Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut is a common factor compromising health in western populations. Leaky gut is a situation in which the tight junctions which normally keep the intestinal lining tightly regulated begin to leak.
When there is a leaky gut, a damaged bowel lining results from poor diet, parasites, yeast, bacteria, infection, or medications, and this allows substances such as toxins, microbes, or undigested food to leak through which causes inflammation and often triggers immunological reactions. Four main causes of leaky gut include poor nutrition, chronic stress, toxin overload, and dysbiosis (an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut). Toxins found in antibiotics, medications, pesticides, aspirin and NSAID use can contribute to a compromised intestinal lining. Casein found in dairy products and gluten breakdown products like gliadin found in whole wheat can cause increased inflammation in the digestive tract. Other common allergens include corn, soy, nuts, and citrus fruits.
Treating Leaky Gut involves:
1. Removing the foods that are damaging the gut and triggering the immune system. Test for food allergies and eliminate those allergenic foods for at least 3 months.
2. Replacing those foods with a healthy whole foods hypoallergenic diet.
3. Repair with targeted nutrients like glutamine (an essential amino acid that is required by gut enterocytes for growth and repair). GI Sustain and/or L-Glutamine powder.
4. Pancreatic enzymes can help breakdown food proteins to a level that maximizes absorption of food. Biogest.
5. Eliminate bad microbes that are contributing to inflammation. Berberine complex, Candaclear 4, Digesten (Juglans nigra), and Intestigen, are some of the products that I use.
6. Supplement probiotic bacteria (good bacteria) to crowd out any undesirable organisms like yeast, bad bacteria and parasites. Good bacteria contribute to healthy digestion and help create an intestinal lining that has maximal integrity. Good bacteria taken consistently may help you desensitize to the food allergies that you currently have. HMF Replenish, HMF Intensive, HMF forte are some of the products I use to replenish good bacteria.
Foods that can contribute to healing of the gut include carrot juice and cabbage juice. All non-starchy vegetables are high in phytonutrients which contribute to healing. Bone broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help your damaged intestinal lining heal. Drink 1-2 cups daily. Fermented vegetables are very healing to the gut and include raw sauerkraut, kimchi and coconut kefir. Pickles (with a minimum of processing, sugar, etc) and foods like miso, tempeh (fermented organic soy) can also be supportive for a healthy gut; organic soy yogurt with live cultures can be eaten. Chia seeds, ground flax seeds and hemp seeds can provide much needed fiber and essential fatty acids for the gut. Grass fed beef, grass fed lamb and wild fish in the form of salmon, shrimp, sardines, herring can supply essential fatty acids for repair. If you do not tolerate seafood, I recommend supplementing with essential fatty acids in the form of fish and flax seed oil. Other herbs that support healing and the reduction of inflammation include Licorice root, Slippery elm, Ficus carica, Vaccinium vitis idaea, and Rosemarinus officinalis. Because grains can contribute to a leaky gut, choose non-gluten grains and soak overnight before cooking. If you are going to consume legumes (beans, lentils),I also recommend soaking overnight before consuming. Lastly stress is a huge factor which contributes to gut inflammation. Stress can be reduced by exercise, meditation, yoga, breathing exercises and emotional freedom technique; stress management should be a daily practice. This is just an introduction for leaky gut. Please come in for a proper consult if you want to know more at Parallel Wellness.
Reference: Wikipedia; Phytoembryotherapy, Doctors Franck Ledoux, Gerard Gueniot.