Leaky gut is a condition that involves changes in the integrity of digestive tract, compromising its function and immune protection. It has a variety of different causes, but it is clear that eating gluten can contribute to leaky gut via increasing the production of a substance called zonulin.
I had a patient come in to see me the other day who had had diarrhea for two years – yes, TWO YEARS! It started randomly, totally out of the blue, and she her whole life had suffered every since. She had to plan her social life around it – what social life she had left, that is; and she had lost a lot of weight. Not being into allopathic medicine, and not knowing a whole lot about natural medicine, it took her a while to figure out where to go and who to see. I love evaluating undiagnosed digestive issues – it’s like a mystery to solve, but more often than not there is an underlying cause that can be identified using functional testing.
In looking at a situation like this, there are a few key things that I would evaluate to try to find the root cause of what is going on. Very rarely do I run this panel of tests and look into these possibilities and not find out what’s going on. She was desperate for answers by this point, so she was happy to do all of these tests to try and find a solution to her problem:-
SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a health condition where certain bacteria in the small intestine can grow beyond normal levels, leading to gastrointestinal symptoms such as malabsorption, maldigestion, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and a host of other GI symptoms. It has also been associated with more chronic, systemic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, anemia and fibromyalgia. Antibiotics such as rifaximin are commonly used to treat SIBO, but there are natural treatments for SIBO also that have been researched to be as effective.
In my opinion, probiotics are one of the most important supplements for both children and adults alike. In fact, of my favorite four (multi, fish oil, vitamin D, and probiotics), they would almost be top of my priority list. Probiotics are important for so many reasons, I’ll just touch on a few here. [Read more…]