Balance in Diet, Temperment Key to Avoiding a Leaky Gut
Is your gut, “leaky?” Last month’s article on hidden and delayed food allergies (IgG reactions), concluded that “leaky gut syndrome” (LGS) is suspected if a person has multiple food allergies. The two primary treatment goals are: completely eliminate the offending foods and heal the gut lining.
LGS symptoms include: abdominal pain, asthma, chronic pain, poor memory, fatigue, mood swings, bed-wetting, and dozens of others. LGS is associated with: autoimmune conditions, Crohn’s, hives, acne, arthritis, eczema, liver dysfunction and others.
A healthy gut wall is determined by: genes; microflora balance or imbalance; and gut immunity. Since we have can’t control our genetic makeup, we will focus on the latter two.
Microflora imbalance can lead to LGS. While bacteria are often seen as the enemy, in reality, we can’t live without them. There are actually more bacteria (flora) in our gut than all of the cells in our body. Beneficial flora crowd out harmful bacteria, yeast and other pathogens. This flora helps to produce B vitamins and Vitamin K, and works in harmony with gut cells. Fiber from whole foods feeds these little guys, and their byproducts feed the gut cells. As Dr. Meletis, ND, emphasizes, “the role of these friendly gut bugs cannot be overstated; they are important mediators in building oral tolerance.”
The third factor that determines the gut wall integrity is the immune status. When healthy, the lining of the intestines is a barrier that allows only properly digested fats, proteins and carbohydrates and other critical minerals to pass through. Substances can also enter after the normally-sealed spaces have been irritated, the junctions loosen and permit larger unwanted substances to enter. The immune system sees these substances as the ENEMY, and an antibody reaction is established.
It is well-established that chronic stress leads to depressed immune function. To evaluate your lifestyle, you might ask yourself questions, such as: Do I sleep well? Do I exercise daily? Are my relationships life-giving and nurturing? Do I laugh often? Am I financially living beyond my means? Am I compulsively doing things at the expense of other fulfilling activities? Do I forgive myself and others? Do I live with gratitude? Do I see the glass half empty or half full? Am I enjoying my journey?
The food and drink we consume also affect the gut lining! Another question you might ask yourself, is: do I nourish my body in a tranquil environment with whole, alive foods, or do I gulp down fast, packaged, processed food under stress?
If you would like more information about doing the simple mannitol and lactulose test for LGS, you can contact a natural health practitioner.
-Dr. Dennis Godby, N.M.D. is a naturopathic medical doctor. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-446-2591.
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