My Brain and Gut Infections – PART 1
The gut and digestive system has been gaining more and more attention in the last few years for good reason.
In this blog, we will discuss how pathogens, opportunistic bacteria, and parasites can wreak havoc on the gut and the brain, and can manifest as symptoms of any kind like poor memory, poor focus/attention, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s Disease, Migraines, Post Concussion Syndrome, Autoimmune diseases, and the obvious gut symptoms like pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Clinically we find 90-100% of our patients we run stool testing on have chronic bacterial, viral, opportunistic or parasitic infections leading to their chronic symptoms. So if you’re not running a stool test (we use GI MAP from Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory) you are seriously hindering your brain and gut potential.
Pathogens in the gut are essentially the most common “illnesses” acquired in the community like Bacteria: (E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Clostridium), Virus: (Norwalk agent, Rotaviruses), and Parasites: (Giardia, Entamoeba, Ascaris) and come from eating raw foods, undercooked foods, and drinking dirty water. Clinically, these acute infections present as vomiting, nausea, severe abdominal cramping, pain, constipation, diarrhea, fever, sweating and fatigue. They are often treated with antibiotics through your primary physician, urgent care, or emergency room.
Clinically we find taking specific herbs with you on trips out of the country decreases symptoms of acquired pathogens while on your trip
However, if these pathogens are not fully eradicated, they can lead to chronic digestive, neurological or autoimmune problems because they contribute to chronic inflammation, dysbiosis, and lead to opportunistic infections due to decrease in hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach.
Clinically we find approx 20% of our patients who run stool panels are still harboring chronic infections
HCL is responsible for essentially killing pathogens trying to move through the stomach and for breaking down foods preparing them for digestion. If your HCL isn’t being produced properly, then you’re at risk of allowing pathogens (like discussed above), potential pathogens, opportunistic infections, and putrefied foods creating GERD or reflux type symptoms. (Common symptoms of H. Pylori infection are nausea, bloating, abdominal/stomach pain, loss of appetite, bloating, unintentional weight loss, burping and reflux)
Clinically we find 50-60% of our patients have symptoms of low HCL without realizing it
In addition to low HCL (which is more common that too much HCL), often H. Pylori becomes a problem. H. Pylori is a bacterial infection that essentially lives in the stomach but is kept in control by HCL. When HCL drops, H. Pylori is allowed to flourish. This can lead to an “opportunistic infection” of H. Pylori and this can eventually lead to peptic ulcers, internal bleeding and often severe pain. (A good way to look for ulcers in the stomach is a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar- acute pain with ingestion of this “almost” confirms an ulcer).
Pathogens in the gut stimulate the immune system, and this causes inflammatory cytokines and “inflammation” to increase. High levels of inflammation breakdown nerve connectivity, cause nerves to fire faster, slower and ultimately weaken nerve connectivity. These nerves are associated with networks that produce functions of our daily life. When these areas of the brain become weak because of inflammation from the gut, you develop symptoms, and those symptoms are based on the system that has been affected (Example: frontal/prefrontal weakness produces anxiety/depression/focus/attention and emotional problems. Brainstem weakness produces migraines, vision issues, sleep issues, energy issues, and further gut issues). Removing pathogens and healing the gut can be a GAME CHANGER for you.
If you feel like you might have any of the symptoms described or haven’t been tested with the GI MAP Stool test, please contact our office.
In our office we perform a comprehensive health history to determine any further testing that is needed and where in the brain or body your problems may be. We also perform a comprehensive neurological evaluation including motor and sensory testing, vestibular and oculomotor evaluation with Video Recording Devices. We also perform computerized dynamic posturography to determine how well your brain perceives balance and how well your proprioceptive system functions.
We begin all neurological patients with accelerated neuro rehabilitation programs and have 2 programs available. The intensive program for individuals typically from out of town or looking to accelerate their recovery (12 visits in 1 week), as well as the traditional program for individuals who are in-town (12 visits in 1 month).
We provide nutritional programs based on lab testing that run 4-6 months in length with a certain number of contact points throughout the program. (Lab testing cost is additional to program cost)
If you would like to be evaluated or are interested in working with us to help you improve your quality of life, please contact our office and indicate which program you’re interested in (intensive, less intensive, nutritional).
Arizona Chiropractic Neurology Center
Dr. Russell Teames, DC, DACNB & Dr. Trevor Berry, DC, DACNB
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologists
International Educators of Functional Medicine and Functional Neurology