Authors: Elizabeth Lipski
Copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth Lipski. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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This book is dedicated to Chris Dennen,
husband, friend, coworker, and playmate. Your unwavering love and support
allow me to spread my creative wings and fly. You are the banks of my river.
Doctors are trained to identify diseases by where they are located. If you have asthma, it’s considered a lung problem; if you have rheumatoid arthritis, it must be a joint problem; if you have acne, doctors see it as a skin problem; if you are overweight, you must have a metabolism problem; if you have allergies, immune imbalance is blamed. Doctors who understand health this way are both right and wrong. Sometimes the causes of your symptoms do have some relationship to their location, but that’s far from the whole story.
As we come to understand disease in the 21st century, our old ways of defining illness based on symptoms and location in the body are not very useful. Instead, by understanding the origins of disease and the way in which the body operates as one whole, integrated ecosystem we now know that symptoms appearing in one area of the body may be caused by imbalances in an entirely different system. Everything is connected. The center of that connection is the gut. Nowhere are those connections made clearer, and nowhere will you find a better owner’s manual for your gut and how to keep it healthy, than in Dr. Lipski’s updated edition of
, which I have used successfully in my practice for more than a decade.
If your skin is bad or you have allergies, can’t seem to lose weight, suffer from an autoimmune disease, struggle with fibromyalgia, or have recurring headaches, the real reason may be that your
gut is unhealthy
. This may be true even if you have
had any digestive complaints.
There are many other possible imbalances in your body’s operating system that may drive illness as well. These include problems with hormones, immune function, detoxification, energy production, and more. But very often the gut may be at the root of your chronic symptoms.
have digestive problems, including reflux or heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and colitis. In fact, belly problems account for more than 100 million doctor’s visits and billions in health-care costs annually. But gut problems cause disease far beyond the gut. In medical school I learned that patients with colitis could also have inflamed joints and eyes and that patients with liver failure could be cured of delirium by taking antibiotics that killed the toxin-producing bacteria in their gut. Could it be that when things are not quite right down below it affects the health of our entire body, including many diseases we haven’t linked before to imbalances in the digestive system?
The answer is a resounding yes. Normalizing gut function is one of the most important things I do for patients, and it’s so simple. The “side effects” of treating the gut are quite extraordinary. My patients find relief from allergies, acne, arthritis, headaches, autoimmune disease, depression, attention deficit, and more—often after years or decades of suffering. Here are a few examples of the results I have achieved by addressing imbalances in the function and flora of the gut:
A 58-year-old woman with many years of worsening allergies, asthma, and sinusitis who was on frequent antibiotics and didn’t respond to any of the usual therapies was cured by eliminating a worm she harbored in her gut called Strongyloides.