Introduction: Welcome & Empowerment

Introduction

Welcome & Empowerment

“All disease begins in the gut.”
— Hippocrates

Is Your Gut Happy and Healthy?

If it is not and you have this triad of symptoms, you’ve come to the right place:

  • Belly pain: abdominal pain, discomfort, or both. Some describe the symptom as discomfort rather than pain.
  • Gas:
    • Abdominal bloating: how the belly feels – pressure or fullness
    • Abdominal distention: how the belly looks – swollen or large
    • Flatulence or passing gas: when it can be normal to fart up to 21 times per day
    • Abdominal gurgling or rumbling: when it feels like there is bubbling inside the abdomen
  • Bowel dysfunction:
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation alternating with diarrhea

The Enteropathy Triad

This triad of gut symptoms is called “enteropathy,” which is the most common digestive disorder bringing people to healthcare professionals. While the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a 30-foot-long tube and other organs – including the liver and pancreas – are involved with digestion, the small intestine (small bowel), colon (large bowel), or both (small intestine and colon) are the source of enteropathy symptoms. In Figure 1.1 below, “enteropathy” refers to the small intestine, colon, or both.

Figure 1.1 – Enteropathy Triad

There is a revolution – a renaissance – in the diagnosis and management of enteropathy. Unfortunately, most healthcare professionals diagnose irritable bowel syndrome or IBS when concerning features or “red flags,” such as blood in the stool or unintended weight loss, are absent.

This lack of understanding can block and blind both the patient and healthcare professional from considering the many potential underlying causes of and disorders associated with enteropathy, such as sucrose intolerance. It is common for more than one underlying cause to be present, and accurate diagnosis is important to guide management and treatment.

Welcome to Myguthealthtoday.com

I am William Salt, M.D. an integrative gastroenterologist, combining the best of gastroenterology with complementary, functional, and naturopathic medicine. I’m honored to be a featured contributor here at myguthealthtoday.com where we are committed to be your “go-to” source of information regarding enteropathy.

My Gut Health Today Featured Writer

Empowerment

Armed with knowledge, you’ll be empowered to work collaboratively with your healthcare professionals. You’ll want to visit us frequently because we’re going to keep you updated on the latest, most important, and actionable scientific findings, along with diagnostic, management, and treatment strategies.

Enteropathy: Many Causes and Associated Conditions, and Often More than One

Here are a few of the more common and important causes, diagnoses, conditions, and disorders:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO)
  • Colonic bloom of Methanobrevibacter smithii with methane production, which can contribute to symptoms, particularly constipation
  • Carbohydrate maldigestion (FODMAPs, which is an acronym for poorly absorbed carbohydrates, including lactose and fructose)
  • Sucrose or table sugar intolerance (now known to be quite common in adults with enteropathy)
  • Bile acid malabsorption (BAM)

My Enteropathy Map

Figure 1.2 shows you a roadmap of these causes, diagnoses, conditions, and disorders., But, before we look at the enteropathy map, we need to define a few terms:

  • Dysbiosis – microbial imbalance or maladaptation on or inside the body
  • Microbiome – the microorganisms in a particular environment, including the body or a part of the body
  • Mycobiome –  the fungal community in and on an organism
  • GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease

Figure 1.2 – Dr. Salt’s Enteropathy Map

As you can see, enteropathy has many potential underlying causes and diagnoses, as well as associated disorders and conditions. While irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common, it should not be diagnosed without considering these other possibilities. It is common for more than one to be present.

While the map may look intimidating and some of the interrelationships and associations confusing, I’ll be your guide. We’ll return to it regularly, and we’ll take it slowly.

In the next article, we’ll explore the concepts of “Gut Health = Your Health” and “Unhappy Unhealthy Gut = Unhappy Unhealthy You” because “All disease begins in the gut.”


William B. Salt II, M.D.
Integrative Gastroenterologist

This article was adapted from an e-learning program by William B. Salt II, M.D. For more information and a preview of the publication, please visit the website.

Understanding IBS, SIBO, Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis, & Leaky Gut: An integrative Gastroenterologist guides you to Empowerment

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