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So how do you know your gut is healthy?

Discussion in 'The New Monster Thread' started by KiwiLauren, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Ok, this is the most basic of questions, but I'm still unsure of the answer. On the webinar Q&A when I asked what labs Dr K used to determine his gut was healthy, the answer was basically 'all of them'! Then we also had some helpful dialogue about the Bristol stool chart and aiming for a 3 or 4 consistently. I'm guessing, however, that one can have good Bristol-worthy poo and still have gut issues. Or not?

    I would love to hear from all of you how you determine that your gut is uninfected/healthy, not leaky, and populated with the right kinds and numbers of flora.
    sooperb likes this.
  2. Melinda

    Melinda New Member

    I think it is 3/4 on the Bristol chart and I would add, not too much objectionable smell. Combined with good energy, good sleep and a sunny mood, you're there. I'm easily tipped into a 6/7 on the chart so I'm not there yet.
  3. SeaHorse

    SeaHorse Gold

    Kiwi...a metametrix type test could show you a lot...if there are particular bacterial issues (over or under populated) fat absorption, parasites...etc etc.

    Also I would say your ability to digest and use a variety of foods without reactions of any kind is an indicator as well. I'm still on a very limited menu. The hormone panel would be a critical one too.
  4. indigogirl

    indigogirl Silver

    The Metametrix test is the Stool Effects test.
  5. BJK77

    BJK77 Gold

    I really question this too. After dealing with major constipation for 2 years after starting on a GAPS/Paleo diet, I'm now very regular with a #4 on the Bristol stool chart, which is where Dr K says we should be. Prior to the constipation on GAPS, I had never had that problem ever and it wasn't typical constipation either. It was more like my body just didn't have the energy to excrete anything - sorry if TMI! I was making stool, just had trouble with the actual going part ;) Never had the little stones/pebbles that are commonly associated with it.

    I've had 2 stool tests done that have shown some issues like low #'s of beneficial bacteria, very low SCFA's and super high Secretory IgA. This test was done in December though so I really need to have a newer one done.

    All that being said, I know my gut is still a train wreck. In the words of a brilliant neurosurgeon "you're gut probably looks like a nuclear weapon went off" . . . or something to that effect! So I know for me stool alone is definitely not enough of the picture to let me know exactly how healthy my gut is.
  6. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Thanks, everyone. I agree that Bristol stool can't be the only factor. I appreciate the info. Yep, hormone labs definitely would be important. If people have other suggestions re: labs/indicators besides the Metametrix test, I'd love that (can't get it in New Zealand at the moment).

    Also, SeaHorse, what foods would you add to test? I'm on what feels like a limited diet because I do epi-paleo and AI. Thanks!!
  7. bigknitwit

    bigknitwit Silver

    I'm curious about your limited menu as well. I know it came up at one point and I can't remember the details. I'd love to compare notes.

  8. SeaHorse

    SeaHorse Gold

    I did the GAPS diet in April and March and felt worse and worse...started reading the forum around the same time and did some research on histamines and FODMAPS (the different kinds of sugars in foods). By the end of March I realized I wasn't going to be able to do broths, ferments, onions, eggs and any meats that weren't fresh. So for the last six months I've pretty much eaten fresh offal, meat, fats and seafood...that's it. Some lettuce and maybe 4 apples and 2 cups of berries in that period. I did try some dishes at restaurants but they usually gave me a reaction, so life has became very simple. I'm ok with coconut oil but the canned milk has guar gum and that's not so great. I can eat no/sugar bacon, but fresh pork belly is even better. I haven't done much ghee either...mostly duck fat and lard for cooking and olive oil on the lettuce. Seafood made this summer much more fun and I could eat steamed clams every day. Canned fish is still too high in histamine.

    I have a hard time with supplements and I haven't had much luck trying to add them in even after this period of time. I take neuro mag and some D and K and that's about it. I get really quick headaches when something doesn't agree with me: my hands and feet swell up and then I have a runny nose and am stuffed up the next morning. (Osteoporisis, scoliosis and depression have been long standing issues)

    What I DON't feel anymore is inflammation in my joints and depression...life is so much better than it was last spring. I've not eaten gluten for years and I've been low to medium carb/no sugar for years too. I just had to get really tight with the food to see more change. AND, in my case, the light is super critical.

    I have markers of inflammation in my gut..(just did a metametrix test) but I don't have parasites, pathogenic bacteria, yeast or fungus, so what I have to deal with is becoming more focussed. I'm really positive that getting some hormone , thyroid and adrenal support will keep things moving in the right direction.

    I wish I felt that adding massive amounts of resveratrol would fix my gut, but my reactions are so strong I think I'm going to wait a bit longer.

    So that was probably more than you asked for:eek: Bigknitwit...I know you've had really strong reactions to foods too....it keeps you on track that's for sure. Giving yourself a long period without challenging your system is worth it, in my opinion, but why we are where we are is so individual, it's hard to give advice.

  9. Here's one thought I have about a helathy gut and I may be way off. Plus this is just one indicator and I'm thinking there are many especially since you cannot get the Metametrix test. After being grain free and eating a 100% paleo diet for six months my total cholesterol was 150. This is where is has stayed pretty much my entire adult life. Then I found out, visa-vie GI fx test, that I am not absorbing my fat. So if your cholesterol isn't going up with all the fat you eat something isn't healthy in the gut. I'm hoping on my next cholesterol test that I have increased my cholesterol.
  10. nonchalant

    nonchalant Silver

    Oh interesting, Patty. I hadn't thought of this. Did your HDL change at all with your paleo diet?

    Yes, it would be good to get your cholesterol closer to 200. I think you take ox bile salts, right?
  11. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    I love all this wisdom and insights. Thank you, all.

    Patty, would you want to see a rise in HDL only? My cholesterol was tested in March and was over 200 so I guess that's a good indicator (trigs were pretty low, too - but LDL was also high-ish, though ratios were solid).

    SeaHorse, very interesting what you say. I relate. When I first started all this, I couldn't eat many of the FODMAPs etc. Now I can eat pretty much anything I like without reaction. (My signs are similar to yours - runny nose and inflamed joints). If I eat too much avocado I get a reaction. Other than that, I'm pretty OK (within the limited palate of AI of course). I think this is progress. But I still have a slight runny nose many days. Is that definitely food/gut? Or can it be a sign of inflammation for non-food reasons?

    It all is very complicated and interrelated I suppose. Reminds me of Kathylu's analogy about the jar of marbles... reach in and grab the one at the bottom and you've moved everything else, even if you didn't realise it.

    For those of you struggling with adrenal issues, what do you think the role/interconnection is there? Can you 'fix' a gut if your adrenals are tanked? Do you fix them simultaneously? And how do you fix adrenals other than religiously following light cycles, eating epi-paleo and reducing stress?
  12. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    when ever turd that exits your anus is a bristol stool 4.
  13. Coriander

    Coriander Silver


  14. Ox bile is my friend...for now. Hopefully I won't need it as my gut heals. My HDL went up and my LDL stayed about the same but it wasn't that high. I am shooting for 200 as my new cholesterol high!!

  15. I guess everything in the gut relates to poo!!
  16. jib

    jib New Member

    RE:"fix a gut"

    Has anyone here tried any online sellers like "Digestacure" or looked up the "natural" things to fix ones gut? There is a renewlife product that has a strain of 200 Billion

    that might do some good. Also in SS book, one of her docs mentioned "mastic herb"

    to help with H.pylori (sp) bacteria which is very common. Chris Kessler blog recently has some natural remedies on candida too.

    Should the gut be the first thing that we're concerned about healing? Almost seems that way.
  17. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    OK, if it's really that simple, I'll take it.
  18. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    jib, Dr K pointed out on the Q&A that probiotics are a mixed bag because if you have sufficient stomach acid, hardly any of those 200 billion will actually make it to your gut. (There are other places one could put those capsules, though, that could be more effective I'm guessing.) I don't know about what Kresser is recommending. I think the natural cures involve epi-paleo diet, hopefully with raw seafood in there, and things like bone broths, fermented veggies/drinks, etc. In terms of candida, I believe colloidal silver was mentioned as an option, too.

    Gut healing is the first thing, but it's also simultaneous with healing the brain.
  19. indigogirl

    indigogirl Silver

    Oil of oregano and garlic are also very helpful for controlling candida, but I've heard Jack say at least twice you really need meds to eradicate candida, like Diflucan.
  20. BJK77

    BJK77 Gold

    I wish it were that simple! I definitely have a #4 turd exiting most days ;) BUT, it's very dependent on what I eat. I just realized that cabbage causes my stools to jump up to a #2 or 3. So I'm guessing if my gut reacts that way to certain foods (especially non-starchy, AI 'friendly') then I still have some gut issues going on.

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