Microbiome testing in New Zealand

  • posted by Wellylass1
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    Hi
    I’ve just read the Clever Guts book and really interested to have my microbiome tested, does anyone know of any reputable companies that would service the Wellington, New Zealand area?

    Thanks in advance!

  • posted by StephK
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    Hi there, I’ve just had a test done through Bioscreen in Australia, organised through my holistic GP in Auckland. Am waiting on the results. So I would contact Bioscreen and ask which GP’s/naturopaths in Wellington could refer, or maybe you could just do it direct with them. Good luck.

  • posted by rolandgirl
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    Hi Wellylass, did you find a company that tests microbiome in Wellington?
    Thanks in advance

  • posted by Buhler
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    Hi,
    I live in Auckland and would also like to get a test from Bioscreen. Could you tell me who you went to in Auckland to arrange that.

    Many thanks

  • posted by StephK
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    Hi Buhler

    Yes I can. I did it through my GP (Dr Olivier Caunes) at Holistic Medical Centre in Ponsonby.
    Boy did it show up a big problem. 98.6% Enterococcus Faecium when it should be about 2%.
    1-2% Ecoli when it should be huge
    Significantly elevated Eubacterium
    No lactobillicus at all!! Hardly any Bifido. Reduced Bacteroides.
    Dysbiosis big time!

    No wonder I have had chronic fatigue and IBS for 10 years since severe food poisoning

    If you are having health problems that nobody can explain..then this may be very useful to you.
    Best of luck
    StephK

  • posted by Buhler
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    Hi Steph,

    Wonderful, thanks so much for the info.
    I know I have a gut problem ( I was diagnosed with leaky gut 20 years ago at Auckland Hospital ) but it’s been a hard slog to on top of it.
    Things have changed so much in the last few years regarding the understanding of the gut and how it all works. There have been a few things that definitely help and I don’t feel as bad as I used to but I’m still not 100%

    Did your Doctor then put you on a protocol and are you feeling better?

    Thanks
    Lyndal

  • posted by StephK
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    Hi again Lyndal
    Yes he did put me on a protocol. Professor Henry Butt at Bioscreen (at Melbourne University – he’s well known internationally) told my Dr what to do.
    I started with Picoprep which is what you take before a colonoscopy which was designed to wash out as much bacteria as possible. Then I had slow release Amoxicillin (designed to stay in the gut for an extended time) made for me at a compounding pharmacy (Optimus) and I did week on week off for 3 cycles. In the in-between weeks I took Mutaflor (on prescription from PCNZ and expensive) and a probiotic supplement called Multigen (full of Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria). I am still taking these. I suffered from a diarrhoea dominant IBS and malabsorption for years and this absolutely stopped that. In fact I went a bit the other way. But what a blessing to sort that out! Now I’m pretty normal in that department. I also was on a 6-week very strict keto diet initially. Minimal carbs, lots of chicken and other meats, leafy greens and 6 cups of homemade organic chicken broth a day. That was a bit of pain to be always making!
    The type of bacteria that is dominant in me (Enterococcus), also causes the mitochondria in the cell to be smothered so you can’t make enough ATP in the normal way, that is, you switch to inefficient energy producing system resulting in the chronic fatigue. I’ve since discovered that using D-ribose powder, NADH, creatine and l-carnitine really helps to improve the chronic fatigue.
    So all in all I am much better thanks than I was a few months ago. But I suspect that as you have found, it is a long haul!
    I’m know noticing that introducing foods is causing all sorts of allergy-type histamine and sulphur reactions so I need to find out why that is…
    I think it’s really interesting that you say that Akld hospital diagnosed you with a leaky gut….I’m surprised they’d even now what it was!!!
    I do think you may be able to get some help from Olivier if you feel like taking that avenue..he’s quite up on this sort of condition.
    Cheers
    Steph

  • posted by Buhler
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    Once agin thanks for all of that.
    Yes, I’m sure it will be a long haul. Luckily I don’t suffer from Cronic Fatigue..
    I hear you about the Auckland Hospital diagnosis. It was more than 20 years ago and it took them a while to figure it out. I was under a Doctor called Prof Tasmin Jones who was the leading gastro doctor at the time. He was VERY narrow in his thinking and anything even slightly alternative was out of his thinking.
    At first they thought I was an anorexic ( which I wasn’t ) because I was extremely thin due to not absorbing anything. Finally they did a test which show very abnormal gut permeability ( leaky gut in today’s language). The only thing they could offer me was to put me on steroids for the rest of my life…….ekkkkkkk…….runnnnnnnn

    So my health comes and goes, usually depending on what I eat and how strict when it comes to eating ( no sugar, gluten, etc). It would be nice to get my gut a little more robust so it can tolorate more.
    I take diatomaceous earth which I find quite good.
    Thanks again for answering all my questions. I shall make an appointment to see Dr Caunes.

    Regards
    Lyndal

  • posted by StephK
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    Thank goodness you didn’t go on all those steroids!
    Interesting to hear about your experiences…and glad you’re going to follow up…a strong gut is so important for long term health.
    If you need naturopath support…come over to South Pacific College of Natural Medicine in Ellerslie (Arthur St).
    I’m a second year student (mature one!) there doing a Bachelor of Natural Medicine. We have a really good public clinic (called Paua Clinic) at the college for the third year students to work on people. Under supervision of course. It’s very cheap and very good. They know lots about gut stuff!!! You can book online if you fancy going.

    All the best
    Steph

  • posted by Buhler
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    Wonderful, thanks for the tip about the Paula clinic. I just might do that once I’ve seen the Dr.

  • posted by Colb
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    Hi is there no microbiome testing done in NZ?
    I have been looking online and haven’t come up with any
    I am in Christchurch , should I actually go one see someone in natural health , if I can find someone who specialises in this.
    Looking forward to getting a reply.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Colb

  • posted by Buhler
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    Hi,

    No there is no testing in NZ.
    You’re best bet is to get a test done from Bioscreen in Australia. You will need to go to a Dr or Naturopath to get the paperwork done so you can order one. I’m in Auckland and I go to the Holistic Medical Centre but I’m not sure where you’d go in Christchurch.

    Hope this helps a bit
    Lyndal

  • posted by Buhler
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    Hi Steph,

    Just to let you know that I’ve been to see Dr Caunes and I’ve just sent my sample away to Bioscreen. It’s going to be very interesting to see what comes back.
    So thank you for all your suggestions and recommendations, much appreciated.

    Lyndal

  • posted by StephK
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    Fabulous Lyndal!
    Really glad you’ve seen Dr Caunes (he’s so nice isn’t he?) and done the Bioscreen test and you must keep me posted when you get your results. I hope it gives you a definitive answer so you can move onwards and upwards to better gut health! Best of luck!

    Cheers
    Steph

  • posted by Buhler
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    Thanks Steph, will keep you posted

  • posted by Colb
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    Thanks so much for the info much appreciated 😺 will get on to finding someone that can help, such an interesting test, and totally believe our guts cause so many issues !!
    I’m so sick of feeling the way I do , wish I had found the clever guts book years ago.
    I’m so full of wind and discomfort all the time
    Cheers Col

  • posted by Buhler
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    Hi Col,

    Yes I wish they had discovered this whole “ gut “ thing a few years ago. But at least there is a lot of knowledge available now.
    I’ve just sent a test away to Bioscreen so it’s going to be very interesting to see what comes back.
    Hope you find someone down there to help you get the test done. It sounds like you have a gut thing going on. If you are having trouble finding someone down there you might want to ring the Holistic Medical Centre in Ponsonby and see if they can recommend anyone.

    Cheers
    Lyndal

  • posted by Colb
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    Awesome thanks Lyndal,
    Will get onto them, annoying having all these holidays when you are keen for information.
    How much did it cost to get the test done? when do you expect to get your results back?
    You follow the clever guts diet?
    I am wondering if I should be taking some supplements, but probably shouldn’t until I know what the issue is.
    Cheers
    Col.

  • posted by Colb
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    Hi again,
    A medical herbalist is a holistic health practitioner? I have seen one here in Christchurch, but probably need to ask her if she does referrals.
    Just gets a bit confusing.
    Many thanks.
    Cheers,
    Col.

  • posted by Buhler
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    Hi Col,

    You will need to find someone who has the forms from Bioscreen that are needed. You might want to contact Bioscreen ( google them) and ask them if the could recommend someone in Christchurch. Failing that you could ring Dr Caunes at the Holistic Medical Centre and he might do a phone consultation and send you down the forms you need.
    It cost around NZ$500 to get the test done and then all the Dr’s fees on top of that. So probably around $1000 by the time you add up all the costs. But I think it’s worth it to see exactly what’s going on in your gut. It takes all the guess work out.
    It takes about 5 or 6 weeks to get the results back.
    I sort of follow the Clever Guts diet. And I definitely feel better if I stick to it. And cutting out gluten has helped., even though I didn’t think I had a problem with it, it has definitely made an improvement since cutting it out. And it’s easy to go gluten free, there is so many alternative available now. Their cook book is great and lots of yummy, easy recipes which will help you stick to the diet.
    I would hold off taking any supplements until you have the test done and got the results back.

    Hope this helps a bit
    Lyndal

  • posted by Colb
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    Hi Lyndal,
    Again thank you !!
    I will give him a ring tomorrow, plus contact Bioscreen, $ 1000 isn’t that bad as like you said you then know what is going on.
    I too try and cut as much gluten out of my diet, its terrible at the best of times, I dramatically cut bread out of my diet at the start of the year, mainly because its far to easy to eat instead of thinking of a healthier alternative, and certainly doesn’t help with weight!!, but I so love it !!
    I only started clever guts a few weeks ago, and started shedding weight, I am not over weight by any means, but that spare tyre needed to come off, and my blood tests weren’t flash, and have no intention of getting to the stage of needing medication, so action it is !!
    When I mentioned it to my GP she was in agreement.
    Really we can just about reverse most things thank goodness.
    Thank goodness we have come far with the research that is being done, fascinating reading.
    But feel this testing needs to be done in NZ as well since its such a big issue for a lot of people.
    Cheers.
    Col.

  • posted by Buhler
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    Yes I agree Col, it’s a shame we can’t get tested here. One day hopefully it will be mainstream, just like getting a blood test, as like you said, gut health plays such a big part in how we are feeling and our overall health.
    I hear you about bread. I LOVE bread, in fact any carbs I love. But I do feel better when I limit them. And sugar is just pure poison for me. Such a shame because I love sugar even more than bread 😆
    My problem is keeping the weight on as I’m a bit of a skinny Minnie to start with. So when I cut out carbs I loose to much weight.
    It’s going to be so interesting to see what my test comes back with.

  • posted by Colb
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    Hi Lyndal 🙂
    I am not a great fan of the medical profession, I might sound a bit sceptical about them, but it is more the pharmaceutical companies running the show, if they can give use a pill for this or that they certainly won’t be happy if we change our eating habits to reverse disease that can ultimately kill us.
    We put our health in our GP’s hands, and the good ones will suggest diet reversal I believe there is some GP’s who actually get their patients to go on some of Dr Mosley;s eating plans, that is a GP who is looking out for their patient. best to give that a go in the first instance.
    Being a Skinny Minnie will I imagine have just as many problems as trying to loose weight, I am just a carb person big time !!, and very pleased I don’t have a sweet tooth, I just saw a guy at the local diary a few minutes ago who was extremely obese buying a large bottle of coke, and I thought if he goes to his Dr, maybe the Dr isn’t saying hey you are going to kill yourself.
    Huge topic!!
    I look forward to hearing how you get on with your tests.
    Will let you know how I get on getting a test done.
    Appreciate your help.
    Cheers
    Col

  • posted by Buhler
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    Thanks Col, I’ll let you know when I get the results. And I totally agree with your thoughts.

  • posted by Buhler
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    Hi Steph and Col,

    Just to let you know I’ve had my results from BioScreen back.
    It appears that I am in a very similar situation as you Steph in that I have a HUGE overgrowth. Mine was of Streptococcus. It’s at 99.6%. So I’m pretty much doing the same protocol as you. I have to say I’m very nervous about the antibiotics bit. I haven’t taken antibiotics for 30 years and the last time I did it made me feel so sick. But Dr Caunes said it’s the only way to knock this thing on the head and there is no natural alternative the would work.
    And unfortunately we are off next week to the States for two months so I won’t be able to start the program until I get back. In the meantime he said to do as low a carb diet as I can manage while travelling ( the USA is not known for its healthy food so this could be a challenge 😆).

    So here goes………. I think I’m going to be in for a rough ride but at least I now know what the problem has been for all these years.
    Any tips you have would be very helpful.

    Cheers
    Lyndal

  • posted by StephK
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    Hi Lyndal

    Wow, what great news…well not great that you have loads of strep but great you have a reason now for your problems!! I wouldn’t worry at all about the antibiotics. They’re a special slow release version of amoxycillin that stays in the gut a long time and seems to cause less systemic problems than the normal types. I had no problems at all and I’ve always had trouble with antibiotics in the past, big body rashes etc. Also if you have to wait a couple of months it won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I waited at least 2 months before I got stuck in. Once you get used to what you’re doing it’s not so difficult and I felt really good on that diet so am sure you will too. I now have pretty perfect bowel function after 10 years of misery!!!!
    Funny that it’s strep, I’ve just got over 4 weeks of the worst strep infection I’ve ever had, all through the sinuses, ears and of course the throat! The choices were, take the antibiotics and mess up the gut again (arrrgggghhhh) or have damaged heart valves or kidney damage. I opted for the former!!! However luckily 3 1/2 weeks of antibiotics doesn’t seem to have adversely affected my poor gut so that’s good. Anyway strep is a nasty bug and you certainly don’t want to have an overgrowth of that!
    I found Selina, one of the naturopaths in with Dr Caunes, very helpful with adding in the right supplements (just a few) to support the protocol and helping me with food options. How to approach the eating regime etc. Of course you have to pay for her but 2 or 3 sessions with her were a great help…..
    I think you will get sick of making and consuming bone broth!!! I did!!!
    Anyway, great to hear you’re getting yourself sorted Lyndal….and have a great trip. Don’t let the food thing spoil it for you. Forget it and enjoy your time away and worry about it when you get back.
    Cheers
    Steph

    t

  • posted by Buhler
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    Thanks so much for putting my mind at ease Steph. I was really nervous about the whole antibiotic thing but felling more comfortable with it now.
    Luckily I’m a chef so have no problem coming up with good meal ideas. I have to do the whole low/no carb thing. Funnily enough I’ve always felt better on low carb but I just loose too much weight ( I’m on the slim side anyway) and I end up looking like a walking skeleton, so I try and have quite a few carbs to keep my weight up. But I’ll just have to suck it up for a few months and hopefully come out the other side feeling better.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Lyndal

  • posted by StephK
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    OMG Lyndal, you are so lucky to be a chef! You’ll know all the right things to make. That’ll be such a huge help.

    …I know what you mean about the carbs, I lost a heap of weight doing the diet..but felt really good. Amazing how when you reintroduce a few carb-ish things the kilos go back on …grrr. You may just have to be a walking skeleton for a few months…let me know how you go with everything and all the best!!

    Cheers
    Steph

  • posted by Buhler
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    Yes I was just saying to my husband that if you didn’t know how to put together a meal with the foods your allowed it would be very hard to do the diet side of it, so yes I’m very fortunate that I can do that, and in fact even enjoy coming up with tasty things to eat.
    Sorry, but just one more question. I’ve been reading online about different ways to heal SIBO ( I guess that’s what I’ve got )and it appears lots of people do it without antibiotics, and say you shouldn’t use them. Grrrrrrr bloody Google can be so contradictory. You’re study to be a naturopath so what’s your take on this theory? Dr Caunes was very adamant that it was the only way to get rid of it.

    Cheers
    Lyndal

  • posted by StephK
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    Good question…I asked my tutors at college and they felt that in certain incidences where we have massive overgrowth and it’s a nasty pathogen, which strep and enterococcus both are, antibiotics are justified and quick to fix it. What we have been tested for is an overgrowth in the large colon, where all our bacteria should be. We probably have some degree of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth as well (SIBO). The colonic bacteria shouldn’t be in the small intestine but sometimes it gets relocated when there’s a serious overgrowth in the colon. I would be the first person to avoid antibiotics if I could but I believe it was the right course of treatment. The only other way you could approach it would be through a medical herbalist and to try various antimicrobial herbs. Personally I think it is a more definitive and fast “kill off” with the antibiotics and then you can work on repopulating the gut with the right bacterial strains and eating the right foods to encourage the right bacterial populations. Then effectively you get a new microbiome! Certainly with me, it worked quite quickly. Don’t stress about the drugs. Sometimes we just need them!

  • posted by Buhler
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    Thanks so much Steph, you have been a mine of information. Yes I tend to agree with you about the antibiotics. I think in this case it just has to be done.
    I’ll let you know how I get on once I start the treatment.

    Thanks again for all your input. It was you who put me on to Dr Caunes in the first place so I’m very grateful.

    Lyndal

  • posted by StephK
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    It’s a pleasure Lyndal..am happy to help…best of luck!!

    Cheers
    Steph

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