Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Doctors couldn't help. They turned to a shadow system of DIY medical tests.

Buoyed by regulatory vacuums, Silicon Valley is building a booming online wellness market that aims to leave the doctor's office behind

Angelika Sharma was desperate. An array of basic first foods - from bananas to sweet potatoes - caused her 6-month-old Annika to vomit uncontrollably, so many times in one night that she landed in the hospital for dehydration.

Half a dozen pediatric specialists largely dismissed her daughter's ailments, Sharma said, forcing her to leave her job as a hospitality executive, because "you can't just have any babysitter looking after a child" with such serious reactions to food.

After a year and a half, an answer came finally in the form of a Facebook ad for Tiny Health, a Silicon Valley start-up that could test her baby's gut microbiome. Using a bead of stool swabbed from a diaper, the company diagnosed the problem: Annika's gut was overcrowded with P. vulgatus, a common bacteria. A company nutritionist recommended a probiotic, sauerkraut and exposure to animal microbes through daily visits to the petting zoo.


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