Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Dream Doctor

I just had to post one more comment from Dr. Ayres:

I have been trying to come up with approaches to regulation of gut flora and biofilms, but there are problems. First is the lack of information. Second is the potential power of modifications. And third is the susceptibility of people with dysfunctional GI tracts to further damage by rapid alterations of gut flora. We already know that gut flora can be very inflammatory and that is exacerbated by any disruption of the gut flora. Thus, a quick fix for the gut flora could initially be highly inflammatory and exacerbate existing symptoms.

This means that manipulation of gut flora should be a medical specialty requiring training, expertise and support from the rest of medicine. That is reasonable, because of the dominant role of gut flora and biofilms in disease and health. Unfortunately, diet is the major regulator of gut flora and there is no money in diet compared to drugs. The good news is that the study of the gut flora is getting increasing attention by molecular biology and that may force changes as the opportunity for marketing analysis of gut flora becomes a reality. Imagine a dip stick that can be read by an iPhone attachment to make dietary recommendations to reduce inflammation -- "I noticed that you slipped in some grain on Thursday."

Wouldn't that be nice? Wouldn't it be nice to have a doctor that understands what the underlying cause of your problem is? Wouldn't it be nice to have a doctor that recommends dietary and/or lifestyle changes first before taking out his/her prescription pad? Wouldn't it be nice to have a doctor that could guide you through the process of changing your gut flora or re-establishing your gut flora after meds so that you don't have to stumble around in the dark, trying this and that and suffering the consequences when you get it wrong or overdo it? Maybe my grandchildren will be lucky enough to have such a doctor.

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