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Kids Gut Health Testing: What a Poop Test Can Reveal for Parents

Medically Reviewed by May Zhu, RDN | Published September 27, 2023

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When it comes to our kid’s health, the word "poop" might not seem like something too special but when it comes to optimizing your little kiddos’ gut health, it's a valuable source of information. Poop testing, or more formally, stool analysis, is a powerful tool for understanding what's going on inside your kids’ digestive system. At Begin Health, we recognize the significance of this often-overlooked aspect of pediatric wellness. This is why in addition to our Growing Up Prebiotics, we also offer our Kiddo Poop Test, as a way for our parents to get evidenced-based recommendations and actionable insights for their kid’s health. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of poop testing and how it can play a crucial role in maintaining your kid’s gut health.

The Gut Microbiome and Your Kiddo’s Health

Before reviewing the benefits of poop testing, let's briefly review the gut microbiome. Your kid’s digestive tract is home to trillions of naturally occurring bacteria. This complex ecosystem, known as the gut microbiome, plays a pivotal role in your kid’s overall health. It helps digest food, supports the immune system, and even influences mood and behavior [3].

According to the CDC, 40% of kids in the United States have at least one chronic condition such as eczema, asthma, food allergies, anxiety, autoimmunity, or diabetes. Maintaining a balanced gut microbiome is crucial for your kiddos’ well-being because an imbalance can lead to various health issues, from digestive problems to allergies and even behavioral disturbances [2].

Our Kiddo Poop Test can help determine what’s in your little one’s gut and how to best take action to support both symptoms from constipation and their health for the long-term.

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Benefits of Poop Testing for Kids' Gut Health

  • Detecting Gut Imbalances Early
    • Poop testing can identify imbalances in the gut microbiome long before symptoms become apparent. While anyone at all ages can take a poop test it’s particularly helpful in your kiddos starting in the infant stage.The immune system is developed in the first 1000 days of life [6] and 80% of the immune system is linked to the gut [7]. This early detection allows for timely interventions to rebalance the microbiome, correct imbalances, and prevent more serious health issues from developing such as eczema or allergies. Our Kiddo Poop Test is designed specifically for kids ages 0 to 18+.

  • Tailored Dietary and Supplement Recommendations
    • By analyzing the composition of your child's gut microbiome, we can provide personalized, science-back recommendations from healthcare professionals. This can include recommendations for specific prebiotics and probiotics that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, fostering a healthier gut environment in your kiddos.

  • Early Intervention for Potential Chronic Conditions
    • Certain chronic conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), often manifest during the childhood years [1, 5]. Up to 66% of kids with IBS will transition to have adult IBS [4]. Poop testing can help in the early diagnosis and management of these conditions, improving long-term outcomes

How Poop Testing Works

Poop testing involves collecting a small sample of your little one’s stool and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. Our test is “mess-free” which means we’ll test the sample from soiled tissue paper. The laboratory then examines both the types and quantities of bacteria present, as well as any potential pathogens.

Our Kiddo Poop Test will reveal the following kinds of microbes in your kiddos’ gut microbiome:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Parasites

Our test screens for over 120,000 genomes of these bacteria, fungi, virus, archaea and parasites. All of our tests are processed in the United State within a CLIA-certified lab, which ensures limited contamination for accurate results.

Poop Testing Results: What to Expect

Our Kiddo Poop test will include a gut health report, which will provide a detailed list of the different types of bacteria in your kid’s gut. From there, our team of microbiologists and pediatric experts will interpret the results and then provide personalized, evidence-based recommendations based on both the findings and your kiddo’s specific health goals. At the end of this process, parents will have a framework for the steps to take to improve the health of their little ones. In addition, you’ll learn:

  • The overall immune strength of your kiddo and the specific types of bacteria that can enhance their immune system

  • Potential red flags for leaky gut, if any

  • Bacterial levels report for your kid that can support overall metabolic health and fight inflammation

How to Determine if a Stool Analysis is Right for your Kids

Our Kiddo Poop Test can help if:

  • Your little one is struggling with digestive symptoms such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea.

  • Your little one is struggling with symptoms from allergies or skin conditions such as eczema.

  • You want to stop trying to guess the right solution for your kiddo but instead, find credible guidance to see effective results.

Summary

While discussing poop may not be the most glamorous topic, it holds immense importance when it comes to supporting your kid’s gut health. The benefits of poop testing extend far beyond the surface, offering a window into the intricate world of our kid’s gut microbiome. By utilizing this tool, parents and healthcare providers can work together to ensure that their little ones build and maintain a healthy, balanced gut microbiome, a foundation for lifelong well-being. At Begin Health, we're committed to providing education and products like our Kiddo Poop Test that help parents make informed decisions about their kid’s health. Remember, when it comes to your kid’s gut health, don't be shy about talking about poop-it might just be the key to unlocking their potential for a healthy future.

View Citation

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  • [2] Saeed, N. K., Al-Biltagi, M., Bediwy, A. S., El-Sawaf, Y., & Toema, O. (2022). Gut microbiota in various childhood disorders: Implication and indications. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 28(18), 1875–1901. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v28.i18.1875
  • [3] Jandhyala, S. M., Talukdar, R., Subramanyam, C., Vuyyuru, H., Sasikala, M., & Reddy, D. N. (2015). Role of the normal gut microbiota. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 21(29), 8787. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v21.i29.8787
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  • [6] Lin, C., Lin, Y., Zhang, H., Wang, G., Zhao, J., Zhang, H., & Chen, W. (2022). Intestinal ‘Infant-Type’ bifidobacteria mediate immune system development in the first 1000 days of life. Nutrients, 14(7), 1498. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071498
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