I've had digestive issues for a while now, and I've tried changing my diet to one with no grains, small amounts of fruit, and mostly meats and fats. I've tried a bunch of different probiotics, but I actually feel significantly worse after taking them, with severe brain fog. I've researched molecular mimicry, where the immune system confuses our proteins with bacterial ones or proteins from food, but is it possible that my immune system can no longer tell the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria and is reacting to the good ones now? I haven't seen any research specifically on this so if anyone has let me know. Thanks. Also, I have severe bloating and pain every day, but no gas, which seems strange to me since usually bacterial overgrowth causes bloating and gas. I think the nerves throughout my gut have been damaged or at least their signals are being disrupted, and this is causing peristalsis to stop and food I eat to sit in the gut and ferment instead of being absorbed. It looks like a structural issue, but I had a barium xray and endoscopy and it all came back normal. I've tried the usual supplement for gut health but haven't seen any improvement so far. I'm wondering if I should take something that targets the problem at a cellular level (pqq, acetyl-l-carnitine, NAC) rather than the macro level. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Great answers above!
Have you seen this: http://www.metametrixinstitute.org/post/2010/08/02/Heal-that-Leaky-Gut!.aspx
Most progressive integrative practitioners, coaches and MDs use metametrix to assess degree of leaky gut or intestinal permeability. Have you read Robb Wolf and followed the autoimmune protocol in the book? The supplements that Robb advises are excellent to improve gut health to optimum function:
--fish oil (this alone can heal the gut lining in some cases)
I'd consider other essentil oils are well (primrose). Other things that help often are:
--nutrient deficiencies: minerals, vitamin A, methlyated B complex (Bs are synthesized by the colon microbes via fermentation), K2, tocopherols, etc
--modern toxins (plastics, metals, amalgams, PCBs, pthlates, etc)
Please report your progress and what works the best in the future!
This may or may not be relevant but I don't want to err on the side of silence.
I'm going to start making kefir so I've been doing a bunch of reading. All the sites I read, by drinkers and culture providers, stressed that it's necessary to start probiotics in very small quantities. They talked about symptoms EXACTLY as you described as the good flora take over your gut from bad flora. They said the worse your flora problems, the worse the symptoms so back off and take fewer or less often if you have strong symptoms.
Did your symptoms start before you tried probiotics? Could they be making your problem worse in the short term? If you're still taking them, you should take less or not take them for a few days.
FODMAP intolerance? Histamine intolerance?
Both are issues for me & I've found that minimizing the challenging foods and upping my Vitamin C (for the antihistamine effect.) has helped significantly.
Also, strict gluten avoidance is a must for me.
Have you had a gastric emptying study done re: gastroparesis?
Also, lyme disease could be a factor http://www.practicalgastro.com/pdf/April06/SherrArticle.pdf