What is Leaky Gut?

From the mouth to anus is an enfolding of our skin.  As you know, our skin contains a layer of cells and microorganisms that protect us.  The inner “skin” or gastrointestinal (GI) tract has the same.  Leaky gut is a term also known as gastroparesis. This occurs when our GI lining’s barrier, that includes normally tight junctions between cells, breaks down and allows substances (other than the normal amino acids, vitamins, minerals) into our blood stream.  The result is toxemia, toxic blood, which is one of the deepest root causes for all ill health. These foreign substances absorbed into the blood can be large food particles, yeasts, parasites, bacteria and other foreign bodies.  Our immune system has to work to attack these foreign particles and creates immunoglobulins. The liver has to detoxify and support the immune system. The body can become overburdened with all the extra work and this is when the it will elicit symptoms.

“Maldigestion, malabsorption, and abnormal gut flora and ecology are often found to be primary contributing factors not only to gastrointestinal disorders but also to a wide variety of chronic, systemic illnesses.”

What symptoms are associated with Leaky Gut?

First symptoms of Leaky Gut may be one or more of the following: gas, bloating, headaches, general abdominal pain, food sensitivities/allergies, histamine related issues such as itchy skin or hives. Some patients have acne, diarrhea, constipation and even behavior/mood changes.  Many will go for years with no noticeable symptoms at all, or they will blame other life events for these changes not realizing Leaky Gut is the cause. More advanced symptoms are lack of concentration, migraines, weak or tight muscles, irritability, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and colitis.

What causes Leaky Gut?

leaky gut schematic

The way to heal Leaky Gut is to first find and eradicate what is causing it, then heal the damaged lining.

Gut Damaging Factors:

  1. MOST COMMON CAUSE = NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, prednisone) – damages the healthy mucus production which destroys our natural protection, food/acid/enzymes then irritate and causes damage
  2. Frequent antibiotics – kill our protection (good bacteria), causing increased dysbiotic flora
  3. Yeast overgrowth – due to taking frequent antibiotics. Yeast produces toxic byproducts that harm the GI lining.
  4. Eating foods we can’t digest (food intolerance) – the food then putrefies and causes inflammation
  5. Drinking alcohol in excess – damages lining and mucosa
  6. Poor eating habits – cause inflammation, lack of nutrition = lack of tools for the gut to function normally. Eating processed foods including chemicals that are not natural to the body.
  7. Major gastrointestinal viruses – inflammation
  8. Stress – causing high cortisol stress hormone which creates disturbances in the microbiome
IMPORTANT POINT:  I use food allergy testing IgG (this is different than food intolerance) only as a marker to show how pronounced the disease.  If you have many high IgG levels of food allergies, then your leaky gut is severe.  After treatment we test again and see that the food allergies are minimized.

What is a food intolerance?

Each individual is unique in how well we digest our food.  Based on our genetics, we simply do not have the enzymes to digest certain foods.  Celiac Disease or Lactose intolerance is the classic example.  Everyone has some degree of food intolerance.  The food can be something that you eat daily and think is healthy for you, but when you eliminate that food, your symptoms can begin to resolve. Eating the food that you are intolerant to leads to improper digestion and putrification material building up in the gut, which then causes toxemia and inflammation.

The Food Intolerance method is also know as the Carroll Method, here is an article of interest from a peer reviewed journal NDNR. The CARROLL FOOD INTOLERANCE EVALUATION and it’s applications. This has to be done only once, results will never change. The cost is $150 as a new patient or $200 if you are not a patient of Dr. Wells.

What can I do about it?  Here are some ideas!

  • Get tested for food intolerance and / or stool test
  • Establish a non-processed, whole foods diet
  • Remove things that are damaging your body and your GI tract
  • Feed the body what it needs to heal
  • Professional quality probiotics daily, herbs such as marshmallow, slippery elm bark can help recreate mucus lining, zinc carnosine can help heal the tight junctions of the gut lining barrier, L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is food for the enterocytes (GI cells)
  • Probiotic rich foods, fermented foods
  • Fiber rich foods
Personalized treatment plans available through my office, Contact Us for more information.