Travis Richardson continues to tell us about his journey with functional medicine below… His words follow… – Dr. Teggatz
In my last communication (part 1 of this functional medicine case study), I highlighted my initial attempt at uncovering the root problem with my son’s health issues.
As you recall, my son was diagnosed with asthma, allergies, and eczema at age 3, and was on five (5) different medications by the age of 11.
He suffered with
- frequent illness
- low energy
- sleepless nights
In addition, he was developing anxiety around breathing in general.
So the first thing I did was found a good functional medicine doctor to work with. Someone who is good will work WITH you not against you and will co-create solutions.
We decided together that the 1st thing we should do is look at any underlying food allergies. This was covered in part 1 of this series.
We discovered the typical suspects: wheat, egg, dairy. Upon removal, my son had immediate symptom relief. After 3 months, he experienced vast improvement.
But there were still a LOT of asthma issues, and lots of medications he was dependent upon.
So, I wanted to dig deeper…
Step #1 (Order a Gastrointestinal (GI) Test)
I suggested that we order a gut health test called the expanded GI panel.
Why did we order this test?
The GI Panel tests for overgrowth of nasty bugs like bacteria, yeast and parasites. In addition, it also shows low enzyme levels.
In short, the GI panel would help assess his digestive health.
The theory was that his gut health was intimately connected to his lung health.
What we know is that an inflamed gut can create “micro-holes” which allow for undigested protein and food particles to enter the bloodstream via the intestinal tract.
This is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome.
The undigested protein and food lead to an allergic response by the immune system as they are seen as foreign invaders.
My functional medicine doctor agreed with me that a GI panel should be ordered, and my reasoning was sound….
Step #2 – Test
We conducted the test August 2007. Super easy, and we did it from home!
Step #3 – Results
The results came back on November 21st, 2007. As you can see below, the results were clear:
- Extreme Bacterial overgrowth
- Small Yeast overgrowth
- Possible leaky gut with low SIgA
- Low chymotripsin (enzyme)
Step #4 Analyze Results
Working on health issues is like solving a deep mystery! It takes an intimate connection with your client, a knowledge of their past, and an understanding of who they are…
In my son’s case, there were some relevant factors to consider.
- He eats extremely fast and large amounts of protein
- He probably isn’t digesting food well
- He is anxious in general
- He is allergic to some food items (discovered from the last test we did)
So let’s paint a most probable picture of what is going on here:
- My son is anxious in general, which means he is probably spending a lot of time in flight or flight mode, even while eating. Fight or flight inhibits digestion and promotes both short and long-term stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
- Looking at his charts here, we see that his enzyme levels were low (chymotrypsin) and his SIgA was low. One of the reasons SIgA could be low is due to high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone!)
- With low enzyme levels, eating fast, feeling stressed, his digestion is probably being impaired.
- High bacterial levels are probably from when he was younger and received many, many, many antibiotic treatments. Antibiotics kill ALL of LIFE in the gut, good and bad. This leaves the door open for the balance to swing in favor of the “bad” bacteria.
The picture was being filled in nicely…. My son had food allergies, bacterial overgrowth, inflammation, low enzyme output, possible high cortisol and other stress hormones, and an anxious disposition…
This might be leading to undigested food and protein entering the bloodstream and causing his immune system to freak out!
In general, like so many other gut-related issues, I was dealing with autoimmune problems.
Oh, and by the way…. what research is showing, is that a whole host of autoimmune conditions are connected with gut health. Check out the following:
- Addison’s disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Lyme disease (chronic)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Pernicious anemia
- Restless legs syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Ulcerative colitis
What does this mean for you, if you have an autoimmune issue?
It means…. Similar protocols can be applied to support gut health which can support YOUR health, regardless of what autoimmune issue you are facing!
Step #4 – Action
Keep the stuff from the previous plan:
- Remove offending allergic foods, especially milk, egg, wheat, sugar, coconut
- Include dark berries, vegetables
- Add Multi-vitamin
- Add fish oil (anti-inflammatory)
- Add Quercetin (anti-inflammatory & immune enhancer)
- Add asthma herbal tincture (anti-inflammatory)
- Add Lycopodium (homeopathy for nervous disposition)
But add the following:
- Grapefruit Seed Extract (Kill off the bad bacteria)
- Garlic (Kill off the bad bacteria)
- High-dose probiotics (Restore the good bacteria)
- L-Glutamine (Repair the gut lining)
- Continue to stay active! Nothing specific here.
- Add Bio-Feedback. So we bought a game produced by Dr. Deepak Chopra that teaches you how to control your breathing, anxiety etc. called “The Journey To The Wild Divine“.
The goal was to reduce stress hormones and promote good digestion.
Step #5 – Results
- Significant improvement in breathing function as measured by a breathing device known as a spigometer.
- *Further reduction in medications.
*ALWAYS work with your physician before attempting to reduce or remove any medication!
Step #6 – Analyze Results
We were making Ahhhh-MAZING progress! My son was becoming healthier and happier!
He was breathing better and with less stress.
But he still had lots of eczema and some other things that weren’t going away. So we weren’t quite done yet!
Do you want to know what we did next?
Stay tuned for Part 3 of 4 on this case study!
Each part will highlight specific diagnostic tests!!!
THE TEGGATZ CLINIC PROGRAMS CAN HELP YOU WITH…
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain and suffering
- High/low blood sugar
- Emotional fragility
- Low sex drive
- Mental fogginess
- Optimal Performance
- Weight problems
Now it’s your turn…
Contact The Teggatz Clinic for a free 15-minute functional medicine strategy session below!
—>>> 319-393-4307 <<<—
PS… Did you miss Part 1? Check it out below:
PPS… Some of you are scheduling with our new health coach, Travis Richardson! Awesome! He is also offering 15-minute coaching sessions below:
—>>> Schedule HERE <<<—