You may have heard of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), but what do you know about Leaky Gut Syndrome? Leaky Gut Syndrome is a common health disorder in which the intestinal tract is more permeable or more porous than normal. Toxins which should naturally be repelled and eliminated leak through small openings in the lining of the intestines into the bloodstream. Leaky Gut syndrome can cause food allergies because of the release of toxins from the gut which promotes inflammation and is associated with poor absorption of nutrients leading to some nutritional deficiencies.
If you have some of the following symptoms you could be experiencing Leaky Gut Syndrome:
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic joint and muscle pain
- Confusion or foggy thinking
- Mood swings & nervousness
- Recurrent vaginal infections and bladder infections
- Skin rashes such as eczema
- Bloating and gas, alternating constipation with diarrhea (usually referred to as IBS)
Some causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome are:
- Prescription antibiotics use
- Alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Chemicals in fermented and processed foods (dyes, preservatives, peroxidized fats)
- Enzyme deficiencies (e.g. celiac disease, lactase deficiency causing lactose intolerance)
- NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen
- Prescription corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone)
- High refined carbohydrate diet (sugary foods, soft drinks and white bread)
- Prescription hormones
There is help. Leaky Gut Syndrome can be reversed by a change in diet. Eliminating sugar, white flour products, gluten, dairy products, fatty foods, caffeine products, alcohol and increasing fiber intake can combat the effects of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Treatment might also include the use of natural antibiotics (Echinacea, colloidal silver, and garlic), antiparasitics (cloves, wormwood, black walnut) and antifungals (taheebo, caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract). Some supplements to use are natural digestive enzymes derived from plants, essential fatty acids such as flaxseed oil and antioxidants like Vitamin C & Vitamin E.
Leaky gut syndrome patients should chew their food more thoroughly, eat frequent small meals and take their time while eating. A juice fast and taking probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus can also help.
When left undiagnosed or untreated Leaky Gut Syndrome is associated with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroiditis, vasculitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, urticaria (hives), diabetes and Raynaud’s disease.