“Leaky gut” syndrome refers to a condition caused by damage to the stomach and intestinal lining, specifically the mucosa.
When food allergies, unfriendly bacteria or parasites are present, the intestinal lining in the gut can become inflamed, and this inflammation can lead to a variety of serious health problems.
First, it can create an irritated, immune compromised surface in the gut, where unfriendly bacteria, yeast, or parasites can multiply without resistance from the immune system, due to its weakened state. Second, it can create lesions, similar to miniscule pinholes in the intestinal lining. These lesions allow larger than normal or not fully broken down protein molecules to seep from the intestines, into the bloodstream.
Once these undigested proteins enter the bloodstream, serious problems can result. The immune system responds to the molecules as if they were foreign invaders, and produces antibodies to help fight them off. These antibodies attack the protein molecules, but they also end up attacking the intestine itself. Which is why, in addition to various GI disorders, “leaky gut” syndrome has also been linked to autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
The war of the immune system against the invading protein particulates creates inflammation in and around the intestines. This warfare can result in excessive gas, fatigue, poor elimination, possibly diarrhea or constipation, and sets the perfect environment for food allergies and sensitivities to develop.
The affects of the syndrome can grow to epic proportions, to the point where one finds themselves hardly able to eat anything at all without having an allergic-type of reaction. Coupled with this is the inability to absorb necessary nutrients, leaving the body heavily depleted and susceptible to further illness. This process is called Gastrointestinal Hyperpermeable Membrane Syndrome, more common known as Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome leaves one vulnerable to disease. Aggravated by parasites, it can also develop from irritation caused by medications, antibiotics or NSAIDS such as Aspirin, Aleve, or Advil. Excessive use of herbal laxatives such as Cascara sagrada or Senna leaves can also cause problems. Leaky Gut Syndrome is sometimes the culprit behind various immune dysfunctions, auto-immune disorders, headaches, depression, allergies, skin rashes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, among others. Leaky gut is often overlooked in conventional medicine; whereas an alternative or integrative Doctor would be highly aware of the signs and symptoms of this syndrome.
Leaky gut symptoms aren’t unique. They’re shared by other problems, too. And tests often fail to uncover a definite cause of the problem. That can leave people without a diagnosis and, therefore, untreated. Symptoms can include bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, and aches and pains.
LGS can also cause neurological disturbances, such as aggressive behavior, anxiety, confusion, fuzzy or foggy thinking (brain fog), mood swings, nervousness, poor memory, as well as breathing troubles, including shortness of breath and asthma. Other symptoms include poor immunity, recurrent bladder infections, recurrent vaginal infections, skin rashes, bed-wetting, chronic joint pain, chronic muscle pain and fatigue.
Leaky gut syndrome results from damaging the cells of the small intestine so that the spaces between them become larger and allow incompletely digested food molecules and ‘waste’ particles to pass through. Many things can damage these cells, causing or aggravating leaky gut syndrome. Below are the most common culprits:
- NSAIDS-non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen)
- Birth control pills
- Steroid drugs
- Chemotherapeutic agents
- A diet high in refined sugar and flour, processed foods, chemical food additives such as artificial colours and flavours, alcohol (yes, that includes beer and wine), soda pop and caffeine act on the body like toxins. They place a heavy load on the body’s immune system, overburden the liver, and irritate the intestinal lining.
Microorganisms & Free Radicals:
- Various parasites, bacteria, mold and mycotoxins can damage the intestinal lining and can act on undigested food molecules in the gut producing toxic wastes, chemicals, and gas. These toxic by-products can also damage the intestinal lining and, when they pass into the blood, set off immune responses and increase the body’s toxic load.
- Free Radicals can damage any of the body’s tissues and cells, including the intestinal lining.
- Zinc and vitamin B-6 are needed to maintain intestinal wall integrity as well as produce hydrochloric acid.
- Vitamin A is needed to build healthy mucosal linings, including those of the intestines.
- The amino acid, l-glutamine, found in protein plays a part in the normal repair process of the intestines.
- Inflammatory conditions of the intestines such as Crohn’s Disease, colitis, celiac, and pancreatitis can not only cause increase intestinal permeability, the increased intestinal permeability can in turn aggravate these conditions.
- HIV/AIDS can also create a leaky gut as can the medications used to manage the disease.
- Cancers of the gastro-intestinal tract
- Food Allergies that cause an immune response along the gastro-intestinal tract
- Liver disorders and poor liver function
Various Diseases and Disorders:
- A high-stress lifestyle or an inability to deal with everyday stresses-reduces blood flow to the gut and increases free radicals
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.\
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment. We suggest several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
- To relieve inflammation of the GI track, consider administering an enema two to five times a week containing butyric acid. (Add one tablespoon of butyric acid to one quart of warm water.) Butyric acid helps to heal inflammation of the intestinal walls.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitionerhere.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water www.drinkrealwater.com
- Take a bath as often as possible up to once a day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide.
Purified water is essential for any hydrotherapy treatment. Remedies for Treating Chlorinated Bath Water offers clear instructions and recommendations.
Note: Since multiple nutritional deficiencies often occur with leaky gut syndrome, both a dietary and nutritional supplementation program are recommended, and should be undertaken with the guidance of a skilled health practitioner. Because of our unique biological makeup, it is ideal to have an alternative practitioner create a personalized diet and supplement program that takes into account our lifestyle, specific needs, and health challenges, especially in the case of digestive stress. We have compiled some general guidelines to assist your journey to health so you can get started immediately.
In the case of leaky gut and all digestive challenges, healthy eating is of primary importance. Drink plenty of pure filtered water and increase your intake of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and complex whole grains, such as such as amaranth and quinoa, as well as organic, free-range meats, poultry, and wild-caught fish.
Avoid all commercial, processed, fried, and nonorganic food, as well as alcohol, coffee, sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food dyes, milk and dairy products, wheat and wheat products, and refined carbohydrates. Do not eat saturated, trans-, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated fats and oils. Instead choose from virgin coconut butter/oil, extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil, and unrefined hemp seed, walnut, and sunflower oils.
Consider developing a food rotation diet to minimize the impact of acquiring more food allergies. In addition, have yourself screened for potential food allergies and sensitivities and avoid those foods for which you test positive.
We recommend a whole foods diet because of its power to support healing and eliminate many imbalances and disease.
Nutrition and diet are key players in the healing and elimination of imbalance and disease. For a complete, nutrition packed, whole foods eating plan, read the Whole Foods Diet plan. In many cases, a raw food eating plan can be extremely beneficial. To learn more, read Raw Food Diet. You can printout these full articles for easy reference.
As always, consult with an alternative Doctor before making important decisions that will affect your health. The following recommendation is not a personalized program; it is a suggestive guide as to what a supplement program would include that addresses leaky gut syndrome:
- L-Glutamine: 1,000 mg three times daily. Take 15 minutes before meals.
- MSM: 1,000mg three times daily. Take 15-30 minutes before meals, fine to take in combination with L-Glutamine.
- Calcium/Magnesium Butryate
- Ginger: as tea or capsules. 1-3 cups of tea daily or 1 capsule of ginger root powder 1-3 times daily.
- Peppermint tea: 1-3 cups daily at a separate time from the Ginger Tea.
- Zinc: 30 mg daily.
- Gamma oryzanol: 100mg three times daily. Take with or without food.
- Phosphatidyl choline: 300 mg three times daily. Take with or without food.
- Gamma Linolenic Acid – GLA: from Borage, Evening Primrose, or Black Currant Seed Oil (200 mg twice daily). Take with food.
- Butyric Acid: 800-1,600 mg. twice daily. Take with food.
- Renew Pro Whey Protein powder, has the ability to repair intestinal lining
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Learn to love yourself and stop berating yourself. What you say to yourself is what you are or what you become. Watch mindfulness films such as What the Bleep Do We Know www.whatthebleep.com and You Can Heal Your Life www.youcanhealyourlifemovie.comand start using powerful positive affirmations such as “I take loving care of my body” and “I am ready to change” Say the phrase over and over again until you start to believe them. Never underestimate the power of your mind.
- Meditate and allow yourself to be still. This may be really difficult for you at first but stick with it building up your time slowly. Often people create an eating disorder in order to fill a void, to stop them from thinking and feeling, and to give them something to focus on. Try guided meditations to help you to relax and let go of negative programming.
Stress Management: Learning how to reduce and properly manage stress is essential for helping to protect against gastritis. Stress reduction techniques are also very helpful for dealing with emotions such as anger, depression, and hopelessness that can exacerbate symptoms. Holistic health practitioners help their patients accomplish stress reduction through the use of various mind/body medicine techniques, such as biofeedback, hypnotherapy, and relaxation exercises. Meditation is another form of stress management that can be highly effective. There are many ways to meditate. One of the easiest is simply to sit comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed as you focus on your breathing. Do this for five to ten minutes twice a day and gradually extend each session 20-30 minutes. To enhance your efforts, concentrate on mentally repeating a peaceful phrase each time that you inhale and exhale, allowing all other thoughts to arise and pass without becoming involved in them. At first, this may seem difficult, but with committed practice you will eventually find yourself able to do so while experiencing greater degrees of calm and peace.
We recommend you consult a licensed practitioner but in Ayurveda, treatment depends on body type, and different food dressings are recommended for different body types. According to Dr Virender Sodhi MD (Ayurveda) ND, Director of the Ayurveda and Naturopathic Clinic in Bellevue, Washington,: “many people have low hydrochloric aicd.” He recommends half a lemon squeezed into half a cup of water, 10 to 15 minutes before meals to stimulate gastric juices. Ginger tea or ginger added to the lemon is also beneficial and Trikata, a mixture of Indian long pepper, black pepper and ginger can be taken as well – an effective does is half a teaspoon before meals. He also recommends meditation with the type varying depending on the person’s body type. Kapha types for example, are smell and taste orientated and should use incense or flowers.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
We recommend you consult a licensed practitioner in order that your treatment is tailor made to your individual needs. TCM concentrates on balancing the body’s cold and heat systems and recommends acupuncture for redressing any imbalances. The herbs bupleurum, ginseng, gingko and astralagus are also used because of their anti-oxidant abilities.
The essential oils of chamomile and geranium can help to relieve symptoms. Lemon oil can also be used. Also consider:
- Aniseed, Anise Star, Basil, Fennel, Peppermint, Marjoram, Rosemary, Melissa – good for cramps
- Nutmeg, Peppermint, Cardamon, Juniper, Nutmeg – good for colic
For a massage, add between two and five drops of a maximum combination of three oils to 25ml of a carrier oil, or drop the oils into a warm bath.
We recommend you consult a licensed practitioner who can prescribe a remedy according to your individual symptoms but the following are often used: Aloe, Allumium sativa, Arsen. Alb., Belladonna, Cantharis, Colchicum, Merc. Sol.,and Nux vomica.
The following are recommended:
Slippery Elm – it contains a substance called mucilage which when combined with water, forms a gel that can coat and soother sensitive linings of the digestive tract.
Peppermint – taken in tea form this can be crucial to the digestive process, calming the stomach and acting as a natural, mild anti-biotic.
Chamomile – taken in tea form it alleviates gas, cramps and bloating caused by leaky gut syndrome
Marshmallow root – this soothes inflamed linings of the digestive tract.
Echinacea – a good immune system booster which has natural anti-inflammatory agents, particularly beneficial in treating leaky gut syndrome.
Goldenseal – provides rapid relief when used to treat digestive problems. It fights parasites and microbes countering the effects of bacteria that have leaked from the gut into the blood stream.
Lemon Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar: A spoon or two with water taken before meals can aid digestion
Juice Therapy: Useful juice remedies include raw cabbage juice by itself, or mixed with either carrot or celery juice; raw potato juice; wheatgrass juice; carrot, spinach juice; carrot juice; carrot, beet cucumber. Avoid all citrus juices, as this can greatly aggravate your symptoms.
Lifestyle: If you smoke, stop, and also avoid exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke. In addition, learn how to effectively cope with and manage stress.
If you are currently taking aspirin or other NSAIDs, consider replacing them with safer, more effective natural remedies.
Manuka Honey: manuka honey is effective at treating leaky gut syndrome, stomach ulcers, gastritis, and other digestive problems due to both its anti-inflammatory and probiotic characteristics.
Exercise: Use a rebounder (mini trampoline). Rebounding helps build strength and endurance. Rebounding keeps you fit and healthy both on the outside and inside and is a fantastic all round workout.
Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong are all effective practices for improved overall health.
Alternative Professional Care
The following therapies can also help to prevent and relieve gastritis and ulcers: Ayurveda, Biofeedback Training and Neurotherapy, Bodywork (Feldenkrais Method, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Therapeutic Touch), Craniosacral Therapy, Detoxification Therapy, Environmental Medicine, Enzyme Therapy, Fasting, Guided Imagery, Hypnotherapy, Mind/Body Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Neural Therapy, Osteopathic Medicine, Oxygen Therapy, Qigong, Tai Chi, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Yoga. (See Glossary for descriptions of these Alternative Therapies.)
Heal leaky gut by restoring stomach acid levels: www.naturalnews.com/033181_leaky_gut_syndrome_stomach_acid.html
Modern lifestyles promotes leaky gut: www.naturalnews.com/036478_chronic_inflammation_Leaky_Gut_digestion.html
Yoga or leaky gut syndrome and auto-immune conditions: www.essentialyogatherapy.com/yoga-therapy-classes/yoga-therapy-group-classes/yoga-for-auto-immune-conditions
Ayurvedic home remedy for leaky gut: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n4SZoo9saI
Colostrum aids leaky gut syndrome: www.naturalnews.com/031500_colostrum_leaky_gut_syndrome.html
Potassium deficiency may lead to excess acid: www.naturalnews.com/022589_potassium_diet_deficiency.html
Strawberries may protect the stomach lining: www.naturalnews.com/034444_strawberries_alcohol_digestive_system.html
Healing properties of cat’s claw: www.naturalnews.com/032917_cats_claw_herb.html
Further Information (links and books)
Eating right for a Bad Gut, James Scala; Gastrointestinal Health, Steven Perkin MD; Gut Reaction, Gudrun Jonsson; Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments by Martie Whittekin; Natural Stomach Care: Treating and Preventing Digestive Disorders with the Best of Eastern and Western Healing Therapies by Anil Minocha; Healthy Digestion the Natural Way: Preventing and Healing Heartburn, Constipation, Gas, Diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel and Gallbladder Diseases, Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and More by Lindsey Berkson
David Reavely firstname.lastname@example.org – Food intolerance, nutrition, exercise
Andrea Butje | Aromahead email@example.com – Aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt firstname.lastname@example.org – Organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA email@example.com – Meditation, stress
Judith Hoad firstname.lastname@example.org – Herbalist.
Kath May email@example.com – Reiki, Tai Chi.
Lillian Bridges firstname.lastname@example.org – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika email@example.com – Aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic practitioner.