Gut & Brain Health: Examine Your Gut Health With Dr. Christine Bishara

Dr. Christine BisharaPhoto Credit: Dr. Christine Bishara

Dr. Christine Bishara is the founder of From Within Medical, a medical wellness practice that places emphasis on the mind-body and gut-brain axis to prevent and manage disease. With over 20 years of clinical experience, time and time again, Dr. Bishara has discovered that the connection between these systems plays a significant role in disease prevention and management, but it has not been adequately addressed.

Haute Beauty sits down with Dr. Christine Bishara, to learn more about her wellness exam that gives patients a thorough workup to holistically optimize their overall health.

“The gut-brain axis is powerful. The gut is now considered our second brain and we all have different strains of bacteria in our gut microbiome. What we're finding is the more diverse your gut strains are, the healthier you are,” says Dr. Bishara, Haute Beauty Wellness expert.

HB: What is the purpose of a wellness evaluation?

I incorporate my many years of experience in Internal Medicine where I saw the development of many chronic conditions and the end result was frequently the same- treatment in the form of medications. While many may need medications for their conditions, my focus now is to first look at the root of the problem. Hence, my wellness evaluations focus on the prevention and reversal of the medical condition as the goal of treatment.

HB: What does the wellness evaluation entail?

Gut healthPhoto Credit: Dr. Christine Bishara

I do a thorough history and physical, and address a multitude of factors including dietary and nutritional imbalances, neurotransmitters deficiencies and anti-oxidant levels. In my history, I look for things that could signify a gut-brain imbalance such as prior antibiotic use or specific nutritional factors that could impact overall gut health. Many times, this includes a gut analysis to look at gut species and diversity. Once we have identified all of the factors, we then work on improving gut-brain health. My initial consultations are typically an hour or longer and involve some detective work as we try to identify the root of any issues that a person might be having. We look at multiple factors that unfortunately many primary care doctors are not given the time to address.

In addition to a thorough medical history and evaluation, a typical initial evaluation includes an assessment of your neurotransmitter dominance and possible deficiencies. Most people don't know this, but we have four dominant neurotransmitters in our body, Acetylcholine, Dopamine, GABA, and Serotonin. Some of these neurotransmitters are made in the gut, but all are affected by what we eat and our nutritional state. By identifying any possible deficiencies, we can work on optimizing levels, not only to improve our overall gut health but our gut-brain health.

I also check your anti-oxidant levels. Examples of foods rich in antioxidants are vegetables and fruits. Usually, the more colorful the fruit and vegetable is, the higher its antioxidant level. Why is that important? If you eat foods rich in anti-oxidants, those anti-oxidants stabilize the circulating free radicals that can sometimes cause damage to our cells.

HB: What kind of information does the evaluation give you?

Based on all of these evaluations and results, I then recommend specific and unique supplementation and dietary modifications to help naturally optimize your health. Each patient’s treatment is unique and based on their results. When you tap into and optimize your unique gut-brain axis, you start to feel better mentally, your appetite is better controlled and you feel better overall.