Is it a bird? Is it a plane? OMG – is it a UFO?
Is this what you sometimes think when you are wondering what is going on in your gut?
Most people who see me are struggling with gut problems, or symptoms related to gut problems. Many have suffered with these problems for many years, which actually makes me quite sad.
Some have food intolerances and some a yeast/candida infection. Some may have fructose malabsorption problems, or salicylate sensitivity, some a parasite infestation, and some have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in their gut.
The key to treating gut problems is to find the cause, because in many cases the symptoms can be very similar. Bloating and gut pain, for example, is common across food intolerances, yeast/candida infections, fructose malabsorption, salicylate sensitivity, parasite infestations and bad bacteria overgrowths.
Some people present with very clear symptoms. That makes my job quite easy because, after years of seeing patients with food and gut problems, a distinct clear pattern can emerge. But not always.
Many people can be quite vague and not as in touch with the inner workings of their gut and body as they possibly could be. That’s not their fault but, interestingly enough, once they know what to look out for, people become much more aware, which is very helpful in the healing/treatment process.
Even when people are clear about their symptoms, it is still often necessary to test. While their fructose malabsorption symptoms may be quite pronounced and obvious, there still could be an underlying food intolerance that, if missed, will create problems with treatment and delay the resolution of symptoms. That is definitely something we don’t want.
This is where testing is an essential part of the identification process. Blood testing can show if you have an IgG-mediated food intolerance. Stool testing can show if you have a yeast/candida infection, parasite or bad bacteria overgrowth. Breath testing can show if you have a fructose malabsorption problem. On the other hand, the best way to identify salicylate sensitivity is to restrict salicylate foods.
Once science has identified what is going on, either via blood, stool, or breath testing – or, in the case of salicylates, food restriction – I can then accurately target and treat the cause of the problem.
Each different gut problem may have similar symptoms, but treatment plans, which may include herbal medicines and supplements as well as dietary restrictions, are based on exactly what the problem is. They will vary considerably, depending on an accurate diagnosis.
So, stop wondering what your gut issue is and find out! Accurate testing and accurate treatment will change your life.