Is your Gut to Blame for your Health Issues?
Your gut is the foundation of your entire health. Everything from the bacterial composition of your microbiome to the permeability of your gut lining can influence even seemingly unrelated aspects of your health such as weight gain, food intolerances, autoimmune conditions, hormone imbalances, and brain problems like anxiety and depression.
While there are many ways to look at gut dysfunction, I often run specific tests to determine someone’s gut health or gut dysfunction.
If the totality of microorganisms and their genetic material present in the gut is weakened, it can lead to increased inflammation and in turn, a cascade of other health problems – food intolerances and sensitivities included. For example, when your gut is compromised, like in leaky gut syndrome, foods end up passing through the gut lining into the bloodstream. This can put your immune system in overdrive and lead to increased inflammation throughout your body. With this hyper-reaction, your immune system ends up reacting to almost any food that passes through, including healthy foods like spinach.
Inflammation to Autoimmunity
Leaky gut syndrome and other conditions are really just the end scale of a chronic inflammation. Sadly, if left untreated, gut issues can lead to worsening disease states such as autoimmunity. For example, the autoimmune condition Celiac disease, is ultimately the end stage of gluten sensitivity. Some people with celiac disease have noticeable digestive symptoms but still deal with other symptoms like acne or other skin issues such as psoriasis or eczema.
Getting to the Root of the Cause
More than 70 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. It only makes sense then that healing your gut could bring relief to food sensitivities.
To begin the healing process, it’s important to find out what’s going on inside your body. If you think food sensitivities are a problem for you, labs will help determine both the cause and exact sensitivity. This will allow you to make sure you’re addressing everything necessary for healing. Here are the just a few of the labs that I run for patients from a Naturopathic perspective:
- Leaky Gut Labs: These blood tests will measure antibody levels to show if there has been damage to the gut lining.
- Zonulin and Occludin: These two proteins control gut permeability. Antibodies indicate damage to intestinal tight junctions.
- Lipopolysaccharides are toxins that are excreted by your gut bacteria and can also indicate increased gut permeability.
- Histamine Intolerance: During an allergic reaction your body releases chemicals known as histamines. This is a normal part of a healthy immune system. Certain foods naturally contain histamine or trigger the release of histamine. Some people though, can have an overload of histamine due to a deficiency or dysfunction of the enzymes that break down histamine. This is known as a histamine intolerance. It can create what is called a “pseudoallergy,” – an allergic reaction without an allergen.
- Food Sensitivity Tests – Can be more difficult to pinpoint the exact reason behind sensitivities. For some people, eating small amounts of these foods don’t produce any symptoms. However, when symptoms do arise, they are less intense than allergies but can be just as debilitating. Symptoms can include brain fog, inflammation, migraines, bloating, and other digestive problems. However, a simple at home test I offer my patients can help to determine the exact foods that are the root cause of their symptoms.
Ramp Up Your Gut Healing
If you don’t work on healing your gut, it doesn’t matter how many foods you eliminate or tests you do. Ultimately you’ll be left fighting the same symptoms over and over. Once you have discovered the reason for your GI symptoms, you can begin to enhance the healing process with Gut Be Calm™.
In my Naturopathic Medical Practice, underlying GI issues are one of the most common contributors I see to people’s health problems. But since gut symptoms don’t always accompany gut problems, many people go years without understanding the true cause of their symptoms. If you’re interested addressing the originating cause to your symptoms, please contact the office to begin…you’re just an email away to feeling your best again!