Not What It Seemed

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I was sure John’s problem was gluten sensitivity, but I was wrong.

He came to me as a new patient, frustrated that his previous doctor just kept adding various medicines for his stomach symptoms, and nothing seemed to help. With many things he ate, like a bagel and milk, or a sandwich, he would start coughing afterward and have reflux symptoms.

He had tried different foods, various stomach pills, apple cider vinegar, probiotics, but nothing seemed to help. His bowels would churn (Fun fact… that’s called borborygmi), and he would belch a lot. He had been scoped top and bottom, diagnosed with gastritis. More pills were added, but he still didn’t feel right. As a busy professional, his symptoms were bothersome, and he just didn’t feel good.

I ordered a GI Map test on his first visit. I love this stool test, since it helps detect imbalances in the gut microbiome, which consists of trillions of bacteria in the bowel. I’ve seen many people with H. pylori in the stomach (often not detected on standard medical tests), as well as overgrowth of “bad” bacteria. The beneficial bacteria are often out of balance, leading to “leaky gut,” or irritable bowel syndrome. The GI Map test also indicates problems with digestion, intolerance to gluten, and problems with the gut immune function.

In John’s case, he didn’t have gluten intolerance (anti-gliadin was normal). But he had issues with fat and protein digestion (Steatocrit and Elastase-1). He started good digestive enzymes and probiotics, as well as another supplement, and he feels much better!

I love my Direct Primary Care (DPC) medical practice, where I have TIME to learn new things and work with patients from a different perspective than I used to in a traditional practice.