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Leaky Gut, What It Is & Why It’s Significant

Leaky Gut What It Is and Why It's SignificantSo many symptoms we experience on a daily basis are directly related to our nutritional fitness. The human body is a wonderfully made synergistic organism that continually seeks homeostasis, or balance, or as we understand it: good health. This is an ongoing daily process involving millions of cellular reactions, dependent upon adequate nutrients, and optimal organ function (stomach & intestines, brain, kidneys, liver, adrenals, thyroid, heart). When our bodies don’t get the proper amounts and combinations of nutrients, or are overwhelmed by ALL the toxins in our foods (sugar being a big one), medications, cleaning chemicals, pesticides, BPA from plastics and mercury, the body becomes out of balance, or “sick”. When we combine that scenario on a regular basis with lack of adequate sleep, and daily stress excesses, our bodies are well on the way down the road to chronic disease.

Health is a continuum. It goes from optimal health & wellness to chronic disease. One does NOT go to bed well and all of a sudden, wake up with diabetes, or heart disease, or cancer. These diseases are continually progressing from birth. We have cancerous cells circulating in our bodies all the time, and the job of an optimally functioning immune system is to find those cells and take them out!

We can determine how far down that chronic disease road we are, by the symptoms we experience. Symptoms are the body’s natural warning system that something is wrong, or out of balance. Symptoms do not occur because we are deficient in drug therapy! Symptoms occur because we are nutrient deficient and toxin overloaded. Putting more chemicals/medications into the body to alleviate these warning signals only makes your health problems worse. Focusing on WHY you are having symptoms and WHAT are the cause, is the key to regaining optimal health, AND the essence of “Functional Medicine & Nutrition practice.

In this post we are discussing the health of The Gut: the stomach and intestines. Most health problems start here. Hippocrates, the famous father of modern medicine called it years ago when he announced “All Disease Begins In The Gut“. He was one smart intuitive doctor.
Eighty percent of your immune system is in the gut, as is most of our microbiome. Our microbiome is the vast colony of microorganisms that live off of us. It includes symbiotic, commensal and pathogenic bacteria along with fungi and viruses. That microbiome is as numerous as our body cells and contains equivalent amounts of DNA. What goes on between the gut microorganisms, and our immune system pretty much determines our overall health status. All these cells speak to each other, and control all those cellular reactions I spoke of earlier. (If you really want to delve into this topic check out this website: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/).

WHAT IS LEAKY GUT & HOW DOES ONE GET THAT?

When we abuse our body, the Standard American Way, with toxin overload, too much chronic stress, infections, lack of sleep, BAD DIET- (including too much sugar & gluten), and then fail to nourish it properly with all the nutrients the body craves, from organic, non-GMO food, the gut eventually breaks down and becomes out of balance, or SICK. It breaks down to the point of becoming “”LEAKY” or “Permeable”. That means toxins and proteins (including allergens) are not being processed or eliminated properly and leaking into the bloodstream, through the damaged junctions between the cells lining the gut. This in turn causes a massive immune reaction. This happens because the immune cells recognize these toxins and proteins as foreign invaders, so a major attack is launched to destroy them. Leaky gut is extremely prevalent in America today. I see it in my practice on a daily basis.

WHAT ARE SIGNS, SYMPTOMS OF LEAKY GUT?

Signs and symptoms of LEAKY Gut are easily recognized. Here are the major ones:

Food and Chemical Sensitivities- to more than just dairy, wheat/gluten, corn. You can become sensitive to the very super-foods you love and eat daily, which may never have bothered you before.

  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Fatigue, Fibromyalgia
  • Mood Issues: Brain Fog, Depression, Anxiety, & Mood Swings
  • Malabsorption: Diarrhea, Gas, Bloating, Abdominal Pain, Cramping, Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Skin Conditions: Eczema, Psoriasis, Dermatitis, Acne
  • Autoimmune Disease: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Celiac Disease, Diabetes
  • Hormone Imbalances

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO FIX A LEAKY GUT?

FIRST issue is to clean up your diet: remove the toxic load,, and have less exposure to all the toxins in the environment, including pesticides, herbicides, BPA—in plastics, mercury and other heavy metals. Cut out the processed, prepared and take-out foods. Eliminate “diet” foods and artificial sweeteners.

Cut back on all added sugar and gluten containing foods. Healing the gut also involves identifying triggers to inflammation, also known as food & chemical sensitivities. By identifying those, and systematically eliminating them from the diet, until they are no longer triggers, is a path to extensive gut healing. Replace those unhealthy foods by nourishing yourself with clean, organic “real” food, prepared at home, using simple ingredients that you recognize. For mild cases of Leaky Gut, this may be enough, especially if you are just beginning to notice symptoms and do not already have the chronic diseases mentioned.

NEXT STEP is lifestyle change.

Start getting daily restful sleep, of 7-9 hrs. AND manage stress effectively. This is easier said and done, but remember STRESS KILLS and so does sleep deprivation. The CDC has identified that 30 % of American adults (40.6 million) are sleep deprived (get less than 6 hr. restful sleep on a daily basis). It is a major cause of accidents, errors and lost productivity. Start by making small changes to your schedule to accommodate longer, restful sleep (sleep hygiene), and simple techniques to help relieve stress (meditation, yoga, music, reading, prayer, exercise, breathing exercises, positive mindset, gratitude journaling, etc.)

The next step is the repairing of that leaky gut.. Supporting the gut with nutrients known to heal is also important. Probiotics-(especially B. Clausii), prebiotics, L-glutamine and healthy fats support healing and feed that precious microbiome that needs to flourish with good bacteria.

If you still have symptoms after following the above recommendations, I would recommend you contact me for an appointment to analyze your case and do appropriate MRT and/or stool testing. MRT is the MEDIATOR RELEASE TEST, which is essential in identifying Food & Chemical Sensitivities. Combined with the LEAP dietary protocol, this medical nutrition therapy is the best for healing inflammatory gut issues. Using a dietary approach to handle a dietary health issue, is the only way to get true healing and resolution of problems. I am a CLT, Certified LEAP Therapist, trained in administering the MRT

Ref:
1. http://www.nature.com/news/scientists-bust-myth-that-our-bodies-have-more-bacteria-than-human-cells-1.19136
2. https://www.cancerquest.org/cancer-biology/microbiome
3. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/
4. http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/the-science-of-sleep/sleep-statistics-research/infographic-lack-of-sleep-a-public-health-epidemic/
5. http://www.whole-health-solutions.com/5R_Gut_Restoration_Program.pdf
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19352343
7. http://nowleap.com/patient-tour/
8. http://nowleap.com/practitioner-tour/

Here is a great detoxing broth recipe to begin your journey back to health. It was developed by a CLT LEAP Practitioner.

Detox Broth: Makes 6 cups
10 cups filtered water (at least by Brita or better water filter, now’s your excuse to buy one!)
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 turnip, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
1-2 celery stalks, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
2 leeks, rinsed well, chopped*
2 cups cabbage or kale, rinsed well, chopped, packed
Chopped parsley
Fresh ginger
Dried sweet basil
Dried oregano
Spritz of lemon1.
Fill a large stockpot with the filtered water. Add chopped veggies and herbs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours.2. Strain and drink warm 2 to 3 cups a day as a nutritional and filling snack. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like.3. Store in a tightly sealed glass container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days

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