Personalized functional medicine based in Boise, ID

Is Your Gut Health Causing Your Symptoms?

Leaky Gut. Gut-Brain connection. IBS. All Health starts in the gut. Fiber. Probiotics. Prebiotics.

These are all common words & phrases in the gut health world and navigating what to do when it comes to your gut health can feel overwhelming.

Between the ads on social media and the store-lined shelves with different probiotics, powders, and celery juices it can feel a bit confusing on where to start when it comes to optimizing your gut health

The Importance of the GI Tract

There are many important functions of your GI tract.

-Digesting food

-Absorbing nutrients

-Regulating immune system

-Eliminating toxins

-Metabolizing hormones 

-Activating hormones 

And in all those functions it will not be one special supplement that will fix all the functions of the GI tract.

Furthermore, we must acknowledge that your GI tract is connected to your brain via the vagus nerve. Your GI tract also has connections to your skin, your hormones, and heart health. These systems have bi-directional crosstalk and need to be assessed together.  

Functional Stool Testing vs. a Traditional Stool Test

When it comes to assessing your GI tract and gut health there are large differences in advanced functional stool testing vs a traditional stool test. 

Traditional stool testing is evaluating only a few organisms or blood in stool. 

While functional stool testing is much more robust and evaluates dozens and dozens of organisms ranging from fungi/candida, to bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Moreover, these advanced tests are evaluating your capacity to digest your food, if your pancreas is making enough enzymes. How well you are absorbing healthy dietary fats. If there are inflammatory markers in the gut or hidden blood in the stool. The presence of gut leaky gut otherwise known as gut hyperpermeability.  As well as, the measurement of the amount and the diversity of your beneficial bacteria. 

It is the amount of and the diversity of beneficial species that help regulate your immune, metabolic, nutrient, and neuroendocrine functions –  thus it is vital that the stool testing you perform evaluation of your beneficial organisms. It is not enough to seek only for inhospitable organisms – we must also assess if you have optimal functioning or not.

Do I Need Gut Health Testing?

Some conditions that warrant testing are:

  • Digestive complaints like diarrhea or constipation, bloating, reflux, heartburn
  • Brain fog
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Skin problems, like acne and rashes
  • Mood disorders, depression, and anxiety
  • Diabetes, insulin resistance and weight loss issues 
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • IBS
  • Food sensitivities
  • Joint pain

It is important to note that you can have no gut symptoms and still have a very imbalanced gut microbiome. Your gut doesn’t adhere to the Vegas Rule of “what happens in vegas stays in vegas” – your gut follows the principle that “what happens in the guy doesn’t stay in the gut.”  Meaning, it is the gut imbalances that are variables in causing your brain fog, mood disorders, joint pain, or skin rashes. So despite you not feeling the dysfunction in your gut – you are feeling it in your joints – it is what is happening in the gut that is the cause. 

It is important when seeking root causes approach to your symptoms that you test and do not guess.

Guessing on supplements is a sure way to spend money that serve as an expense and not an investment on your return.

Investing in advanced functional stool testing can be very helpful in not only optimizing your gut but also your overall health, hormones, metabolism, and immune system

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