4

votes

Digestive issues on a paleo diet and molecular mimicry

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 09, 2011 at 8:24 PM

I've had digestive issues for a while now, and I've tried changing my diet to one with no grains, small amounts of fruit, and mostly meats and fats. I've tried a bunch of different probiotics, but I actually feel significantly worse after taking them, with severe brain fog. I've researched molecular mimicry, where the immune system confuses our proteins with bacterial ones or proteins from food, but is it possible that my immune system can no longer tell the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria and is reacting to the good ones now? I haven't seen any research specifically on this so if anyone has let me know. Thanks. Also, I have severe bloating and pain every day, but no gas, which seems strange to me since usually bacterial overgrowth causes bloating and gas. I think the nerves throughout my gut have been damaged or at least their signals are being disrupted, and this is causing peristalsis to stop and food I eat to sit in the gut and ferment instead of being absorbed. It looks like a structural issue, but I had a barium xray and endoscopy and it all came back normal. I've tried the usual supplement for gut health but haven't seen any improvement so far. I'm wondering if I should take something that targets the problem at a cellular level (pqq, acetyl-l-carnitine, NAC) rather than the macro level. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 06:20 AM

My mom has always said she thinks she has systemic candida and has researched it extensively, but none of the treatments often used for it seem to help her. She thinks I have it too, and I've never ruled it out as a possibility. I actually did a lot of research for her to see what the best treatments for candida are but there's so many different treatments and opinions on them out there. It'd really help if I could get myself tested for it though. What do you think is the best treatment for candida?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on November 16, 2011
at 06:00 AM

You've done a lot of theorizing. It sounds to me like garden variety candida. Have you tried any candida supplements?

Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 01:17 AM

You're right, I'm pretty sure I have an imbalanced immune system with TH2 cell dominance. I was at a disadvantage from birth since I wasn't breastfed and my mom had a C-section. Reading this article helped me understand why it's very likely I'm deficient in Tregs http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2009/09/vagus-nerve-controls-gut-inflammation.html.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:44 PM

I haven't been tested for parasites, I think I should though since I def can't rule that out as a cause. My BMs aren't really nasty, just a little constipated, and I have no gas. However I've tried every probiotic and they don't work so I wonder if the root cause is bacterial in nature.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 11, 2011
at 09:05 AM

Digestive enzymes are in standard in all 'recipes' for resolving intestinal permeability and SIBO. Need to deprive the overgrowth of microbes by taking away their food source which is undigested foods -- meat, complex carbs, lactose, casein, fats. The brands of enzymes I like are from Ness, NOW (platinum, pancrease, super enzymes), Kirkland, etc. Many of the toxins from clostridia, enterobacter, candida (mycotoxins) and others are particularly nasty for the brain and GI nervous system (equivalent to our spine, our 2nd brain).

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 11, 2011
at 09:00 AM

The CW liver tests are worthless unless abnormal, like many CW tests. Metametrix and other advanced labs have more progressive tests which show which patterns of liver problems there are, toxins, blocked pathways, etc. Yes -- absolutely the P450 enzymes can be messed up irregardless of normal labs. Many drugs block or speed up liver enzymes and these have no effect on ALT or AST. The liver is huge!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 11, 2011
at 08:57 AM

Chris, 1:8 tests show at least one parasite or pathogenic microbe. Google 'leo galland parasite leaky gut'. If you are failing the standard amendments for leaky gut, there is likely something deeper underlying such as parasites, metals or other pathogens. Acid doesn't digest all the food -- it is important for 2 things (1) turning on trypsin and other enzymes (2) killing pathogens.

Medium avatar

on November 11, 2011
at 01:30 AM

Yea there's always advantages to making things yourself, I'll ask my brother to make water kefir again. Some of the healthiest cultures drink some form of kefir or another so it seems it has a ton of benefits when taken over a long period of time. You're right though I should probably start out slow.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 07:36 PM

From what I read, dairy and water kefir have different cultures but both are great for your system. Either way, though, if you're having transition issues you need to take very small amounts daily for a while and increase the daily amount every 4 or 5 days. If and when the issues go away, then you're ready to drink a glass. Also, I think the advantages of making it yourself are freshness, customized flavors, no additives, etc.

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 06:36 AM

You have a good point, I think the dose in the probiotic may be too concentrated, but I've read articles saying that fermented foods have much higher levels of bacteria. My brother has made water kefir before and when I tried it I didn't have the worsening of symptoms but they didn't improve either, but I probably didn't have it over a long enough period of time to see any results either way. There's a store near me that sells goat milk kefir but I'm wondering if I should have that instead of homemade and what the difference would be.

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 06:13 AM

You'd think with all the toxic byproducts produced by the bacteria my liver/detox system would be messed up but I had a blood test and my liver enzymes were fine. Unfortunately it doesn't show other things like glutathione levels, but could my detox system still be messed up if my liver enzymes are fine? It's all a mystery at this point. Thanks so much for your advice, it's appreciated.

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 05:56 AM

I have also suspected I might have a parasite, I read that when you have a bunch of unexplained symptoms that don't respond to the usually successful treatments that could be the cause. I've tried the things you mentioned except for the NAC and lipoic acid, so I'll look into those. I thought taking hcl acid would digest the food I eat enough to at least limit bacteria feeding off it but it hasn't seemed to have helped at all. I don't have joint pain or some other autoimmune conditions, so maybe the target organ in my case is the brain?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:46 AM

If you were taking capsules because you have issues with dairy, please note that there is water kefir, which doesn't involve dairy but is used by people around the world. That's what I'm going to make; the cultures haven't arrived yet.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:45 AM

Hmm, how about VERY small amounts daily of live-culture yogurt or kefir, I mean less than a teaspon, then after a week or so a full teaspoon, etc.? Sorry to offer what seems a slow solution, but if change is needed maybe it has to be done in very small steps. The dosage in those capsules may simply be too aggressive for you.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:44 AM

Hmm, how about VERY small amounts of live-culture yogurt or kefir, I mean less than a teaspon, then after a week or so a full teaspoon, etc.? Sorry to offer what seems a slow solution, but if change is needed maybe it has to be done in very small steps.

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 05:36 AM

Yes, my symptoms started before I took probiotics, but they got worse after I took them, particularly the brain fog and bloating. I tried taking only 1 capsule every other day, but the day that I took it I'd have severe inflammation and brain fog so I stopped altogether. I really believe balancing my gut flora is key to solving my problems, but I've tried changing my diet and probiotics and both don't seem to have worked.

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 05:31 AM

But isn't part of the problem with leaky gut that in addition to food getting out, the bacteria are translocating the gut barrier and at least giving off toxins and cell wall fragments that get into the bloodstream? I've always suspected it might be autoimmune, which is why I haven't eaten gluten, dairy, or soy for years, so if it is, I don't know what the offending food would be. BMs are bad, lots of constipation. Right now I eat mostly meat, coconut oil, veggies and fruits with nuts occasionally.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:10 AM

Tons of fancy $$$$ tests out there but if you have bloating, that's overgrowth (gas isn't nec). BTW Here are more examples of approaches to leaky gut and the problem with target organ disease caused by molecular mimicry: http://www.metametrix.com/files/learning-center/presentations/teleconferences/020907_Patching-the-Leaky-Gut-Evaluating-Intestinal-Microbial-Burden-Using-Organic-Acids.pdf

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:46 AM

probiotics!! Bloating is sure sign of overgrowth in the wrong parts of the gut (small intestines instead or isolated appropriately to the large): http://www.metametrix.com/learning-center/case-studies/2007/carbohydrate-intolerance

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:11 AM

Molecular mimicry would be for the items that seep out of your gut and enter blood streams, not the bacteria that're in your intestines. At least I don't think so. Any other indication that this may be an autoimmune reaction: aside from the brain fog? BM ok? Cosntipation? IBS? What kind of diet are you on?

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6 Answers

best answer

1
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:42 AM

Great answers above!

Have you seen this: http://www.metametrixinstitute.org/post/2010/08/02/Heal-that-Leaky-Gut!.aspx

Most progressive integrative practitioners, coaches and MDs use metametrix to assess degree of leaky gut or intestinal permeability. Have you read Robb Wolf and followed the autoimmune protocol in the book? The supplements that Robb advises are excellent to improve gut health to optimum function:

--digestive enzymes

--betaine HCL

--NAC

--lipoic acid

--fish oil (this alone can heal the gut lining in some cases)

--vitamin D

I'd consider other essentil oils are well (primrose). Other things that help often are:

--nutrient deficiencies: minerals, vitamin A, methlyated B complex (Bs are synthesized by the colon microbes via fermentation), K2, tocopherols, etc

--parasites

--modern toxins (plastics, metals, amalgams, PCBs, pthlates, etc)

Please report your progress and what works the best in the future!

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 05:56 AM

I have also suspected I might have a parasite, I read that when you have a bunch of unexplained symptoms that don't respond to the usually successful treatments that could be the cause. I've tried the things you mentioned except for the NAC and lipoic acid, so I'll look into those. I thought taking hcl acid would digest the food I eat enough to at least limit bacteria feeding off it but it hasn't seemed to have helped at all. I don't have joint pain or some other autoimmune conditions, so maybe the target organ in my case is the brain?

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:10 AM

Tons of fancy $$$$ tests out there but if you have bloating, that's overgrowth (gas isn't nec). BTW Here are more examples of approaches to leaky gut and the problem with target organ disease caused by molecular mimicry: http://www.metametrix.com/files/learning-center/presentations/teleconferences/020907_Patching-the-Leaky-Gut-Evaluating-Intestinal-Microbial-Burden-Using-Organic-Acids.pdf

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:46 AM

probiotics!! Bloating is sure sign of overgrowth in the wrong parts of the gut (small intestines instead or isolated appropriately to the large): http://www.metametrix.com/learning-center/case-studies/2007/carbohydrate-intolerance

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 06:13 AM

You'd think with all the toxic byproducts produced by the bacteria my liver/detox system would be messed up but I had a blood test and my liver enzymes were fine. Unfortunately it doesn't show other things like glutathione levels, but could my detox system still be messed up if my liver enzymes are fine? It's all a mystery at this point. Thanks so much for your advice, it's appreciated.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 11, 2011
at 08:57 AM

Chris, 1:8 tests show at least one parasite or pathogenic microbe. Google 'leo galland parasite leaky gut'. If you are failing the standard amendments for leaky gut, there is likely something deeper underlying such as parasites, metals or other pathogens. Acid doesn't digest all the food -- it is important for 2 things (1) turning on trypsin and other enzymes (2) killing pathogens.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 11, 2011
at 09:00 AM

The CW liver tests are worthless unless abnormal, like many CW tests. Metametrix and other advanced labs have more progressive tests which show which patterns of liver problems there are, toxins, blocked pathways, etc. Yes -- absolutely the P450 enzymes can be messed up irregardless of normal labs. Many drugs block or speed up liver enzymes and these have no effect on ALT or AST. The liver is huge!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on November 11, 2011
at 09:05 AM

Digestive enzymes are in standard in all 'recipes' for resolving intestinal permeability and SIBO. Need to deprive the overgrowth of microbes by taking away their food source which is undigested foods -- meat, complex carbs, lactose, casein, fats. The brands of enzymes I like are from Ness, NOW (platinum, pancrease, super enzymes), Kirkland, etc. Many of the toxins from clostridia, enterobacter, candida (mycotoxins) and others are particularly nasty for the brain and GI nervous system (equivalent to our spine, our 2nd brain).

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:17 AM

This may or may not be relevant but I don't want to err on the side of silence.

I'm going to start making kefir so I've been doing a bunch of reading. All the sites I read, by drinkers and culture providers, stressed that it's necessary to start probiotics in very small quantities. They talked about symptoms EXACTLY as you described as the good flora take over your gut from bad flora. They said the worse your flora problems, the worse the symptoms so back off and take fewer or less often if you have strong symptoms.

Did your symptoms start before you tried probiotics? Could they be making your problem worse in the short term? If you're still taking them, you should take less or not take them for a few days.

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 05:36 AM

Yes, my symptoms started before I took probiotics, but they got worse after I took them, particularly the brain fog and bloating. I tried taking only 1 capsule every other day, but the day that I took it I'd have severe inflammation and brain fog so I stopped altogether. I really believe balancing my gut flora is key to solving my problems, but I've tried changing my diet and probiotics and both don't seem to have worked.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:45 AM

Hmm, how about VERY small amounts daily of live-culture yogurt or kefir, I mean less than a teaspon, then after a week or so a full teaspoon, etc.? Sorry to offer what seems a slow solution, but if change is needed maybe it has to be done in very small steps. The dosage in those capsules may simply be too aggressive for you.

Medium avatar

on November 10, 2011
at 06:36 AM

You have a good point, I think the dose in the probiotic may be too concentrated, but I've read articles saying that fermented foods have much higher levels of bacteria. My brother has made water kefir before and when I tried it I didn't have the worsening of symptoms but they didn't improve either, but I probably didn't have it over a long enough period of time to see any results either way. There's a store near me that sells goat milk kefir but I'm wondering if I should have that instead of homemade and what the difference would be.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:44 AM

Hmm, how about VERY small amounts of live-culture yogurt or kefir, I mean less than a teaspon, then after a week or so a full teaspoon, etc.? Sorry to offer what seems a slow solution, but if change is needed maybe it has to be done in very small steps.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 05:46 AM

If you were taking capsules because you have issues with dairy, please note that there is water kefir, which doesn't involve dairy but is used by people around the world. That's what I'm going to make; the cultures haven't arrived yet.

Medium avatar

on November 11, 2011
at 01:30 AM

Yea there's always advantages to making things yourself, I'll ask my brother to make water kefir again. Some of the healthiest cultures drink some form of kefir or another so it seems it has a ton of benefits when taken over a long period of time. You're right though I should probably start out slow.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 10, 2011
at 07:36 PM

From what I read, dairy and water kefir have different cultures but both are great for your system. Either way, though, if you're having transition issues you need to take very small amounts daily for a while and increase the daily amount every 4 or 5 days. If and when the issues go away, then you're ready to drink a glass. Also, I think the advantages of making it yourself are freshness, customized flavors, no additives, etc.

1
68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

on November 15, 2011
at 11:58 PM

It is not molecular mimicry. If your body is reacting to normal commensal bacteria we are talking about lack of tolerance, most probable by lack of Tregs.

Medium avatar

on November 16, 2011
at 01:17 AM

You're right, I'm pretty sure I have an imbalanced immune system with TH2 cell dominance. I was at a disadvantage from birth since I wasn't breastfed and my mom had a C-section. Reading this article helped me understand why it's very likely I'm deficient in Tregs http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2009/09/vagus-nerve-controls-gut-inflammation.html.

1
2b2c2e4aa87e9aa4c99cae48e980f70d

(1059)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:36 AM

Have you been tested for parasites? Giardia can cause severe gas and really nasty bowel movements.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 11:44 PM

I haven't been tested for parasites, I think I should though since I def can't rule that out as a cause. My BMs aren't really nasty, just a little constipated, and I have no gas. However I've tried every probiotic and they don't work so I wonder if the root cause is bacterial in nature.

1
20728624e1e13817fbac4e2e5249fb3a

on November 10, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Have you had a gastric emptying study done re: gastroparesis?

Also, lyme disease could be a factor http://www.practicalgastro.com/pdf/April06/SherrArticle.pdf

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 10, 2011
at 02:22 AM

FODMAP intolerance? Histamine intolerance?

Both are issues for me & I've found that minimizing the challenging foods and upping my Vitamin C (for the antihistamine effect.) has helped significantly.

Also, strict gluten avoidance is a must for me.

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