In today’s modern world our gut microbiome is constantly taking fire from the foods we eat, how well we hydrate, the effectiveness of our stress management skills, our ability to eliminate environmental toxins, and the list goes on. Not sure what a microbiome is? Check out last month’s blog post. With all these opportunities for injury it’s no wonder dysbiosis, an imbalance within the microbiome, has become a common health challenge!
How do I know if I am experiencing dysbiosis?
You may be surprised to hear that gut dysbiosis is linked to a wide variety of symptoms – not all of them obviously related to digestive upset. We are all unique biochemical individuals so there is not a one size fits all list of symptoms. Common symptoms include but are not limited to one or a combination of the following:
It’s also worth mentioning that dysbiosis has also been linked to greater susceptibility for developing autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, Sjogren’s, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune thyroid disorders. All the more reason to check in with your gut health!
Can my dysbiotic gut microbiome be brought back into balance?
YES! We can absolutely rebalance your gut microbiome. The first step I support my client with is eating a whole food nutrient-dense diet. That means trading in the Hot Pockets, Big Macs, and soda in favor of food that typically does not come in a bag, box, can, or jar. Does this mean you can never have a burger again? NO! It just means that you have an opportunity to elevate the quality of food by cooking at home. Your microbiome will thank you.
Next, we work on leveling up your stress mitigating skills and sleep quality. Stress will override all your efforts to repair your microbiome. We will experiment to find some self-care practices that work for you. Sleep is when our bodies “take out the garbage” and perform important repair functions. If you are not sleeping well, you are not repairing well.
Test don’t guess!
While I work with clients on the above steps, I arrange for their stool to be tested. It is important to know exactly what is going on in your microbiome so that a targeted protocol for rebalancing may be developed. Don’t worry, you collect the stool sample from the privacy of your home and send it directly to the lab. No office visit is needed. Awkward situation avoided. The stool test I use in most instances is the GI MAP. The GI MAP tests for pathogens, normal (good) bacteria, opportunistic (bad) bacteria, fungi & yeast, viruses, parasites, and intestinal health markers.
The real power of the gut microbiome rebalancing program I offer my clients comes from using stool testing in combination with identifying food sensitivities using the Mediator Release Test. Why? Because food sensitivities contribute to the onset of dysbiosis and dysbiosis leads to the development of food sensitivities. They feed eat other so you can’t solve one challenge without solving the other. Ultimately you will experience the greatest level of healing by working to resolve dysbiosis and food sensitivities at the same time.
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of dysbiosis or you have been plagued by other symptoms that you have only realized partial resolution of, contact me. Let’s investigate whether dysbiosis may be a barrier to your healing.
Xu, H., Liu, M., Cao, J., Li, X., Fan, D., Xia, Y., Lu, X., Li, J., Ju, D., & Zhao, H. (2019). The Dynamic Interplay between the Gut Microbiota and Autoimmune Diseases. Journal of immunology research, 2019, 7546047. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7546047
Felix, K. M., Tahsin, S., & Wu, H. J. (2018). Host-microbiota interplay in mediating immune disorders. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1417(1), 57–70. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13508
De Luca, F., & Shoenfeld, Y. (2019). The microbiome in autoimmune diseases. Clinical and experimental immunology, 195(1), 74–85. https://doi.org/10.1111/cei.13158