Got a family member or friend with gut health issues? We’ve got you covered.
We’ve separated the gift ideas into three categories:
- Tests and Healthcare Professionals
Read on for a long list of ideas for gut health tests and healthcare professional coaching packages.
#1: Microbiome Tests
The best way to evaluate gut health is to take a test.
If your friend or family member is dealing with gas, bloating, motility issues (constipation or diarrhea), food intolerances, hormone imbalances, you name it – a test will help them find out what’s going wrong.
We included a few different recommendations (at different price levels).
- Diagnostics Solutions GI Map Stool Test
- Most accurate, most comprehensive, most expensive
- Ombre Gut Health Test or Viome Gut Health Test
- Fewer markers, least expensive
The Diagnostics Solutions GI Map Stool Test provides the tester with a broad overview of their microbiome. It tests for:
- Dangerous pathogens
- Yeast or fungus overgrowths
- Gut barrier integrity levels
- Inflammation levels
- Stomach acid levels
- Beneficial bacteria levels
- Gluten sensitivity
The GI Map test will provide your friend or family member with the most accurate insight into how to move forward with a treatment plan. The results will show which supplements (probiotics, IgY Max, glutamine, stomach acid, digestive enzymes, etc.) could benefit them.
You can purchase a GI Map test through My Med Labs for about $400. We recognize that this test is expensive, so we provided some alternatives below.
Ombre Health and Viome Health provide gut microbiome tests as well. They are legitimate organizations, but their tests provide fewer markers than the GI Map test.
However, these tests are much less expensive and can give your friend or family member a general idea of how their microbiome looks.
Ombre gives microbiome “scores” and custom diet plans based on the results. The diet plan is supposed to improve the parts of your microbiome that need work.
#2: Heavy Metals or Mold Tests
Has your family member or friend been trying to beat SIBO or dysbiosis for as long as you can remember? Can they not seem to kick it to the curb? There might be a hidden root cause of their troubles.
Often, mold or heavy metal exposure can cause chronic gut health issues. Helping them rule that out could enhance their treatment plan.
You can also order heavy metal or mold tests on My Med Labs. We recommend the Great Plains brand for accuracy.
If they test positive, using a sauna regularly may help them overcome their mold or heavy metal exposure.
#3: Vitamin Deficiency Tests
Is your family member or friend suffering from chronic fatigue and gut health issues? Consider ordering them a blood test from Ulta Labs.
Chronic fatigue is often caused by iron deficiency, B12 deficiency, EBV reactivation, mycoplasma pneumonia reactivation, or thyroid issues (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Ruling these conditions out may enhance their treatment plan.
If you order a test for any of these conditions through Ulta Labs, your family member or friend will be able to go to a Quest Labs location (in nearly every county in the United States) near them to get their blood drawn.
If you suspect iron deficiency, order a ferritin test (6). Think of ferritin as the storage form of iron. If your body hardly has any stored iron (ferritin), that’s a sign of iron deficiency.
For B12 or choline deficiencies, check B12, folate, and choline levels.
To rule out thyroid issues, check TSH, Free T3, and Free T4.
Order EBV antibodies and mycoplasma pneumonia antibodies if you think you have chronic fatigue.
We recommend working with a healthcare professional to interpret the results of the microbiome or blood tests. Check out the following section to learn who you should trust.
#1: Registered Dietitians (RD)
Working with an RD specializing in gut health can be immensely helpful for someone who struggles with digestive symptoms.
RDs do more than tell people what to eat. They can:
- Interpret microbiome tests
- Create supplement protocols
- Point out trigger-foods
- Much more!
Many RDs sell coaching packages. Purchasing one for a friend or family member could be what they need to conquer their gut health dilemmas.
Lacey Dunn, Kelsey Kinney, Anya Rosen, and other dietitians specializing in gut health are great options.
Many MDs specializing in gut health can help patients struggling with gut health.
Working with doctors who specialize in gut health may be especially beneficial for those who need prescription medications. RDs may be more insightful for diet interpretation, but MDs may be more helpful with high-powered medication and tests.
Poor gut health can cause joint pain and headaches. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven to mitigate pain.
In rare cases, structural defects can negatively affect the innervation of the gut and thereby impede digestion. A chiropractic session may rule this out, furthering your friend or family member’s treatment.
Regardless of gut health – who doesn’t love feeling pain-free?
Getting a thorough work-up by a healthcare professional who interprets microbiome and blood tests will significantly advance your friend or family member’s plan of attack. But, there’s no question about it – they will need some supplements under their belt to get them over the hump.
Check out part three for supplement suggestions. Tag us in photos of your gut health gifts on Instagram @igynutrition, and happy holidays!
- DeLoughery TG. Iron Deficiency Anemia. Med Clin North Am. 2017 Mar;101(2):319-332. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2016.09.004. Epub 2016 Dec 8. PMID: 28189173. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28189173/#:~:text=Iron%20deficiency%20is%20one%20of,hair%20loss%2C%20and%20restless%20legs.
- Ankar A, Kumar A. Vitamin B12 Deficiency. [Updated 2021 Jun 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441923/
- Swanink CM, van der Meer JW, Vercoulen JH, Bleijenberg G, Fennis JF, Galama JM. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the chronic fatigue syndrome: normal virus load in blood and normal immunologic reactivity in the EBV regression assay. Clin Infect Dis. 1995 May;20(5):1390-2. doi: 10.1093/clinids/20.5.1390. PMID: 7620030. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7620030/
- Endresen GK. Mycoplasma blood infection in chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndromes. Rheumatol Int. 2003 Sep;23(5):211-5. doi: 10.1007/s00296-003-0355-7. Epub 2003 Jul 16. PMID: 12879275. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12879275/
- Knovich, Mary Ann et al. “Ferritin for the clinician.” Blood reviews vol. 23,3 (2009): 95-104. doi:10.1016/j.blre.2008.08.001 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2717717/