Unpacking Leaky Gut – Disease Hiding in Plain Sight.Jason Siddall
We have no doubt that you’ve heard the term “leaky gut.” It has, in fact, been accused of being the latest “trendy” disease of the day and has been belittled and even dismissed as a real illness. What is leaky gut really, and why should it matter to you?
The 2000 biographical film, Erin Brockovich, caused a global awareness of the contaminated water in the small town of Hinkley in California, USA. Chromium, a toxic chemical and known carcinogen from the disposal of wastewater from the cooling stations of PG&E leeched into the water supply, making hundreds of people sick. So many of us watched this film, outraged at the fact that we can be poisoned without even knowing it.
And interestingly, this is exactly what’s happening in the body of someone suffering from leaky gut.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut is exactly that. Our intestinal walls consist of tiny, and very clever cells which crack open at the command of particular chemicals to allow nutrients to enter our bodies from our digestive tract. Due to any number of problems, which we will discuss later, these little junctions can become damaged or get stuck open, thus compromising this protective lining. This allows particles into our system which shouldn’t be there, and our bodies leap into action to attack these foreign invaders. The “invaders” generally consist of pretty benign things such as microbes or undigested food particles, but our bodies have a very strict door policy and if you’re not on the list, then you shouldn’t be allowed in. Our immune system goes to work to eradicate these toxins immediately.
Why is this such a problem though? A leaky gut causes a host of ailments, most of which go undiagnosed and largely undetected, but which have serious long-term effects, including cancer, chronic illness and autoimmune diseases. Let’s explore this a little further.
What Are The Symptoms Of Leaky Gut?
One of the reasons why leaky gut goes undiagnosed and is often derided is due to the seemingly vague symptoms. For example, leaky gut can manifest in the following ways:
- Gas, bloating, IBS or diarrhoea
- PMS or other hormonal imbalances
- ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety or headaches
- Acne, eczema or rosacea
- Autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, lupus or Hashimoto’s thyroid disease
- Allergies, asthma or food intolerances
- Yeast infections
- Tiredness, lethargy, constant fatigue or joint pain
- Weight gain
As you can see, we’ve all no doubt suffered from a selection of these at some point or another.
However, if your symptoms are ongoing and getting worse, then it may be time to chat with your doctor or get a test done for leaky gut. If left unrepaired then you are at risk for something more nefarious like IBS, arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, depression, migraines and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Causes and Prevention of Leaky Gut
Determining the cause of leaky gut is imperative, as the very first step to gut health includes removing the cause. Your illness could be caused by any combination of the following:
Diet, Toxins and Germs
The number one cause of leaky gut lies in what we put in our bellies. Processed foods, sugar, alcohol, excessive wheat, dairy, refined oils, food additives, GMOs remain the top contenders, coupled with pesticides found in tap water or on our foods. Food and water contaminated with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, moulds and parasites can cause intestinal damage and enter the bloodstream causing an immune response, inflammation and damage.
Completely removing these offending foods from our diet will grant our immune system a break from the barrage of toxins and foreign invaders in our system and give it time to start the healing process.
Old silver-grey metal fillings in your teeth can also leak out heavy metals like mercury and nickel, which pass into the bloodstream causing damage. These fillings should be replaced with white composite fillings by a biological dentist.
Stress, coupled with a lack of sleep or overexertion, can result in heightened cortisol levels and inflammation which suppress our gut’s immune system. We may also be prone to pill-popping and make frequent use of antibiotics and pain relievers – all of which contribute to intestinal stress and increased permeability.
Treatment of Leaky Gut
As mentioned above, successful treatment of leaky gut starts with the removal of the problem. Eliminating processed, sugary and gluten-rich foods from your diet is a fundamental start.
Replacing these foods with natural, (preferably) organic whole foods allows your body to soak up their goodness while not aggravating the beleaguered gut further. Assistance from other healing foods in the form of bone broth, fermented vegetables, coconut products, fruit, Omega-3 and other healthy fats and raw cultured dairy will benefit you further.
It is equally important, however, to reintroduce the bacteria that your gut requires to function optimally, and to both heal and create the best internal environment. Consider the following:
Imsyser’s Unique Probiotics
The 9 strains of human probiotics found in most products are surpassed by the twelve-strain good bacteria packed into Imsyser’s probiotics. This cocktail of digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics start working in your mouth and continues to work right through your body, providing the ideal environment for the complete digestion of food and a healthy gut environment. This is ideal for you if you suffer from constipation, bloating, ADD, IBS, fatigue or malnutrition due to poor nutrient absorption.
Opti MSM Powder
Methyl Sulphonyl Methane (MSM) is an essential mineral which is required for balanced overall health. It helps leaky gut sufferers by softening cell walls and allowing the unhindered elimination of toxins, as well as allowing our cells to absorb more nutrients from our food. Softer cell walls also mean more oxygen to our bodies, resulting in increased energy levels and blood circulation. Add to this its ability to assist in eliminating allergies, relieving constipation, reducing inflammation and balancing our blood sugar levels, you can see why this is a valuable tool in our medical arsenal.
L-Glutamine, the key ingredient in Gluta Care, acts as a gut repairer and muscle builder and offers a key fuel source to the busy cells in our intestinal wall. Among many other benefits, Glutamine helps to balance mucus production which results in a healthy bowel.
A gentle supplement, Colon Care adds probiotics and natural fibre to your system to assist with the regular and efficient removal of waste. Better digestion, an improved immune system, increased elimination, and increased energy are all great side effects of this complementary treatment.
Maintenance of Leaky Gut
Our bodies have a remarkable ability to heal themselves, but we have to give them the tools to do their job. Flooding our systems with synthetic additives and hard-to-digest foods place an enormous strain on our fragile systems which are already battling stress, pollution and reduced nutrients in our food.
Equally, maintaining the ideal environment in our systems may mean that we make good use of the quality supplements and colonic care products on offer. Our systems need time to heal and there is no quick-fix.
If you suspect that you are suffering from a leaky gut, then we encourage you to come and talk to one of our practitioners here at ALT Med Care. Our holistic approach to medicine allows us to work with your body to maximise healing and maintain a healthy system. Talk to us today and let us help.