Colon hydrotherapy treating SIBO

Colon hydrotherapy treating SIBO

Experiencing bloating, cramping, burping, gas, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and brain fog? You may have SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).

SIBO, occurs when the normal bacteria in your small intestine are not being shifted down into the large bowel, leading to an overgrowth.

Most of our gut bacteria is meant to be in our colon, where they help to break down food, produce vitamins, and eliminate waste. When these normal and healthy bacteria (normally found in the colon) colonise the small intestine, SIBO occurs.

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Coeliac disease - what to do after you've been diagnosed

Coeliac disease - what to do after you've been diagnosed

Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune condition whereby exposure to gluten, a protein found in wheat, triggers an inflammatory response in the lining of the digestive tract. This inflammatory response can cause damage to the cells, resulting in local irritation and inflammation, a reduced absorption of nutrients, and potentially heighten the risk of gastrointestinal cancers.

How is Coeliac Disease detected? Do you really have to be that careful with gluten and how do you protect your gut moving forward?

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Pyrroluria - What is it and how to treat it

By Quilla Watt, Integrative Naturopath

You may have been recently diagnosed with pyrroluria, or know someone who has. You may have heard that it can be a factor in many mental health issues and you’re trying to find more information. But for many, this may be the very first time you have ever heard of pyrroluria. This condition is not very well known, and not very well understood or accepted by the wider medical community. We see pyrroluria quite often in our clinic, and when treated correctly, we can see profound results.

Pyrroluria is also referred to as pyrrole disorder, kryptopyroluria, kryptopyrole disorder, Mauve disorder or Mauve factor.


What is pyrroluria?

In pyrroluria, the body produces excess amounts of a chemical called HPL (hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one), which is excreted in the urine. HPL binds strongly to zinc and vitamin B6, and pulls them out of the body. This causes deficiencies in B6 and zinc. These two nutrients are essential to the normal functioning of many pathways in the body. Zinc is essential to normal immune function, digestion, growth and repair, memory, blood sugar regulation and DNA replication. Zinc and B6 are both needed to produce important brain chemicals like serotonin, melatonin, and GABA, which are important for mood, sleep, and feeling relaxed. They are also important for making cortisol, the hormone that helps you cope with stress.

For some people, pyrroluria is genetic, and may require lifelong management. For others, it can be caused by exposure to environmental toxins or high stress. HPL excretion increases with emotional or physical stress; and with digestive issues like leaky gut. In these cases, we need to address the underlying issues rather than focus all our attention on the pyrroluria.

Many of the symptoms of pyrroluria are actually symptoms of severe zinc and B6 deficiency. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Anxiety, nervousness, and severe inner tension
  • Depression, mood swings, and episodic anger
  • Insomnia
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Poor dream recall (B6 deficiency)
  • Poor stress control
  • Morning nausea
  • Light/sound/odor intolerance
  • White spots on fingernails (zinc deficiency)
  • Hypoglycemia/sugar intolerance
  • Food and environmental allergies
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches (especially migraine headaches)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (zinc deficiency and stress both create leaky gut, which is often associated with higher pyrrole readings)


So how do we test for Pyrroluria?

A urine test can measure the amount of HPL the body is excreting. The collection procedure for the urine has to be very specific. HPL is highly unstable. Exposure to light, temperature changes, or preservatives that might be found in test tubes can mess with results. For accurate results, the urine sample needs to be collected in a dim room, snap frozen and transported to the lab on dry ice. At The Health Lodge we can organise the testing for you.


What about treatment?

Supplementing with zinc and B6 is the cornerstone of pyrroluria treatment. Supplemental zinc and B6 fix the deficiency issues caused by the amounts lost through the urine. Zinc and B6 also reduces the amount of HPL created. For this reason, it is important to not be taking zinc and B6 before testing for pyrroluria, as you may get a false negative result.

Improvement can be seen within a few days to a few weeks of starting treatment. Clinically, we see higher pyrrole readings in patients with more severe symptoms. These patients may require larger doses of B6 and zinc, and may take longer to see improvement.

Treating pyrroluria is not quite as simple as just taking zinc and B6. Detoxification pathways and antioxidant defenses can also be impaired, and part of treatment involves supporting these pathways. It is also important to address stress levels and leaky gut as they are major drivers of high HPL levels.

More recently, it has been suggested that people with pyrroluria may also have lower levels of biotin and omega 6 fatty acids. Biotin deficiency is known to cause neurological disease in animals and humans. Omega 6 fatty acids are important for normal immune function, brain function, growth and repair. Evening primrose oil (EPO) is an excellent source of omega 6 fatty acids that actually has an anti-inflammatory action. What’s more, EPO helps enhance zinc absorption, and decreases the intestinal permeability seen in leaky gut. Some pyrroluria patients may need to take omega-6s in combination with omega-3s.

Frequent supplementation with zinc can throw-out your copper and manganese balance. Serum copper and serum manganese, along with plasma zinc should be tested to assess treatment. Even with regular (and often high dose) zinc supplementation, the aim is to have all levels within normal range.

Clearly, correctly treating pyrroluria is about more than just taking zinc and B6. The information in this article is of a general nature only, and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultations with you health care provider. We advise you to consult a qualified health practitioner before considering commencing any new therapies.


Your integrative team of healthcare specialists

At The Health Lodge, we believe that a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals is essential in addressing all aspects of your health. Your team may include general practitioners, naturopaths, psychologists, and acupuncturists. This comprehensive and holistic approach is designed to support your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.


Some extra stuff…

For some, this next bit may be a bit boring. For others, it may be a bit confusing. Safe to say the really important info has already been covered, but we wanted to take the opportunity to straighten a couple of things out, especially for any health praccies reading this.

  1. We don’t actually know how HPL is made. HPL is commonly thought to be a by-product of haemoglobin synthesis. This was a theory put forward in the 1970s by Carl Pfeiffer. It is true that when the body makes haemoglobin, pyrroles are produced. However, we don’t actually know that this is how HLP is made. Interesting preliminary evidence is now suggesting that gut bacteria may be involved in its production.
  2. It’s not kryptopyrrols. Mauve factor was incorrectly identified as kryptopyrrols in two articles published in1969 and 1970. However, later research shows that kryptopyrrols are not found in human urine, and the mauve factor is actually HPL. Also, the term pyrroles is not specific enough. Pyrroles are a family of chemicals with similar structures, so the term Pyrroluria doesn’t actually mean much. It is specifically HPL that we are interested in when we are talking about Pyrroluria.


For health practitioners after more info, we recommend two articles co-authored by William J. Walsh, an internationally recognized expert on biochemical imbalances and founder of Walsh Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to unraveling the biochemistry of mental disorders.

Discerning the Mauve Factor, Pat 1 Woody R. McGinnis, MD, Tapan Audhya, PhD, William J. Walsh, PhD; James A. Jackson, PhD; John McLaren-Howard, DSc, FACN; Allen Lewis, MD; Peter H. Lauda, MD; Douglas M. Bibus, PhD; Frances Jurnak, PhD; Roman Lietha, MD; Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, Mar/Apr 2008, VOL. 14, NO. 2

Discerning the Mauve Factor, Part 2 Woody R. McGinnis, MD, Tapan Audhya, PhD, William J. Walsh, PhD, James A. Jackson, PhD; John McLaren-Howard, DSc, FACN; Allen Lewis, MD; Peter H. Lauda, MD; Douglas M. Bibus, PhD; Frances Jurnak, PhD; Roman Lietha, MD; Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, May/Jun 2008, VOL. 14, NO. 3

What is Blastocystis?

Blastocystis spp. infection- Blastocystosis

Blastocystis spp. is a group of parasites that is sometimes found in the lower intestine (large bowel). Infection with Blastocystis spp. is called blastocystosis. Blastocystis spp. is thought to be transmitted through oral-fecal contact from poor hand washing and hygiene practices, ingesting contaminated food or water, and exposure to animals.

Our understanding of Blastocystis has been revised several times. Up until 1996, Blastocystis was thought to be some type of yeast or fungi. It was only when Blastocystis DNA was studied that we realized it was a parasite. For a long time, we thought there was only one type of Blastocystis- Blastocystis homminis. We now know that there are actually 9 different subtypes, which are collectively called Blastocystis spp. 

There is still debate about whether Blastocystis spp. is even an infectious agent. This is because Blastocystis spp. can be found in the fecal specimens of many people who appear healthy and have no symptoms at all. There is a huge variation in the symptoms people experience, and how well treatment works. Why would there be such variation in symptoms and treatment response? Researchers suggest it is because of the different subtypes of Blastocystis having different effects in the body, and reacting differently to treatment.


Signs and symptoms of blastocystosis

In people who do experience symptoms, signs and symptoms can include:

·         Diarrhea

·         Constipation

·         Nausea

·         Vomiting

·         Abdominal cramps

·         Bloody stools

·         Bloating

·         Excessive gas

·         Anal itching

·         Loss of appetite

·         Weight loss

·         Dizziness

·         Headaches

·         Depression

·         Fatigue

·         Rash

Diagnostic considerations

At The Health Lodge, if we suspect you have blastocystosis, we may be interested in performing some tests to give us more information. These include:

·         Testing for Blastocystis spp. A common method to test for Blastocystis spp. is by stool culture, however we prefer to use a variation on this method that involves extraction of DNA followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. This is considered the most sensitive testing method.

·         Screening for nutrient deficiencies, as Blastocystis spp. can contribute to nutritional deficiencies, especially iron.

·         Screening for food allergies and intolerances. We find that many of our patients with Blastocystis infection also have food allergies or intolerances. Blastocystis spp. has been found to increase the permeability of the gut wall, which allows large proteins that are usually broken down to pass through into the blood stream. These proteins can interact with the immune system and trigger a reaction.

·         We may be interested in screening for Blastocystis spp. in patients with irritable bowel syndrome or irritable bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis). Blastocystis infection has been associated with these diseases, and it may be an underlying cause or contributing factor in some cases.  

Treatment considerations

Common treatment for Blastocystis infection includes the antibiotic metronidazole (Flagyl). However, the high failure rates of eradication using single drug therapy has led to the use of combination therapies of multiple antibiotic and anti-parasitic medications. At The Health Lodge, we find the best results are often achieved with a combination of antibiotic therapy and complementary therapies.

At The Health Lodge, our goals in treating Blastocystosis include eradicating the Blastocystis infection, correcting nutrient deficiencies, identifying and managing food allergies and intolerances, and repairing the gut wall and digestive function. We believe that a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals is essential in managing all the aspects of health. Depending on your individual needs, your multidisciplinary team may include general practitioners, psychologists, dietitians or nutritionists, naturopaths, osteopaths, and acupuncturists. This comprehensive and holistic approach is designed to support your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.