Chronic diarrhoea and wind make life very uncomfortable
Steve*, a middle-aged man had been troubled for over ten years with chronic diarrhoea. Because of this, he often bled from fissures around his anus. He seemed to react to an unending array of foods, with wind and severe diarrhoea.
Many doctors, specialists and tests later, wind and diarrhoea were still there
Over the years, Steve had undergone a colonoscopy after consulting with a gastroenterologist. He was then treated for a severe chronic bowel infection called Clostridium difficile. His symptoms did get a little better for a while, but unfortunately they returned.
He had tried many health food products such as commonly advertised probiotics, also an amino acid, glutamine, that he heard could help. He didn’t experience much relief. His worst reactions seemed to be from dairy products and sweet foods.
Wholistic testing revealed the underlying causes of wind and diarrhoea
At the Wholistic Medical Centre functional stool testing may be recommended if a person suffers from chronic symptoms such as wind and diarrhoea. Rather than sending a one- or two-day stool sample to a laboratory to see what live parasites or ‘bad’ bacteria are lurking in the gut, a stool sample may be sent off to specialised laboratories that either culture a wide range of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, or that test at the molecular (DNA) level. This was done for Steve.
Steve’s results showed that he had some nasty ‘bad’ bacteria and not many of the ‘good’ bacteria strains that he needed, despite his habit of taking a probiotic from a health food store.
Another test that might be undertaken as part of a holistic approach is a test for leaky gut, a condition now recognised as a loosening of the tight junctions of cells in the intestine, often due to food intolerances and/or during courses of antibiotics or antiparasitic medication. In Steve’s case, he had quite severe leaky gut, which was leading to him reacting to more and more foods.
Steve was also chronically low in some nutrients, including zinc, which the gut really needs to function and heal.
Glutamine alone was not able to fix Steve’s chronic diarrhoea and wind, he needed a wholistic, individualised treatment plan.
Life changes for the better
After two months of some very targeted, intensive treatment including dietary changes, Steve sent an email to express how pleased he was with his “significant” improvement. With Steve’s permission, I quote:
“My stomach and guts are much more comfortable now, my bowel movement became once per day, got more solid…… You have done so much for me, more than all doctors, hospitals and specialists did in my whole life.”
He continues to improve as he maintains some treatment guidelines to keep his leaky gut at bay.
*Name has been changed
This case study is for educational purposes only. Results may vary due to individual circumstances.
By Dr Mark Robertson – Nutritional Medicine, Integrative GP, General Medical Practice, Wholistic Medical Centre