One of the reasons why I wanted to talk more about leaky gut syndrome is because it makes sense to me that it could easily be the cause of most autoimmune diseases.
In my mind I feel like if there are things swimming around in your bloodstream that belong in your gut, your body is going to react.
To your body, there is a foreign substance traveling through your system and all it wants to do is fight it off.
But why exactly is your body always in fight mode. Why is it always attacking itself?
We are consistently consuming things throughout the day, which could mean that most of what you consume is making it’s way to your bloodstream.
A few years ago, I drank so much caffeine that all the contents of my gut ended up affecting my Thyroid, causing me to suffer from thyroiditis.
My gut was so weak that everything I ate and drank, caused horrific pain through my entire body. It wasn’t until I started working on my gut and healing it that I began feeling better.
What Exactly is a Leaky Gut?
Accordingly, to research, the cause of many auto immune diseases, and food allergies could be because of the progression of a leaky gut.
The lining of your digestive system can be considered something like a net with small holes that allow only specific substances to pass through into your blood stream.
When the lining of your gut works properly nothing big can get through.
When the lining of your gut isn’t working, it no longer works as a barrier keeping out big particles. These big particles can damage your entire system.
Imagine food particles and unwanted toxic waste floating through your blood on an consistent basis. Do you honestly think that your immune system would work correctly under these circumstances?
Having a leaky gut means having increased intestinal permeability. The net of your digestive system is no longer intact, and it is allowing things that normally can’t pass through, to slide into your bloodstream.
Things such as undigested food particles, bad bacteria, toxic waste can leak through the intestinal wall right into your bloodstream, in turn causing an autoimmune response, such as Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome can cause systemic inflammation, as well as symptoms such as;
- Food sensitivities
- Joint Pain
- Skin Issues
- Weight gain or loss
- Digestive problems
- Thyroid conditions
- Autoimmune diseases
Most people don’t even know that they are suffering from a leaky gut. One of the signs that you might be suffering from a leaky gut is experiencing food sensitives due to partially digested fat and protein that seep through the lining of your intestine.
Particles making their way to your bloodstream can cause an allergic reaction.
The type of allergic reaction most people suffer from are autoimmune responses. If you leave your leaky gut un-repaired, it can lead to-
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- migraine headaches
- muscle pain
- chronic fatigue
The Journal of Diabetes believes that there is a strong body of evidence that a leaky gut is a major cause of Type 1 diabetes.
Leaky gut has a way of causing malabsorption of nutrients and minerals including iron, zinc, and Vitamin B12.
This is one thing that I have always noted whenever my son got his blood work done. He would continue to stay anemic and I didn’t understand why.
Unfortunately for me, my son’s situation allows me to better access his gut health. He currently has an ileostomy, and a colostomy.
For a long time, we depended on medications such as Remicade, and Humira. And we also figured that the surgeries were going to take the load off his disease.
Over time, I started to realize that it’s going to be up to us to make this disease better. I no longer want to put a band aid on his disease.
I want us to find out how to reverse this shit so that he can live a productive life. My first pit stop was to begin investigating the leaky gut theory.
What are the Possible Causes of Leaky Gut
There are a few main causes that can cause a leaky gut which include:
- Toxin overload
- Bacterial imbalance
- Chronic stress
- Poor diet
Foods that can damage your intestines is sugar, GMO’s un-sprouted grains, and dairy.
Many people eat un-sprouted grains on a regular basis, but have no idea how un-sprouted grains can affect the lining of your intestine.
Un-sprouted grains contain large amounts of nutrient blockers called lectins and phytates. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that act as a natural defense system for plants.
It can protect them from outside invaders such as parasites and mold.
Although this is amazing for the plant, it isn’t good for us humans at all. Our digestive lining is covered with cells that contain sugar.
These cells are there to break down food. Lectins gravitate to your digestive lining, damages it and causes inflammation.
What Foods Cause Leaky Gut
Lectins can be found in a lot of different foods. And most of the time when we eat them in small amounts we do fine.
I personally plain to take gluten (wheat) and un-sprouting grains from our son’s diet so that we can continue to work to heal his leaky gut.
Foods that consist of lectins include rice, spelt, soy and wheat. The only real way we are going to heal his gut is if we take these foods away.
GMO and genetically modified foods tend to be the highest in lectins. And gluten seems to irritate the gut lining and cause leaky gut syndrome.
I personally think that we can remove these foods from his diet and then add them back once his gut is back healthy.
It’s a bit weird that conventional cow’s milk is a food that has been known to cause leaky gut syndrome.
Crazy because my kids really don’t drink milk. The component of dairy that harms your gut is A1 casein.
There are vital enzymes that we need to digest sugars, and pasteurization process in milk destroys those enzymes; making lactose totally difficult to digest.
It is recommended that if we plan to drink milk that it comes from A2 cows, buffalo, sheep and goats. The same for all milk.
We are not bred to intake milk from other species. Cow’s milk is for calf’s, and human milk is for humans. I think we should venture more toward coconut milks and the like.
Another food that can wreak havoc on the digestive system is sugar. Sugar feeds candida, yeast, and bad bacteria, which can damage your gut.
Exotoxins are the byproduct of bad bacteria and that will eat a hole in your intestinal wall, causing further damage to your healthy cells.
Other things that can Contribute to a Leaky Gut
I can talk all day about what can contribute to a leaky gut, but when it all boils down to it, I’m still testing and learning myself.
As I learn I share. And as I discover I share even more. There are a few other things that can contribute to a leaky gut which further convinces me that attempting to travel this route might be the way to go.
Toxins- Lets just be honest. There are over 100,000 toxins and chemicals that we all meet every single year.
But when it comes to a leaky gut pesticide, tap water, antibiotics, NSAIDS and aspirin all contribute to a leaky gut.
It’s important that we stray from drinking tap water because it consists of fluoride and chlorine. Use plant passed herbs to reduce any type of inflammation that you may be suffering from.
Dysbiosis- Dysbiosis is a condition that has been said to contribute to the development of leaky gut.
This is an imbalance between the harmful and beneficial species of bacteria in your gut.
Many people can pass this on to their child through C-section because the mother didn’t have a healthy gut during her pregnancy.
Overusing prescription antibiotic drugs and the lack of probiotic-rich foods can contribute to the imbalance of the bad and good bacteria.
How to Heal a Leaky Gut
There are so many herbs and treatments that I have come across when it comes to healing a leaky gut.
And I will tell you like I tell everyone else; there isn’t one single treatment. But there are a few that I am starting to stand by.
Since I am currently in the mist of the storm, I’m still testing and watching. But I will list the steps that I’m beginning to implement into my son’s treatment.
- Total Detox- Remove foods that can create havoc in the gut
- Add foods that are healing. Anti-inflammatory foods
- Implement supplements
- Balance with probiotics
These four steps are the steps that I’m taking to reverse this shitty auto immune disease in our son.
I understand that it’s going to take time, and we are patient. But If it’s the last thing I do, I will get him back where he needs to be.
I’ve started adding one single natural herb to this treatment plan and so far, I’m liking what I see. This herb has been one that I’ve studied for the past 3 months.
During my research I’ve learned that no one herbal supplement is creating equal. If you are going to invest in a herb, then you must invest in one that is of high quality.
So do I think that leaky gut syndrome may play a part in my son’s auto immune disease? You damn right I do.
I believe that a leaky gut can cause one’s body to spiral out of control. And my focus is to close those holes and get his intestine to function how it’s supposed to.
Visser, J (2010) Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permiability and Autoimmunity Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms. PubMed.
Maes M, Leunis JC (2008) ‘Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria’, Journal of Neuro Endocrinology, 29(6), pp. 902-10.
Pike, M. G.; Heddle, R. J.; Boulton, P.; Turner, M. W.; Atherton, D. J. (1986). “Increased Intestinal Permeability in Atopic Eczema”. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2): 101–104.
Kiefer D, Ali-Akbarian L (2004). “A brief evidence-based review of two gastrointestinal illnesses: irritable bowel and leaky gut syndromes”. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine (3): 22–30.