Hello, everyone! Welcome to the Restorative Health Solutions blog!
Today, we are going to be diving into the approaches we use to address leaky gut once it has been identified. We briefly talked about the phases of our leaky gut protocol in our previous blog “Leaky Gut and How It Affects Your Health“, but we will get into more detail starting today! The phase we will focus on in this blog is the first part: Remove Phase.
When we look into this phase of the protocol, we ask the question: “What is negatively affecting the body and potentially contributing to underlying inflammation?” I always use the analogy of a house being on fire. If a house is on fire, the first step is to put out the fire, right? The fire represents the inflammation going on in the body. If inflammation is present, we need to put a stop to it before trying to repair the gut. Same thing goes for the house analogy. You can’t start repairing/rebuilding the house until the fire has been put out.
What Can Cause Inflammation?
This list can obviously be quite lengthy, but we try to simplify it into the following categories:
- Food allergies or food sensitivities
- Infections (bacterial, yeast/fungi/candida, parasites, viruses, tick-borne infections)
- Toxins/chemicals/mold exposure
- Hormone imbalance
- Nutritional deficiencies
Any of the categories listed above can cause or contribute to inflammation, which is what you want to remove or improve upon. However, the top three categories (food, infections, toxins) are what we most commonly address first when we look at the remove phase of the leaky gut protocol.
What Testing Can Be Done To See What You Specifically Need To Remove?
After an in-depth history and examination, we then decide what testing would be appropriate for you. We have testing for each main category, but we usually recommend investigating the one that seems to be of most importance for your case.
Here are the tests we use to get more specific answers:
Food Sensitivity Testing
- Vibrant Labs Food Sensitivity Panel (IgG, IgA)
- Cyrex Labs Array 10-Multiple Food Immune Reactivity Panel (IgG, IgA)
Testing To Rule Out Infections
- GI MAP Stool Test (looks at pathogens/microbes in the gut, inflammation, secretory IgA, etc)
- Comprehensive blood test that includes a CBC with differential (breakdown of white blood cells) and inflammatory markers
- Cyrex Array 12-Pathogen Associated Immune Reactivity Screen
- Cyrex Array 11-Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen
- Environbiomics-ERMI test for mold in the home or workplace
As you can see, there are a lot of potential tests to run. However, with a good history and examination, some of the testing should prove to be unnecessary, at least in the beginning. The most common tests we run to investigate what you need to remove are the GI MAP, comprehensive blood panels and food sensitivity panels. These tests usually provide a ton of information. Obviously, if you presented with symptoms that occur after toxin/chemical exposures (perfumes scents, cigarette smoke, smell of gasoline, lotions, living in a house with potential mold due to water damage, etc), then we will be more likely to look into chemical or mold testing. It’s all about personalizing the plan to fit your individual needs.
Once You Get the Results from the Tests, What Do You Do?
Let’s focus on the top two topics (food and infections). If we run a food sensitivity test, you would simply remove the foods that test positive (moderate/equivocal or positive results). If you don’t end up doing a food sensitivity panel, we still give dietary advice as to what the best diet for you may be. We certainly want the diet to be anti-inflammatory in nature, but there is no perfect diet for every patient. However, there is one really bad diet for everyone and that is the Standard American Diet.
When we do testing to rule out active or chronic infections (clinical or subclinical), there are many possible scenarios we need to be ready to address. Our point is that the approach is completely different when we are trying to handle a bacterial infection, viral infection, yeast/fungal infection or parasite infection. They all respond to different herbs and nutrients.
For bacteria, we typically use products that contain one of more of the following:
- Oregano oil
- Thyme oil
- Olive leaf extract
For viral infection, we like to focus on immune support and products that have anti-viral properties:
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Licorice Root (contraindicated if you have hypertension)
For yeast/fungal/candida-based infections, we prefer:
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Oregano Oil
- MCT or Coconut Oil
For parasitic infections, we have multiple options:
- Black Walnut
- Chinese Wormwood
- Olive Leaf Extract
After gathering the information, we then apply the dietary changes in combination with a personalized supplement protocol for you to address the underlying infection, dysbiosis (imbalance between the good bugs and bad bugs in the gut) and/or inflammation. This phase typically lasts 1-2 months in duration.
One we feel like the remove phase has been properly addressed, we then go onto step 2: The Replace Phase.
In our next blog, we will go in-depth about the replace phase, why it’s so important and how it can potentially improve digestive symptoms within a short amount of time.
What Can Restorative Health Solutions do for You?
At Restorative Health Solutions, we strive to get to the root cause of the symptoms/condition and help patients reach their optimal health. We also guarantee to replace the one-size-fits-all approach with a personalized plan for YOU! If you or a loved one is having any suspicions of leaky gut or is interested in getting a thorough and complete work-up, we’d be happy to help. To schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with one of the doctors, please call 952-479-7801 or CLICK HERE to fill out our contact form.