While I have done my fair share of testing in the past, I have done very few in the past couple years despite it being a common request from new patients.
Any of you who have seen us here know that we are big fans of zinc for mental health, but it is extremely important for gut health as well. Not only does it heal the intestinal epithelium, but it also improves the microbial biome and digestive enzymes.
Metallothionein is a protein that lives in a bunch of places in our body, but the highest concentration is in the gastrointestinal tract. It is extremely important in the prevention or treatment of food sensitivities (not full-on anaphylaxis type allergies, that's a different issue). It helps to break down gluten, gliadin, casein, casomorphins, and other proline containing proteins. Which in layfolx terms is wheat and dairy. If you've noticed that you feel better when you avoid breads and cheeses, you may have a zinc deficiency.
It's also common to experience more sensitivities to food dyes and shellfish if your copper levels are too high. This is important because copper and zinc are paired minerals, and when the copper is very elevated, zinc is often very low.
Metallothionein also helps to kill candida and keep other yeasts at bay, so if you've noticed a sensitivity to sugar and sweet foods, feeling more bloated, foggy headed, or experiencing diarrhea or constipation, then you could have a candida overgrowth that would improve with adequate zinc supplementation and possibly some additional antifungal compounds. And I never put anyone on the candida diet because it fixes nothing and just makes life really unpleasant.
So if you think you are sensitive to wheat and dairy in particular, you may want us to evaluate and treat your zinc levels.
As a side note, I've never treated SIBO per se. I don't run the tests and I don't use the treatments, but I have extremely infrequently felt the need to send someone elsewhere to another doc who does this testing and treatment. I did find a study that stated zinc levels were the sole independent predictor of SIBO in a specific population that was tested. Correlation does not imply causation, however this is an interesting area to consider for future studies.
Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens biflora) is an invaluable tool when out in the woods hiking. The saponins found in the stem or leaves can emulsify and diminish the damage caused by poison ivy. It's also great for bug bites, rashes from stinging nettles, burns, cuts, acne, eczema, fungal infections, or any other skin irritation.