Wind and diarrhoea – wholistic treatment may be your answer

wind and diarrhoea

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

Dysbiosis and leaky gut

Dysbiosis and leaky gut

Dysbiosis and ‘leaky gut’: recurrent gastrointestinal infections compromise a young girl’s development.

Twelve year-old Jenny*, was brought to see me as an Integrative GP by her mother. Around a year prior, she had suffered a gastrointestinal illness with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. This had lasted approximately 3 days. Three months later, she had fainted at school then suffered another gastrointestinal type illness.

Dysbiosis and leaky gut

Since the initial illness she had failed to put on weight and had lost her appetite. She was always slim (her family being of a lean predisposition), but Jenny had started to lose significant weight during this time (3-4kg). She felt tired and unwell plus had poor concentration at school, and couldn’t achieve the sporting level that she had been able to achieve previously.

She had undertaken a panendoscopy which showed slight stomach inflammation. During the procedure, a biopsy for coeliac disease was taken and showed negative.

Some background to Jenny’s development of dysbiosis and leaky gut

Up to the time of her illness, Jenny was a normal child. She had been breastfed for 6 months. She had had glandular fever when she was 5 years old. Helicobacter pylori was found when she was just seven years of age. This had been treated with the usual antibiotics and she had been on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet since then.

Years ago, Jenny’s mother told me that she had worked on a vegetable farm, where sprays were used routinely. Jenny’s siblings were all healthy and thriving. All children had been vaccinated fully.

On examination Jenny weighed 26kg which put her below the third percentile on the weight-for-age scale. Her height was 146cm which placed her on the tenth percentile. All her body systems were normal.

Testing that showed the dysbiosis in detail

She was sent for specific blood tests and a very comprehensive stool test. Blood tests were normal. Her stool test showed Dientamoeba fragilis, a bowel parasite, as well as generally low good bacteria. It also showed fat alabsorption and protein maldigestion.

She was prescribed a protocol of antibiotics for 10 days, targeting the parasite. After this, she was feeling slightly improved but was still tired and had a poor appetite.

One month after the treatment, a further stool culture was taken and it showed no evidence of D. fragilis. Jenny was then started on some very specific probiotic strains, forms of fibre and nutrients that were soothing and healing to her leaky gut, and some digestive enzymes.

After another 2 months of treatment, Jenny’s weight had increased to 26.6kg. Because she was suffering some anxiety after being so unwell for so long, she was put on some specific nutrients for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This was later changed to a multivitamin with gastrointestinal healing amino acids specially formulated for her age group.

By another two weeks her appetite had improved and her weight had increased to 27.1kg. An intestinal permeability test showed gut hyper-permeability; a stool test showed continued low levels of good bacteria so her probiotics and supplements were all continued.

By 12 months post treatment, Jenny’s height was 154cm and weight was 31.1kg. She is now in high school, doing sports and eating well (mother has her on a very healthy diet!). She remains on her various supplements at present with no symptoms of dysbiosis and leaky gut.

*Name has been changed

This case study is for educational purposes only. Results may vary due to individual circumstances.

Case Study on Dysbiosis and leaky gut by:

Dr Mark RobertsonNutritional Medicine, Integrative GP, General Medical Practice, Wholistic Medical Centre