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How to Know if Your Gut is Healthy

How to Know if Your Gut is Healthy

Why is gut health important?

It determines the rest of your health! Luckily, with a rise in access to information, and interest in holistic health, more research and attention surrounding gut health is emerging. Besides digestion, here are just a few of the many reasons why we should pay more attention to caring for our gut 

Our gut makes up 75-80% of our immune system! It is essential to provide it with the right nutrients (prebiotics) and beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in order for it to protect us from harmful toxins, substances, and illnesses.  

Many studies have shown that the gut acts as a second brain, and has been directly linked to mental health. This is largely due to its role of producing up to 75% of our neurotransmitters and up to 95% of our body’s serotonin, which is important for mood stabilization, sleep, and digestion. 

Lastly, our guts help up to produce and absorb the nutrients that we get from our nutrient-dense foods and supplements. 

If you would like to take charge of your gut health with a community of healthy, vibrant people, click here or call 617-934-6400 to learn about our approach to a healthy gut. Now, we’ll discuss more facts that you should know about your gut.

Compromised Gut Health/Key Words to Know 

“Leaky gut” – the lining of the gut is damaged and becomes permeable causing food particles and toxins to enter the bloodstream and overtime causes issues like inflammation, Irritable bowel syndrome/Inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, decreased immunity, food sensitivities, and more.

Dysbiosis – an imbalance in the amount and types of bacteria in the GI tract. This happens when we have too little or too much of certain types of bacteria in our gut which causes an imbalance and can lead to overgrowth. This is called SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth which can lead to serious malnutrition. 

Causes of gut damage/compromise

There are many factors that can be causing your gut damage. However, the main culprits in research are medication and/or antibiotic use, poor diet or hygiene, chemical exposure, heavy metals/mold, stress/not enough sleep, over-exercise, and alcohol abuse.

Signs you may have a gut imbalance or damage

  • Food sensitivities 
  • Frequent indigestion, gas, or bloating
  • Irregular bowel movements such as frequent diarrhea, constipation, blood in stool, etc. 
  • Frequent fatigue or irritability
  • Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, eczema
  • Autoimmune disease diagnoses such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia

How do I really find out?

See a functional medicine practitioner and get testing done. Remember, everyone is different, and there may be more going on in your body than you think. It is better to get answers from professionals who are highly trained, and have your best interest in mind, helping you get to the root of the problem. At Five Journeys, we are here to address you as a whole person. We will conduct a detailed exploration of your lifestyle and make a plan for improving your gut health. Click here or call 617-934-6400 to start your gut health journey today.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667473/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315779/ https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/

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WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test looks for the inappropriate presence of bacteria in the small intestine known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or “SIBO”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Breath

COST

*$109 with insurance, $179 without insurance *This test has an initial fee of $109, if your insurance doesn’t cover the test you’ll be charged the extra $70.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$99 – $184

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. Repeat test prices $400.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the genetic profile for multiple health indicators.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$319

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This company can test for lyme, babesia, bartonella and additional tick-borne illnesses.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$450-$3000

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. May be reimbursed with PPO plans.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$299

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates a wide range of environmental toxins that may be leading to harmful health effects.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$199

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is designed to look at food sensitivities (IgG immune responses). It is available in both a 99 or 184 panel.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

NOTES

You often have to fast for these tests.

COST

Depending on the test, deductible or copay may apply.

INSURANCE

Depends on insurance coverage, deductible or copay may apply.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

Glyphosate (“Round Up”) is a pesticide that is widely used and this test indicates the body’s levels.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$99 ($69 if performed with mycotoxins or environmental toxins).

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins or GPL Tox.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates many measures including micronutrients, antioxidants, minerals, detox, overview of gut function, omegas and toxic exposure.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Urine & Blood

COST

$179 – $400

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

INSTRUCTIONS

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the gut function and indicates microbiome balance, overgrowth, infection, inflammation, parasites and digestive efficacy.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Stool

COST

$160-$329

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

No probiotics for one week.

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the full menstrual cycle, female hormones, and adrenal profile.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

COST

$160-$329

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

NOTES

Must be off hormones in order to do the testing.

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is specifically for a tick-borne illness called “Bartonella”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$260

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of potentially harmful heavy metals stored in the body.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

COST

Testing: $138
DMSA: $36

INSURANCE

Not covered by Insurance

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test measures saliva cortisol testing throughout the course of one day and informs us where there might be an adrenal imbalance.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Saliva

COST

$80

INSURANCE

Only covered by Medicare

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is designed to look at food sensitivities (IgG immune responses). It is available in both a 99 or 184 panel.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$99 – $184

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted