Educating Patients

As a result of increasing direct-to-consumer advertising of microbiome-based products, clinicians are asked about the gut microbiome more frequently.1,2

Stay Up to Date

To effectively counsel patients, it is important to stay current with developments surrounding the microbiome and understand the advantages and disadvantages of microbiome-based products.1 Educational resources and research updates are available on this website.

Communicate With Patients

Patients may come to your office somewhat informed about the gut microbiome from the web or other communication media. With your guidance, most patients will be able to understand the limitations of current microbiome-based science. Remind your patients that this research is still in its infancy and that the efficacy of some of these microbiome-based therapies may not yet be proven. In addition, inform patients that commercial diagnostics only provide a snapshot of the microbiome in a specific portion of the GI tract. While these tests may be able to identify differences between gut microbiota patterns, they cannot accurately diagnose disease. Consider referring highly motivated patients to explore this topic further.1 Click on the tools and resources page for information you can share with your patients.

GI = gastrointestinal


  1. Staley C, Kaiser T, Khoruts A. Clinician guide to microbiome testing. Dig Dis Sci. 2018;63:3167-3177.
  2. Ananthakrishnan AN, Singal AG, Chang L. The gut microbiome and digestive health – a new frontier. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019;17:215-217.

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