Leaky Gut Syndrome occurs when your intestinal mucosa is damaged and large food molecules, bacteria, and microorganisms pass through your intestinal wall into the bloodstream and circulate through your body.
Your gut ecosystem is home to both good and bad microorganisms, with the good bacteria representing 80% of your immunity. When unfriendly microorganisms and yeast are allowed to proliferate, they act upon your undigested food particles and produce toxic chemicals called endotoxins. These endotoxins damage your mucosal lining, eroding your gut lining, resulting in increased intestinal permeability. This is the basic mechanism by which leaky gut comes into being.
You should consider that you might have a leaky gut when you experience:
- gas, bloating, and flatulence
- irritable bowel symptoms (abdominal pain)
- mental fog, confusion, and/or concentration and memory problems
- mood swings
- joint pain or swelling
- food allergies/intolerances
- sinus or nasal congestion (especially just after you eat)
- chronic or frequent inflammation (anywhere in your body)
- wounds that are slow to heal
These conditions are associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome:
- ADD / ADHD
- Autoimmune diseases
- Candidiasis (yeast overgrowth)
- Celiac disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Cystic Fibroysis
- Food Allergies/Intolerances
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Malnutrition (deficiency of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids)
- Ulcerative Colitis
The net result of leaky gut can be the eventual development of an autoimmune disease, where your immune system begins attacking itself. Physicians are now becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the GI tract in the development of autoimmune diseases.
What causes it:
Contributing factors of your Leaky Gut Syndrome are:
- a diet of refined carbohydrates (junk food)
- chemical food additives (dyes, preservatives, flavorings, etc.)
- eating in a hurry or unrelaxed state
- inadequate chewing
- excessive fluid intake with meals
- low stomach acid
- enzyme deficiencies
- free radicals
- improper food combining
- impaired digestion (undigested food particles)
- heightened exposure to environmental toxins
- dental toxins (from restorative materials and invasive procedures)
- mold and fungal mycotoxins (in stored grains, fruit and refined carbs)
- bacterial infection
- candida overgrowth
- prescriptive hormones (such as birth control pills)
- stress of any kind
Perhaps the greatest contributors to leaky gut are these drugs:
- NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, and Motrin)
- steroids (including prescription corticosteroids)
- antibiotics (which lead to overgrowth of unfriendly microorganisms)
What can I do about it:
Since Leaky Gut Syndrome is not an accepted medical diagnosis, there is really no standard medical treatment. Most conventional medical doctors will focus upon treating conditions that arise from leaky gut syndrome, using drug therapy or surgery.
Alternative practitioners take a different approach – finding the underlying cause of your leaky gut, with your diet being a foundational step. Here are some diet and lifestyle options for you:
Steps to immediate relief are:
(1) Choose your team of healthcare practitioners wisely. Your health condition and experience of discomfort may be the result of many imbalances in your body, requiring proper testing and an accurate diagnosis. Choosing practitioners with additional training in the areas nutrition, hormone testing/balancing, and detoxification processes will help you take a multi-faceted approach.
Taking ownership of your health equation can be one of the most empowering steps you can take and you can do this by: becoming more informed, listening to your inner wisdom, focusing on your “ideal experience” of health, and partnering with your healthcare and wellness practitioners to effect the best possible outcome. Essential Wellness would be honored to be a part of your wellness team.
(2) Make water your beverage of choice. Water is one of nature’s natural cleansers. Drinking optimal levels of purified water benefits your overall health by supporting your ability to digest your food, supporting your liver in its ability to detoxify your body, and providing fluid for optimal elimination of toxins.
Commit to drinking 1/2 your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. Drinking sips of warmed water (not microwaved) can help support you with detoxifying the congestion in your intestinal tract and lymphatic system throughout your entire body. Eliminating all other caffeinated, sugary, mucus-producing, carbonated beverages (such as coffee, tea, dairy, and soda pop) is essential as they support digestive dysfunction, parasitic and yeast overgrowth, and insulin resistance.
(3) It’s very important that you digest, assimilate, detoxify and eliminate properly. Anytime a food is eaten and not completely digested, it will only feed inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and leaky gut. Low stomach acid interferes with the first step of digestion and can be a factor in your health equation.
The HCI Challenge Test can help you determine if you have low stomach acid. If your HCl Challenge Test causes you to experience immediate reflux symptoms, confer with your doctor to rule out a possible H. pylori infection, ulcer, or other stomach issues. Repairing your stomach lining is essential.
(4) Determine whether your symptoms are related to an overgrowth of microorganisms like Candida and Parasites because they often show up with leaky gut and the symptoms of all three overlap. With this information, you will be better informed to ask questions of your team of practitioners. We can teach you how to improve your diet, eliminate candida and parasites, and repair your leaky gut by incorporating an elimination diet as your next step.
(5) Because Leaky Gut Syndrome has to do with your digestive tract, eliminating the most common highly-reactive, inflammatory foods (dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and corn) can help you eliminate the food sources that are contributing to your leaky gut situation, while you complete the required repair work. Upgrading your building materials will help you to unburden your digestive system, remove the foods that feed unfriendly microorganisms, stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, and support your body’s detoxification and elimination processes.
Replace inflammatory foods with satisfying balanced meals (healthy, lean and clean proteins; low-glycemic and high fiber carbohydrates; lots and lots of dark leafy greens; and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, oils). Reintroducing each reactive food group separately will allow you to determine what foods are still a problem for you. At Essential Wellness, we have a specific coaching program designed to help you formulate a diet that will work best for you and teach you how to optimize your digestion.
(6) Avoid or minimize the use of NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, etc.), antibiotics and antacids by cleaning up your diet and supporting your digestive process.
(7) Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals by cleaning up your environment. Choose eco-friendly household cleaners and lawn-care products. Upgrade your personal care products to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. Eat organic foods whenever possible. In our coaching program at Essential Wellness, we teach you where toxins are hidden in common products you use every day and give you sources of household, lawn-care, and personal-care products that are eco-friendly and toxin free.
(8) The use of essential oils can be beneficial to you. For immediate pain relief, apply 1-3 drops of essential oil (such as DiGize and Purification) to 1 tsp of carrier oil (V6 or olive oil) and apply through self massage of area(s) where your discomfort lies or massage correlating neurolymphatic and/or foot reflex points (such as your liver, stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines). Layering multiple oils can create a synergistic effect.
Young Living Essential Oils are safe, effective, and known for their pureness and therapeutic-grade qualities and we can show you how to use them.
(9) Eliminating excessive stress levels is an important key to your well-being. A little stress can prompt you into action and that’s good thing. Too much stress can affect your digestive capabilities as well as the function of your adrenal glands. Using stress reduction techniques regularly will help you manage your stress more effectively.
Stress reduction techniques might include: exercise, relaxation therapy (such as meditation, visualization, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or tai chi), biofeedback, hypnosis, EFT, Mental-Emotional Stress Release, counseling or stress management training. We teach various techniques to help you diffuse your stress.
Steps to long-term, permanent relief:
If you are experiencing a lot of the symptoms associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome, your inner ecosystem has been out of balance for quite some time. It’s time for you to implement these additional steps:
(10) Making your dietary improvements permanent might be exactly what you need to feel better. When you don’t provide the necessary nutrients, all aspects of digestion, absorption, detoxification and elimination will be impaired. Your body can only mirror the quality of the building materials you provide it through your diet.
The place where most people fail is falling back into old habits that slowly recreate their imbalances and symptoms. Eating healthy 95% of the time and indulging only 5% of the time supports your optimal well-being. If you are struggling with how to integrate these changes on your own, an Essential Wellness practitioner skilled in the areas of nutrition, digestion and detoxification can help you.
(11) ALCAT allergy testing can easily determine what allergens are triggering you. Your test results will tell you what foods, chemicals, and other environmental triggers (like pet dander, mold, fungi, grasses) are triggers for you. This testing determines the severity of your intolerance and gives you recommendations of how long to remove it from your environment while you repair your digestive system.
If it’s determined that you have food, chemical or environmental sensitivities, receiving NAET Desensitization Therapy might be part of your allergies answer. This desensitization therapy works in combination with cleaning up your diet, strengthening your ability to digest your food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating toxins. It helps reduce the over-triggering of your immune system.
(12) When you are suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome, it will benefit you to complete repair work of your gut lining so that you digest and assimilate nutrients from your food. Herbal supplements like a Biocult probiotic, L-glutamine powder, NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid, digestive enzymes, and Glutathione spray all have their place in supporting the rebuilding of your gut ecosystem, but they will not make up the difference if you eat a “crappy” diet.
You can also introduce organic, home-made probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, etc., to continue to feed and build your gut ecosystem. The healthier your gut ecosystem is, the more able your immune system is to chelate toxins from your body. There are many ayuredic herbs that benefit the repair of your digestive system. Young Living has many nutritional supplements that can help you balance your digestive terrain. We can help teach you about these supportive supplements and live foods at Essential Wellness.
(13) Detoxifying your body through dietary improvements, an herbal cleanse program, and/or detoxification therapies can be an effective way to improve your overall experience of well-being. Before beginning any detox protocol, check in with your healthcare practitioner, to determine if there is a reason you should not complete a cleanse at this time. (When your body is in an extreme state of stress and toxicity, it’s important to replenish your nutrient reserves before beginning any detoxification protocol.)
It is also very important for your elimination channels to be open before beginning and during any detoxification program, otherwise you may suffer from a Herxheimer Reaction. At Essential Wellness, we know the ins and outs of the cleansing and detoxification process and we can help you minimize your discomfort as you detoxify your body.
(14) Test for Heavy Metals. There is a connection between candida overgrowth, leaky gut and mercury poisoning and it may be very difficult if not impossible for your body to repair itself from leaky gut as long as you have heavy metal poisoning. Request a Heavy Metal Profile from your health professional. If test results show you have a high level of mercury toxins, work with a naturopathic dentist to properly replace your silver amalgam fillings.
How can Essential Wellness help:
At Essential Wellness, we believe repair and recovery is based on many factors. Although we cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat or claim to cure any medical condition you may have, our focus is on helping you reduce the many levels of stress that are playing into your current health experience.
If you are experiencing leaky gut symptoms or a disorder associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome (such as candida overgrowth, food sensitivities, allergies, gut dysbiosis), the therapies you’ve tried are not giving you relief, and you need more assistance in putting it all together, Essential Wellness can help you. We do this by sharing our knowledge and experience, tools, techniques, and these therapies:
- Nutrition & Wellness Plan is one of our coaching programs that will help you get clear about what your wellness goals are (based on your individual needs), teach you how to decipher and make sense of all the dietary information available to you, and help you formulate your own wellness plan with accountability. The foundation of your wellness plan will be structured around habits that only you have the power to control and change.
- Based on our knowledge and experience, most health disorders including Leaky Gut Syndrome are connected to some physiological dysfunction that causes accumulated toxicity in the body and vice versa. We offer the detoxification therapies of Colonics, Core Lymphatic, and IonCleanse Foot Detox to help reduce stress on your digestive, detoxification and elimination channels. Colonics in combination with herbal support will compliment your dietary foundation and can be especially helpful to you when you are not eliminating at least once per day.
- We offer Core Synchronism, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, and Vibrational Raindrop Technique therapies to assist you in balancing your physical body by reducing stress associated with leaky gut. When your body feels out of balance and you feel stress, it is usually due to blocked or congested energy that has settled in your physical body. These body balancing therapies help you relieve this kind of stress. We can add Essential Oils to compliment the therapy you receive.
- Toxic emotions can block the flow of your energy channels and become stuck in your physical body. The emotional component of leaky gut symptoms can stem from not accepting yourself, not believing you are good enough, and not being able to digest or accept new ideas. If any of these descriptions match what you are experiencing, Mental-Emotional Stress Release techniques can help you understand and integrate these experiences and diffuse the stress they cause you. Flower Remedies can compliment the therapy you receive.
- With Leaky Gut Syndrome you are most likely experiencing multiple symptoms. We offer RAE Radionics Hair Analysis as another tool to help you understand any stress that is present in your energy system.