Digestive Health

“All disease begins in the gut”
– Hippocrates (Father of Medicine)

Gut health is more than just having a regular motion!

In fact, the importance of gut health is only just beginning to be understood with the digestive bacteria being called our ‘microbiome’. This microbiome is now known to be of vital importance to our long-term health, with imbalances being linked to disorders such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, allergies and even cancer.

How we can help

At Wellness Vision we have a special interest in gut health, especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

We can help you to understand which food and habits will have the most positive (or negative) effects on your gut health, helping you to overcome or at least better manage many of the digestive disorders such as IBS, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis), reflux, heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea (with or without urgency), excessive flatulence, halitosis (bad breath), bloating, food intolerances and abdominal pain. It is also important to note, that many “unrelated” health symptoms and chronic diseases can be caused by poor gut health, even when no gut symptoms are present!

SIBO is the main cause of IBS!

In fact, many IBS patients suffer from SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) which can be treated. SIBO is where normal healthy bacteria start growing in the relatively sterile small intestine. These bacteria usually moved in after an infection, such as traveller’s diarrhoea or food poisoning, however, they can also result from poor stomach acidity, certain medications and other causes of reduced gastric motility. The good news is that we can now test for SIBO, find out what type you have and treat you naturally to help overcome long-term gut health problems. SIBO can also cause leaky gut (or increased intestinal permeability), which in turn can cause food intolerances and inflammation, so if we remove the cause, we can usually heal these issues too. Jasmin can help you determine if this test is right for you…and if you need basic, advanced or comprehensive testing. She can also analyse your results and design a treatment plan to get you feeling great again.

Here’s a link to a quick SIBO quiz that may help.

Gut testing can be important to determine the cause!

We have access to a range of functional gut health tests that can help us to identify food intolerances, poor digestion, bacterial overgrowth (including SIBO), leaky gut (or intestinal permeability), parasitic infections and bacterial imbalances.

We also now have access to genetic gut microbial testing – these tests can tell us the ratio of different bacterial types that we have in our gut (although they don’t tell us what part of the gut – that is where SIBO testing comes in). We can compare these ratios against healthy controls to see how close your “poo” is to “perfect” (or not). Stool testing can also assess digestive function, gut inflammation, gluten sensitivity and even gut causes of hormonal dysfunction. We can then give you suggestions to improve any of these factors, if needed.

Genetic parasite testing and identification – This test can identify the main varieties of resident parasites (even if they are at low numbers) that reside in your gut. This used to be done by visual inspection, no wonder many parasitic infections were missed! It is important to mention though, that simply finding a parasite doesn’t mean it is the issue. We need to assess your overall gut health, as sometimes even parasites can be part of a healthy ecosystem.

Food is information

Every cell in your body is not only made from the food you eat, but this same food is literally “speaking” directly to your genes, controlling which genes are copied or silenced.

The food you eat everyday is vitally important

Food provides the nutrients your cells need to carry out literally millions of cellular processes every second, to ensure optimal health. Not only that, this same food is responsible for the balance of bacteria that you have in your digestive tract – your microbiome.

Your gut microbiome is your unique bacterial “fingerprint”

It is believed that the amount of bacteria that lives on you and in you outnumbers your own cells by 10:1. Meaning that you are actually only 10% human, from the perspective of your number of cells. These bacteria are essential for your immune system, your nutrition (as they help you digest and absorb numerous vitamins) and even your genetics (through turning on and off different genes). Your bacterial microbiome is also as unique as your fingerprint and is largely inherited.

This makes preconception health even more important, as you inherit your microbiome from your mother during pregnancy (we now know that bacteria can cross the placenta and that we are not born sterile), birth and breastfeeding (yes, breast milk contains bacteria). Could this be a leading reason why allergies and digestive issues tend to run in families?

Your diet has a massive impact on your microbiome. If you are eating highly processed food that is low in fibre, studies show you will end up with more ‘bad’ bacteria than good, which can make you more prone to allergies, chronic disease, depression and obesity. Yes, there are thousands of studies highlighting these connections and the number is growing at a rapid rate.

You need to digest your food properly to absorb the nutrients

It is important to ensure that you are breaking your foods down into their smallest components for optimal absorption and assimilation. Food components that are malabsorbed or indigestable (such as fibre) feed the bacteria in your colon and can also result in ‘leaky gut’, a disorder linked to many health issues, including autoimmune diseases, depression, arthritis, eczema and autism (a name a few).

Interested in a functional medicine consultation?

Book a FREE Discovery Call to find out how to get started on our 3-Month Foundation Functional Medicine Program!