(Here’s how your health problems could be all your mom’s fault.)
“Leaky gut” is a fascinating story, and understanding it might change your health forever. As a society, we suffer from a health epidemic caused mainly by the bacteria that grow in your intestines. There are many different ways this problem can present itself, but to simplify, we’ll just call it “leaky gut.”
Leaky Gut can cause Intestinal Symptoms and Extra-Intestinal Symptoms (problems that aren’t directly related to digestion).
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Bloating, gas
- Constipation, diarrhea
- Joint pain
- Concentration and learning disabilities
- Rashes (such as eczema)
- Irritability and mood swings
- Muscle pain
That’s a lot of health problems!
What is Leaky Gut?
Your body is made of cells… about 37 TRILLION of them. Also inside your body are “symbiotic microbes (bacteria).” These are bacteria that can’t live without you—and you can’t live without them! There are about ten times as many of these microbes in your body as there are cells. The average person has about 5 POUNDS of these bacteria, mainly in the small intestine. Your body is continually rebuilding itself. Your body will replace or rebuild most of its 37 trillion cells every three months. For this, your body needs a LOT of replacement parts for cells. It gets almost all of these by breaking down the cells in the food you eat into parts (called “nutrients”), putting those parts into the blood, and then assembling the replacement cells it needs from these repurposed food cell parts. Once you understand this, food takes on a decidedly different level of importance! The thing is, your digestive system can’t break food cells down into nutrients; only the microbes can do this. So, the bacteria in your small intestine produce 100% of your body’s replacement parts. Also, these intestinal bacteria are the source of 75% of your immune system. Leaky gut: a condition in which gaps in your intestinal walls start to loosen, making it easier for larger substances, such as bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles, to pass across the intestinal walls into your bloodstream. Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal bacteria become damaged and unhealthy. If this happens, it can create immune system malfunctions. The biggest immune system problem it can cause is inflammation. Inflammation can lead to joint pain, rashes, muscle pain, and fatigue. There is a direct connection between the digestive system and the brain, each influencing the other. Leaky gut can create anxiety, depression, concentration and learning difficulties, memory problems, and “brain fog.” Leaky gut can play havoc with your digestive system absorbing nutrients correctly, leading to many different health problems.
Causes of Leaky Gut
You get your intestinal bacteria initially from your mother when you’re in the birth canal. As a fetus, you don’t have any bacteria in your gut. So, if your mother had unhealthy bacteria in HER gut, that’s what you got when you were born. This problem is even worse if you were a C-section. Studies have shown that C-section babies miss receiving this good microbial bacteria at birth. Even if you lucked into healthy intestinal bacteria as a child, your gut bacteria has been under constant attack. Antibiotics cause damage. Food additives often cause damage to your bacteria, as does overeating sugar and processed carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta). A diet high in processed foods (low in nutrients) can worsen your gut health. Yeast is naturally present in your gut, but an overgrowth of yeast can contribute to the problem. One of the most common problems causing leaky gut is allergies. Leaky gut CAUSES allergies, and allergies make leaky gut worse. This self-reinforcing cycle is a likely cause of many cases of adult-onset leaky gut and adult-onset allergies. Allergies create inflammation, and in combination with the inflammation from leaky gut, we have a perfect storm to cause more inflammation and sometimes auto-immune conditions. (Autoimmune is where the body’s immune system attacks the body itself instead of invaders. Common autoimmune conditions are: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, MS, type 1 diabetes, and many others).
When I began to practice in the ’90s, I saw plenty of leaky-gut-type problems, but only in a moderate number of my patients. For the past decade, 95%+ of every patient through my door has had significant to severe leaky gut indications. It’s become an epidemic.
What you can do:
- Eat protein and veggies, limit carbs and eliminate sugars.
- Avoid processed foods and food additives, preservatives, and colors.
- Avoid antibiotics (soaps and drugs) unless absolutely necessary.
- Eat plenty of high-fiber foods.
- Don’t take NSAIDs (like ibuprofen).
- Eat fermented foods and take good probiotics.
Professional Leaky Gut Solutions
In my practice, I see mainly patients with long-term severe chronic health problems. In most of these cases, you can see that leaky gut and its destruction of the immune system will be a significant factor. Every case is different, but here’s a typical lineup to help a patient with severe gut and immune problems:
- Gut problems cause food sensitivities. The first step is to use acupressure techniques to desensitize the most common food sensitivities.
- Gut problems create food sensitivities with IgG antibodies. These are delayed reaction sensitivities and can cause many different health problems on a three-day delay (so you can never figure out what food is the problem). Using a simple blood test, I can test hundreds of foods and temporarily eliminate those needed to reduce gut stress.
- Carefully testing for the needed supplements to help support and rebuild the damaged gut and its supporting systems is crucial.
- Diet changes to stop stressing the gut and immune system are implemented right away in these cases.
- Once the gut is beginning to heal (by reducing stress from allergies, sensitivities and diet), it will often be necessary to use acupressure hormone treatments to resolve long-term stress on either the adrenal glands or the digestive system.
Tell Me How You’re Doing
Just write to me at PatientServices@AlternativeHealthAtlanta.com. I am concerned and very interested in your experience. Wishing you the very best,
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