Gut Dysfunction

Gut dysfunction is any alteration to the normal intestinal barrier. When the barrier is changed it can allow inflammation, change in bacterial populations, malabsorption, and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected.


Signs and Symptoms

Gut dysfunction can lead to symptoms such as flatulence, distension, diarrhea, constipation, GERD, bloating, fatigue, anxiety, depression, weight loss, food sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more.

3 Common Gut Dysfunctions

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO is an alteration of the normal bacterial populations in the small intestine. SIBO can be caused by the use of antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors (Nexium), and hypothyroidism. SIBO is present concurrently in many that have Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome. Most common symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, distension, malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, and weight loss.

 

Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities are much different than allergies. Allergies can result in anaphylaxis, whereas sensitivities will not do that. Food sensitivities result from an altered immune response to the protein component of food. Sensitivities can change as the immune response changes. Common sensitivities are to gluten, dairy, eggs, and food additives. You may feel inflamed, not digesting appropriately, or it may trigger headaches. Food sensitivities that are present with a concussion, dementia, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis can increase the symptoms till the foods are removed.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome results in abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, gas, cramping, and constipation. Like SIBO and food sensitivities there is a dysregulation of the immune system. Specifically, there is increasing attention paid to the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is the bi-directional communication between these two systems. The communication is why those with gut issues commonly complain of brain symptoms.


Our Approach to Diagnostics and Testing

Our clinicians not only have an understanding of the brain but have extensive knowledge of the gut. They understand how the gut and brain interact. This understanding necessitates not only examining your gut health but to assess brain function as well. It is only when both of these systems are functioning optimally that the best results can occur.

How We Can Evaluate Gut Health:

  • Stool Testing
  • Food Sensitivity Testing to both cooked and uncooked foods
  • Gluten Sensitivity Testing
  • Autoimmune Markers for Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis
  • Breath Tests for SIBO


How We Evaluate Brain Health

  • Neurological Physical Exam
  • VNG for Eye Movements
  • CAPS for Balance

The findings from assessments of immune and brain health will allow us to create a plan specific to you. It is common for your plan to include removal of foods creating inflammation as well as nutrition to support immune health. Brain-based treatments are built around establishing healthy communication of the brain and immune system.


Our Approach to Care

At Revive we specialize in providing treatment to the neurological regions affected by gut dysfunction. Your treatment can include balance, gait, and eye training; as well as hand-eye coordination, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), hyperbaric oxygen, diet, and supplements.

We offer a unique process that is built to maximize time and results. To reach your personal healthcare goals, it is imperative that your physicians and care providers precisely know your individual story and desires. Your individual goals are the focal point of the comprehensive treatment plan which is based off your exam, diagnostics, and lab results.

Beyond the neurological system, there are many factors that can impact the presentation of gut dysfunction: the immune system, diet, sleep, and stress (to list a few). By integrating knowledge of the brain and influence of these factors, we are able to be very specific with targeted therapies which create lasting neurological changes. Your treatment plan is designed specifically for you and is not a protocol.

This plan is executed over 5-10 days. Patients see measurable improvement during their time in our office and continue to make gains once they leave. To help ensure success on your journey of healing, we create and define a plan for you when you go home. This plan may include sourcing local specialist for a safe and effective continuum of care. Our goal is to see each patient continue to build upon the initial results they achieved in our office.

Research on our Treatments

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) sends a magnetic waveform through the skull that depolarizes the brain cells. rTMS can be directed at specific regions of the cortex to cause activation of the neurons in the area.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen in a pressurized environment, at a level higher than 1 atmosphere absolute (ATA). Increased pressure allows for oxygen to dissolve and saturate the blood plasma (independent of hemoglobin/red blood cells), which yields a broad variety of positive physiological, biochemical and cellular effects. This noninvasive therapy is the most trusted way to increase oxygen levels to all organs of the body. The typical treatment lasts for 60-90 minutes, during which the patient lies down and breathes normally. HBOT has been demonstrated in several clinical studies to enhance the body’s innate ability to repair and regenerate. It is used as an adjunct therapy to complement and enhance the healing process in both chronic and acute conditions.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been shown to increase oxygen saturation to tissues and increase the amount of stem cell production and circulation. This allows for the greatest potential for healing in the brain.

We utilize Electrical Stimulation (E-stim) in many different waveforms to increase strength, increase self-awareness, decrease spasticity, and active brainstem neurons.  

AL-TENS/SSEP

AL-TENS is a form of hyperstimulation described by Sjölund and colleagues in the 1970s. The intention of AL-TENS is to stimulate small diameter, high threshold peripheral afferents (A-delta) in order to activate extrasegmental descending pain inhibitory pathways. Non-painful muscle twitches occur during stimulation causing activity in small diameter muscle afferents. Electrodes are positioned over myotomes, trigger points, and acupuncture points. The term AL-TENS is used loosely in literature making the synthesis of research findings difficult.

ReBuilder

In effect, the ReBuilder acts like a pacemaker works for your heart’s electrical signals. If the pacemaker does not send exactly the right signal, then the four chambers of the heart may not pump in the right order and if the signal is too fast or too slow, the heart stops. So, too, the ReBuilder’s precisely controlled waveform coaxes your nerves to transmit their signals in the proper order. Although designated as a TENS relative to the FDA’s regulations, the ReBuilder’s signals are vastly more controlled and precise.

The ReBuilder is typically used on patients as a neurological intervention to help with cortical remapping. If the brain is unsure of where the feet are in space after a stroke or other biomechanical event, the ReBuilder can help strengthen those signaling pathways. Additionally, vagal stimulation or gait protocols may be used for similar reasons.

Sensory Motor Integration (SMI) can help increase reaction time and motor skills. SMI is strongly researched in the world of developmental delays and can be adapted to affect many different disorders.

Cold Laser Therapy, also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), has shown increases in mitochondria production in cells, helping to decrease inflammation and increase healthy cellular activity. When the cold laser is utilized as a transcranial (through the skull) therapy we see an increase in brain activation to the targeted areas.

Vestibular/Rotational Therapy is a very powerful tool in the world of neurological rehabilitation. When we look at brain development we see that movement drive brain growth and one of the most important areas for sensing movement is the vestibular system. When we utilize rotational therapy to active the vestibular system we see an increase in activating in several cortical regions. Our multi-axis rotational device (GyroStim) utilizes the otolithic and vestibular system to stimulate and strengthen projections throughout the brain. By utilizing a controlled directional spin in our multi-axis rotational device, we can activate specific regions of the brain in order to affect a variety of different disorders.

At lower levels of motion intensity, the multi-axis rotational device is used by those recovering from physical and cognitive dysfunction as a result of a concussion, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, autism, aging, and other conditions. At higher levels of intensity, GyroStim is used by active individuals, athletes, and others with fast-paced, demanding, high-stress lifestyles to maintain and enhance peak performance.