My body never completely bounced back after I had my second child, Camila. She was a preemie and in order to develop her lungs, they gave me steroids. In addition, there was a ton of stress involved with having a preemie. I started to develop symptoms I had never had before: digestive problems, joint pain, headaches, severe insomnia, even mild-grade depression. Many moms I know suffer the same ailments, or worse. I figured once my daughter was older, I would start to feel more like myself, but as time went on, my symptoms didn’t improve. My MD tested me over the years for various medical conditions and the tests always came out negative. I was told I needed to see a therapist to try to improve my sleep. Finally, I stumbled upon a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I learned that I probably had “leaky gut syndrome,” a condition that is not typically diagnosed by MD’s but is likely affecting the health of many people. Dr. Robynne Chutkan, assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University Hospital, says leaky gut “is likely to emerge as one of the most significant medical concepts of our time.”
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What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut, also known as dysbiosis, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through the intestinal wall and flood the bloodstream. The foreign substances entering the blood can cause an autoimmune response in the body including inflammatory and allergic reactions such as migraines, irritable bowel, eczema, chronic fatigue, food allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
With leaky gut, damaged cells in your intestines don’t produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion. As a result, your body cannot absorb essential nutrients, which can lead to hormone imbalances and a weakened immune system.
Mainstream medical professionals do not recognize leaky gut as a real condition. However, there is quite a bit of scientific evidence that leaky gut does exist and may be associated with multiple health problems including Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, and food allergies.
What causes leaky gut?
Leaky gut can be caused by diet, stress, or inflammation. Certain medications can also cause leaky gut including antibiotics, steroids, and over-the-counter pain medication.
In many cases, leaky gut is caused by your diet. For me, certain foods that I was consuming every day, including gluten, sugar and dairy, were being treated by my body as foreign invaders that had to be fought off. When I ate these foods, my body went to war, producing antibodies, which triggered an immune response that included diarrhea, headaches, fatigue and joint pain.
Signs and symptoms of leaky gut:
According to Dr. Leo Galland, director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, the following symptoms are associated with leaky gut:
- Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
- A weakened immune system
- Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
- Cravings for sugar or carbs
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Crohn’s
How to heal a leaky gut:
The first step is to get tested. The GI Effects Test (see below) can measure inflammation in the gut and assess the likelihood of increased intestinal permeability. Call or email to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation to see if this testing is right for you.
Once you get tested, I will help you to clean up your diet. Eliminating highly inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol will help to repair the gut. And add healthy food such as lean meats, fish, healthy fats like coconut and olive oils; avocados and flax; probiotics to restore the healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract; and L-glutamine, an amino acid that rejuvenates the lining of the intestinal wall.
Many people can heal their gut in just a few months. And the symptoms often start to disappear right away with just a few dietary changes and beneficial supplements. Once I changed my diet, added some supplements and meditation, I found my mood and energy improved, my digestive issues went away completely and my pain was mostly resolved.
Would you like to know if you have leaky gut? Click here to schedule a FREE 15 minute phone consultation with me to explore your options.
The GI Effects Test Will Tell Us If You Have A Leaky Gut.
Gut health is key to feeling a lot better.
Our testing partner, Genova, offers an advanced stool test that provides immediate, actionable clinical information for the management of gastrointestinal health. GI Effects is a comprehensive stool profile of complete GI health, assessing the root cause of most gut complaints — symptoms such as gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Genova recovers live organisms (yeast and bacteria) for susceptibility testing and improved treatment options. This stool analysis utilizes biomarkers such as Calprotectin to differentiate between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In addition, Genova’s GI Effects test can be used to evaluate patients with a clinical history that suggests a gastrointestinal infection or dysbiosis (leaky gut). CLICK HERE to see a sample report. Email us to get started with Gut Health Testing.
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Stressed?? Functional Medicine helps with that too. Who doesn’t have stress these days? Stress can really affect your health including leading to anxiety issues, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, dysglycemia, and a host of other clinical conditions. The Adrenocortex Stress Profile is a salivary test that can be sent to you and easily administered in your own home — you simply spit in a tube and send it back. The test evaluates bioactive levels of the body’s important stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA. This hormone test examines 4 saliva samples over a 24-hour period for levels of cortisol and DHEA.
The adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA function to influence:
- Anti-inflammatory response
- Thyroid function
- Resistance to stress
Diseases and conditions associated with “adrenocortex stress”:
- Back pain
- Cardiovascular disease
- Celiac disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Migraine headaches
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Weak immune system
Changing the amounts of cortisol and DHEA can profoundly affect:
- Energy levels
- Emotional states
- Resistance to disease
- General sense of well-being
Although both DHEA and cortisol are hormones produced by the adrenal cortex, they exhibit many opposing actions.
Glucocorticoids are part of the feedback mechanism in the immune system which reduces certain aspects of immune function, such as inflammation. Cortisol is the most important human glucocorticoid. The body releases cortisol in large amounts in response to physical, physiological, and/or psychological stress. When stressors persist and too much cortisol is released, the adrenal cortex cannot function properly.
Excess cortisol can adversely affect:
- Bone and muscle tissue
- Cardiovascular function
- Thyroid function
- Weight control
- Glucose regulation
- Immune defense
Over time, cortisol secretion can become impaired, resulting in the inability to respond to stress as demonstrated in conditions as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Menstrual problems
DHEA, in contrast to cortisol, exerts mostly anabolic actions and balances the body’s stress response.
DHEA functions to:
- Provide substrate for the synthesis of sex hormones
- Guard against degenerative conditions associated with aging
- Influence immune function and energy production
- Affect insulin sensitivity, thyroid function, protein synthesis and others
Imbalances of DHEA have been associated with:
- Impaired immunity
- Insulin resistance
- Panic disorder
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular disease
Let us help you balance your stress hormones so your body can function more optimally. Email or call us to get started with Adrenocortex Stress Profile Testing.
One last thing
The outbreak of COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place restrictions have compelled us all to be creative about how we can stay healthy and continue to support our local businesses. We are making remarkable efforts to protect our communities – including staying home and sharing information and resources- but it is also important to remember the health of our local business community. A great way to give your favorite businesses a vote of confidence during this difficult time, is by buying a gift certificate for items and services that you can use at a later date.
We offer gift certificates for chiropractic and massage services. You can purchase gift certificates and schedule your appointment by email or over the phone. Please consider treating yourself or a loved one and schedule relief that you can look forward to.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a gift certificate or a package of chiropractic treatments.