At home microbiome testing? Is this an actual thing?
My Microbiome results
I recently had a microbiome test. I’ve been waiting anxiously for the results of this. After my foot surgery, I decided I was making a plan to improve my gut health. I’ve suspected my sugar cravings, foot pain, migraines, moods, and sleep could be influenced by my gut microbiome. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this, but I didn’t have a strategic plan to improve it. After all, I’ve been eating some probiotic food and prebiotic food for a while now. See my articles on Is Your Gut Microbiome Linked to Food Addiction and Could Sugar be the Cause of My Joint Pain? These are some of my first posts on gut health.
I realized that I was just aimlessly shooting probiotic foods at my gut and hoping for the best. I wanted a better plan. So, I went searching. I was curious if you could get your microbiome tested from home. And if so, was it insanely expensive?
At-home microbiome testing
Well, low and behold there are actually quite a few companies doing this. I don’t know what rock I’ve been under.
I checked out a few different sites and settled on Ombre Labs. Their price was reasonable and they looked like they could give me enough info to come up with a plan.
How it works is you collect a stool sample. It’s easy. I’m not going to go into the details. I’m a nurse so this stuff really doesn’t gross me out, but it might others so I’ll skip that part. I collected my sample and sent it in.
I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for the home microbiome test results. (Okay, not really.) They were pretty fast. It took less than 2 weeks from the time they received my sample until I got the results.
My results are probably skewed because I have had to take two rounds of antibiotics. One for the first surgery. One for the second. However, I wanted to start with a clean slate and figured now was as good a time as any. In my head, I thought well at least the antibiotics should wipe out the bad bacteria. Knowing they will wipe out good bacteria too.
Some of my results surprised me. Some told me what I already suspected. I paid for the premium features. It wasn’t much extra.
Ombre At Home Microbiome Test Reports: I receive detailed reports in the following areas.
All my scores for inflammation were in the Excellent range. This surprised me. I expected to have issues here as pain has been such a problem for me.
This is the area that covers concerns with “Leaky Gut”. This I scored in the Good range, but just above the cut off. That surprised me. I didn’t expect to see concerns here. This again could be skewed by my recent antibiotic use.
Gluten tolerance was in the Poor Range; Lactose tolerance in the Excellent Range; and Artificial Sweeteners in the Excellent Range.
My daughter has celiac disease, so this doesn’t totally surprise me. I’ve gone back and forth on my thoughts on my tolerance to gluten. I’ll be curious about my results on my repeat home microbiome test.
This area tested your metabolism of Carbs, Fats, & Protein. I scored in the Excellent Range for Carbs & Fats, but in the Poor Range for Proteins. This did not surprise me too much. I am a vegetarian and mostly vegan, but I do eat dairy occasionally.
This area looked at GABA and serotonin. My Gaba score was in the Excellent Range, but my Serotonin score was 0! I am convinced that antibiotic use influenced this score. However, I still found that enlightening that a round of antibiotics would affect your gut bacteria that increase serotonin this much. I am definitely curious about what my numbers would have been without antibiotics used recently.
Either way, this is something I want to build back. My husband thinks I’m nuts, but after both surgeries, I’ve complained about sleep issues. I now think the antibiotics may be the reason why.
I scored in the Poor Range for Vitamin K2 absorption and Vitamin B12 absorption. I only recently began taking a Vitamin K2 supplement and had to hold that for surgery. I have been taking a B Complex vitamin, but not anything specific for B12. These are two areas I intend to read more on. These are two known vitamins that can be deficient on a vegan/vegetarian diet.
Also, wanted to note that this microbiome test does not actually tell you your vitamin levels, it only tells you the bacteria in your gut that influence your absorption of vitamins. Either way, I plan to tackle this two fold. Increasing my B12 and K2 consumption and increasing the bacteria that improve absorption.
In this area, I had mixed results. Atherosclerosis and High LDL I scored in the Excellent Range. However, for triglycerides and trimethylamine (TMA) I scored in the Poor Range. These two are reflective of Omega 3s which is another area that can be deficient in a vegan/vegetarian diet.
This area looked at 3 autoimmune diseases: Celiac disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriasis/Psoriatic arthritis. I scored in the Good or Excellent Range in everything except Rheumatoid Arthritis which I scored in the Poor Range.
Other Ombre Microbiome Reports & Recommendations
Ombre recommends a custom probiotic based on probiotics you are deficient in. They also list a very lengthy bacteria report telling you all the names of the bacteria currently residing in your microbiome.
Food recommendations and avoidances – They give you a list of foods they recommend and foods you should avoid to improve your microbiome.
I am very impressed with their report. There are so many more details and information that are provided in the report that I have not covered here.
How I plan to use my at home microbiome test results.
I do plan to switch to their recommended probiotic from the one I started taking after completing antibiotics.
Increasing vitamin absorption in my microbiome
I plan to increase my vitamin intake of K2 and B12. I already take an algae-based omega-3 supplement. I am going to look closely at that and am going to try a different brand or a higher dosage. If I do not see any improvements in the triglyceride & TMA score, I will add fatty fish back into my diet.
I don’t eat a lot of gluten to begin with because of my daughter’s celiac disease, but I have gone back and forth on whether I should eliminate it. I am currently leaning towards eliminating it due to this score and my clear family history of celiac and autoimmune disorders.
Increasing seratonin production within my microbiome
I plan to look at Ombre’s food list and do a little more research on this. This concerns me, but doesn’t surprise me. When I realized how much serotonin was produced in the gut and how much serotonin plays a role in ADHD and anxiety I had suspected I had issues in this area. I am hoping that the probiotics improve this score on my next report.
Haha, just throwing this one in here. I am happy to report that dark chocolate was on their recommended food list. I would be so sad without my chocolate.
Retesting my microbiome to see if I’ve had gut health improvement.
I plan to do a second at home microbiome test 90 days from my first test. This should tell if I’ve made an impact with anything that I’ve changed. I have added in fermented foods, yogurt & kefir, prebiotic foods, and a probiotic, and prebiotic supplement. I have had zero added sugar in my diet since the start of the year in the hope to stop feeding sugar-loving bacteria. I will follow up on this article with my at home microbiome retest.
Disclosure – I am not being compensated in any way by Ombre Labs in any way at this time. This is a completely independent review.