Leaky gut? Don't panic! Fix the "cracks" in your foundation...Understand how functional medicine gets to the root of the repairs your body needs!
As more and more has been written about Functional Medicine, I have many patients who come in to see me requesting an alternative approach to their Gastrointestinal issues, rather than simply having to take medication, which as we know, many times turns in to a lifetime prescription.
It is now common for my patients to ask if they might have “Leaky Gut”. As a Functional Gastroenterologist, I have a deep belief that most people with chronic illnesses have those disorders because they have Leaky Gut.
Just think about it...the GI tract is the only organ system directly exposed to the environment on both ends, mouth to rectum.
Not only can Leaky Gut cause GI symptoms, such as bowel issues, bloating and gas, and abdominal pain, but is directly linked to inflammations throughout the body. Leaky gut indicates the the intestine has lost some of its ability to do what it is designed to do: properly digest and absorb nutrients, protect us from invasion by various infections (the small intestine is the largest immune organ in the body), allow chemicals and toxins to leave the blood stream and allow us to absorb nutrients that are necessary, yet block out those things that may negatively affect us.
Think of the GI tract as a long tube with a very intricate lining tissue.Each part of the GI tract has lining tissue designed for specific functions -- protection, creating enzymes for digestion, absorbing nutrients.
The stomach is essential for preparing iron and Vitamin B12 for absorption in the intestine.
Iron is absorbed in the upper small intestine and B12 in the lower small intestine.
The colon lining tissue is supposed to absorb fluid.
The lining tissue is complex...imagine pavers on a walkway.
The pavers themselves represent the lining cells of the intestinal “mucosa”. The pavers are held together by concrete and, in the intestine, we call this substance the tight junctions. We all have seen the pavers on the ground lift or shift, or the concrete chip out leaving holes. Just like those pavers, when the tight junctions on our bodies get damaged by toxins (environmental, medications, antibiotics, bad foods, infections), they develop small holes, allowing many of these toxins and proteins, which should not be in our bodies, to get in and circulate in our bloodstream.
This condition is associated with poor digestion and causes GI symptoms, but also hit all of our organs and structures (skin, bone, joints), and start causing inflammation and damage. The “bad” proteins in particular, will stimulate an “autoimmune” reaction, which once it begins, will continue until these foreign substances are eliminated.
After appropriate testing, the conventional treatments for these symptoms usually include a cookbook dietary recommendation and medications (treat the heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas, and pain).
The functional approach, though, goes beyond traditional testing, incorporating advanced testing, such as inflammatory blood tests, genetic tests, food sensitivity testing and stool analysis. While it may sound like a lot, the result is significant and can have a lasting impact on your treatment plan AND your well-being.
Based upon these tests, we can determine how best to reverse the changes in the lining tissue and organs that are causing the illness, deterioration, and symptoms.
The Functional Approach, therefore, does not simply treat the symptoms with medication. Instead, we work together to search for the underlying causes and eliminate the underlying problem...preventing the disease from coming back and causing long term damage.
As a result, we holistically restore the whole body to health, and eliminate the need for chronic medication and the possibility of long-term disability.
Interested in learning more?
Reach out to my team at (732) 254 - 1003 for your wellness evaluation or sign up for one of my upcoming talks by visiting: https://www.eliteintegrativehealthcare.com/signup All of our treatment plans are reimbursable by your HSA and FSA funds.