This month we would like to introduce you all to each member of the KPN Wellness Centre family. Each day you will get to know one of our amazing practitioners, who together make up our wellness tribe. First up meet Denise, our founder and senior Naturopath.
I started my career as a registered nurse in 1970, specialising in Paediatrics. My passion for providing high quality health care led me to study naturopathy. After completing my bachelor degree, my focus and passion led me to concentrate on the GUT and BRAIN connection.
My interest in this field has led me to further my knowledge, and I am now a GAPS, SIBO, MINDD and MAPS Practitioner. This holistic approach, combined with traditional medicine, enables me to deliver optimal health outcomes.
I combine laboratory testing to help identify what may be contributing to a client’s underlying health issue. Specific tests can result in a faster successful treatment outcome. For example, breath testing to diagnose Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or a variety of non-invasive tests to evaluate specific gastrointestinal imbalances and assess digestive health and function; food allergies and hypersensitivities or hormone testing.
I have been lecturing at Endeavour College Natural Health since 2012, and I also supervise student clinics, and mentor naturopathic or nutrition students in my private clinic; which I find extremely rewarding.
So my mission is to restore your gut microbiome to a more natural state to help maintain good health.
Recently I have been working with a UK company known as BIOME RESTORATION. They provide HDC, a higher organism (a helminth) which helps complete your intestinal ecosystem and provides diversity that probiotics alone cannot. I have been using HDC therapy, in combination with diet and lifestyle changes, to improve food allergies and intolerances, immunity and gut health.
SO WHY IS THE GUT BRAIN CONNECTION IMPORTANT?
There have been numerous studies in recent years that have demonstrated that there is a connection between the GUT and the BRAIN. Our gut has been described as the “second brain”; this means the gut can upset the brain, just as the brain can upset the gut.
SEVERAL FACTORS CAN AFFECT THE GUT AND BRAIN CONNECTION
Gut Flora (gut micobiome)
There are billions of bacteria that colonise our gut, and more than 400 of these species have been identified. The micobiome is responsible for its involvement in metabolism, nutrition, physiological, and immune function. Imbalance of the normal gut microbiota have been linked with gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Small intestinal Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
An imbalance of bacteria is known as Intestinal dysbiosis (an overgrowth of unwanted/bad bacteria in the gut). This may also result in an array of behavioural symptoms, along with digestive disturbances, skin rashes, poor immunity, fatigue, joint pains and auto-immunity.
Leaky Gut (gut permeability)
Leaky gut can allow undigested food proteins, to move into the blood stream where they are then able to cross the blood brain barrier and can affect behaviour, in certain individuals.
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
IBS and SIBO can be very debilitating, and are increasingly common problems in the community. It is likely that 60-80% of IBS is due to SIBO.
Symptoms can include
· Nausea, vomiting
· Bloating, abdominal pain, cramping
· Reflux, frequent burping
· Diarrhoea, constipation
· Food intolerances, malnutrition
· Joint pain, headaches, fatigue
· Stress, anxiety, brain fog, depression
· Chronic infections or immune dysregulation
Approximately 85% of the body’s serotonin is manufactured in the gut to help control intestinal movements. Serotonin regulates our mood, appetite, sleep, and muscle contraction. It also plays a role in some cognitive functions, including in memory and learning.
So if you have any of these symptoms, it is time to Heal the Gut First, if not the rest of the healing process will be more complicated and less effective.
Please feel free to contact me with any queries you have regarding this topic.