The gut has far reaching impacts on your health and your immune system is no exception. You have probably heard about how important gut health is for managing an autoimmune condition. Dr. Ruscio and a patient discuss a remarkable improvement in the autoimmune joint condition Rheumatoid Arthritis by treating an unexpected gut infection.
The Gut Autoimmune Connection: SIBO and RA
Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hey, folks. This is Dr. Ruscio. I am here with Johnny who has had some really awesome results with treating SIBO. So I asked Johnny if he would be willing to share that with us, and he said “Yes.” John, thank you for taking a moment.
The quick backstory on John’s case was, you came in with Rheumatoid Arthritis that was getting pretty serere.
Johnny: Yeah, it was getting kind of bad.
DR: Certainly it was something I could tell we really needed to act on. You had no digestive symptoms really at all.
Johnny: Nothing that was worth mentioning, really.
DR: So I said, “Let’s do a double check knowing the strong relationship between the gut and the immune system and, certainly, that includes RA. We did two things: We got you on the autoimmune paleo protocol, from being on paleo previously. That seemed to give us a little improvement.
DR: It seems like potatoes, based upon your recent bringing potatoes back into your…
DR: …it may have been an issue. That, I don’t think, is too new of a concept for people. But, what I thought was interesting was, we found SIBO, even though you had virtually none of the symptoms that are associated with SIBO…
DR: And then, more importantly, when we treated it, your joint pain, boom (snaps his fingers), your fatigue got a lot better.
Johnny: Yeah, in like a week things really started turning around. It was a lot more than I ever expected.
DR: Sure. So, I guess that’s the bird’s eye view. But, is there anything that, maybe, you want to share with people?
DR: Not to put you on the spot.
Johnny: I was pretty surprised the SIBO could have had that large of an effect without causing some kind of digestive symptoms or anything like that. Mine was all fatigue. My skin would break out; my skin has cleared up a whole lot. It’s probably clearer than it’s been in, like, 15 years.
Johnny: It was just things like that. It was very cyclical. I’d have, like, three weeks where I’d be tired, and then a few weeks where I’d feel a little better. I’ve just been spinning my wheels for a year-and-a-half, at least. My allergies would get a lot worse, (and) my skin would break out, and I’d just be really tired.
DR: It’s a great example. Hopefully for people watching, reading, or listening to this, (this is) a good grounding example of how important and far-reaching the gut can be. And this is kind of reminiscent of the experience I had when I was a patient years, and years, and years ago now. But, I had no gut symptoms, ever though I had a really, really bad intestinal ameba – or I had really, really minor gut symptoms. Nothing really to, you know, flag…
Johnny: Yeah, yeah.
DR: But, really bad insomnia, really bad fatigue. I definitely had some joint pain and some really bad brain fog. I always try to keep that in the back of my mind with patients – even if you don’t have any digestive symptoms, something could be awry in the gut…
DR: …leading to symptoms elsewhere. You were kind of a textbook example of that.
Johnny: Oh, yeah, definitely.
DR: Now you are doing really well. We are waiting on your SIBO labs, but I anticipate that your SIBO labs are either greatly improved or you’re totally clear. We will know that shortly, and then we’ll take the next step.
Johnny: Yeah. I don’t feel like I have the symptoms anymore now that it’s probably been cleared or knocked back, at least. I (can) actually tell what the SIBO was causing, so I’m pretty sure it’s probably good to go on that now.
DR: Awesome. I agree with you – It’s probably definitely gone based upon the way you present. It’s a good reminder to you, to me, to everyone that the gut can have really far-reaching effects.
Thank you so much, Johnny, for taking a moment to share. I know it’s going to help a lot of people. Thank you again. I’m pumped that you’re doing so well.