The latest science derived from sequencing the human genome and the microbiome (the communities of microorganisms that live on or in people, plants, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere) shows us that an imbalanced gut microbiome may be a root cause of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, intestinal permeability, hormonal imbalance, autoimmune conditions, chronic inflammatory arthritis, and food sensitivities.
The GI-MAP uses FDA-cleared DNA analysis to identify the microorganisms that cause disease or that disrupt normal microbial balance in the gastrointestinal tract. Because of the superior sensitivity and specificity of this new technology, the results can help resolve persistent and complex illnesses. Since the immune system, the intestinal barrier, and microbial diversity are intimately interwoven, a better understanding of your gut microbiome holds promise for new approaches to treat and prevent disease of all kinds.
The GI-MAP identifies a comprehensive collection of microbial targets (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) as well as immune and digestive markers providing actionable information to identify what is specifically disrupting your gastrointestinal microbiome. The latest scientific studies associate the markers on the GI-MAP to many diverse symptoms including:
- Gastrointestinal / urinary tract symptoms like: abdominal pain, bloating, candida, constipation, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, food poisoning, gastric cancer, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and disease (IBD), leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), ulcer, ulcerative colitis, urinary tract infections, vomiting, yeast overgrowth;
- Autoimmune conditions like: reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid (Hashimoto’s and Grave’s), type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, Ankylosing spondylitis
- Allergic diseases like: asthma and eczema.
Zonulin Marker (can be added on to the GI-MAP)
“The Gut is not like Las Vegas. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut.”
– Alessio Fasano, MD, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MassGeneral; first identified the protein Zonulin
Zonulin, a protein first discovered by Alessio Fasano, MD and his team in 2000, acts as a key to open the doors between the cells that line the digestive tract creating openings through which large particles can pass through. The doors between the cells of the intestinal lining are almost always closed to form a barrier. But when our bodies make higher amounts of zonulin, zonulin will open the doors between the cells creating a “breach” in the wall. While the doors are opened, molecules from the environment, including bacteria, toxins, what you have eaten, etc. can sneak into the body and trigger an autoimmune response.
The recipe to develop an autoimmune condition requires three ingredients: you have to be genetically predisposed, you have to have an environmental factor that causes an immune response, and you have to have a breach of the gastrointestinal barrier (doors open).
Zonulin is extremely important in a lot of illness, from Type 1 diabetes to other autoimmune diseases. Scientists are now able to link many illnesses back to loss of barrier function in the gut (A. Fasano). Recent studies even show that higher levels of zonulin are associated with higher waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides and increased risk of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.