Is your Brain dying?
Recently in school, we learned about leaky brain and how the gut brain axis is linked to breaches in the blood brain barrier. It was eye opening indeed, as many clinicians do not address the brain when they are addressing the gut. So for a few patients I suspected a leaky brain, I administered the GABA challenge and learned indeed, these people really do have leaky brain! As I was trying to investigate for my own patients what may have caused the leaky brain, I realized how important patient history is. For example, which came first? Gut inflammation or brain inflammation? That is where the patient intake is key, and helpful it identifying where to put more focus on.
I loved the video that was put out in 2017 with Datis Kharrazian. Dr Kharrazian calls much of what we see in gut issues such as SIBO a neurological issue. According to Kharrazian (2017), the problem lies in the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve has both a motility component as well as an autonomic component. The inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-a and IL-17 can actually activate glial cells causing brain inflammation. Zonulin is a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells, and this includes both the GUT and the BRAIN. That means zonulin can cause breaches in the blood brain barrier (BBB). I love doing the the GABA challenge, but some people I have worked with just like more data. Kharrazian recommends a few diagnostic labs for further investigation. One is Cyrex array #2 to identify transcellular and paracellular permeability. Another one is Cyrex Array #5 which can screen for tissue antibodies in the stomach, intestine, thyroid, joints and even liver. What was most interesting is he goes into detail as to how toxic gluten really is. According to Kharrazian (2017), gluten antibodies can cross react with the brain through a process called molecular mimicry, and can directly bind to cerebellar Purkinje cells and proteins in the neurons. When this occurs, the immune system has to destroy it, which can lead to systemic inflammation and brain inflammation. As the brain degenerates, the gut degenerates, and this leads to a vicious cycle that continues to progressively get worse over time.
Even worse, sprouted bread has the highest amount of these antibodies that bind to neurons and can suppress nerve growth factor (Kharrazian, 2017). This is bad news for those who consume sprouted bread and think they are doing a good thing for their health. This is where Cyrex Array #3 can come into play, as it can identify the 3 top enzymes seen in gluten sensitivity: TG-2(intestinal), TG-3 (skin) and TG-6 (brain). Interestingly, 70% of people have TG-6, and only 20% have TG-2. So according to Kharrazian, “gluten sensitivity is really a brain disorder in which often times there are no gut manifestations”. That means you can be dealing with leaky brain induced from the food that are inflaming you, like gluten, without having ANY DIGESTIVE SYMPTOMS AT ALL!
It seems like the Wheat Zoomer may have combined the panels for Cyrex Array 3 and Array 2, so it may be a good idea to run the Wheat Zoomer and Cyrex Array 5, since I believe Wheat Zoomer is more affordable than Cyrex. I do get access to these labs through the FDN Medical director program, and plan to use them when appropriate with my patients when I suspect leaky gut/leaky brain.
His therapy, when leaky brain is identified, include the following:
- Gargle aggressively enough until you are tearing. If its degenerating, you will have a hard time gargling. Several minutes for several times a day
- Activate gag reflex with a tongue depressor-push down on back of tongue to fire the pathway
- Coffee enema-caffeine stimulates nicotinic chlorogenic receptors. You should get enough coffee to force yourself to suppress the bowel movement. Suppress the urge when you first administer, and let it hang out as long as you can. This will fire the frontal vagal access to build endurance.
- Singing loudly
And obviously an appropriate anti-inflammatory diet as well. As for botanicals, he recommends huperzine or galantamine to support the brain by inhibiting AcH esterase.
Atkins, S. (2017). Gut Brain Axis and its role in Disease. Retrieved (2018, October 13) from Gut Brain Access and its role in Disease