New Year, Better Gut

I’ve finally received my uBiome results. And they ain’t pretty.

If this past trip home was any indication there is still work to be done, these test results cemented this belief. Having eliminated beer, sugar, and other possible gut inflammatory triggers for those with a sensitive gut, I thought a great deal of healing would have occurred over this past month. December 26, however, was the rude awakening that I was masking all the symptoms by not aggravating my gut. By pouring in liquid gasoline in the form of alcohol and questionable foods, my gut became engulfed in a whirlwind of inflammation. Eff word. Looks like we a bit too hard, still some work to be done but I guess its just in time for those cheesy New Year’s Resolutions.

I am committed to improving my gut health, as are most of you. Two weeks before my holiday gut massacre, I sent in my uBiome sample. To much avail, it provided me with mixed results.

My basic diet was that of organic veggies, variety of tubers and lentils, oats, grass-fed beef, lamb, and salmon. Supplementation of Renew Life 50 Billion, a dash of Prescript Assist, along side of mega dosing with MSM+Vitamin C.  Oh and did I mention a beer fast from Thanksgiving till Christmas. Woof.

The Results: 

Poor Flora Diversity
Restoration in progress…

25% of my sample was unclassified. This made me feel a bit cheated. Could this be the hidden clues of a specific species causing my whoa’s? Could this be a parasitic infestation that couldn’t be classified by uBiomes testing techniques. The only way to get a clearer picture would be to get Genova Diagnostics.

For the other 75% the numbers didn’t look too good, as the gut guardians were low in numbers. Diversity of different species was also low too.These could all be impacted due to the surgery I had a few months ago, when I was given antibiotics.  I suspect that my low body weight is contributed by the lack of absorption of my foods. I eat ALOT + the best foods I can get my hands on. While I am extremely active, I tend to think there is something deeper going on.

The real warning signal came after having a couple of beers, the next day I experienced Silent GERD. It’s just another sign that I have SIBO or unbalanced Small Intestines. Thankfully, it isn’t as bad as I was a year ago, but still, I need to get my body in working order. I would say most who have adopted a SAD diet and have had exposure to antibiotics have issues in the upper gut. This dysbiosis will eventually catch up with those who don’t address it, and down the road will lead to bigger issues. This is why I’m so hell bent on getting my upper gut in tip top shape, not only for performance as an active adventurer, but for my ability to thrive in my later years.

Where, oh where did my Flora go?!
Where, oh where did my good Flora go?!

Luckily, Dr. Grace has outlined a method to weed out the microbes taking home in the Small Intestines. One of the key things is to increase my B. Longum, Christensenellacae, and Akkermansia. B. Longum and Akkermansia are the inhabitant’s that live on the mucus layer of our guts. They work in harmony with our small and large intestines, providing protection from pathogens and maintaining the tightly sealed junctions of our intestines that can become so fragile when inflamed by disruption in the flora. When looking at my numbers, it looks like gut is being protected by the few in numbers, Night’s Watch, and the fearless White Walkers are just about ready to take The Wall. GOT reference for all you fans out there 😉

If only my gut had as tight of junctions as The Wall…

Switching up my probiotics in this round, electing to give Bioclinic Naturals (per our future podcast guest) a try instead of ReNew Life. Even with all my bean eating, and whole food RS, my Bifido populations didn’t reflect a diet that encouraged their growth. By adding in more inulin based food (roasting Jerusalem Root) and supplementing with Yacon Syrup (drizzled on my oatmeal) I hope to give Akkermansia and B. Longum the feast they need to out duel these pesky misplaced microbes.

Hoping to see better results on the next round of testing. Have you had similar  findings with your results? What’s your approach in helping rebuild the gut guardians?

Stay tuned on my restoration progress.

  • Space!

    wow i have to admit that this was difficult to follow…
    Doesn’t the fact that you modify too many parameters at once complicate a lot finding the problem/culprit ?

    • My diet has been stable for the last 6 months, with the only changes being the cycling in and out different probiotics. (The MSM was just a 2 week trial)

      Testing is the only true way to find the problem, especially one that is able to detect pathogens and over growths. This can be difficult to pinpoint in the small intestines as much of the testing can be skewed to more of what is happening in the large intestines.

  • Justin Kerlin

    Great post! What is the best types of prebiotic to feed the beneficial Akkermansia?

    • Thanks Justin! Inulin and polyphenol rich foods – especially cranberry, can help feed Akkermansia.

  • Hi Matt, I have benefited from the blog and the podcast. I appreciate that you the Dr. share your own experience and experiments. But it is also apparent that some recommendations made on this blog, i.e. probeotics are simply do not work. Given that there is not regulation or proper testing to back up these expensive products, it’s behooves you you an the Dr. to be more responsible with the advice.

  • Matt,

    I would stay away from all Bifidobacterium longum except for Rosell-175 due to concerns over Fukushima radiation. All other strains are currently cultured from Japanese milk outside of Kyoto. Bacteria cultured from this milk may have damaged DNA.

    I start supplementing with Rosell-175 next week per discussing with Grace. I will let you know how it goes. Depending on the severity of your SIBO you might have to use some anti microbial and biofilm agents. For the silent reflux make sure you are drinking 8.5 PH water a hour after meals and before bed. Gotta deactivate that pepsin!

    Good post as always Matt and great podcast! Now if I can get you off the PA……

    • This is just another example of person coming out of the blue, suggesting that certain products are simply radioactive!!! For real! (products recommended on this blog mind you). This person feels no obligation to back up the grave statement. Yet the same person feels fine to pimp yet another product. This all sounds crazy if not unseemly. The only logical conclusion one must make is to stay away from this unregulated mess and resort to fermented foods only.

      One should sooner eat shit than inject some pimped-out pill. Or listen to the peddlers that don’t even hide their own financial interest.

    • Thank you for the advice! I’ll have to look into Rosell-175. As for PA, I don’t know if you can pry me away from them 😉

  • Changing the intestinal biome is difficult! I’m also trying to populate myself with more bifido. I suspect that excess E.coli and other pathogenic distribution of bacteria is causing endotoxemia, ammonia overload and subsequently a stressed liver. These are probably the reason for my insomnia, anxiety, tinnitus and other symptoms. Glutamate is a byproduct of ammonia-metabolism and probably also plays a part in my symptoms as a exciatory neuro-transmitter. Not to mention that ammonia itself is poisonous.

    I’ve had promising temporary results from taking Align bifido infantis probiotic with prebiotics such as onions and FOS/Inulin powder. Though if I stop taking them, the symptoms come right back. I ordered GOS-prebiotic for testing as it has outperformed FOS in some studies.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-014-3810-0

    • Awesome to hear that the Bifido + prebiotics are helping. Once they start to populate the gut, hopefully the symptoms will subside. It’s a long process, but stay the course. Keep us up to date with your progress!

  • Richard

    Matt, have you ever done a Cyrex 3 or 4 profile? what if you’re
    sensitized to some of the gliadins? If you were, then you could react to
    grains-even “gluten free” grains are not gliadin-free. And,
    unfortunately, beer is made from…grains. If there is something like
    this that still triggers your immune system, then you would still get
    recurrent inflammatory episodes even if you are eating an otherwise
    healthy diet. Just some “food for thought” LOL !

  • Hi Matt,
    It’s been six months and I’m curious what’s happened. Did you get another uBiome test?

    • I’ve got a kit ready for another sample. I’ll be sending it in hopefully by next week. I’ll be sure to give an update on my progress!

      • Still curious to see your update!