Dr. Laura: Drugs that affect the microbiome

Drugs are one of the major factors that affect the microbiome. The impacts vary depending on the drug and duration of treatment.

The environmentfoodstress and drugs  all contribute to changes in the microbiome. This is why it is important to recognize and address any contributors that cause troubles.

Clinical intake and tests flushes out root causes and provide clarity. 

Why should I care?

Unique patterns in the microbiome link to different diseases. An unhealthy microbiome links to depression, anxiety, autistic disordersvitamin and mineral status (nutrient absorption)hormone production,  eczemadiabetes, obesity, arthritis and inflammatory bowel psoriasis and other autoimmune, conditions, heart healthcholesterolnon-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), diseases.  Research continues to expand this list.  

What is the microbiome?

The human microbiome exists in the gastrointestinal/urogenital tract and the skin. The trillions of cells that make up our microbiome actually out number the human cells that we have in our body by tenfold. Are we microbes having a human experience?

Healthy microbiome?

A healthy regular stool is not always indicative of a healthy microbiome. History of autoimmune conditions, food sensitivity, sugar cravings, gas, pain, bloating, bad breath, candidiasis, brain fog, mood changes, weight issues, skin issues, joint pain, trauma, stress, headaches, use of birth control or other hormones, frequent use of antibiotics and certain drugs can all be factors or indicators of microbiome disruption. 

What drugs affect the microbiome?

Your microbiome may be out of balance if you are currently, or have history of taking, any of the following drugs:

  • Antibiotics
  • Cancer Therapies
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • GI disorder drugs
  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-psychotic drugs
  • Anti-coagulants
  • Hormones: estrogen, birth control, thyroid hormone

Find out more…tests available

One helpful test to look at the key players of the microbiome is the comprehensive stool and parasitic analysis. Knowledge of the landscape certainly helps streamline the treatment. 

Food sensitivities often rise when the microbiome is off balance. It is important to recognize the foods that are bothersome. Then remove them for a while and do the work to remove unwanted microbes and replace with healthy ones while repairing the gastrointestinal tract lining. Protocols are patient specific based on the microbiome the lining of gastrointestinal tract and the overall health of the patient. 

Dr. Laura M. Brown ND is a Naturopathic Doctor with a functional medicine approach. She is a Certified Gluten Practitioner, a HeartMath Certified Practitioner and is a graduate of Adapt Level 1 at Kresser Institute of Functional Medicine. Essentially, Dr. Brown helps people better digest their food and the word around them. More at www.naturalaura.ca and  www.forwardhealth.ca

Dr. Laura: Dangers of Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton Pump Inhibitors, or PPI’s may help gastrointestinal reflux (GERD) in the short term, but they increase risk of many long term negative effects.

Long Term Side Effects of PPIs

When proton pump inhibitors are taken for an extended length of time, they can ™cause a shift in the gut microbiome that –increases risks for:

  • liver disease like alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • increased risk for cardiovascular events, kidney disease and dementia. 
  • Nutritional deficiencies, especially B12 and iron.


GERD

™Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused from a faulty lower esophageal sphincter valve. ™Backs up content of stomac acid burns™ the esophageal lining. For many, a trip to the conventional doctor mean a prescription of proton pump inibitors – a drug that often ends in an -prazole. Like omeprazole, pantoprazole, for example.

Causes of GERD

  • bacterial overgrowth
  • lazy sphincter
  • food sensitivity

Interesting fact is the real cause of GERD may be from not enough stomach acid, rather than too much. If this is the case, taking a proton pump inhibitor, which lessens stomach acid can actually make the problem worse. Tests for H. pylori, a bacteria that can sometimes overgrow in the stomach may be necessary. H. pylori likes to reduce the level of stomach acid so it can thrive. Lower stomach acid means food is not properly digested and this can lead to fullness in the stomach and regurgitation or GERD.

The gastric-esophageal sphincter may be lazy and in need of tonification. Proton pump inhibitors won’t address this issue, however botanical medicine can often help.

Another reason to skip the proton pump inhibitor and look for the root cause is that GERD is often a result of food sensitivity. Food sensitivities related to GERD can be more than the typical caffeine, peppermint, spicy foods and citrus that commonly aggravate the issue.

For help with this and more digestive concerns, book online, contact drlaurambrown@forwardhealth.ca or call 519 826 7973 to book your appointment today.


Dr. Laura: 21 Reasons You Might be Constipated

Bowels that move slow or are difficult to pass are not only uncomfortable, they are unhealthy. It is important we eliminate from our bowels at least once, and up to three times per day. Constipation is an issue affecting up to 20% of the population(1).

When the stool stays in the colon for extending lengths of time, toxins and hormones that have been packaged and processed for elimination are at risk for re-absorption back into the body. Not passing stool frequently enough will lead to a feeling of toxic overload.

What is constipation?

  1. Irregular bowel movements
    1. Pass less than 3-5 stools per week.
  2. Difficulty passing stool.
    1. Hard stool, requires straining,
    2. Insufficient, unsatisfactory, incomplete stool

21 Reasons You Might be Constipated

  1. Diet lacks fibre and vegetables
  2. Diet too high in proteins and carbs, especially in sugar & starch
  3. Dairy or wheat sensitivity
  4. Too much dairy (cheese)
  5. Other food sensitivities
  6. Insufficient microflora
  7. Dysbiosis (overgrowth of the wrong kinds of bacteria in the intestines)
  8. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) (root cause may be hypothyroid and migrating motor complex)
  9. Hypothyroid affecting the migrating motor complex
  10. Lack of regular daily exercise
  11. Insufficient water intake
  12. Supplements such as iron, calcium
  13. Overuse of laxatives
  14. Side effects of prescription drugs- painkillers (opioids), anti-depressants
  15. Irritable bowel syndrome or diseases
  16. Colon cancer
  17. Stress
  18. Pregnancy
  19. Diabetes mellitus
  20. Hemorrhoids
  21. Nervous system disruption as in spinal cord lesions, MS & Parkinson’s.

Best ways to “get moving” –> relieve your constipation

Laxatives are okay occasionally. Too much use will lead to dependence, which is not how nature intended and don’t fix what’s really happening. Have a look at some of the possibilities of what may cause constipation and see what you can correct. Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND can help you access and interpret many different types of testing.

References:

  1. Portalatin M, Winstead N. Medical Management of Constipation. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. 2012;25(1):12-19. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1301754.

Free Meal!

Well, free of gluten and perhaps more…

When Gluten Free Is Not Enough

Are you or someone you know sensitive to gluten and have cut it out and still have issues with pain, headaches, bran fog, joint pain, diarrhea, constipation, or general fatigue?

Not so nice…

Gluten is known to cross react with cow’s milk, milk chocolate, milk butyrophilin, whey protein, casein, yeast, oats, corn, millet, instant coffee and rice. That means if you eat any of these foods, even if you are gluten free, your body could be reacting to those foods as well.

Gut Permeability

If you have a gluten related disorder or Celiac disease and you have cut out gluten but not worked on healing the gastrointestinal lining, then you may have what is called “Leaky Gut”. There are steps to take to heal the lining and restore the natural mucosa. Sometimes once you heal the leaky gut, you are able to tolerate some of the foods to which you grew sensitive. If you are Celiac or gluten sensitive, gluten free will always be a part of your lifestyle.

Food Sensitivity Testing

Food Sensitivity testing is a great way to find out the resistance your body has to different foods. It provides the means for a guided elimination diet. Or you can simply cut out the potential offenders and re-introduce them one at a time and see how you feel.

 

Move forward with your health.

Dr. Laura M. Brown ND is trained and certified to help those with gluten related disorders, Celiac disease and the related testing, diagnosis, lifestyle design, education and nutritional support.

 

References:

A. Vojdani and I. Tarash, “Cross-Reaction between Gliadin and Different Food and Tissue Antigens,” Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 20-32. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.41005.

Food Sensitivity Testing

What are the Signs of Food Sensitivities?

People with long-term complaints who have tried many treatments and dietary interventions, with limited or no success may find it beneficial to investigate their individual food intolerance.

Do you experience any of the following?

WEIGHT: difficulties losing or gaining weight.

SKIN: eczema, skin rashes, psoriasis, dermatitis.

JOINTS: pain, inflammation, difficulties moving.

BRAIN: difficulty concentrating, fatigue.

Gastro Intestinal: “IBS”, pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, damage to the mucosal lining, perforation & “leaky gut”. This can make it difficult for nutrients and vitamins to absorb into the body and the person over time can become deficient in things like iron, zinc, and B12.

How it works

Here’s how it works. Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND will see you for a brief 15min appointment to setup your profile, and collect your medical history prior to your food sensitivity testing. If you prefer, a regular 1 hour upfront full Naturopathic intake, is highly recommended.  In a separate (or following) 45min appointment, The Electro Dermal Screening (EDS) KORU testing will be done. No needles are involved. The testing is based on physics, rather than blood chemistry. Sometime in the following week, you will meet again for about 30 min with Dr. Laura M. Brown to receive your personalized guidance and food sensitivity report. This testing is open to any age. Unfortunately we cannot test people who have pacemakers. Call the clinic at (519) 826-7973 to arrange your KORU package and appointments. You are welcome to see Dr. Laura beyond the KORU package for further guidance on diet, lifestyle, B12 injections, acupuncture, medications and supplements however you are under no obligation to do so.

If you prefer blood chemistry analysis, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND can line you up with this as well. In this case, please setup a regular initial assessment with Dr. Laura and she will provide you with the lab requisition that best suits your needs.

Are Food Sensitivities Real?

Food sensitivities are real. Often sensitivities go undiagnosed because the reaction is gradual and will happen 24hours- 3 days of consuming the food irritant; this makes it more difficult to pinpoint which food is the trigger. The body’s immune system can respond to food like an enemy. This stimulates inflammation, pain, bowel changes, headaches, and sometimes skin reactions. Being sensitive to a food may mean the person needs to avoid it completely, or be able to have a small amount occasionally. Sometimes after months of abstinence, a food may be reintroduced without an issue.

Who is at risk?

  • Often affiliated with autoimmune disease (SLE/lupus, thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), toxic exposure to heavy metals, molds & family history.
  • Aggravated by alcohol, extended periods of stress, strenuous exercise and NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen)

What foods typically cause IgG reactions?

  • Dairy, Wheat, Egg, Corn, Sugar & Soy
  • Some with Rheumatoid Arthritis find the nightshade family harmful: (potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant)

How do I learn if I have an allergy or sensitivity?

IgG testing can be accessed through Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.  Options for food sensitivity testing include electrodermal screening or blood spot or full blood draw.

 

From the heart and mind of your local Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown ND.