microbiome are critical to your emotional balance.
- Energetic efficiency: because your gut microbiome helps you absorb nutrients, and controls many processes related to your energetic balance, even your energy levels can be hugely impacted by an unhealthy or out of balance gut microbiome.
How does our gut microbiome get damaged?
Our gut microbiome gets damaged just by living live in the 21st century. Things like processed foods and high-sugar foods, alcohol, caffeine, poor sleep quality, antibiotics, physical and mental stress, breathing in pollution, exposure to toxins through cleaning and beauty products, and SO much more can negatively alter our gut microbiome.
How improving my gut health is helping me
I have a long history with chronic stress (some of which I’ve shared here on the blog and on social media), so I know that I always need to be vigilant about monitoring my own emotional and physical stress and the impact it is having on my health. This is one of the main reasons that I am so consistent with my morning routine, why I’m taking so much time off of intense endurance activity after my last half Ironman, and why I’m constantly working, through supplements, dietary changes, and lifestyle practices, to manage my own stress balance.
When Ixcela (wait for discount code below!) reached out to me last July, I knew my gut health was super out of whack. I’m so in tune with my body that I can just feel these things, and I knew that I hadn’t been balancing the physical stress I was putting on my body, and the emotional stress I was putting myself through, with appropriate measures. So it was no surprise when my gut health test came back as “borderline” (which is a really nice word for “poor”).
Clearly, I know the science behind what to do for gut health, but actually doing so is sometimes a different story. And while my nutrition is almost always spot on, my stress management, sleep, overexercising, and lack of restorative activities were getting the best of me.
But this isn’t a sad story; it’s a great story! With months of intentional focus on my gut health, and really small tweaks that made big differences, my gut health is improving tremendously! I’m now firmly in the “good” category, and I’m proud that my biggest improvement has been in emotional balance, where I’m now “excellent” (also excellent in cognitive acuity)! And I feel much better with the tweaks I’ve taken on. I’m still working out a few things, and I’ll be a constant work in progress, but seeing improvement is reassuring enough for me to want to share this with you.
Intro to Ixcela, an at home gut health test
So that brings me to the Ixcela test. Did you even know there was such a thing as an at home gut health test? Well, there is, and let me tell you, this is the easiest and most effective one I’ve found. You know I’d try anything for my health, so I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t tried multiple at home stool tests (yep, it’s as strange as it sounds to walk to the post office with that “special” package in hand!), but aside from the obvious inconvenience, I found the results overwhelming and difficult to understand, even with multiple health certifications and a Masters in Holistic Nutrition! So, having Ixcela in my toolkit is a huge sigh of relief for me as a practitioner.
How the Ixcela at home gut health test works
The Ixcela test uses a pinprick of blood (about the size of a quarter) to measure how well the bacteria in your gut are performing their jobs and creating the various chemicals your body needs. Ixcela is looking at small compounds in the blood called metabolites. These metabolites (Indole-3-Acetic Acid, Indole-3-Lactic-Acid, Tyrosine, Uric Acid, Xanthine, 3-Methylxanthine, Indole-3-Proprionic-Acid, Total Indoxyl Sulfate, Kynurenine, Serotonin, and Tryptophan) each have an important role in your overall health.
Ixcela combines your levels of each of these metabolites into 5 fitness scores:
- Gastrointestinal Fitness
- Immuno Fitness
- Emotional Balance
- Cognitive Acuity
- Energetic Efficiency
The results of each of these scores give you a glimpse into what is going on inside your digestive tract, and help you take targeted actions to improve your overall health.
What Ixcela results give you
There is SO much information that can come from testing these metabolites! For me, who loves diving into tons of data, parsing through complex nutritional topics, and reading a ton, it’s super exciting. But for you, who likely doesn’t have time or interest in doing so, all the information can be overwhelming. That’s why we are partners in this journey!
When you order an Ixcela test with my discount code below, I receive the complexities of your data, and you just receive the critical, actionable items (although I’m happy to share the full extent of the data with you if you’re curious!).
There are SO many things we can work on together, depending on the results of your individual test. From lifestyle practices, to food recommendations, to specific meal suggestions and recipes, to exercise plans, to supplements, we get SO much information with this test. You’ll see below my recommendation to include more purine-rich foods, something even I had not considered for myself prior to doing the test!
An Ixcela discount code for you
The Ixcela test itself is $299, but my discount code will get you the test for $269. If you choose to upgrade to the Ixcela Complete (which includes all of your recommended gut health supplements), your fee is reduced $21 per month with my discount code.
In addition, I am offering all Ixcela clients a special rate on a one-time, 50-minute consultation through the end of August. These consultations are usually $199, but for Ixcela clients, will be $175.
Now it’s your turn … In which of the 5 areas of gut health do you think you have biggest room for improvement? What questions do you have about the Ixcela test?