Leaky Gut

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What is Leaky Gut

Leaky gut is a phrase that is being used more frequently, but what is it?  Is it a specific diagnosis or is it a broader phrase that can lead to a specific diagnosis?  Simply put, leaky gut is any alteration to the normal intestinal barrier.  When the barrier is changed it can allow inflammation, change in bacterial populations, malabsorption, and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream.  If leaky gut is not fixed it can lead to symptoms such as flatulence, distension, diarrhea, constipation, GERD, bloating, fatigue, anxiety, depression, weight loss, and many more.

What Can Cause Leaky Gut:

  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Antibiotics
  • Other Medications
  • Autoimmunity
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Environmental Toxins
  • Smoking
  • Infections


3 Common Leaky Gut Findings

While there are many symptoms and things that can cause leaky gut, there are three findings you typically will have: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), food sensitivities, and irritable bowel syndrome.  It is important to note that it is common to have a combination of the three, but you may only have one.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO is an alteration of the normal bacterial populations in the small intestine.  SIBO can be caused by the use of antibiotics, proton pump inhibitor’s (Nexium), and hypothyroidism.  SIBO is present concurrently in many that have Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome.  Most common symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, distension, malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, and weight loss.     

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities are much different than allergies.  Allergies can result in anaphylaxis, whereas sensitivities will not do that.  Food sensitivities result from an altered immune response to the protein component of food.  Sensitivities can change as the immune response changes.  Common sensitivities are to gluten, dairy, eggs, and food additives.  You may feel inflamed, not digesting appropriately, or it may trigger headaches.  Food sensitivities that are present with concussions, dementia, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis can increase the symptoms till the foods are removed.  

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome results in abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, gas, cramping, and constipation.  Like SIBO and food sensitivities there is a dysregulation of the immune system.  Specifically, there is increasing attention paid to the gut-brain axis.  The gut-brain axis is the bi-directional communication between these two systems. The communication is why those with gut issues commonly complain of brain symptoms.   



How Revive Can Help

Our clinicians not only have an understanding of the brain but have extensive knowledge of the gut.  They understand how the gut and brain interact.  This understanding necessitates not only examining your gut health but to assess brain function as well.  It is only when both of these systems are functioning optimally that the best results can occur.  

How We Can Evaluate Gut Health:
  • Stool Testing
  • Food Sensitivity Testing to both cooked and uncooked foods
  • Gluten Sensitivity Testing
  • Autoimmune Markers for Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis
  • Breath Tests for SIBO

How We Evaluate Brain Health
  • Neurological Physical Exam
  • VNG for Eye Movements
  • CAPS for Balance

Our findings from our assessments of gut and brain health will allow us to create a plan specific to you.  It is common for your plan to include removal of foods creating inflammation as well as nutrition to support gut health.  Brain-based treatments are built around establishing healthy communication of the gut-brain axis.  




Our Unique Process for Your Unique Situation

We have created a unique process that is built to maximize time and results.  To reach your personal healthcare goals, it is imperative that your physicians and care providers precisely know your individual story and needs.  Your individual goals are the focal point of the comprehensive treatment plan which is based off your exam, diagnostics, and lab results.  Your treatment plan is designed specifically for you and is not a protocol.

This plan is executed over 10 days.  Many patients see measurable improvement over the time in our office.  When you leave, we create a plan to help you continue on your journey.  Our goal is to see each patient continue to build upon the initial results they achieved in office.  


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