Leaky Gut – Could this be the cause of many modern day illnesses shares Melanie at Cliffs Chiropractor Southend

Do you have a Leaky Gut?

hrebal medicine at cliffs chiropractor southendDid you know the digestive system has been called ‘the second brain’? It is not an overstatement to say that a healthy digestive system is the gateway to good health. The highest-quality, organic, wholefood diet and supplements will be entirely wasted on you if your body isn’t processing any of that food.

The secret to any diet or supplement programme lies is in your body’s ability to digest properly. It is your digestive system—your stomach and intestines—that does most of the work of turning what you eat into nourishment for your body.

However, there’s a condition called leaky gut that can lead to a host of health problems. In fact all manner of modern-day illnessand many of the chronic problems medicine has no answer for can link back to disturbances in the digestive system.

These include: joint and muscle pains, skin conditions of every variety, mood problems, chronic fatigue, allergies, sleep problems, general immune dysfunction and even emotional or mental problems of all varieties.

It might be a surprise to learn that one or more of your chronic and seemingly unrelated complaints could be caused by a leaky gut.

What is a Leaky Gut?

Think of your gut as a one-way fence. The lining of the gut is permeable—small particles of food are able to pass through it to reach the other cells of the body—and, in a healthy body, these ‘holes’ are small enough to keep out molecules which might otherwise cause harm.

herbal medicine at cliffs chiropractor southendIn addition to the nutrients we need which pass through our permeable gut, food contains a toxic load that the body needs to be protected from. This protection is supplied by complex mechanisms: intestinal secretions, the lining of the intestine and certain white blood cells.

It is through this complex system that the digested, important portions of food are able to pass through to the body while toxins are barricaded out.

However if the gut mucosa is injured or somehow compromised, unwanted products can escape from your intestines and travel throughout your body via your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them. The immune response to these invaders can appear in the form of any of the nine signs you have a leaky gut, which are listed below.

What causes leaky gut?

herbal medicine at cliffs chiropractor southendThe main culprits are foods, infections, and toxins. Gluten is the number one cause of leaky gut. Other inflammatory foods like dairy or toxic foods, such as sugar and excessive alcohol, are suspected as well. The most common infectious causes are candida overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Toxins come in the form of medications, like anti-inflammatories, steroids, antibiotics, acid-reducing drugs, and environmental toxins like mercury, pesticides and BPA from plastics. Stress and age also contribute to a leaky gut.

9 Signs You May Have a Leaky Gut

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.
3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS.
4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or coeliac disease.
5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety.
7. Skin issues such as acne, dermatitis, or eczema.
8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
9. Food allergies or food intolerances.

Repairing a leaky gut:

In my Clinic I have patients follow an elimination diet, which removes the toxins and inflammatory foods for a certain period of time. In addition, I have them follow a 4R programme to heal their gut. The 4R program is as follows:
1. Remove.
Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the gastro-intestinal tract, such as inflammatory and toxic foods, and intestinal infections.
2. Replace.
Replace the good. Add back the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption, such as digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid and bile acids. The liver and gallbladder can be stimulated with herbs such as Dandelion and Milk Thistle.
3. Reinoculate.
It’s critical to restore beneficial bacteria to re-establish a healthy balance of good bacteria.
4. Repair.
It’s essential to provide the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself. One of the best supplements is L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the lining of the gut wall. Herbs such as Marshmallow and Licquorice can be used to sooth and repair intestinal tissue.

It’s possible to cure a leaky gut with a nutrient-dense diet and appropriate herbs and supplements. Nothing will replace consulting a professional for a correct diagnosis and a tailor made prescription so try the advice above and if you are still having problems give me a call.