Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week we are going to talk about a particular test called GI-MAP that helps to determine what is going on inside your gut.
What’s Up With The Gut?
Gut health can mean many different things:
- Leaky Gut
- Spastic Colon
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
What we have found out over the years is that many of the autoimmune diseases we treat have A LOT to do with the gut. Autoimmune diseases like:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Eczema (many skin conditions are actually gut problems)
These are not only chronic conditions, but also painful ones.
If you don’t heal the gut, you are not treating the root cause.
When a patient comes in to see me with an autoimmune disease, the first thing we talk about is their GUT. I ask them how their gut is, and 99% of the time they say, IT’S A MESS!
Everything works better when your gut is working well.
Your Gut, Brain, and Immune System
GUT health isn’t just the food you eat. Many people have a gut microbiome where the balance between the good bacteria and bad bacteria is off.
Others simply might not be able to tolerate a certain type of food. This is another reason why I say “life isn’t fair”. You might not be able to eat what your best friend eats.
Neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Dopamine, and GABA are produced in your gut under the direct influence of your gut bacteria. These play a role in your mood. In other words, the GUT – BRAIN connection is real.
Gut bacteria, in particular, interconnects with the immune system. This begins with each of us at birth. They are symbiotic, meaning they work together. Your innate immune system works by attacking pathogens that enter your body. Think phagocytes and killer cells. Your adaptive immune system targets pathogens already encountered by the body. Think T-Cell immunity and think COVID-19.
We have been doing this test for a while now, but over the last month the GI-MAP Test has become one of our main focuses at PM.
It’s extremely helpful in determining what’s going on with your gut.
The GI-MAP Test is a DNA PCR Test that is great for picking up on everything going on with your gut. Here are some details:
- Stool Sample Test (Easy to collect and you send it out yourself)
- 2-3 weeks to get your results back
With many gut issues we can do a good job of guessing what’s going on with you, but testing gives us a more accurate picture.
With this GI-MAP we know exactly what’s going on.
- Good Bacteria
- Bad Bacteria
- Pathogenic Bacteria
- The Intestinal Health Markers “Zonulin” and “Calprotectin”
- Inflammatory Markers
- Inflammation caused by Gluten
There is so much awesome information we get from a GI-MAP Test that can make a huge difference in people’s lives.
A frequent complaint I get from patients is that all their tests come back negative from their GI work up. This is because a blood sample won’t always pick up on what is going on in the gut! Also, ultrasounds and GI scope tests usually don’t pick up on things really going on in their gut unless it is an obvious gallstone, or ulcer, or major problem in the colon.
A great example of this is my son, Andy Rogers PA-C, who tried to heal his eczema through diet alone and it just didn’t work. He had the GI-MAP Testing done and went over the results with Robin Riddle, FNP-BC (our Knoxville PM provider).
“We thought he might have Candida, but through the GI-MAP we found that he has H-Pylori”, says Robin Riddle. This is wild because H-Pylori is actually a transmissible contagious disease!
Now we are treating his H-Pylori (root cause) instead of guessing and treating Candida, which he doesn’t have. He had a few other things in his gut that needed tuning up that you would have no idea unless you got this test.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, the GI-MAP is the BEST test to evaluate your GUT health.
It’s all about getting to the root cause of your health problem.
If you have any of these symptoms below, think about getting a GI-MAP test done to find out the ROOT CAUSE.
- Brain Fog
- Hormones aren’t quite right
- Symptoms of IBS
- GI scopes look normal, but you’re still not better