There is a lot to consider when treating autoimmune disease. If you live on the Sunshine Coast, there is no reason to not seek the help of a good naturopath. That should be a suitably qualified health professional like me, Kim Carolan. I can help you find out if you have a leaky gut.
I can take a detailed case history to ascertain possible triggers and exacerbating factors of autoimmunity. What is more, I can also perform appropriate individual functional tests. These tests individualise your treatment plan to best suit you. For example, different people have different reactions to foods of which they are largely unaware. We all have different bacterial balances within the gut which can lead to increased leaky gut and immune dysfunction. Hence I can sort out which foods are best for you. I can also make sure you have the best bacteria in your gut.
We can address lifestyle factors and nutritional deficiencies to rebalance your body.
1/ I know it is imperative to eliminate foods that promote leaky gut. These foods irritate and inflame the intestines. Common examples include alcohol, soft drinks, gluten, dairy, processed and refined foods, grains and chemicals (such as preservatives and food additives.) Then I will consider whether a patient has particular food intolerances. I am surprised at how many people have allergies to common foods. I can do very accurate and specific blood tests to check for food allergies.
2/ It is important to Increase nutrient dense foods that heal the gut. Examples of nutrient dense food include salmon, kale, fresh shellfish, sardines, garlic, seaweed, liver and eggs.
3/ To give natural treatments for parasites. It is relatively easy to test for parasites on the Sunshine Coast. I have many years experience in treating chronic gut infections, so I have firm opinions on what usually works. It is important to not remove beneficial bacteria from a person’s gut micro-biome when treating parasitic infections.
4/ To prescribe supplements to correct deficiencies and provide increased healing. That would typically include vitamin D, omega 3’s, zinc and maybe N-acetyl cysteine. I also often use L-Glutamine. This is an amino acid that is fundamental to the well-being of the digestive and immune systems. It is good for repairing damage caused by leaky gut. L-Glutamine also reduces sugar cravings. Curcumin is also very useful. It comes from turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family. It is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
5/ To prescribe appropriate probiotics to help repair a leaky gut. The gut microbiome is a fascinating area of medicine that we are only beginning to understand. It is becoming clear that certain types of bacteria are better than others for treating some conditions.
The dietary plan to heal autoimmune disease is designed to:
• Eliminate foods that promote leaky gut. These foods do that by irritating and inflaming the intestines. This causes the lining of the gut to lose its integrity and become “leaky.”
• Increase foods that heal the gut.
• Increase nutrient dense foods to correct deficiencies, and, if necessary, take good quality supplements and probiotics.
• Support healthy liver function. When the liver doesn’t perform, distention and discomfort within the digestive system results, which can then affect other parts of the body. If liver function is compromised, it’s impossible to have a properly working metabolism, healthy circulation, balanced hormones and strong digestion.
• Remove artificial additives in foods, which means eating fresh, organic produce.
• Avoid foods that contain added sugar.
• Remove foods that are most likely to cause allergies or sensitivities. I can also identify intolerances to specific foods that individuals may suffer from.
• I have the clinical experience to make a presumptive diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO.) The symptoms of SIBO include distension, burping, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. SIBO is a condition often associated with autoimmune disease. To treat SIBO effectively, you must eliminate fermentable carbohydrates from the diet for a period of time. It also helps to use natural treatments to remove the offending bacteria.
What is more, people who have been taking drugs known as “proton pump inhibitors” (such as losec, nexium, pariet and somac) over a long period of time are suffering from SIBO as a consequence. This is because these drugs eliminate a high percentage of the stomach’s natural production of acid. Acid is a necessary and natural part of food digestion and helps us absorb essential nutrients such as vitamin B12. An acidic environment helps control the proliferation of bacteria in the small intestine. These are the reasons I think some doctors on the Sunshine Coast over prescribe these drugs. We try to limit use of such drugs in our patients to the short term.
It can take 6 months to heal a leaky gut! So patience and perseverance is required to help people with autoimmunity. I can guide you through the necessary steps to allow your body to rebalance and heal. If necessary I can work with our holistic doctors, Tim Smith (who has a particular interest in gut health,) Tracy Johns or Mark Fulton. They are here in our surgery at Minyama on the Sunshine Coast . We aim to get the best results for you.
Please see my other blogs on autoimmune disease, http://www.pulsemed.com.au/2017/08/31/causes-autoimmunity
Written by Kim Carolan.
Kim Carolan holds a degree in Naturopathy. Like any good naturopath, she has not stopped learning. She has further training in holistic counselling, live and coagulated blood microscopy, metabolic balance, biomesotherapy and German biological medicine (Sanum). Kim operates out of Pulse Holistic Medical Practice in Minyama on the Sunshine Coast. She enjoys working with the holistic doctors there. Kim is also passionate about helping people reach their optimal health goals. She has special interest in digestive health, anxiety, weight loss, depression, anxiety and autoimmune conditions.