Put yourself first this World Digestive Health Day

World Digestive Health Day

World Digestive Health Day takes place on May 29th 2023.

It’s a global event led by the World Gastroenterology Organization which has been running since 1958.

Designed to spark conversations about digestive health and the importance of a good diet, the organizers want to educate communities all around the world, while providing essential support and advice.

The focus for this year’s World Digestive Health Day is A Healthy Gut from the Start — encouraging people to take care of their gut health through all stages of their life, while highlighting the essential role that gut health can play in our overall mental and physical wellbeing.

This year, the organizers also want to reiterate the changing dietary needs of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and what that means for the body.

Understanding digestive health

Digestion describes the process of the body breaking down food and drink and turning them into nutrients, which then help the body to function. As we chew and swallow food, the mouth turns it into a wet ball, known as a bolus, which then travels down the esophagus to the stomach.

Digestive enzymes then break down parts of this ball of food into substances and nutrients that can be absorbed by the digestive tract. The remaining food then continues into the colon, or large intestine, and is excreted as waste.

The gastrointestinal tract, also known as the gut, is a long tube and refers to the start of the mouth all the way to the end of the back passage. This includes the esophagus, stomach, and colon, which all work together to digest food and extract nutrients that our body needs to function while removing any unwanted substances.

With such a huge role to play, the overall health of our gut and digestive system is essential. The gut also has more than 100,000 nerve cells and is closely linked to the immune system, nervous system, and emotions which is why some individuals experience issues with their digestion and stomach when feelings of stress and anxiety arise. However, it’s not just emotions that can trigger certain digestive concerns.

Digestive concerns to be aware of

As a leading health testing laboratory, we know that certain foods can trigger health conditions – which can cause a number of unpleasant and painful symptoms. By being aware of these conditions, their symptoms, and any personal triggers, you can take steps to not only boost your gut health, but also your overall health and wellbeing.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that develops over time because of a sensitivity to gluten; a protein found in certain cereal grains including wheat, rye, and barley, and commonly used in food products such as cereal, bread, and pasta.

When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, this causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissue, causing damage to the gut lining and preventing the body from absorbing nutrients from food. If left untreated, it can lead to severe complications, which can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.

1 in 100 people across the globe are diagnosed with celiac disease, although it’s thought that thousands more could be suffering with unexplained symptoms.

Lactose intolerance is another digestive issue where the body fails to produce enough of the lactase enzyme, which is required to break down lactose in the body. Lactose is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose and is mainly found in dairy products such as milk.

For those who are lactose intolerant, the body produces little to no lactase, meaning that this sugar remains intact and is fermented by bacteria in the colon, leading to uncomfortable symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms associated with celiac disease and lactose intolerance include:

  • Bloating and wind
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and sickness
  • Constipation

However, it’s very important to remember that symptoms can vary from person to person, and having the associated symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have either condition.

As both celiac disease and primary lactose intolerance can be inherited and often run in families, genetic testing is a helpful tool for anyone experiencing symptoms, or for people who have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with either condition (i.e. parent, sibling or child).

Celiac disease and primary lactose intolerance genetic testing

Our Celiac Disease Genetic Test can tell you whether you have the genes linked to celiac disease, while our Genetic Lactose Intolerance Test can tell you whether you have the MCM6 gene variations that indicate primary lactose intolerance.

Each test costs just $109, or you can buy them both together for $208 and save $50. Only simple cheek swab samples are required, and results are available in 5-7 business days. Whatever your reasons, a Genetic Celiac Disease Test or Genetic Lactose Intolerance Test can give you peace of mind or enable you to seek the correct diagnosis more quickly.

Need advice on whether these tests are right for you? Email our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Services team on info@alphabiolabsusa.com.

Health Testing

Order your genetic lactose or coliac test from our award-winning laboratory.