As you all know I have been dealing with some health issues for a few years and last September I was diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome, sounds hot right...not exactly! Well It's been 10 months and I am strides ahead of where I was and feeling better each day. Don't get me wrong, there have been some challenges and step backs but if it wasn't for school, my nutritionist and naturopath, I wouldn't been here writing today about my journey and my learnings. The big learning for me is that many people are going through the same feelings and symptoms but have no idea what it is. They are ridden with food allergies, feeling exhausted and have bloating issues that never seem to go away. This posting is to help answer some questions you may have about why you are feeling the way you do and maybe encourage you to seek some help. No one wants to feel like this any longer then they have to. And for me, its been way too long.
What is leaky guy syndrome?
Our intestines are lined with cells that have little finger-like extension called villi. When particles pass through the intestines the villi absorb all the nutrients and carry it up to the cells. When the villi become inflamed or irritated, nutrients can no longer be absorbed. This leads to damage of the tight junctions between the cells that are glued-like together. When the villi become inflamed, the glue starts breaking down and opening up holes for the proteins to flow through the intestine walls into the blood stream.
This is the beginning of inflammation to your system. The immune system identifies these proteins as a threat and attacks them by creating antibodies. The probiotics (good bacteria) are killed off and the bad bacteria move in. This causes the pH of the colon to rise, which means increase of cholesterol absorption and bacterial metabolites start to build in the gastrointestinal tract. These metabolites move into your liver, which causes more work on the liver and an increase of sensitivities arise including environment and food allergies.The liver becomes congested and can no longer function to its ability. Resulting in systemic inflammation and high level of food and environment allergies.
What are the symptoms?
- Joint Pain
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Candida overgrowth
- Sugar cravings
- Extreme fatigue
- Increased amount of food sensitivities
What is causing this?
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- Oral contraceptives
- High sugar diets
- Consuming allergen food
- High alcohol consumption
- Bacterial overload
- Toxin overload
How can you treat it?
- Diet – Elimination diet is a great way to find out what you are allergic to. Refrain from consuming these foods until your intestines and liver are back to working order.
- Chew your food – 28-35 chews per mouthful
- Add bone broth to your diet. Collagen and amino acids help heal the intestinal lining
- Consume digestive enzymes with your meals to help your body breakdown the proteins.
- Take probiotics to replenish your good bacteria
- Take supplements to repair the liver and intestinal lining such as L-glutamine
- Drink ginger or peppermint tea to help lower the inflammation levels
- Eat a whole foods diet with fruit, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains. Reduce your intake of sugar and processed foods
- Reduce consumption of the nightshade vegetables, which cause inflammation. These include Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, and cayenne peppers
This sounds like a lot of work but take it one step at at time. See a naturopath or nutritionist for support and guidance. I first saw a nutritionist and did the live blood analysis to get an understanding of where my digestive system was at. See my post here to get more info on the live blood analysis.
Healing the gut takes time and care. Holes in the intestinal wall doesn't happen over night so the healing will take just as long but it's worth it. You are worth it.