Rational Wellness Podcast 037: Leaky Gut with Dr. Cheryl Burdette

Dr. Cheryl Burdette speaks to Dr. Ben Weitz about how to understand and test for leaky gut, histamine intolerance, and food sensitivities.

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1:45 I asked Dr. Burdette to explain what leaky gut is and why we should care about it?  Dr. Burdette answered that leaky gut is a key to treating chronic diseases. Inflammation is a key factor in chronic diseases and much inflammation starts in the gut. Dr. Burdette explained that if we stretch out our gut it would cover a tennis court, but it is shoved inside us and has good bacteria and bad bacteria and is our interface with food and the outside environment. When the gut is not interfacing correctly, it can create inflammation, and gut based inflammation creates systemic inflammation and be responsible for fatigue, weight gain, osteoarthritis. By understanding leaky gut, we can better understand how to control inflammation, which will enable us to decrease chronic diseases.

3:48 I pointed out that this gut lining is only one cell thick. Dr. Burdette explains that your gut is trying to do this enormous job and it is one cell thick and it turns over every three days. Your body has to reproduce those cells and if the nutrition is not right and if there is too much of an assault because of bad bacteria it is easy to get behind in your gut health and then you are on your way to inflammation and that inflammation can drive many conditions. We can have inflammation that starts in the gut that we can measure in the blood stream as CRP that tell us about inflammation in the rest of the body and this is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, etc. You often will not feel this inflammation, so just because you don’t feel gut pain, doesn’t mean that you don’t have gut based inflammation. Gut based inflammation can even contribute to depression, insomnia, as well as gas and bloating.

5:17 I said that our gut barrier is our protection from toxins that are present in our environment, such as heavy metals like mercury, pesticides, and BPA from plastics, etc. So if there is some damage or decreased efficiency of this gut barrier, then that can be a factor in chronic diseases. Dr. Burdette explained that our gut lining is our first interface with the outside world and it is where we absorb nutrients and have the right immune conversation with the outside world or where it becomes disrupted and we get inflammation. It is where we decide we are either tolerant or inflamed. Many people don’t realize that 85% of our immune system lines our gut and the immune system in our gut has to deal with more outside invasion in one day than the systemic immune system sees in our lifetime.

7:00 I mentioned that for years we used to measure gut permeability with the lactulose-mannitol test and after a while I think a lot of Functional Medicine practitioners like myself just came to assume that most patients in modern society seem to have some level of leaky gut. I see that your Dunwoody Labs offers a Intestinal Barrier Function Test that measures zonulin, which is a protein that is a marker for leaky gut, and it also measures histamine and diamine oxidase (DAO) and a couple of other markers. Can you tell us about that test? Dr. Burdette   

 

Dr. Cheryl Burdette can be reached at her clinic, Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia   https://www.progressivemedicalcenter.com/staff/burdette/ and you can access her lab testing at Dunwoody Labs   http://www.dunwoodylabs.com/ 

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations and he specializes in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure by calling the office 310-395-3111.

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