What is Leaky Gut?

I have recently been intrigued by all the talk of Leaky Gut Syndrome.  I see if popping up on my news feed & I have had a very brief discussion about it with my GP.  It seems that Leaky Gut is getting linked with many health issues as the culprit and many natural health pages and practitioners are starting to talk about this issue more and more.

So what exactly is Leaky Gut you may ask?  Well when we ask Dr Google we get a very generic explanation as below:

Leaky gut syndrome is a hypothetical, medically unrecognized condition. … Proponents claim that a “leaky gut” causes chronic inflammation throughout the body that results in a wide range of conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and autism

Now if you realized how they claim it is a “Hypothetical, Medically unrecognized condition”.  I personally do not believe that as it is being medically recognised by Doctors that have common sense and believe in total body health/gut dysbiosis.  I believe over the next few years it will be more and more recongnised BUT what is it exactly?  Dr Axe explains below:

Essentially, leaky gut syndrome (“intestinal hyperpermeability”) is condition that happens as a consequence of intestinal tight junction malfunction.

These “tight junctions” are the gateway between your intestines and what is allowed to pass into the blood stream.  Your tight junctions keep things out like toxins, microbes and undigested food particles.

But having leaky gut is essentially like having the gates broken from your intestines to your blood stream so many of these particles that should never have been able to enter have now gotten through.  When this happens it causes inflammation throughout your body leading to a variety of diseases.

What Health issues have been associated with Leaky Gut?

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Brain Fog
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Eczema
  • Environmental illness
  • Food allergies
  • Headaches
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Multiple food and chemical sensitivities
  • Memory Loss
  • Psoriasis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Weight Issues
  • Lupus
  • Ulcerative colitis

I personally suspect that more conditions will come to surface over the years.

How do you get Leaky Gut?

There are a number of culprits here and I will just name a few.  The main ones are Stress, Toxins, Gut Flora, Antibiotic Use, Excessive Alcohol Consumption, Gluten, pathogenic bacteria, parasites and yeast.

So how do you get diagnosed and treated for Leaky Gut?  Diagnosis is very simple, your Doctor can do this and see if you are tender along your digestive area.  This is a quick indication but for more in depth testing and to see which bacteria you have exactly a stool test is recommended.  This will take some time to get the results but it is the most effective way to find out which bacteria you have and how to specifically treat it.

I personally have not done the stool test BUT it is the next test I will be doing as I have been struggling with my weight since giving birth to my daughter 5 years ago and I suspect Leaky Gut is the main culprit.

Treatment is a specific protocol that must be followed.  I believe you will have to eliminate all the culprits and remove all the bad stuff from your diet and add all goods stuff like probiotics & specific supplements to enhance and heal the gut.  I will go into more detail on this once I am on this treatment myself.

I believe we will be hearing more and more about Leaky Gut Syndrome in the future.  Gut health plays a very important part in our overall health and we should be mindful of what goes in our bodies so our bodies can support us the best way it can.

How it all started

I started noticing some changes before I fell pregnant with my second child.  I was 39 & my period was 3 days early which was not normal for me but I shrugged it off.  The next month my period was 3 days late but I figured because I was early the previous month that it balanced out.  The next month after that I was late again but did not think much of it as I was late the previous month but I thought I better do a pregnancy test since I was trying to fall pregnant & it was Christmas & quite a few drinks were being had, I tested positive.  I was pregnant with child # 2.

I had my daughter & 4 months after her birth I noticed a lot of different things happening to me.  It all started when I was weaning her off the breast around February 2013.  Since she started solids I slowly began cutting her down on the breast & introducing the bottle, doing this over a course of a few months to get ready for work.  Within a few days of cutting 1 feed I stated having night sweats.  I thought how strange to be getting night sweats.  The only time I ever got night sweats was when I had given birth & the milk was coming in.  I didn’t think much of it.  I also did not like the heat.  If it was over 30c, I had to stay indoors with Air Conditioning.  The heat affected me.  I felt like I was 8 months pregnant.

A few days after that I woke up one morning with a headache in the front of my head just above my eyebrows & felt slightly off balance not totally dizzy.  I thought maybe it is my hormones re adjusting from reducing the 1 feed.  As the days went on I didn’t feel any better & along with the headache dizziness  & I started getting anxiety attacks.  I would take my son to swimming lessons with daughter in tow & would be sitting there having a panic attack while he was having his swimming lesson.  This went on for about 2 weeks till I decided to go see my GP.

I told my GP what I was experiencing & he said I am sure it is just stress.  I told him I don’t feel stressed!  I went & did a general blood test just to make sure I was not low in iron & see all was OK.  I went back a few days later to get the results & he told me all was OK & that my iron levels were better than ever.  He stuck to his diagnosis of “just stress” & offered to give me something.  I declined.  Again I thought to myself ” I don’t feel stressed”.  Sure I was home with 2 young kids but I was not stressed out.

The headache went away nearly a month later but I still felt dizzy & had anxiety.  My hair also started falling out.  I have quite long hair & I could not leave it out as I was shedding so much hair.  More than normal.  I had to tie it back every day.  This went on for quite a few months.  People were telling me this was normal as you loose hair after having a baby.  I did not think it was normal.  Not 5 months after having a baby.

In May 2013 my period returned, I also went back to work.  My daughter was nearly 9 months old.  I thought work would help me.  Good to get out of the house & maybe distract me from what I was feeling.  The anxiety was still plaguing me daily, but I was still coping with it all.  Back at work I noticed that my memory was not good.  I would forget simple things.  I could not remember a lot of my procedures at work.  Luckily I had written them down before I went on leave & was referring to my notes for the first few weeks.

In June 2013 I decided to go to see my acupuncturist.  I just needed something to realign me.  I felt so off balance with the anxiety & dizziness I was having.  She gave me some Chinese Herbs to take, along with Magnesium & B6.  I started seeing some improvement while seeing her regularly.   I went for about 2 months then she went on maternity leave.  After that I started seeing a pattern & began the descent to the dark period.