Leaky Gut Syndrome
What is LGS
Leaky gut syndrome is a digestive condition that affects the lining of the intestines. In leaky gut syndrome, gaps in the intestinal walls allow bacteria and other toxins to pass into the bloodstream causing inflammation of the gut lining.
The inflammation is caused by:
Antibiotics – which lead to overgrowth of abnormal flora in the GI tract
Food and beverages contaminated by parasites
Enzyme deficiencies (celiac, lactose intolerance)
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ASA, ibuprofen, etc.)
Prescription corticosteroids (prednisone)
High refined carbohydrate diet (candy bars, cookies, etc.)
Mold and fungal mycotoxins in stored grains, fruit, and refined carbohydrates
The inflammatory process causes swelling and the presence of many noxious chemicals all of which can block the absorption of vitamins and essential amino acids. A leaky gut does not absorb the nutrients properly.
Some of the symptoms that may occur include bloating, gas, cramps, and diarrhea or constipation and a person ends up with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Symptoms like fatigue, headaches, memory loss, poor concentration, and irritability start to develop.
With leaky gut, the intestinal lining becomes more permeable (porous) than normal. Large spaces between cells of the gut wall open and allow the entry of toxic material into the bloodstream that should have either been repelled or eliminated.
The gut becomes leaky and allows bacteria, fungi, parasites, and their toxins, undigested protein, fat and waste normally not absorbed into the bloodstream in the healthy state, pass through a damaged hyper permeable porous or “leaky” gut.
In addition to food allergies, leaky gut can also cause the bloodstream to be invaded by bacteria, fungi, and parasites that in a healthy state would not penetrate the protective barrier of the gut.
To heal a leaky gut, it’s important to follow the 5 R program.
You start with an elimination diet which would include removing wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, along with other foods that your practitioner may have discovered through a food sensitivity test. If you have a lot of unfriendly bacteria then it will be important to use a supplement to remove the unfriendly bacteria like berberine or wormwood or black walnut. If you have an overgrowth of yeast you may need to treat this with oregano and grapefruit seed extract.
Probiotics will be added to help with re inoculating and to make sure when the bacteria is treated that the removal is replaced. You may add l-glutamine to help with sealing the gut wall lining and you may also add zinc-carnosine to help with healing.
Eventually, you may add back some of the foods you have eliminated after your gut heals, however it’s important that you always incorporate fruits and vegetables and lots of color in your diet for their phytochemical property. Also, make sure you chew your food slowly and practice mindful eating.
If you are dealing with leaky gut syndrome, I encourage you to seek out medical attention and work with a dietician or IFMCP that can create a food plan to help you heal.
Until next time…eat healthily and move.