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Leaky Gut Testing for a Healthy Heart

In a busy clinic in Arizona, renowned cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson noticed something interesting. Many of his patients with heart problems also had issues with their gut health. John, a 52-year-old patient, is a perfect example. He came in for heart troubles but also had gut problems. Dr. Wolfson started to see a pattern: a condition called leaky gut syndrome might be affecting not just the gut, but also the heart.

Leaky gut syndrome suggests problems in our digestive system might lead to bigger health issues. Our body systems don’t work in isolation. An issue in one part can affect others. Doctors are becoming more aware of this connection. They’re seeing that fixing problems in the gut might also help with heart health. 

Understanding the Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract 

The gastrointestinal tract is an integral part of our body. It breaks down our food, ensuring we get the nutrients and water we need. It’s also in charge of eliminating waste. Additionally, it supports our immune system, helping to keep us healthy.

Ideally, the gut acts as a smart filter. It lets in what the body needs (like nutrients) and keeps out what it doesn’t (like harmful substances). This keeps our body healthy by making sure only the right stuff gets through.

What Is Leaky Gut? 

Leaky gut, or intestinal hyper-permeability, occurs when this process goes wrong. In this condition, the gut becomes more porous than usual, meaning things that shouldn’t get into the body – like partially digested food particles, toxins, and bacteria – slip through the gut lining. These unwanted things can cause health problems, like inflammation, when they enter the bloodstream.

Celiac disease, an extreme form of leaky gut, causes the body to react strongly to gluten, leading to major inflammation in the gut. This inflammation isn’t limited to just the gut; it can impact other areas, including the heart. Research reveals that individuals with Celiac disease face a 34 percent increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat, compared to others. This highlights how a gut problem like Celiac disease can have broader effects on heart health.

Understanding leaky gut is important because it shows how connected different parts of our body are. A problem in the gut doesn’t only affect digestion; it can have broader impacts on other areas, such as the heart. This is why taking care of our gut health is a big part of staying overall healthy.

Testing for Leaky Gut: Understanding the Wheat Zoomer Test

Testing is essential to truly know if you have a leaky gut. Not everyone with a leaky gut shows obvious symptoms, which is why a specific test, like the Wheat Zoomer from Vibrant Wellness, can be invaluable. The Wheat Zoomer is essentially two tests in one. It checks for signs of a leaky gut and assesses the body’s immune response to wheat and gluten.

Leaky Gut Wheat Zoomer

This part of the test looks at several factors that indicate leaky gut. These include:

  • Zonulin Levels: Zonulin is a protein that helps strengthen the gut’s barrier. If there’s a lot of zonulin, it could mean that things we don’t want, like bits of food and toxins, are getting through tiny gaps between the cells in our gut. This is called paracellular transport. If zonulin levels are high, it might be a sign that you have a leaky gut.
  • Zonulin Antibodies (ABY): Usually, our body has a normal level of these antibodies, but if they are higher than usual, it can mean the gut barrier is leaky. When zonulin ABY levels are high, it often points to the gut letting too many things through, which can lead to different health problems.
  • Actin Antibodies: Actin antibodies are special proteins that go after actin, a muscle protein in the gut and heart. If there are a lot of these actin antibodies, it could mean the immune system is mistakenly attacking these muscle proteins. This can sometimes lead to heart problems like AFib and coronary artery disease. 
  • LPS Antibodies: LPS antibodies are proteins that fight off bacteria coming from the gut into the blood. If there are a lot of these antibodies, it means there might be too many bacteria getting into the bloodstream. This can happen if you have a leaky gut. Too many bacteria getting through can lead to inflammation and other health issues.

Wheat and Gluten Sensitivity

The second part of the Wheat Zoomer test assesses the immune response to over 30 different proteins in wheat and gluten, including: 

  • Gliadin and Glutenin Testing: This test looks at gliadin and glutenin, important proteins in wheat and gluten. It helps tell the difference between a wheat allergy, where your body reacts immediately to wheat, and a wheat sensitivity, a slower reaction that can lead to different symptoms and health problems over time.

The Wheat Zoomer test gives a detailed look at leaky gut syndrome and how your body reacts to wheat and gluten. Knowing about these parts of your health is important for dealing with different symptoms and health issues. 

To fully understand what’s going on, you can take the Wheat Zoomer test, fix any gut problems it finds, and test again in three months to see how things have changed. This way, you move from guessing to truly knowing about your gut health.

Fixing a Leaky Gut

Repairing a leaky gut involves several lifestyle and dietary changes. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Organic and Responsible Nutrition: Focus on eating a diet rich in organic foods, similar to what our ancestors ate. This means plenty of vegetables, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry, organ meats, wild seafood, and nuts, and avoiding processed foods.
  • Sleep with the Sundown to Sunrise: Align your sleep schedule with the sun’s natural cycle. Try to go to bed early and wake up with the sunrise. This can help regulate your body’s natural rhythms.
  • Sunshine for Your Belly: Spend some time in the sun every day. Sunlight exposure, especially on your belly and the rest of your body, is important for vitamin D production, which is crucial for gut health.
  • Chiropractic Adjustments: Regular visits to a chiropractor can help. Chiropractic care is believed to improve overall body function, including gut health.
  • Stay Active: Regular physical activity is key. Exercise helps improve gut motility and reduces stress, which can benefit gut health. Do your best to take your movement outside. 
  • Reduce Stress: Find ways to manage and reduce stress in your life. Stress can negatively affect gut health, so practicing relaxation techniques or engaging in activities you enjoy can be helpful.
  • Cut Out Alcohol: Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. Alcohol can irritate the gut lining and exacerbate leaky gut symptoms.
  • Avoid Chemicals and Toxins: Avoid exposure to chemicals and toxins in your environment. Be mindful of the products you use and the food you consume.
  • Limit Pharmaceuticals and OTC Drugs: Overusing pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs can harm gut health. Work with your physician to examine your medications and try to eliminate those you can. 

Supplements to Heal the Leaky Gut 

Under the umbrella of evidence-based supplements, here’s a targeted 3-month protocol focusing on specific supplements designed to heal the leaky gut: 

  • Heart Helpers – This supplement is packed with beneficial bacteria to promote healthy gut flora. Probiotics can help balance the microbiome in your gut, which is crucial for healing a leaky gut.
  • Digest Plus – Specially formulated by Dr. Jack Wolfson, this supplement aids in breaking down food more efficiently. Proper digestion is key to preventing undigested food particles from irritating the gut lining.
  • Gut Fuel – Short-chain fatty acids are essential for gut health. This supplement works by nourishing the cells in your gut and helping to repair the gut lining.
  • Gut Shield – This is a combination of nutrients specifically formulated to support both intestinal and liver health. A healthy liver contributes to better overall digestion and gut function.
  • Gut Repair – Designed to calm the immune system, this supplement
    “heals and seals” the gut lining, reducing the inflammatory response that can aggravate leaky gut symptoms.
  • Daily Defense – This tasty protein powder supports gastrointestinal health. It’s not just about repairing the gut but also about providing the necessary nutrients to maintain health.

To make it convenient and more cost-effective, you can purchase these supplements together in our Leaky Gut Bundle

This 3-month protocol incorporates a holistic approach to healing the gut. It’s important to remember that while supplements can be highly beneficial, they must be used with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. 

Next Steps 

Embark on a journey to better gut and heart health with us guiding you every step. Why not kick things off with a free 20-minute discovery call with one of our expert health coaches? They’re ready to offer personalized advice and help you map a path to wellness.

And there’s more! Dive deep into the world of gut health with our free ebook: Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Managing Leaky Heart Syndrome. This resource is the perfect companion for your health adventure. Grab your copy and start unlocking the secrets of a healthier heart and gut today!

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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.