I was reading a previous post of mine this morning which, though I say it myself, I thought was pretty darn useful. It basically outlines the top five steps, given by Dr O at the GFS, to take if you are not healing on a coeliac diet, plus my two penn’orth of course. Here’s the main summary, but go here to read the full post.
Avoid all grains including oats, corn, and rice. Go TrulyGlutenFree using the diet in the diet guidelines in the TGF ebook or the Barrier Plan. If you don’t believe me, check your gene pattern and see if you have the non-coeliac gluten disease genes too.
Check your medications (if you are taking any) for hidden gluten. Absolutely right. A really common reason for continued symptoms and people don’t think to look.
Have your vitamin and mineral levels checked comprehensively by your doctor. Yep, the tests you need are outlined in the Barrier Plan. The most important to check as they are too important to guess are Magnesium and Vitamin D. Spectracell intracellular nutrient tests will be available shortly – I am just sorting them out so keep your eyes peeled.
Have your doctor test you for delayed hypersensitivity food reactions. Again, recommended in the Barrier Plan. Food intolerance Test 1 which is designed by me and therefore unique certainly in the UK is by far the most useful and value for money. Note in the plan, I also advise you check for histamine, lactose and fructose intolerance in case.
Have your doctor perform a gastrointestinal test to measure for hidden infections, leaky gut, and digestive enzyme deficiencies. All in the Barrier Plan. Of course.
Once you have collected all of the above information, implement action steps based on the results Indeed.
The bit I want to pick up on a bit more today is Number 5.
Have your doctor perform a gastrointestinal test to measure for hidden infections, leaky gut, and digestive enzyme deficiencies.
I have learned that if someone is struggling still on the Truly Gluten Free diet, this is a crucial step. It is really important to check:
Could be bacterial, parasitic, yeast (as in candida) or viral. Check for each of them if you are not healing well enough and deal with whatever comes up.
Bacterial, parasitic and yeast can all be checked using one stool test, but viral is a little more complicated. You can use this viral check here but, honestly, if you think your trigger may have been viral, or you know you have had a virus at some point (eg herpes, glandular fever, flu etc), then it is a good idea to treat it anyway. My favourite way is using this for a minimum 3 months; I’ve used it many times to help post-viral fatigue people. There is a useful amount of info here on how to use it etc.
Well, if you have a gluten sensitivity problem and/or multiple sensitivities, this is a given. The only reason to test is perhaps to see how bad it is and to get a marker so you can see how it is repairing every few months (hopefully!). I am learning that it is not as simple to test for leaky gut as the labs would have us believe. Certainly the common lactulose/mannitol test is not that reliable and neither is the stool test marker. PEG tests and the barrier test seem much better.
We will shortly also have a brand new test I have waited 2 years for – the Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen – which will look specifically for antibodies to zonulin, the substance we know that gluten affects and which is what controls the so-called ‘tight junctions’ which in turn control the permeability (or leakyness) of the mucosal surfaces like gut, blood/brain/nose etc. It was supposed to be launched end of Nov, but I am STILL waiting. When it does come through I will be updating how we test for barrier integrity.
Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies
This is a really important area since, if we don’t digest and absorb well, we don’t get the nutrient benefits from food. We then end up with chronic nutrient imbalances and cells simply cannot work if they don’t have the right nutrients in the right place at the right time. In this case, you must ensure you test and correct any stomach acid problems – most people produce far too little EVEN if they have acid symptoms. You can also test pancreatic function to see if you have a deficiency in your production levels there.
In reality, I find that giving enzymes is usually really helpful. The problem here, with TGF people, though, is that those enzymes are made by fermenting corn and therefore I do not consider them truly gluten free. In this case, there are other ways around it, using glandulars mainly to stimulate production. Use the Stomach Acid & Enzyme factsheet which comes as part of the Barrier Plan or separately.
Two More: Adrenal Fatigue and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
Another two areas I am starting to focus on in more difficult cases is adrenal fatigue and small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Both are showing up a lot. Adrenal fatigue happens often because we are constantly reacting to stuff. Low adrenal output means low steroid output – and what do you think dampens down allergy reactions? Yep: steroids. Adrenal fatigue means more reactive. I was reminded of this as I am currently writing the new adrenal fatigue plan and it hit me between the eyes, if you know what I mean!
SIBO means you may be reacting to starches and sugars because they are causing abnormal fermentation in the small intestine which then interferes with your ability to absorb. You can test that, but the problem for us is that the challenge substance used is often a corn-derived starch. Again. I am investigating alternatives.
Anyway, I thought that might be a nice run down for you. Don’t forget to look at the Barrier Breakdown Checklist which goes through these and several more ‘healing blockers’ and come free as part of your Barrier Plan package.