Tag Archive: diarrhea


Leaky Gut Syndrome

So far, I’ve talked about parasites, food allergies and the benefits of digestive enzymes. Now, it’s time to talk about something called leaky gut syndrome. Many autoimmune disorders have been traced back to increased gut permeability (leaky gut).

 

Just what is leaky gut?

In a person with leaky gut, the stomach lining is more porous than it should be, allowing protein molecules to slip through the gut and enter the blood stream where it causes an autoimmune response.

What causes leaky gut?

  • Prolonged/chronic antibiotic use
  • Parasites
  • Food allergies/intolerance
  • Low stomach acid
  • Food additives and preservatives
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Oral contraceptives

How can leaky gut be treated?

  • Probiotics
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Fiber
  • Herbs

Probiotics are live, active cultures found in yogurt, kefir and tempeh. They are the “friendly bacteria” that protect your body from invading organisms, break down food and produce vitamins in the intestinal tract.

You may be thinking, “Okay, I can just eat more yogurt then, right?”

Not really. There aren’t enough live, active cultures in yogurt to give you the type of benefit you’d need to begin healing leaky gut and its related autoimmune effects. It is recommended that you supplement your diet with probiotics containing 1-20 billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units). Use a probiotic that requires refrigeration or is ‘shelf-stable’ to ensure your body is receiving an optimal dose of these live, active cultures.

Probiotic supplementation has been known to not only improve proper absorption of nutrients and help heal leaky gut; it has also been linked to helping improve symptoms of those who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, ulceritive colitis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and inflammation. It improves immune system function, prevents infection and has even been touted as an anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer).

Caution:

Start slow with probiotics. Begin with a dose of 1-3 billion CFUs once per day at first, and then gradually increase your dosage based on its effect on your symptoms. Some people will notice ‘die off’ symptoms similar to those being treated for parasite infection. Those symptoms could be diarrhea, headache, bloating and gas as toxins are expelled from the body. This is temporary and a part of the body’s healing process. Lactose intolerant people and vegetarians should use a probiotic that is rice-based. If you have pancreatitis, consult your doctor before using probiotics. It is advisable to consult your healthcare practitioner before adding probiotics or other supplements to your diet.

Digestive Enzymes

Fiber is a very important element in the digestive process that is missing from today’s high-fat, sugary, processed diet. Few people get their recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it is important to add this essential ingredient into our diets through a bulk fiber supplement.

Bulk fiber acts as a sponge, which absorbs waste, water and toxins in the intestine. This helps form a soft, bulky stool that can be then quickly and smoothly eliminated from the body. This is especially essential for those with leaky gut and related autoimmune disease as those with these conditions produce far more toxins in the body than healthier individuals. A good bulk fiber I’ve used for years is called psyllium fiber. It can be taken mixed with water or in tablet form. Psyllium fiber helps to lubricate and heal damaged intestinal walls.

There are three herbs I have personally used for my digestive health. Those are turmeric, gentain root and ginger. Turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps strengthen the intestinal walls, decreasing gut permeability. Gentain root promotes the production of gastric juices and bile. Ginger also aids in digestion by stimulating bile flow and helps relieve bloating and flatulence.

If you’ve been suffering with autoimmune-related health problems, leaky gut may be the source. Help reverse the effects and you’ll discover a whole new world of good health!

For more healthy, natural products I recommend check out the Product Review Page on my website.

photo © Sumners Graphics

This article is intellectual property © Jaime A. Heidel 2010

All Rights Reserved 

 

Do you have unexplained symptoms? Have you gone to doctor after doctor and taken test after test just to have the health professionals you’re going to for help insist they can find nothing wrong with you?

I feel your pain.

I was sick from birth. As an infant, I had terrible colic, threw up constantly and did nothing but scream and cry most of the day unless I was passed out from exhaustion. In early childhood I had terrible behavioral and cognitive problems that only grew worse as I went into my teenage years.

I moved out on my own at 17 and continued to go to doctors trying to find out what was causing the constant stomach and muscle pain. I didn’t know at the time that the emotional and behavioral problems were linked to the same culprit. It wasn’t until my hair started falling out and my weight dropped drastically that I went to a naturopath for the first time.

He looked over my medical records, my symptoms and my behavior and knew, almost instantly, that my problem was food intolerance related.

Eight years later, I’m following a healthy diet free of the foods that used to make me sick from head to toe; gluten, corn and processed sugars and to a lesser degree, beans and peanuts and I’ve never been healthier in my life.

Do you have a food allergy or intolerance?

Food intolerance has been linked to the following health problems:

  • Sinusitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Skin rashes
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Delayed learning
  • Behavioral/cognitive problems
  • Muscle pain
  • Flatulence
  • Candida (yeast)

among others.

As the digestive system struggles to assimilate what it is sensitive to, the body produces an inflammatory response causing one or more of the above symptoms.

Intolerance to wheat gluten has even been linked to autism spectrum disorders.

Also, those who suffer from autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome may develop food sensitivities that can worsen the symptoms of these conditions.

So what do you do if you believe your symptoms may be linked to food sensitivity?

While some would advise a blood test either done at your doctor’s office or through a home self-testing kit, my advice is to avoid this. Research shows, since we all make antibodies to the food we eat, blood tests for food sensitivity are too inconclusive to be of benefit.

Instead, try an elimination diet followed by the reintroduction of the most common foods that cause symptoms of intolerance. These being wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, egg, citrus, nuts and seafood. 

The best example of an elimination diet I have recently come across is under the link below.

Elimination Diet

 Though it is categorized under fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, this elimination diet can be used by anybody who is looking to see if food sensitivity is the cause of their chronic ill health.

I would offer the diet I followed myself but it was mostly rice and vegetables and the above list has much more variety. 😉

Remember to keep a journal of what you’ve eaten throughout the day and don’t give up. It’s tedious at first but the results are absolutely worth the journey.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Check out the Product Review Page on my website for a list of natural products I’ve used to improve my digestive health.

This article is intellectual property © Jaime A. Heidel 2010

All Rights Reserved