What Is Leaky Gut? Understanding The Symptoms and How to Cure It
I have always had a problem with eating different types of food. As a kid, my parents thought that it’s because I was trying to maintain my weight, but deep down I knew I had a problem.
One day during my deployment I decided that I couldn’t take the constant bloating and joint pains anymore. I could feel that my immune system was becoming weaker. The joint pains would subside at times, so I told myself perhaps this is something everyone goes through.
When I went to visit my health care provider, I was tested for different medical conditions.
All the tests that were conducted came out negative. “Keep taking more water and fruits, maintain cleanliness, and exercise often, I was told.” Unfortunately, nothing changed even after following these directives.
Understanding Leaky Gut Syndrome
Four months ago I found the answer when I went to see a nutritionist, Richard Johnson, in Tempe, Arizona.
His practice is based on food healing properties.
One of the things he asked me to do other than taking a blood test for sensitivities and food allergies was to keep a food diary. The results I got were shocking. He said I was “susceptible” to certain foods that I had regularly been eating – like sugar, dairy, gluten, soy as well as caffeine.
I was shocked beyond words when he said that I was suffering from a “leaky gut syndrome,” a unique condition that isn’t typically diagnosed but it affects many people’s health.
To make matters worse, I realized that there is strong evidence from the Journal of Diabetes indicating that “leaky gut syndrome can cause autoimmune disease like Type 1 Diabetes.”
What is leaky gut syndrome?
Also known as “intestinal permeability,” as Mr. Johnson explained, a leaky gut syndrome is a condition that damages the small intestine’s lining, causing bacteria, undigested food, and toxic wastes to start leaking through the intestines and eventually flooding the bloodstream.
When these foreign substances enter the blood, the body responds automatically, and that’s why one experiences allergic and inflammatory reactions like eczema, migraines, food allergies, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few.
Because the cells in the lining of the small intestine get damaged, it becomes impossible for the body to produce enzymes required for digestion. Your body also stops absorbing the vital nutrients, which leads to a weakened immune system and hormone imbalances.
Causes of Leaky Gut
I wanted to know what caused this condition. Mr. Richard said the main culprits were infections, toxins, and foods. According to him, gluten is the main cause of leaky gut, while inflammatory foods such as dairy, soy or toxic foods like excessive alcohol and sugar are suspected too.
Common infectious causes include intestinal parasites, candida overgrowth, including small intestine bacterial overgrowth.
Toxins come into the body as medications like steroids, Motrin, antibiotics, Advil, and acid-reducing drugs. Environmental toxins such as pesticides, mercury, and BPA from plastics are other toxins he mentioned.
The foods I took produced antibodies that triggered the immune response hence the joint pains and fatigue. When I took pain relievers to manage my situation, my body would go to war because the medication was damaging my protective mucus layers in the intestinal lining.
Here are symptoms of the leaky gut syndrome:
- Asthma or seasonal allergies
- Hormonal imbalances
- Digestive problems like diarrhea, gas, irritable bowel syndrome or bloating
- Skin problems like eczema, acne or rosacea
- Mind and mood problems like ADD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression
- Diagnosis of autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease
- Candida overgrowth diagnosis
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue
- Food intolerances or food allergies
Curing a Leaky Gut
The doctor recommended two things:
- That I check out Lectin Shield, a powerful homeopathic medicine that helps fight one of the main contributors to Leaky Gut.
- That I follow the Myers Way complete elimination diet that would remove all the inflammatory and toxic foods for a specific duration. To heal my gut, I also had to follow the 4R program.
Remove the bad – the aim was to remove the negative things that affected the GI tract environment, like toxic and inflammatory foods, and intestinal infections.
Replace the good – here, the essential ingredients for digestion and absorption were added back like the hydrochloric acid, bile acids, and digestive enzymes.
Reinoculate – beneficial bacteria were restored to reestablish a healthy balance of excellent bacteria.
Repair – essential nutrients the gut needed to repair itself were provided. My favorite supplement was L-glutamine. This amino acid helped rejuvenate the lining of my gut wall.
In three months, I managed to control this condition. I still adhere to the dietary changes to avoid suffering the consequences. Get checked by your health care expert today if you are experiencing the symptoms I listed and you’ll get a treatment plan for your condition.