Monthly Archives: May 2014

Could Leaky Gut be Affecting Your Health?

The more I learn about the gut, the more I realize it's connected to just about every area of the body… and just about every disease out there.  It is said the gut is the “Mother” of the body because of how it feeds everything from our brain to our skin, in the same way a mother feeds a child.  It's also called the “first line of defense” because 80% of the body's immune cells are in the gut. You get the idea: The often overlooked gut is pretty darn important! – Dr. Tom O'Bryan

 

What is Leaky Gut?

The definition of Leaky Gut Syndrome or Hyper-permeable Intestines is when the intestinal lining has become more porous with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening out process no longer functions properly.  the result is that larger, undigested food molecules and other things such as yeasts, toxins, and other forms of waste, which your body normally doesn't allow through, enter freely into your  blood stream.  The body detects these foreign substances and goes into full battle mode, fighting like hell to remove them as soon as possible.

        ” Any undigested foods that are absorbed into the bloodstream are now considered enemies of the state and your immune system will develop reactions to many of them, leading to food intolerances” -Jordan Reasoner

Typically the body cannot keep up with the task and a large portion of these foreign bodies will be absorbed into the tissues throughout the body, creating inflammation.  This increases the levels of stress on your body.  With your immune system focused on these enemies of the state, the smaller wars are going unattended.  These include filtering the blood, calming inflammation, fighting bacteria, regulating the workings of the gut, etc.  This can lead to your body attacking itself, know as autoimmune disease, which may include any number of diseases including Chronic Fatigue, MS, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and Fibromyalgia.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from individual to individual based on each person's level of damage to the microvilli along the intestinal lining and what tissues are affected.  Here are some common symptoms.

  • Multiple food sensitivities
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Chronic diarrhea and constipation
  • Skin rashes
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Memory loss
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Yeast(Candida) and bacterial overgrowth

Here is a 3 minute quiz to see if you may have a leaky gut.

 

What Causes Leaky Gut?

The medical community does not agree on what causes Leaky Gut, but below are some of the commonly agreed upon causes.

Diet

  • high amounts of refined sugars
  • processed foods
  • food additives such as food coloring, High Fructose Corn Syrup, artificial sweeteners, MSG, trans fat
  • preservatives such as sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, potassium bromate, BHA, BHT
  • refined flours
  • artificial flavorings

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress suppresses the immune system which doesn't allow it to do its job properly and it gets overrun with pathogens very quickly.  This leads to increased inflammation in the intestines and increased permeability to the intestinal lining.

Inflammation

Any type of inflammation in the gut can cause leaky gut.  Some of the reasons for inflammation may be

  • low stomach acid
  • yeast and bacterial overgrowth
  • infections
  • parasites
  • excessive environmental toxins

Medications

All medications, including aspirin, acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen irritate the intestinal lining and decreases the mucosal levels (which are your first line of defense in the intestines)

Yeast

Although yeast is a part of the normal gut flora, it is when the balance with the good bacteria gets out of whack that things become an issue.  The yeast will mutate in to a mutli-celled fungus that will grab onto the intestinal lining with tentacles, ripping its own holes into the lining.

Zinc

Zinc is critical to the maintenance of a healthy and strong intestinal lining.  A deficiency will effect the mucosal lining and allow the intestines to become more permeable.

 

Treatment

Just like the causes, the medical community is divided in what method of treatment to use to reverse the leaky gut.  Each person has different responses to the leaky gut and therefore will require individualized treatment.  There are so many factors to a leaky gut; it is like a puzzle and all the pieces must fit together to have complete healing from the leaky gut.  Here are some of the most common methods.

Dietary Restrictions

  • eliminating sugars, starches, and grains
  • eliminating all pro-inflammatory foods
  • SCD – Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Nutritional Supplements

  • A good multiple vitamin
  • large amounts of Vitamin D
  • Large amounts of Zinc
  • Omega 3's

Probiotics

These will help to bring the gut biosis back into balance of 85% good to bad bacteria.

Digestive Enzymes

  • These are critical to the proper breakdown of food.
  • Also help remove toxins, bacteria, and damaged cells
  • Bromelain and Papain

 

I am not a doctor, I am just putting out the information I found while researching leaky gut for myself.  If you think you may have leaky gut, please seek the advise of a qualified professional.

Interested in learning more?  Here is a link to available course to learn more about leaky gut.  Leaky Gut Master Class

 

Resources:

1. http://scdlifestyle.com/2010/03/the-scd-diet-and-leaky-gut-syndrome/

2. http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

3. http://www.livestrong.com/article/288335-the-most-common-food-preservatives/

 

 

 

May is National Celiac Awareness Month

Celiac-Awareness-Ribbon Grass is getting greener, leaves are popping out everywhere and soon flowers will be in bloom.  Ah, Springtime. Coinciding with celebrating spring is, Celiac Awareness month.    I would like to take a little time and help me readers become aware of Celiac disease.  Celiac disease is genetic autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.  It also produces immune reactions through out the body which could lead to infertility, neurological disorders, joint pain, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.  Celiac Disease effects 1 in 33 Americans,  however it is estimated that 83%  who have Celiac Disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.  Diagnosing Celiac Disease can be difficult.  On average it takes 6-10 years to be accurately diagnosed (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center).  Here are some of the symptoms of Celiac Disease in children:

  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • irritability and behavioral issues
  • dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth
  • delayed growth and puberty
  • short stature
  • failure to thrive
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

 

Adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms, with only one-third experiencing diarrhea.  Adults are more likely to have:

  • unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • fatigue
  • bone or joint pain
  • arthritis
  • bone loss or osteoporosis
  • depression or anxiety
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • seizures or migraines
  • missed menstrual periods
  • infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

While the symptoms of celiac vary, suffering from any of these symptoms — especially over time — may indicate that you should ask your doctor for a celiac blood test.

I hope this information help others to become more aware of symptoms that may lead them to a quicker diagnosis and faster to their healing.  There is no cure for Celiac Disease, but it can be managed with a strict gluten free diet.

Resources:

http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/symptoms/

http://www.celiaccentral.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/