Can Healthpath help me with my gut health if I have an ileostomy?

If you’ve had an ileostomy, we can certainly help support your gut health.

An ileostomy essentially takes your large intestine (colon) out of your digestive process. That means the last stage of digestion no longer happens for you.

Gut health with an ilestomy  

Because most of your nutrients are digested and absorbed in your small intestine, you can still be healthy with an ileostomy. In fact, new studies suggest that after the procedure, the microbiome (the communities of bacteria and other microbes that live in your gut) of the small intestine changes to one more typical of the large intestine.

That’s an important finding, because it means that after the operation, your small intestine and microbiome appear to adapt to do some of the jobs your large intestine once did.

If you’re thinking about taking one or more of our tests, the only one that we need to consider in light of an ileostomy is a Gut Health Test. That’s because all the markers and reference ranges on our Gut Health Tests were developed using ‘normal’ stool samples.

If you’ve had an ileostomy, your stool won’t have the same levels of metabolites, microbes and other substances as someone with a large intestine. 

Our laboratory has tested samples from patients after Ileostomy. All cases where the patient had no large intestine left at all (or did have some remaining, but it was not being used) showed very low levels of bacteria. They also had a very low diversity of bacteria, similar to the kind of results you’d see in very young babies.

However, that doesn’t mean a Gut Health Test won’t be useful. While your levels of bacteria will certainly be different to that of someone who still has their large intestine, our Gut Health Tests reveal a lot more about the health of your gut than just the shape of your microbiome.

Your results will give you insight into:

  • how well your digestion is working
  • the presence of parasites and worms
  • your gut immune system
  • Your gut permeability (leaky gut)

Included with our tests

For the price of the test, you'll also receive a review by one of our experienced practitioners review and a 12 week health plan, including:

  • a personalised supplement plan
  • meal plans to support gut health, and 
  • evidence-based lifestyle advice

Important information 

If you’d like to take a Gut Health Test, make sure you tell us that you’ve had an ileostomy first. That way, we can talk to the laboratory before our practitioners evaluate your results and create your protocol.

In some cases, we may not be able to give you accurate results from a Gut Health Test if you’ve recently undergone surgery or had antibiotics. That’s why it’s important to tell us if you’ve had an ileostomy before you order a Gut Health Test.

Working with a nutrition or functional medicine practitioner

There are some conditions that you’re more likely to develop if you’ve had an ileostomy, like urinary tract infections, or nutrient deficiencies. Our Registered Nutritional Therapists and Functional Medicine Practitioners are all experienced in supporting people with these issues.

If you’d like one-to-one advice, you can book a one-hour initial consultation with one of them for a deep-dive into your personal health history and symptoms.