In today’s episode of the Love Your Gut podcast, we are joined by Julie Davey, Nurse Practitioner and GI Mapping Specialist. Julie talks all about the GI map, and GI MAP testing – why you would need it when you would need it. If you want to get real nerdy about the science behind testing and how to use it, tune in to learn more!

Julie is a Nurse Practitioner with over 25 years of experience in healthcare. She received her undergraduate degree from the Medical College of Georgia and graduate degree from Emory University.  She holds a faculty position at Emory University educating future nurse practitioners.

In 2013, Julie became interested in a more holistic approach to wellness.  She began educating others on the power of food and natural medicine to heal the body. Today, Julie owns a virtual consulting business helping clients get to the root cause of their symptoms through innovative clinical testing.  She is passionate about gut health and is the co-founder of Mastering GI MAPPING, a course teaching medical practitioners how to incorporate GI MAP testing into their practice. She takes a holistic approach to healing the issues uncovered through proper testing in order to restore energy, mental clarity, promote better sleep, skin, immunity, weight loss, and so much more! Julie is the co-host of the podcast “Take the Upgrade” which allows her to share her message with the masses.  Julie loves empowering women with the necessary tools to live a healthy and vibrant life. She believes that with the right support and daily habits, you will experience real progress and lasting change!


In Today’s Episode We Discuss: 

  • An intro to Julie, why she does what she does, and why she uses the GI map with her clients [01:18]
  • The technology of the GI map, the qPCR technology versus breath testing, and all the different modes that you can use for testing [06:40]
  • The difference between someone getting tested for H. Pylori on a GI map versus a breath test.[10:58]
  • Red flags to look at in GI MAP test as they contribute to the overall picture [15:40]
  • Several markers to take a look at  when it comes to the digestive health section.[21:25]
  • Why an individual would have high or low Secretory IgA [26:08]
  • Who could benefit from a GI MAP test? [32:12]
  • How to use the GI MAP test as part of a clinical picture, what to look for when working with a provider, how to pay attention to client symptoms, and industry examples of test abuse [37:41]
  • Julie’s advice on what to do  if you have symptoms [45:46]


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Heather Finley, Julie Davey

Heather Finley  00:01

Hey, welcome to the love your gut podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Heather Finley, I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to love my gut when all it does is hold me back. I thought the same thing before I found relief from my own gut health issues. I dedicated my life to getting into the bottom of my own gut issues. So I can help women just like you transform theirs. Now, I’m here to guide you through your own gut health journey. We do this through identifying your root causes and making sustainable and transformative changes. As a result, you can unleash your true potential. My goal is to empower you with the information and tools you need to love your gut. So it loves you back right here on this podcast. Welcome back to the next episode on the love your gut podcast, I am so excited to be joined today by Julie Davey, she is going to talk all about the GI map the GI MAP testing why you would need it when you would need it. All the technology and all the nerdy kind of science things that people want to know. So, Julie, I’m so glad to have you here today. And I’d love if you would just tell us a little bit about yourself, why you do what you do. And maybe why you use the GI map in your practice with your clients.

Julie Davey  01:18

Yes, well, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here talking to you today. This is one of my favorite topics. So I’m super excited, we can kind of nerd out together if you want. I know, obviously you and I could talk all day about gut health. But just a little bit of background about myself. I am a nurse practitioner, I was in traditional medicine for, gosh, 25 years now, probably maybe 24. And about nine years ago, I really started looking and taking more of a holistic functional approach to health and, you know, probably like a lot of people in this area, it started with myself, I was having issues. And probably not surprisingly, my issues were gut related mainly. And so that’s kind of where my journey started. And I wanted to improve, you know, the health and wellness of not only myself, but my family. So I think a lot of us start near and, you know, start kind of digging in into that area. And so I, about four or five years ago, I discovered the GI MAP test. And like I said I had had gut issues, I mean, dating back into my 20s. And I’m 46 now so just in my early 40s was able to finally get rid of those issues. And it wasn’t until I took a GMAT test. And I really saw honestly how sick I really was, you know, from the outside looking in, I was really healthy, I was doing all the right things, you know, all of the eating healthy exercise, probably stress management was not it was not where it needed to be. But I was working on that I was getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, all the things that you know, that we’re told to do. And I have done some of the what I like to call Healthy bandaid approaches, you know, I was taking some key supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes, things like that, that really did help me but I knew there was still an issue. And so I actually had another colleague who had just discovered the GI map, and she said you have to do this test. And so I looked into it, and she’s a big researcher and so we’ll kind of get into that in just a minute. But we researched you know, the stool tests on the market because of course, you know, we wanted the most comprehensive, the most specific and we found the GI map to be just that and so I took the test I had, gosh, I had two parasites I had h pylori I had I wasn’t digesting fat properly, not enough digestive enzymes, almost a non existent immune system, terrible dysbiosis I mean, it was, it was very overwhelming, even as a medical professional to see that on paper, but it was also very freeing, because I knew oh my gosh, I have answers. Now I knew there was something wrong with me, you know, that I had not discovered yet. And so once I kind of went through my own healing journey that really prompted me to want to help other people in this area because I could so relate and I know what it feels like, you know, to, to have come through and be on the other side of it now it’s really life changing. And so that is how I started incorporating the GI map into my practice.

Heather Finley  04:35

And I think you bring up such a good point. So many of our clients similar to you have been to medical providers and been told like you’re the pinnacle of health, there’s nothing wrong with you. I’m sure everyone’s seen that meme that’s like floating around Instagram of the person sitting on like that cold, you know, doctor’s table with like hives all over their body saying like, there’s nothing wrong, you’re fine and I think that’s how a lot of people Feels like Well, do you understand how I feel? And are you like, what are we missing? I am not the pinnacle of health. If I was then I wouldn’t feel bloated all the time or have brain fog or constipation. And so, yes, I think the test itself can provide a bit of overwhelm and like seeing all the stuff that’s going on, but it brings a lot of clarity and just comfort and knowing, oh, okay, I’m not crazy, there are things that are going on, there are things that I can now do, and I have actionable steps that I can take. And so yes, like, it’s overwhelming to see that there’s, you know, quote, unquote, something wrong. But I also feel relieved, I hear that all the time, I feel so relieved to know that I’m not crazy. So I think that’s a super good point. Um, so let’s talk a bit about the technology. So I think there’s a lot of skepticism out there about skill testing. And just as kind of a disclaimer to anyone listening, stool testing is not perfect, there’s no perfect test. And also, the goal of the testing is not necessarily to create your gut into something that’s, you know, this quote, unquote, perfect microbiome, because at the end of the day, we still don’t really know what a perfect gut is. And there really is no perfect gut, because there’s a lot of things that play into it. So the testing is a tool, and I tell our clients that all the time. But in the technology, obviously, is continuing to improve. So let’s talk a bit about just the technology of the GI map, specifically the qPCR technology versus like breath testing, and all the different modes that you can use or modalities that you can use for testing.

Julie Davey  06:40

Yeah, so Okay, so let’s just start like basics, the GI MAP test. So just kind of what does that even stand for? That stands for gastrointestinal microbial assay plus, just I have people asking that, like, what does that even stand for? So we’ll just kind of start from, from the basics. This test, there’s only one lab that that offers, the test is called diagnostic solutions. They’re actually based out of Atlanta, Georgia. And this test is really unique. And this is what I found through the research. It’s really unique in that it uses something called qPCR technology. Now that stands for quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction technology. And I’m sure if you’re not a medical person, you’re like, Well, who really cares about that? So I get it, I just want to, I just want you to have the whole picture. So what does that actually mean? That means that this type of technology looks at the specific DNA of the organisms that it’s testing for. So it looks at parasites, bacteria, fungus, you know, all of the different worms that looks at all of the different pathogens. And the reason that it is so specific is it targets their DNA. So we’re not just getting a report that says, oh, you know, you have H Pylori, or getting a report that says, you know, we have to quantify that and see exactly how much of that is in your system, which is really important, as practitioners as we are helping people, and we’re developing protocols, and we’re kind of putting the whole picture together of, you know, what type of symptoms does the client have, what other medical conditions do they have, and then how much of a specific organism that showed up is actually there, that helps us to create protocols and to determine what’s best for the patient, which is what you want, as you know, I’m assuming most of your most of your listeners, some maybe practitioners, but probably a lot of them are patients. And so that’s what you want in a provider is somebody who is taking that really individualized specific approach that is just right for you, and kind of putting the whole picture together. So you know, a lot of labs use PCR technology, that’s not something that’s really new, it’s that it is quantified. That’s what kind of makes this even more unique, so to speak. And so diagnostic solutions is actually the only lab in the United States that uses qPCR technology, for stool testing. Now that this type of technology is used in research in, you know, various medical institutions, because it is highly accurate. It’s very sensitive. It’s very specific. And so what I’ve found through the research is this is the most sensitive, the most specific test or test on the market. And so that was the main reason that I wanted to partner with this lab. And I have, you know, been very, very happy as a provider partnering with them. They offer a lot of support. And just I think it’s I think they’re a great company. So that, to me is really important, and I’m sure you would agree as well. Yeah,

Heather Finley  09:58

and so I think it’s cool To understand the difference, you know, it’s testing for the actual, like, DNA of this organism. So, so tell me about we get into this situation a lot. And I know we were talking before we press record on this about a lot of our clients come to us saying, Well, I don’t have H. Pylori, because I’ve been tested before I had the breath test. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had clients that have been tested previously, they do a GI map and they actually do have H. Pylori and part of the problem and the reason for their recurrent digestive issues is because not only do they have H. Pylori, their spouse has H. Pylori, and they’re passing it back and forth to each other spouse, partner, whoever anyone that they’re sharing saliva with. And so tell me the difference between like someone getting tested for H. Pylori on a GI map versus like a breath test.

Julie Davey  10:58

Yeah, so the so the breath test is really looking at looking at like, almost like byproducts that are released from the organism from H. Pylori. And when we do a stool test, again, we’re you know, we’re targeting the specific DNA of that organism. And, again, one of the most important things is to quantify that, and it’s funny that you bring that up, because, you know, in terms of like, you know, family members having it and like, I’ll also see people sometimes that have had, have actually had a stool test, and it could even be the GI map, and some h pylori shows up at the level is not real, not flagged as high so to speak, that’s another really common question that I get, well, this provider that I was working with several, it’s there, but it’s not really high. So we’re not going to do anything about it. And I think there are a couple of schools of thought around that. So, you know, one school of thought is, if you don’t have symptoms, it’s not what 70% of the population has a color is estimated to have H. Pylori that we don’t need to do anything about it. But what I see, and I’m sure you probably see this, too, is, if it’s there, and it’s present, there are a couple of things to think about, in terms of if we’re going to treat it is h pylori in and of itself lives higher up in the gut, okay, so by the time we get a stool test, you know, the level might actually be higher than what it’s showing. So if it’s there, you know, it may actually even be higher. That and then also the fact that that organism in and of itself causes a lot of what I like to just say is downstream issues, it causes low stomach acid, it causes us not to be able to digest our food properly, which then causes nutrient deficiencies. And a lot of times you can see a pattern, a certain pattern of dysbiosis on the test, and you know, that the H Pylori is causing those issues. So, I am of the belief that, you know, if you have symptoms, and you have that pattern, it needs to be treated, no matter if the level is high, you know, high by lab range, or if it’s just present and within quote, normal level, if that makes sense. But, yeah, hands down. I mean, you can do, you know, you can do breath test you can do, I’ve even had people have just a biopsy from an endoscopy and, you know, just from that sample that they took, there was no H. Pylori, but then we do a GI map, and it’s there, you know, so I do believe that it is the most specific and sensitive for sure.

Heather Finley  13:43

And I think you bring up a good point, too, that if there’s downstream issues, like maybe the H Pylori isn’t necessarily causing some of the, like, normal symptoms that would occur, but maybe it’s causing the low stomach acid that then is contributing to them, you know, having dysbiosis or slow motility or the other root causes. So if you’re kind of approaching the test more as information of okay, what are the patterns that are going on here? And especially if someone’s had a previous test, you know, okay, the H Pylori is continuing to increase. Why is that? And not even necessarily just like, bombing the gut, but more looking at, okay, why are these things continuing to happen? What’s kind of under the surface too, so just get giving more insight about more of that, what I talked about a lot and you talk about a lot is that root cause approach. So why do you have H Pylori in the first place? And then what is that contributing to downstream as well? So that being said, like when you’re looking at a GI map, you know, the goal isn’t necessarily to like, get rid of every single dysbiotic bacteria obvious The that would be nice, but at the same time, it’s a little bit unrealistic to think, Okay, we’re going to like, do this protocol and like, if we retest, you know, a couple months down the road, we’re going to totally just wipe out all the quote unquote, bad bacteria in the gut. It’s more about creating balance in the gut. So when you were looking at a GI MAP test, or if someone’s looking at their test, what are the top things to pay attention to? Or what are the like some red flags that you would get from the tests that would cause you to think, Okay, we need to for sure address these things, because it’s contributing to the overall picture?

Julie Davey  15:39

I think that’s a great question. Because you’re right, you know, and, and, and I think it’s important to set that expectation upfront, when you’re, you know, when you’re working with clients to say, you know, we are going to work on improving your gut microbiome, it is a bit unrealistic to think that, first of all, we’re never going to most likely get a perfect picture. I mean, I certainly haven’t even on a retest seen, you know, the perfect and like you said, Do we really even know what the perfect microbiome looks like? You know? So I think you have to couple the results, obviously, with how the patient feels. I mean, that’s one of the most important things, we have to look at the whole picture, we can’t just look at a test result. And just go about that. But to answer your question, I mean, going back to H. Pylori, I think that’s one of the key things, because of all of those other issues that we just mentioned, when you have low stomach acid, you know, like you said, it can create slow motility, you don’t digest your food as well as you should, that contributes to bloating, gas, even constipation, feeling like food is just sitting on your stomach. And what happens when that undigested food sits on your stomach, these even good bacteria, the healthy bacteria grow and multiply and feed off of that. And so that’s where a lot of the dysbiosis comes in, you know, we get that imbalance of the good and bad bacteria. The other reason that I think it’s so important when we see that pattern, you know, to treat the H Pylori is that when we have low stomach acid, we are, we’re constantly every day all of us are exposed to different pathogens. Well, if our if our gut is out of balance, and we don’t have enough acid, when we get exposed to let’s say, a parasite, we’re like a prime target for that parasite to sort of like take root and begin to grow and multiply versus if we have really good stomach acid and you know, our gut lining is healthy, then we’re going to be able to most likely kill that parasite off. And you know, our body will be rid of it, and it will sort of grow and multiply and take root, so to speak. So I would say h pylori is definitely one of the things that I pay really close attention to, you know, a few of the other things, well, I want to bring normal Flora into balance, right? Because we know how important having good healthy gut bacteria is for not only the lining of the gut, but also when we have good levels of bacteria that creates an anti inflammatory environment, well, most of us have an inflammatory environment within our body, which leads to lots of other issues, diseases, I mean, inflammation is at the root of many diseases. So you know, having those good, healthy bacteria will help, you know, create that anti inflammatory environment in the body. So I do focus on that as well. Other pathogens, I think it depends, really, again, on symptoms. So, you know, is someone having like, let’s say someone has Candida, you know, and maybe the level isn’t really high, its present? Well, we know we have Candida in the body. The problem is, I mean, naturally, the problem is when it becomes overgrown, right, and maybe that person tells me that, you know, they’re bloated all the time, they have brain fog, and they have some significant sugar cravings. Well, you know, that’s probably something that I need to address them, because a lot of that is probably coming from the Candida. So I think, again, you have to look at like we said, the whole picture. The other thing that I really that is important to me to address, and then I like to look at is that whole intestinal health section. That’s, I think, one of the I mean, it’s my probably my favorite part of the test. And so if you want me to, I can kind of go into what is included in that section and kind of talk through each one if you want.

Heather Finley  19:49

Yeah, I think that’d be helpful because I think I love your approach. And I love that conversation because I think oftentimes people get a stool test and they think, what do I need to kiss All, but the reality is you can’t kill things if your gut isn’t functioning correctly. So the H Pylori piece that we already talked about, but also the intestinal health piece, you’re not going to have any success, treating your gut or even like improving your overall good bacteria, if you’re not digesting food, if there’s really high levels of inflammation in your gut. So honestly, I do pay attention to like the dysbiotic bacteria section, but really, not until the intestinal health piece is addressed. And so like sometimes, especially with clients with like, recurrent SIBO, that we get, the reason I think that they’re having recurrent SIBO is because they’re so focused on killing, killing, killing, and yet they’re like, not digesting. And there’s all sorts of issues going on. So I’d love to kind of dig into that, I think it would be super beneficial for people to understand, hey, I know you’re absolutely loving this episode. But I have to interrupt real quick to ask you a huge favor. My mission is to empower as many women as possible to find relief from their digestive symptoms, and you are a part of that mission. And the best way that you can help me to pursue this nation is by going over to iTunes, and giving us a five star rating and review so that more people can find this podcast. Now back to the episode.

Julie Davey  21:25

Yeah, okay, well, in that intestinal health section, there are several markers that we get to take a look at. So first one is stay accurate and stay accurate is a marker of basically how well you’re digesting fat is fat showing up in your stool. And, you know, there are there are normal lab reference ranges, which, as practitioners, we know, we don’t always go by those reference ranges, you know, we, we know, just from experience that we may want them, you know, within a certain range, and I talk to my clients about that. But really, it’s ideal to not see any fat in the store, because that lets me know that you are digesting and absorbing fat properly. And I can speak from kind of personal experience on this. My first GM app that I had, my static credit was like 29, it was so high, it was like, it’s and I mainly ate a higher fat diet. I mean, it was healthy fat, but then I thought, No wonder I’m so bloated and feel like my food just will not digest after I eat, I’m not even absorbing and digesting this fat properly. And then you know, that goes plays into your hormones and how we manufacture and utilize hormones. And then you have to, you know, the having not only having that fat, but digesting and absorbing it and able to utilize it to have good hormone function. So that was another issue for me. So what just sad note, one thing that’s really cool is you can usually put the whole picture together, when you see someone have kids, these are the symptoms, this what we see. And it makes sense. And so to me, that’s always really cool. And I think it, you know, patients really like that and appreciate that, like, Oh, this is why I have this or this. And so it kind of puts the pieces of the puzzle together. But so stay out of courage is one of the markers. The next one is elastase. And that is a pancreatic enzyme. So basically we’re looking at know how well the enzymes help us digest our food and absorb nutrients. So you know, are we digesting and absorbing nutrients as we should really, ideally, you want that number to be over 500 I mean, if it’s as low as the lab reference range like 200, then you know you’re you’re not you don’t have enough digestive enzymes. And we know that, you know, most digestive enzymes from food, if you’re getting them from food, it comes from raw food, and most of us aren’t eating a raw diet. So as we age, we don’t make as many digestive enzymes either. So I do often use enzymes for support during especially during a protocol and honestly they help with symptoms, that is what I mean that helped me a ton before I even had the test just taking some enzymes with my food to help me break down again and and absorb the nutrients. Then we look at a marker called beta glucuronidation. And that is I just like to explain it like that’s kind of looking at how well your liver is detoxing. Also it can give us a clue as to whether or not you have too much circulating estrogen in the body. Now, beta glucuronidation with that level is really high. There are some things that we can do to help the liver out things like calcium D glue, gray, milk thistle, those are great. But I also like to use some things that helped to open the detox and drainage Pathways because before we even get started, like you mentioned in killing off organisms Um, if we’re not detoxing properly, if our livers not functioning properly, if we’re not like, having at least one to two bowel movements a day, then doesn’t really matter if we’re trying to kill off all of these organisms, if they’re staying in our body, and we’re not, you know, releasing them from our body, plus, it’s going to make you feel terrible. And you know, you’re not going to be happy about that you’re gonna have all these detox symptoms. So I do use some things that, you know, helped, again, open the detox and drainage pathways, we also look for blood in the stool, that’s important, you know, to make sure, obviously, that there’s no issues with bleeding. We look at a level called the secretory IgA. So that is a basically a marker of immunity. So how well how strong is your immune system, you probably have heard 70 to 80% of your immunity lives in your gut. And so in that gut lining, so I see, there are some patients that I see with a GI map that, you know, they’re they’re within range, and they’re, you know, Secretory IgA looks good. That is not the case that for most people, I see more people with low Secretory IgA, and then I sometimes I do see people with high and so I’ll just kind of maybe explain a little bit of why you would have high or low. So if you think about this, there are well, first of all, there are three kind of top things that can cause that number to be off, whether high or low. So one thing is the presence of pathogens in the body, you know, so do we see parasites, you know, Candida, H. Pylori, things like that. The next thing is stress how much stress your body is under. And then the third probably top thing is food sensitivities. If you have a lot of food sensitivities, and maybe even intolerances, maybe you haven’t had a food sensitivity test, but you just know, there are certain things, you’ve had to eliminate all these things from your diet, because you can’t tolerate them, those are probably the top three things that cause that Secretory IgA to be off. So think about it like this, if you have pathogens, your body, I mean, our bodies are smart, we are naturally trying to fight those off on doing the best we can, you know, our body’s doing the best it can so that kind of think about it like this, just for simplicity that kind of depletes your immune system, our immune system, you know, gets depleted. Some people, it’s really the same concept. Some people it just shows up as their immune system is in overdrive and working extremely, extremely hard. So their Secretory IgA may be really high. So I you know, sometimes patients will say, Well, that’s a good thing, my levels high and I’m like, No, do we want it to be imbalanced everything in the gut is really about balance. You know, we want it to be imbalanced, we don’t want it to be too low, or we don’t want it to be too high. So I love you know, getting looking at the secretory IgA. The next one is called anti Gliadin IGA. And that is basically looking at whether or not you make antibodies to gluten. So I do typically recommend, especially during a protocol, let’s go gluten free, you’re going to have a much better chance of healing the gut lining. So I you know, look at that, to see if they’re making antibodies to gluten. And then the last one is calprotectin. And that is kind of a marker of inflammation, but it’s really more specific to the gut lining. This is probably most helpful in patients with IBD inflammatory bowel disease, things like Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. You know, sometimes that mean their levels will be you know, in that hundreds, hundreds, if they have IBD. But Did I miss any I think I think that’s all of them. I’m just going off of I can see the test in my head.

Heather Finley  28:56

I know, I was like going down the list, I think you got all of them. That’s super, super helpful. And you know, for full disclosure, when I did a GI map when my gut issues were out there worst my IGA was 98 she was like, probably one of the I think the lowest I’ve seen was 75. So like, I’m not too far off from that. Ideally, we’re like closer, you know, in the 1000s range with that so no wonder I was reacting to every single food that I was eating and getting bloated regardless of what I ate. And I always tell our clients that um, like, the food is not necessarily the issue. The IGA is the issue. So if you can fix the IGA, then you’re not reacting to all the foods and like that’s such a mindset shift for people to realize, okay, if I’m able to improve my gut immune system, that I won’t be bloated regardless of what I eat, and I don’t have to continually cut out foods. So that’s like provides a lot of hope, I think to just knowing that number and why you could be reacting to so many foods?

Julie Davey  30:04

Oh my gosh, yes. 100% You know, it’s, it’s, I understand it because I was one of these people but it is it is really frustrating and it’s been it’s can be disheartening to continuously cut out all of these foods and then you kind of get to a point where you’re so confused, you don’t really know what is what is bothering you what is not. And very for me it was it was seemingly healthy foods, you know, cauliflower bananas, like just things that you would not think you know, that you should have a quick reaction to So, yeah, my my car my first one was 39 Oh, wow. Okay. It was I mean, I was like, wow, I mean, I worked with this is before I started doing this test, I worked with a dietician at that time, she’s the one that ordered the test for me. And when she looked at it, she was like, wow, you literally have like, no immune system. And, you know, again, I was like, wow, I mean, I don’t feel like I’m that sick, you know, but but in terms of, I had a lot of stress, you know, in my life at that time, and also, I had tons of food sensitivities. So yeah, I mean, it, it makes sense, when you think about it,

Heather Finley  31:19

it totally does. And I think you mentioned the top three things that can decrease that. And I think stress for sure, like that is so so common was so many of our clients, that’s a huge root cause of really all of their digestive issues. So you cannot not address the stress piece. So you mentioned as you’re describing this, which you did such a great job of kind of walking through, you mentioned a lot of things not related to the gut. So I think the next thing kind of leading into is really who could benefit from a GI mock test. I think sometimes people think, Oh, well, I don’t have constipation. So I don’t need testing. So when would it be a good idea to test one? Is it not a good idea to test? And who could benefit from taking a test like this?

Julie Davey  32:07

Yeah, I think that’s a great question. So because I probably like you, I encounter people who, you know, a lot of times it’s like, what do you do? And so I’ll tell them, they’re like, oh, do I need that test? You know, I don’t have gut issues. But do I need that test? Somebody just asked me that yesterday. And, you know, the thing is, there’s not one person that would not benefit from this test. I mean, there’s just not it’s, it’s, it’s really I like to think of the gut as the gateway to health. And it’s really just giving you a really good look at the microbiome and what’s going on the inside, you know, so let’s say you don’t have any digestive issues, certainly, if you have digestive issues, and they’re ongoing, then you definitely would benefit. But things like we just talked about, like low immunity, maybe you get sick all the time. And maybe you’ve even said to yourself, gosh, I must have a weak immune system. You know, that could be a clue. We know there’s a huge gut brain connection. So people who have things like anxiety, depression, mood swings, brain fog, can’t focus on your work. I mean, I have so many people that tell me, I just can’t when I’m at work, I just can’t think I can’t focus. There could be an underlying debt issue there. Autoimmune disorders, for sure. If you have leaky gut, leaky gut, often translates to or turns into an autoimmune disorder. That’s pretty common. difficulty losing weight. That’s another one that I see a lot. I mean, you know, we have to have good, a good healthy gut, in order to have healthy weight. So a lot of times, you know, I’ll see people who they’re not really, you know, much overweight, they have like 10, maybe 20 pounds that they’re trying to lose there. Again, they’re doing all the right things, and getting frustrated, understandably so. So that’s putting even more stress on but really rebalancing that gut microbiome will help with healthy weight management because we can get things like insulin resistance, increased fat storage when we have dysbiosis and inflammation. Poor sleep again, you know, if you’re looking, a lot of our neurotransmitters are manufactured in our gut, serotonin and melatonin. So we have to again have a healthy gut in order to be able to sleep properly. And then I would say also, things like joint pain, typically from inflammation, some parasites can cause joint pain and skin breakouts is another big one too, especially with Candida. A lot of times we see that manifest, you know, in the skin, whether it’s acne can be eczema, psoriasis, something like that. But any of those, you would definitely benefit and, you know, I see a lot of functional providers who have Have brick and mortars, they’re not just virtual. And they will not see a client even for an initial visit, unless they have a GI map, because it’s really, I think, foundational and gives you so much insight into what’s going on with the patient. And then even just for preventative wellness once a year for preventative wellness, because things are constantly changing, and we’re constantly being exposed to different things in our food and in our environment, you know, that we can benefit from taking a look, and then you know, rebalancing and getting things back on track if they’ve gotten a little off track. Love it. Yeah, I

Heather Finley  35:36

was actually just having a conversation with my husband today about how like using functional testing, like the GI map should be included in like a preventative health visit, even just like with a primary care and had this kind of whole business idea, which, you know, we’ll see. Stay tuned for that. But, um, anyways, yeah, I think and my husband has actually a great example of that he doesn’t have quote, unquote, gut issues, but I was like, I just want to run a GI map on you just to see what’s going on. And, you know, it wasn’t like, there wasn’t a ton, but there was enough on there that I’m like, okay, we can address this. And he was having a lot of trouble sleeping through the night. And now like, he sleeps like a baby. And so like, he’s a good example of, you know, not the standard gut issue, but that his sleep issues were kind of rooted in in the gut, as you mentioned. So, yeah, really, I think anyone could benefit from from doing the testing. Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about the technology, the different markers on the test, who could benefit from the test? Um, I guess, but I, the last question that I have for you is, how do you use the testing or kind of what’s your advice? You know, for someone that’s really struggling with a lot of health issues, I think a lot of people listening to this, obviously, specifically GI issues, like how to use the test as like part of the clinical picture. And what would be sort of maybe red flags when working with a provider, if they’re using testing, like things to look out for that they shouldn’t do necessarily based off the test, and really how to use the test as part of the protocol. And kind of like you said earlier, how to also pay attention to the client symptoms, and like, kind of how it all fits together. Like, where does this fit in the treatment plan? And if there are any red flags that you’ve kind of seen in the industry of abusing testing?

Julie Davey  37:37

Yeah, I think that’s a great question. So I would say, you know, first, it’s important to kind of look at things foundationally. Okay, like, let’s say, you’re someone who you’re like, you know, I know that I don’t have the energy that I want, I know that I have some digestive issues, my health just isn’t where I want it to be? Well, let’s first start by kind of examining the important areas, and let’s get some like foundation set before, you know, we even go into testing. So you know, looking at, obviously, we need to examine how you’re eating, are you eating whole foods primarily? Or are you eating mainly Processed Foods Eating out all the time, even out of a box, I mean, there are some, obviously, there are changes that we can work on there. And this, you know, just for people who are listening, this takes time, and it is a process, and it is a never ending process. I mean, I and I don’t mean that to sound defeating by any means. But I mean, I’ve been on this journey for gosh, probably, I don’t know, 15 or more years in terms of just like eating healthier. And it’s not that I’m perfect all the time, by any means I slip and I sort of let go of healthy habits that I had. And then I’m like, Okay, you got to get back on, you’re not drinking enough water, you know, that you’re not drinking as much water as you should, or whatever it might be. So it’s a constant. It’s, you know, it’s this. It’s this constant ebb and flow constant, little bit of a roller coaster. And that’s just as humans, that’s just what we do. So don’t get defeated. You know, I always just say, tomorrow’s a new day. Tomorrow’s a brand new day, maybe I didn’t make the choices I wanted to today. Tomorrow’s a brand new day, I get to start over. So having some foundational things in place, like examining your diet, you know, drinking enough water, at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day. If you’re someone who drinks sodas, or you drink caffeine all day. Let’s just start by replacing one of those with a glass of water and you’ll you’ll see I mean, I know my kids probably my kids are a little bit older now that I’m sure they probably thought I was crazy growing up because my answer to anything was always you need to drink more water. Like literally, it helps with so many things. I mean, our body is made up of mainly water And so we have to be, you know, giving it that at a foundational level, you’ll think more clearly you’ll have more energy, your digestive system will work better, you know, if you’re drinking water. So I think that’s important. Sleep, obviously is super important as a, you know, foundation, seven or nine hours is ideal getting that restful sleep, stress management. Also exercise, but I want to say, you know, because I used to feel guilty of this, not over exercising, and not just like, you kind of, I never really beat myself up, I like to exercise. So some so I can see now, you know, in hindsight, that I was just exercising too much, and maybe it wasn’t the right type of exercise for me and for my body at the time. So, you know, give, give yourself some grace. I mean, it’s, you do need to move your body every day, but maybe that’s just a walk some days, maybe that’s some yoga doesn’t have to be like a hit workout every single day. You know? It shouldn’t be. Exactly. So ideally, you want to be working on those foundational aspects. And then if you’re still having issues, you know, any of those things that we mentioned, whether it’s digestive, or its, you know, skin issues, you know, whatever it might be, then you may want to say, Hey, okay, maybe I need to look deeper, you know, I’m doing these foundational things, but I’m not where I want to be. And I would say, probably 80 plus percent of the people that I work with, that’s where they are, they’re doing the foundational things, and they’re just not I can’t lose that extra weight, or they still have brain fog, or something like that, or digestive issues. So then let’s look at testing. Now, in terms of this is what I always tell people in terms of like a provider to work with, because there are lots of people out there, and especially in the space that we’re in now, with social media, you can go and you can follow, you know, whoever you want to the, the thing is, first of all, I think you need to that person, you need to kind of resonate with them and their point of view and feel comfortable, you know, there if you’re watching them, just say on Instagram, you know, do you have confidence in them and what they’re saying, maybe look into their background, let’s look at their client testimonies that they’re sharing things like that, or ask them for that kind of information. But you want to make sure that you’re working with someone who is going to take an individualized approach. I mean, I unfortunately, have had quite a few people come to me who already have a GI MAP test, they got it through another provider, and either they never met with them and got a protocol, or they met with them, they had some significant issues and symptoms to go along with the findings on the test. And they were just like, well, you know, try this one thing, you know, and it didn’t really work. So my point is just do your research, make sure that you’re working with someone who’s going to take that individualized approach and who, you know, you trust, reach out to people ask them questions. I mean, I know that you’re this way. I mean, if you know if someone has a question, and you know, they’re thinking that they may want to work with me, please like DM me, I’m happy to answer any question. That’s what I’m here for, you know, so and I know you feel that way as well. So those are probably the top things that come to mind when you’re trying to decide what provider you want to work with.

Heather Finley  43:38

Yeah, I love that. And I think we get a lot of similar clients like these clients that almost have like medical trauma is what I kind of classified as you know, they’ve been there, either their symptoms have been dismissed, or they didn’t get that individualized feedback that they thought they were going to get, or they were only provided with supplement recommendations. And, you know, like, the reality is like supplements are helpful, and obviously needed a lot of the time when you’re addressing things on a GI map. But I always describe it to our clients like building a house. You know, like, I know that you really want the beautiful fancy wallpaper in your bathroom. But we can’t put that wallpaper out until the foundation is laid and the walls are up. And so that’s all the stuff that you just talked about sleep stress management, like even meal hygiene, like how someone’s eating even before we even talk about what they’re eating. Like that’s like down the road and just recognizing like you said that it’s a process. So if someone’s like, throwing a standardized, you know, quote unquote, leaky gut protocol at you, it’s probably not super individualized to what you’re looking at. And if it’s just like, we’re just gonna kill off everything and not address the root causes. Like no wonder people have medical trauma. So I guess that’s like part do this too is if that’s happened to you, obviously, I’m incredibly sorry that that’s been your experience. But know that there are options. And there are people who will kind of walk through the whole process with you, Julie and myself included, because like, you can’t usually address everything on a GI map in one fell swoop, it’s layering things on and first addressing, like, how you’re digesting and your stress and all the foundational things, then kind of getting to the meat and potatoes of the test. So yeah, anyone kind of like last minute thoughts as we wrap up? And also please share with our listeners where they can find you and how to get in touch with you. Yeah,

Julie Davey  45:42

yeah, sure. So I would just say, you know, just anyone who’s listening, if any of this kind of resonates with you, if you’re like, gosh, you know, I have these symptoms, I really want to get rid of them, maybe you’ve even told yourself, some of them are, quote, normal, you know, we can we can, we can make ourselves believe, really whatever we want to. So our subconscious mind is so powerful. And so I would just say, you know, if you know, you’re not where you want to be in your health, and you don’t feel the way you want to feel, then take the steps to, you know, whether it’s following somebody, you know, learning from that person, and then reaching out like, you don’t have to stay where you’re at, it’s not normal to only have a bowel movement twice a week, that’s not normal. So you know, if you’re, again, if you’re not where you want to be, there is hope, don’t feel like you have to stay there don’t feel like you have to stay stuck, you just haven’t maybe found the right person to work with yet. Maybe you know that you need to work on some of those foundational things, don’t get overwhelmed in trying to do all the things at once, because you’re not going to stick with it. I mean, really, that almost nobody can do that, you know, it has to be small steps. And I like to always say, it’s daily habits that we create that lead to real progress and lasting change, because that’s what you want is that lasting change. You don’t want to quick fix these diets and exercise programs that are just like quick fix, you know, lose this way. I mean, you want sustainable changes that will serve you, you know, going forward for the rest of your life. And so, yeah, reach out to me. If I can answer any questions I’d be happy to. I am on Instagram and Facebook at Julie Ann wellness. And that is also my website. It’s Julie and

Heather Finley  47:40

So then we’ll provide all the links in the show notes and everything so that you can get in contact with Julie, if you would like to. But Julie, thank you so much. This was such a good conversation. I think that will help so many people to just understand a bit more about testing, why they should use the testing and then also kind of the process behind how you use the testing as well. So thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us.

Julie Davey  48:04

Thank you for having me.

Heather Finley  48:06

You’re welcome.

Please note that this episode is not a substitute for medical advice. And you should always consult your healthcare provider prior to making any changes.

I’m giving your gut a thumbs up because you just finished another episode of the love your gut podcast. Thanks so much for listening in to this episode. I hope it was helpful. I know you feel like you’ve tried absolutely everything to get to the root cause of your gut symptoms. And if you ask me, I think it’s about time we find a long term solution. My gutTogether program is a life changing program that will help you finally understand what’s going on in your gut and the steps you need to take to find relief. Visit for more information so that you can start transforming your gut today. And as always, remember to love your gut so it will love you back

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