The conventional view of the digestive system was that it took care of digestion and wasn’t involved very much with the rest of the body’s systems. Now, though, science has shown that the gut and the millions of microbes that live in it have a profound impact on other aspects of our body, from immune response to brain health and psychological well-being. How can we put that knowledge into action? To find out, we spoke with Dr. Marvin Singh. He is an integrative gastroenterologist at the forefront of delivering personalized medicine to his patients with a focus on digestive health.
This is a special podcast from The People’s Pharmacy, just for podcast subscribers, and it features information about one of our underwriters, Verisana. Dr. Singh shares his unique perspective as an integrative gastroenterologist who is also board certified in internal medicine. He describes how our gut health influences other aspects of our health.
How Has COVID-19 Affected Our Digestive Health?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 affects the digestive tract as well as the respiratory tract. That is why some people experience diarrhea and loss of appetite among their symptoms of the disease.
While we are staying out of restaurants to avoid catching ÇOVID-19, most of us have been doing more cooking at home. What are the nutritional implications? What should we be paying most attention to as we plan and shop for home-cooked meals?
How Does the Gut Microbiome Shape Our Digestive Health?
What is the gut microbiome? How could it modify the behavior of seemingly unrelated parts of our body. When we talk about the microbiome, we are not just describing a single species, but an entire collection. The ecological balance of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in our intestinal tract both reflects and influences nutrition, metabolism, inflammation and hormones. How do we know whether our microbiome is healthy or out of balance?
Dr. Singh describes conditions that can disrupt the microbiome as well as the consequences of dysbiosis. To improve our microbiome, it would be helpful to be able to learn more about it. You probably don’t want to be spending any unnecessary time at the doctor’s office during the pandemic. That’s where the home health tests offered through the Verisana Health Plan can be so helpful.
What Is the Verisana Health Plan?
At Verisana.com, you can order home health tests for hormones, gut health and the microbiome. But which ones do you need? The advantage of the Verisana Health Club is that it provides you with the tests you need to keep track of your microbiome, hormones, and markers of inflammation and metabolism. They are offered in a rational sequence throughout the year so you don’t have to stop and ponder which test you need next. With regular testing, you can detect and correct health imbalances before they lead to illness.
As a special introductory offer to People’s Pharmacy podcast listeners, Verisana Health Club is offering a 50% discount off the first month. To claim your discount, go to www.verisana.com/health-club/ and enter the code PEOPLE50 when you check out.
Taking Control of Your Own Health:
The philosophy of home testing is that patients control their own health. Monitoring our health status conscientiously with home tests is one aspect of taking control. Dr. Singh describes how we can use that information in the context of precision medicine, addressing exactly what we need when we need it. Learn what we should be doing to keep our digestive tracts healthy during the pandemic and henceforth.
The Guest for This Episode:
Marvin Singh, MD, is founder and CEO of Precisione Clinic. He is also director of Integrative Gastroenterology at the University of California, Irvine and a board member of the American Board of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Singh is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology and is also a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine.