Something called “leaky gut” could be the root cause of your health concerns.
Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract:
- Alter food by chemical and mechanical means into substances that can be absorbed. This involves the digestive enzymes secreted by the stomach, pancreas and gallbladder.
- Absorb nutrients in the small and large intestines
- Eliminate unused substances
- Keep a tight barrier from the outside world (food) and inside (blood)
Signs that general functions are not carried out properly:
- Bloating and gas
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Undigested food in stool
- Sensitivities to foods
- Body aches and pains
Could leaky gut be the answer?
In very simple terms, leaky gut may be the cause of some of the above listed symptoms. Leaky gut is when the barrier between the outside world (food, medicines, or supplements) you put into the body begin to “leak” into the bloodstream. Normally, the mucosa (lining of the digestive tract) has tight junctions between the cells that line the digestive tract. When these cells are no longer tightly lined up due to chronic inflammation, toxins, pathogens (bad bacteria or yeast), or stress, symptoms as listed above can occur. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words…
- Testing for leaky gut can be done with a simple at home test called the lactulose/mannitol test. Or can be considered when there are multiple food sensitivities or based on symptoms. Often, my recommendations may come from a presumed leaky gut situation, without testing.
- Identify food sensitivities and remove them from your nutrition plan. This can be done with an elimination/challenge type diet (or cleanse) or can be done with an in office test for food sensitivity.
- Replace good bacteria and kill off any pathogenic bacteria or yeast. This may involve herbs or supplements to kill bad bacteria (berberine, caprylic acid, grprefruit seed extract, etc. ) and replace with a high quality probiotic (25 + billion CFUs per cap and good mix of lacto and bifido bacteria)
- Support normal digestive function with L-glutamine, DGL, slippery elm, and digestive enzymes
- Heal the lining of the digestive tract to regenerate cells that are no longer performing optimally by removing triggers like stress and harmful medicines (especially antacid medications or NSAIDs)
- Healing foods:
- Bone broth
- Fermented Foods: sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir
- Coconut oil
As you know, health starts with the gut! Hope this finds you with a happy digestive system!