“Normally two or three cups of coffee does it, but not for the past few mornings,” my 28-year-old patient Mary told me during our initial consultation. “And then it happened: I was on the Q train yesterday, and bam, after being constipated, I suddenly had to go right that minute.”
I appreciated Mary’s frankness, and I couldn’t help think about how she was also my archetypical patient. She frequently felt tired, her joints hurt, recovering from a trip to the gym felt akin to having taken a boot camp class, migraines happened more days than not, and losing mental focus felt normal.
As we talked, Mary sipped a big plastic cup of cold brew. “I go from coffee to cabernet,” she half-joked, discussing how she “dialed down” her caffeine fix with a few glasses of wine when she got home from work.
Like most patients I see, Mary’s problems stemmed from one massive source: a gut out of balance. I had to remind her that running to the bathroom and feeling spacey were not normal, and that using over-the-counter or pharmaceutical drugs was not the answer.
As a medical doctor who specializes in gut problems like leaky gut and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), when I tell patients everything starts in your gut, I’m not joking.
Headaches, migraines, allergies, autoimmunity, weight gain, acne, skin rashes, yeast infections, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, immune challenges, even the way you sense pain—they all relate to the condition and health of your gut.
These are among the most common signs of a gut out-of-balance I see in my practice. How many of these 15 do you regularly experience?