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Gastrointestinal Health
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Gastrointestinal Health

Dairy Sensitivities and Intolerances: Using the Right Digestive Enzymes

Patients with IBS or IBD often have a dairy intolerance, sensitivity or combination of both. An effective dairy enzyme blend is a great adjunct to the care to help patients manage uncomfortable GI symptoms associated with dairy intolerance and sensitivity.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Blue microscopic microbes
Gastrointestinal Health

Key Considerations for Rotating Probiotics

The microbiome is a complex ecosystem in which a diversity of species is required for a healthy GI environment.

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Tips for Supporting Elimination Pathways

How many of your patients have tried a detox that just didn’t work out as well as they planned? Probably more than just a few. If they stuck to the protocol, but ended up feeling worse than when they started, the elimination pathway could the problem.

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

GERD: Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Treatment Options

Take a moment to reflect how many of your patients experience heartburn or prolonged coughing. More than likely, it may be too many to count. And chances are if these patients are experiencing symptoms more than a couple times a week...

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Why Your Detox Protocol Needs a Broad-Spectrum Binder

Toxins are everywhere, unavoidable and unintentionally ingested, making patients feel sluggish, weak or even confused. The liver, bile and digestive process naturally balances normal toxic load and removes it from the body. However, gut imbalances or a poor diet can sometimes cause toxins to be reabsorbed instead of being removed, leading to repeated filtration by the liver. This wasteful cycle of absorbing and recirculating toxins compounds their buildup and toxic overload sets in, leaving your patients vulnerable to chronic conditions. To help your patients overcome toxic burden, consider a comprehensive binder solution.

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Protection Your Patients Need for the Holidays: Effective Approaches to Neutralize Gluten

As the holiday season approaches, eating patterns are often unpredictable. Whether it is eating out at a restaurant or going over to a family member's house for dinner, unexpected foods may present themselves at unexpected times. Sure, your patients can be educated to identify and dodge problem foods that provide digestive troubles. Yet it is often overlooked how "safer" foods are prepared.

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Novel Therapeutics to Help Soothe and Strengthen the Gut Epithelium

Back-to-school season is here and both teachers and students are exposed to bugs, toxins and other antigens that may work their way into the GI tract and cause health woes. Alongside reinforcing healthy lifestyle habits, we as practitioners are compelled to offer the most comprehensive protection to our patients, which includes supporting a healthy gut epithelium.

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

The What, When and Why of Using Probiotics as Targeted Therapies

For any practitioner who uses probiotics in their practice, there isn't a clear-cut guide on the what, when and why of using probiotics for different conditions. Worldwide, over-the-counter consumption of probiotic supplements has increased in recent years. Notwithstanding, clinical studies for many probiotic strains and formulations have had conflicting results. New stool testing modalities, like 16s-RNA PCR and whole-genome sequencing, have helped assess gut colonization by probiotics, strain-level activity, interactions with resident flora, effects on the host, and the potential useful medical indications of specific strains. Regardless, trying to design test-guided probiotic formulations based on shot-gun sequencing of a stool specimen is still not exact science, as I have seen in patients who have tried customized probiotics through companies, like Sun Genomics, not achieve the intended results one would expect through "customization."

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

The Complex Relationship Between IBS and SIBO

The symptoms of SIBO (e.g., bloating, abdominal distension/ pain/discomfort, diarrhea, fatigue, weakness, etc.) overlap considerably with those of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and many clinicians consider these conditions to be commonly associated. However, epidemiological research shows that the relationship between the two conditions is not well understood, is controversial, and varies considerably depending upon the diagnostic criteria used to define SIBO (and IBS). In fact, the large variance in the frequency of SIBO in IBS subjects mirrors that found in healthy controls.

Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Implications of Cytolethal Distending Toxins Bring New Perspective for Natural SIBO Treatment

For the functional medicine practitioner, it is not a rare occurrence when a patient presents to your office with uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation. These are common complaints that present across most GI cases. But what happens when the patient doesn't show improvement, and even small diet changes still present with gas, bloating, diarrhea and food intolerances? Patients like these are frustrating, especially if you have tried numerous approaches, like an elimination diet, with unsuccessful results, and you cannot pinpoint the cause of their symptoms. If this is the case, you may want to consider small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Treatment Strategies to Support Patients with Low Gut Motility

Many functional integrative medicine practitioners would agree that a fundamental principal of their practice is to pinpoint the root cause of dysfunction in order to truly help patients. Yet, this is not always easy to do, and some patients can be more frustrating than others. Such is true for patients with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), especially if numerous approaches to remove unwanted bacteria in the small intestine provide unsuccessful results.

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

How to Make Spore-Forming Probiotics a Successful Part of Your SIBO Treatment Protocol

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a rising area of focus in functional medicine. As microorganism levels in the small intestine increase, so does microbial activity, like fermentation. With these type of patients in practice, you may have seen that even healthy diets can cause gas, bloating, and intolerance to certain foods and probiotics. Such gastrointestinal complaints have been attributed to sensitivity, but the reason may be microbial imbalance in the small intestinal environment. As you know, the health of the gut relies on a balanced microbiota. Spore-forming probiotics can contribute to that balance by having a positive influence specifically in the small intestine, promoting organism diversity and immune protection.

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Improve Patients' Quality of Life with Lifestyle Interventions for IBS

Almost everyone experiences these symptoms at some point. But when they are a daily reality, these symptoms become a significant burden in patients' lives. Patients often feel isolated and limited in their day-to-day activities; they don't know where to turn. As practitioners, we must try to understand the frustration these patients are experiencing and recognize that our expertise in pinpointing the root cause of symptoms will be the key to helping these patients. Examples like these are classic cases of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Joseph Ornelas, PhD, DC |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Benefits of Spore-Forming Probiotics

In the past two decades, there have been few areas of research that have expanded as greatly as that which explores the importance of the human microbiome(s), especially the nuanced relationship between the bacteria in the GI tract and their human host. It is not uncommon to see papers published, weekly, showing the potential connection between metabolic activity within the gut microbiome and some important human pathophysiology.

Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

The Emergence of Autoinflammatory Syndromes

Most clinicians are familiar with autoimmune disease mechanisms. Typically, these define situations where effectors within the adaptive immune system (i.e., immunoglobulins or T-cell receptors) bind inappropriately to...

Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

19 Great Ideas from Simplexity Medicine 2.0: Quantifying Patient Resilience

On July 9, 2020, the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute, in collaboration with Ortho Molecular Products, convened hundreds of healthcare practitioners to Simplexity Medicine 2.0: Quantifying Patient Resilience. The virtual, live conference was a great opportunity for functional medicine practitioners, as it helped them connect and learn from a faculty of experts sharing their insight on building and measuring health resiliency. In the climate of COVID-19, this topic was timely and valuable to healthcare practitioners seeing patients on the front lines of the pandemic. Attendees also learned about ways to continue transitioning their practices to meet the needs of patients during the pandemic, including telemedicine and group visits.

Olivia Morrissey |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

The 3 I's of Building a Strong Gut-Immune Axis

In practice, it can be a challenge to break down complex medical concepts and articulate them simply to our patients. This is especially true when we begin to talk about the connection between gut and immune function. In the world of functional medicine, we find our patients to be a lot more engaged and wanting to learn these complex concepts in a more digestible way. And so, to provide quality information in smaller bites, I often speak about the 3 I's of building gut-immune health as a way to understand the importance of the types of nutrients we use together in order to enhance this synergistic relationship After all, 70% of our immune system is found within the digestive tract. In this post, I will lay out the 3 I's and include corresponding solutions to glue it all together.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

8 Best Practices for Healthy Detoxification

In my previous blog post, we talked about the importance of supporting the Phase I cytochrome P450 family of enzymes and Phase II conjugation pathways with specific foods and targeted nutrients. In this post, we're talking about important considerations when creating a detox treatment plan for your patients.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Detox or die: How to help your patients detoxify in a modern world

Detoxification is a multi-step process that involves not only clean eating, but also awareness of water sources, exposure to toxins (both environmental and food-borne), and proper elimination. One way to think of it is, "We are what we eat, breathe, touch, and sense, but cannot eliminate." We cannot completely control our exposure to toxins in food, food packaging, and the air we breathe, but we can take steps to support our ability to eliminate the toxins from our bodies and reduce exposures in the first place.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Simplifying SIBO: Case Study + Treatment Plan

You have a new patient coming in to see you. As you peruse her intake forms, you see she has already been treated for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (or SIBO, for short) several times, and she comes in complaining of recurring symptoms.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Treat the Patient, Not the Disease: Advancing the Patient-Centered, Functional Medicine Approach to GI Dysfunction

When it comes to functional medicine, no other organ system exemplifies this patient-centered approach better than the gastrointestinal system.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Setting Successful Treatment Expectations for Your Patients in the New Year

You've created an amazing A-Z plan for your patient. You're excited to apply all your functional medicine knowledge. They walk out the door with pamphlets, instructions, and a bag of supplements you're sure will alter the course of their chronic illness. The patient gets home and realizes, "Oh, oh...I can't do all this!" Two to four weeks later at follow-up, the patient tells you they only did one or two things on the list of 10 perfectly planned interventions for their condition. You feel like you failed, but really, you set your patient up for failure.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

The Challenges and Pitfalls of PPI Withdrawal

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the most widely prescribed drugs worldwide, accounting for a profit in the billions for the pharmaceutical industry. They are the leading Western treatment for GERD, dyspepsia, and peptic ulcer disease. But the problem is that PPIs are not used judiciously for the short-term, such as healing a gastric ulcer; instead, patients are prescribed PPIs, then kept on them indefinitely without regard to the long-term potential harm of these medications.

Vincent Pedre, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Managing the Exposome

Two related fields of study, both owing to the emerging science of genetics and genomics, are beginning to help us discover the role toxins play in human health and disease. The first is toxicogenetics, which describes how the genetic differences between certain individuals allow for varying susceptibility to different toxins. Since there are hundreds of different enzymes involved in our detoxification pathways, many individuals carry gene variants (polymorphisms) that allow for more efficient conversion and removal of toxins than others. Those individuals with slower detoxification pathways for a given toxin will show signs of toxicity at much lower doses than those with normal detoxification capacity. These differences often complicate "cause-and-effect" studies in large populations that carry over into the clinic. That is, just because a large epidemiological trial does not find a statistically significant relationship between exposure to a particular toxin and a particular health outcome (the average of all genetic variants), does not mean that such a relationship does not exist in the genetically-susceptible patient. Read more

Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Dysbiosis or Adaptation: How Stable is the Gut Microbiome?

One of the greatest paradigm shifts in medicine over the past few decades has been the unfolding discoveries revealing the metabolic influence of the human microbiome, especially that which resides within the gastrointestinal tract. Indeed, it is difficult to find a medical discipline that is not actively investigating the potential role played by the gut microbiome in human health and disease. Read more

Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Canary in the Coal Mine: AMD and the Lifestyle Synergy Model

Since doing my initial research for The Original Prescription, in which I discuss the benefits of lifestyle synergy, I keep running into more and more data confirming the overall health benefit of multiple "signals" coming from a variety of lifestyle decisions. Read more

Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Mind-Altering Microbes: How your gut microbiome may influence your mood

While we have certainly heard that appetite and digestion are controlled by the enteric nervous system (also known as "the master control panel in your gut"), who would've thought that the gut might also control your emotions and mood? It's no wonder the old sayings, like "I've got a gut feeling about this," "That movie was gut-wrenching, " or "Come on, gut it out!" ring so true. In fact I'd venture to say when we are trusting our intuition we associate it with having a "gut feeling" about something. Read more.

Jill Carnahan, MD |

Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal Health

Managing a Stressed Practice

The term "stress," as it is currently used, was coined by Hans Selye in 1936 who defined it as "the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change." Selye's theories attracted considerable attention in basic medical sciences; however, stress soon became a popular buzzword that completely ignored Selye's original definition, even until today. Some people used the word to describe a known unpleasant trigger or situation to which they were subjected. For others, stress was their reaction to this in the form of physical or emotional symptoms. Read more.

Shilpa P. Saxena, MD, IFMCP |

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