HOW WE TREAT GUT PROBLEMS
Our gut health is an important factor in our day-to-day wellbeing. Trillions of microorganisms make up the gut microbiome and help us stay healthy. When these microorganisms become unbalanced, it can lead to serious abdominal problems and other conditions. Our Clinical Team takes a pro-active approach when it comes to assessing a patient’s gut health by recommending regular pathology investigations. This helps them to identify any issues, so they can create treatment plans that focus on rebalancing the microbiome, restoring digestive health, and preventing future problems.
We also can perform food allergy, fructose and lactose tolerance tests, bacterial overgrowth breath tests, a urinary organic acid test and a stool analysis to allow our Clinical Team to get a clear picture of how your body is dealing with food. Gut motility is often under the control of the autonomic nervous system. This is the nervous system in the body that is responsible for control of bodily functions, which are not consciously directed. Activities such as breathing and digestive processes are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Gut health can also be affected by any condition in which your autonomic nervous system becomes imbalanced, such as stress-related conditions and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
At Breakspear Medical, we use a food (and other allergies) management technique called low-dose immunotherapy (LDI) to test and reduce allergic and sensitivity reactions. LDI has been shown to be helpful with gut health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)/allergic colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), coeliac disease, diverticulosis, chronic bloating, constipation, food allergies, leaky gut, Candida and Crohn’s Disease. Along with changes in diet, we will also recommend supplementation to provide gastrointestinal support.
Other treatment options which may be recommended include:
- hyperthermia treatment – treatment sessions with our IRATHERM®, which provides intense infra-red sauna body-heating therapy, which can help to relieve the pain.
- addressing stomach or digestive problems – this is commonly caused by food sensitivities and testing for these and provision of low-dose immunotherapy (LDI) will allow the correction of specific food sensitivities to help relieve pain and provide support.
- improving gut function – recommendations will be made to optimise your gut function by balancing the microbiomes. The gut has trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi, which are collectively known as microbiome. Some are linked to disease while others are essential for your immune system and many other aspects of health.
- oxygen therapy – many people benefit from using an oxygen concentrator, which helps increase the oxygen levels in the blood.
- detoxification – lifestyle changes may be recommended to help eliminate toxins in the body, including drugs.
- rectification of your energy cycle – the Krebs cycle is the citric acid cycle which is the main source of energy for living things. There are 10 steps in the Krebs cycle and if any of the steps are not performing as they should, there is a knockdown effect, which can cause extreme fatigue and pain.
- redox restorative substances
A weakened immune system is the key element of an unhealthy gut. We can identify the root cause of triggers and offers treatment. We can also offer expert nutritional therapy advice to provide patients with appropriate dietary changes, help reverse IBS, which is an autonomic condition, as well as restore gut health.”
SYMPTOMS OF GUT HEALTH PROBLEMS
The symptoms of poor gut health, which can be quite variable and intermittent, include:
- abdominal pain
- bouts of diarrhoea or constipation
- poor appetite
- skin issues
There are many factors of today’s western diet that may all contribute to gut health issues. Generally, the western diet includes high fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates, together with low fibre and frequent repetition of the same foods. Also, today’s highly processed food varies greatly from our ancestors, which was based on seasonal availability. This makes modern-day gut health issues almost inevitable.
Researchers have identified a connection between the gut and the brain. This connection is called “the gut-brain axis”, which is also connected through the immune system. The gut and gut microbes play an important role in your immune system and inflammation levels, which in turn can impact all your body’s systems.
Some people find particular foods cause them gut discomfort. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits and fizzy drinks, can be triggers. We often recommend keeping a food diary, which will help to work out if any particular foods are causing your symptoms.
Stress can also cause digestive health issues. Stress is commonly linked with stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We can provide lifestyle advice on how to reduce stress is part of our approach to help you manage your gut health issues.
Book an appointment with a member of our Clinical Team to find out how to improve your gut health.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR GUT HEALTH PROBLEMS
For those with gut health issues, taking multivitamins and minerals are all part of the first step to working towards feeling better. There are many other supplements that may be used in combination to help support your gut health. Often supplements are used in prescribed doses, which may vary considerably from the standard, recommended doses.
For example, a daily dose of psyllium, which is a natural, water-soluble, gel-producing fibre extracted from the husks of blond psyllium seeds, wheat bran and linseed powder may be beneficial for irritable bowel syndrome patients. Herbal supplements including evening primrose oil, peppermint, fennel, wormwood, chamomile and various other natural digestive tract stimulators may also help with gut health issues.
ARTICLES ON GUT HEALTH
We have shared information about gut health in our Breakspear Medical Bulletins over the years including:
What do you offer for gut health conditions that is different to other clinics?
In addition to using accredited laboratory tests, we use the breath tests for ascertaining lactose and fructose handling problems, diagnosing whether there is SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and offer appropriate treatment for all of the abnormal findings with specialised nutritional guidance for restitution of the gut flora. Nutritional supplements are critical in supporting gut health, in particular prebiotic foods and supplements, to encourage the growth of the appropriate gut flora and provision of probiotics very carefully recommended. Low-dose immunotherapy (LDI) helps to control allergies and sensitivities.
Are there things I can change in my environment to reduce my gut health condition’s symptoms?
It’s absolutely crucial for the correct diet to be recommended to address gut symptoms and this can be tailored for the individual. If you are experiencing gut problems, there are likely quite a few nutritional supplements and herbal remedies that can help relieve the discomfort. A member of our Clinical Team will be able to recommend specific environmental and dietary changes to help your condition.
How long will it take to treat my gut health problem?
Sadly, there is no easy answer to this question. At Breakspear Medical, we look at each patient individually and therefore your customised treatment programmes will be different from other patients and, depending on a variety of factors, it may take a few weeks to many months to start feeling better.