A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
An inflammation in the intestinal wall, or the wall of the gut leads to the condition commonly known as leaky gut syndrome. Inflammation can spread to the other parts of the body during the course of this condition, as the substances contained in the gut permeate out from the protective lining of the gut, escaping into the bloodstream and traveling all over the body to cause inflammation in areas of the body very far removed from the gut. In addition, due to the dysfunction present in the intestines during the condition, the rendered incapable of absorbing nutrients in a proper manner and this causes further health problems for the affected individual. Physical symptoms of the condition include bloating in the abdominal region, the production of excess gas and cramps in the abdominal area are other common symptoms normally experienced by the affected individual. Over a period of time physical fatigue, problems like memory loss, many types of allergies, and a very poor ability to concentrate are also evident in the person. Psychological symptoms induced by the condition include persistent confusion, and constant irritability along with swelling in the facial region, which can come especially when the person is exposed to perfume or cigarette smoke in his or her immediate environment.
The presence of this particular syndrome is believed to serve as a form of underlying factor pointing to the possibility of a variety of autoimmune diseases affecting the person. Autoimmune diseases are disorders in which the body's own immune system makes antibodies to fight against its own tissues and destroying them. There is a coating of many essential antibodies in the protective covering of a healthy gut, this lining is destroyed and rendered useless in a person suffering from leaky gut syndrome-the leaked substances destroy or damage this lining completely affecting the health of the individual adversely. This is a very serious problem as many of these antibodies help the body ward off infections and pathogens of all types including all viruses, all types of pathogenic bacteria, many kinds of internal parasites and organisms like candida, when the lining is destroyed, the body's ability to resist these infectious particles declines immediately. Leaky gut syndrome is believed to have something to do with the origin of disorders such as asthma, metabolic disorders like diabetes, autoimmune disease like lupus, diseases like scleroderma, internal colitis, long term disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, severe illnesses like multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome and Crohn's disease, all of these disorders are believed to have some starting point in a leaky gut syndrome. For example autoimmune arthritis can develop when an inflammation develops in a joint during leaky gut syndrome. An inflammation occurring in the blood vessels, is called vasculitis and this is much more serious. When this process affects the lungs then a respiratory disorder such as asthma ensues. Periodontal disease can occur when this inflammation occurs in the gums. Inflammation affecting the jaws will require tooth extractions or if it occurs in the root canals, dental surgery may be required to clear up all the infection and the pus. Leaky gut syndrome leads to the release of a huge amount of toxic substances in the body and each and every organ in the body may be affected by these toxins - thus initial inflammation in the gut may cause the toxicity in the entire body. All the symptoms that appear mostly do so one at a time and very few people are affected by multiple symptoms, however; in cases such as the occurrence of chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple symptoms may affect the person leading to the severe debilitation of the individual. The symptoms of a leaky gut can rapidly increase over time, particularly among children, the repeated use of antibiotics to combat recurring infections can worsen the condition or may be the cause of its incidence in the first place.
Leaky gut syndrome develops at times because of the formation of a lesion along the lining of the intestinal walls and this may make the wall very permeable than it normally is to the substances contained within it- in other words it is leaky and hence the name of the disorder, leaky gut syndrome. The spaces between the cells of the gut wall are enlarged to a very great extent and this enlargement allows the entrance of many types of organism such as bacteria, all sorts of pathogenic fungi, all kinds of intestinal parasites, many toxins and undigested protein, fat and waste material into the bloodstream-this will spread the inflammation further out into the body. Normally these substances are disposed off or eliminated in the stools but because of the damaged and now hyper-permeable and very leaky gut they pass easily into the blood and spread about the body.
The presence of many toxic chemicals and swelling because of the resulting inflammation leads to the blockage of many important nutrients into the body and also blocks the absorption of many more important nutrients like the vitamins, most of the essential minerals and many of the essential amino acids. The immune system produces a lot of antibodies to fight of the many large molecules which now pass through the intestinal walls and which are correctly seen as foreign antigens or substances by the immune system. A food allergy can be the result of this immune reaction as the immune system tries to ward off the foreign bodies within the body. An inflammatory reactions is thus triggered when any of these foods is eaten, the antibodies from the immune system get into many different tissues and trigger an inflammatory reaction within the body.
Supplements and herbs
Since the inflammation in the intestinal walls damages many of the carrier proteins found in the gastrointestinal tract, which are necessary for the transport of all sorts of minerals from the intestine into the blood-all kinds of mineral deficiencies begin to affect an individual suffering from the disorder. These conditions include as an example, a deficiency in the magnesium content similar to the symptoms occurring in a condition such as fibromyalgia, this deficiency can develop in a person suffering from a leaky gut syndrome even if a high magnesium intake is maintained through the diet and through the use of mineral supplements on a regular basis. An obvious magnesium deficiency can develop as a result of malabsorption where the symptoms of a leaky gut syndrome leads to damage in the carrier proteins used in the transport of magnesium through the intestinal walls. Spasms and extreme muscle pain often result because of this condition. In addition deficiencies in an important mineral like zinc result in a high blood cholesterol level, which may affect the person adversely. The improper absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, a trace mineral like boron, a mineral like silicon and manganese can lead to many kinds of bone disorders in the person.
The use of supplemental antioxidants can help fight the destruction of tissues brought on by the inflammation which affects all the tissues. Most of the various antioxidant supplements which are effective against the inflammation include all the natural carotenoids, essential nutrients such as the vitamin A, a chemical compound like rutin, the citrus based hesperidins, the compound quercetin, the class of compounds called catechin, seed extracts of the grape, the compound pycnogenol and the bilberry herb. The other essential antioxidants that can be used during treatment also include the vitamins C and E and many of the various sulfur-containing amino acids including cysteine, the form called N-acetyl-cysteine, the amino acid methionine and the reduced L-glutathione compound. Asthma and other allergic reactions triggered by the inflammation can be dealt with supplements of the essential vitamin, the vitamin C, which also protects the blood vessels from damaged sustained from the inflammation.
Supplements to deal with the inflammation can also include regular use of the coenzyme Q10, all of the B complex vitamins, with the use of the folic acid and cyclobalamine or vitamin B12 especially suggested. The mineral selenium is also an effective supplement and should be used on a regular basis along with the other compounds.
Leaky gut syndrome is also immensely alleviated by the supplementary use of many types of plant enzymes such as those found in abundant quantities in green food supplements like spirulina, the chlorella plant, in the barley greens, in the green kamut, in substances like bee pollen and in the royal jelly-all of these will prove to be effective and potent additives to the remedial measures taken against the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
A lowering in the production of the digestive hydrochloric acid in the stomach accompanies most types of autoimmune disorders and this is also evident during leaky gut syndrome. A lowering of the acid levels in the stomach during the condition results in the condition known as pernicious anemia and this resulting imbalance can only be rectified by regular injections of the vitamin B12 along with the folic acid. Hereditary factors may play a role in lowering the stomach acid levels, and this lowering of the stomach acid levels can also be brought about by the long term use of many over the counter prescription medications such as all kinds of antacids and anti-ulcer medications. The acid levels in the stomach can also be lowered as a result of persistent infection in the gut or due to factors such as food allergies, particularly to foods that are sourced from a dairy and this same allergies can arise from many wheat products. A variety of supplements can be tried in an attempt to correct a lowered stomach acid level that is known to exist purely because of hereditary reasons in the affected individual. Some of these supplements for use in this regard include the amino acid-glutamic acid, the chemical hydrochloride, the compound betaine hydrochloride, the digestive enzyme pepsin, some apple cider vinegar, some lemon juice, stomach bitters, nutrients like the vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and the vitamin C, the organic compound PABA (paraminobenzoic acid) and the vitamin B6, pyridoxine hydrochloride-all of these will prove to be of great supplementary benefit to the affected individual.
The fungicidal properties of supplementary colloidal silver can be used to great advantage in treating all fungal or microbial infections arising during the course of the condition. The possibility of fungal growth is hindered by a good population of friendly bacteria in the body-this bacterial population is harmless to the human body and is an essential complement of a healthy individual. To stabilize the population of the intestinal friendly bacteria, use regular supplements of the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacterium. Organisms such as the Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus bifidobacterium are other supplementary bacteria that can be tried to achieve similar results in the body of the affected individual.
The hormone DHEA can deal effectively with most autoimmune disease and it can be used as a potent supplement. In both male and female human brains, this hormone is produced in the most abundant quantities. In both sexes another hormone called testosterone is synthesized using DHEA as the raw material. Problems such as physical fatigue, disorders like obesity, the loss of libido, all types of food allergies, all sorts of autoimmune diseases, persistent stress and hypoglycemia is treated through supplements of the hormone DHEA.
The carrier protein that transports magnesium is damaged during disorders like the leaky gut syndrome, this is despite of the very high intake of the essential mineral magnesium through the diet and via regular supplementation-this can result in serious deficiencies of the mineral within the body of the affected individual. Impaired absorption of the mineral magnesium results in a the development of a magnesium deficiency within the body. As a long term result of this deficiency, spasms and muscle pain begin to affect the person and cause a great deal of discomfort besides other symptoms. The deficiency of another essential mineral namely zinc also occurs in a similar manner due to an improper absorption of the mineral form the diet, this results in symptoms such as rapid hair loss or baldness that resembles the type of symptoms which occurs in another condition called alopecia areata. Similarly, identical impaired absorption of the mineral copper can lead to very high blood-cholesterol levels and this can easily complicate things for the individual. Bone problems can also occur as the impaired absorption of important minerals like calcium, boron, silicon and manganese are also evident-all these minerals are important for healthy bones.
The impaired absorption of many vital vitamins and essential amino acids can result due to the inflammation and swelling -edema present in the body of the affected individual along with the presence of many types of noxious chemicals-these create blockages in the transport of vital nutrients into the body and absorptive systems in the body go out of control leading to deficiencies in many vital nutrients. The proper absorption of nutrients is often the first casualty of a leaky gut syndrome. Physical symptoms like abdominal bloating, the production of excess gas and painful muscular cramps begins immediately as a result of these multiple mineral deficiencies. On a gradual manner the person begins to suffer from different systemic complaints such as persistent physical fatigue, the presence of constant headaches, the loss of memory, a very poor ability to concentrate and constant emotional irritability.
The anti-inflammatory compounds such as prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone and betamethasone are commonly used and prescribed corticosteroid medications that function in blocking the pro-inflammatory chemical mediators in the body including the compounds such as histamine, some of the prostaglandins and the compounds called leukotrienes. Scientists believe that these compounds are responsible for the pain, the swelling, the redness and the eventual scarring reactions that induce fibrosis like actions within the human body. All of these pro-inflammatory compounds within the body are involved in some way in the autoimmune diseases such as the disorder called lupus, the condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP for short, in rheumatoid arthritis, in Crohn's disease, in the condition known as ulcerative colitis, in multiple sclerosis, in thyroiditis and in vasculitis, therefore the compound called prednisone is used to reduce the impact of the serious effects these pro-inflammatory compound have on the body. These chemical mediators are also involved in the development of allergic conditions such as asthma, during condition like psoriasis and in eczema. These conditions are also often dealt through the corticosteroid pills or topical creams as well and these are normally prescribed to individuals affected by these conditions.
The price paid for the reduction of the inflammation using compounds like prednisone and other steroid medications is huge even though they are very effective in bringing about a reduction in the inflammation affecting the individual. The main adverse affect is that these medications cripple the immune system when they are used over a very long period of time. Unwanted weight gain, the retention of fluid, a tremendous increase in appetite, a heightened risk of infection setting in, problems like depression, elevation of blood pressure or high blood pressure, disorders such as diabetes, the formation of ulcers, the development of acne, fatigue and weak muscles, problems like osteoporosis, persistent insomnia and an increased risk of blood clot formation are all unwanted side effects of long term use of these compounds. The use of different types of antioxidants, the hydrochloric acid, many kinds of enzymes and herbal supplements is the only alternative to the continued use of prednisone and other corticosteroids.
Tissue damage is often the long term result of the inflammatory response which creates a lot of oxidative damage to the tissues, the careful use of all types of antioxidants will help prevent tissue damage-which can lead to permanent dysfunction in the vital tissues if occurring over a long period of time. Various vitamins such as the natural carotenoids – the class of compounds known as carotenes, lycopenes etc, the vitamin A, the plant based natural compounds called bioflavonoids such as rutin, citrus based hesperidins, the compound quercetin, catechin and the proanthocyanidins (grape seed extract, the pine bark extract, the bilberry herb and others grouped into the term pycnogenols, the vitamins C and E, and all the sulfur containing amino acids such as cysteine, the N-acetyl-cysteine form of cysteine, the amino acid methionine and the reduced L-glutathione are all excellent and effective antioxidants for use as an alternative to the corticosteroids. The coenzyme Q10, all the B complex vitamins, particularly the folic acid and the vitamin B12, along with the essential mineral selenium, the essential mineral zinc and the hormones like DHEA and melatonin can also play effective roles as antioxidants-all of them can be used in supplementary form to prevent tissue damage caused by oxidative reactions. Super foods like the green plant supplements such as spirulina, chlorella, the barley green and the kamut are excellent in phytochemicals and contain important plant enzymes, used along with bee pollen and royal jelly and with various herbs they will prove to be very potent antioxidants and are great in supplementary support of the affected individual.
Many enzymes such as the enzyme pancreatin which is an animal derived pancreatic digestive enzymes, many plant enzymes such as bromelain derived from pineapples aid the digestion of proteins in the gastrointestinal tract. These enzymes have also shown an ability as anti-inflammatory chemical mediators similar in action to some of the prostaglandins and leukotrienes found naturally in the human body-these enzymes can be used as effective supplements to alleviate the condition in the affected individuals.
Deficient production of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach is the usual symptom associated with most types of autoimmune disorders in the human body. A lot of nutrient deficiencies can result due to the two forms of deficient stomach acid, these are achlorhydria-or no acid production and hypochlohydria or a low acid production, the presence of one of these conditions is enough to induce many types of nutrient deficiency in the affected individual. As most high protein foods require the presence of sufficient acid for their digestion-the presence of one of these conditions in the body will create numerous problems for the person. Poor absorption of vital amino acids, essential vitamins and minerals result when the acid levels are absent or very low in the stomach. The deficiency of the vitamin B12 is the most usually and easily recognized nutrient deficiency brought on by low or little stomach acid production. Problems such as pernicious anemia is often the first result of such a absorption rate and this situation can often only be rectified by the regular supplementation of vitamin B12 through injections.
Many forms of autoimmune disease are possibly caused by fungal organisms as evidence now suggests that these fungi, which produce their mycotoxins, often initiate the autoimmune reaction which triggers an inflammation in the person's gastrointestinal tract eventually leading to the development of the "leaky gut syndrome" in the individual. Fungal mycotoxins in fact may be responsible for the major recognized killer diseases that occur in North America-and there are excellent reasons to suspects that such diseases are linked to fungal mycotoxins in the body. For example a fungal connection is often seen in diseases with an unknown or mysterious etiology. This is often found out when a treatment methodology similar to the treatment of a fungal infection is used, this elicits an improvement in the person or results in the complete elimination of the mystery disease from the body.
All the herbal remedies and herbs given below will help in combating the various autoimmune diseases resulting from the leaky gut syndrome and these same remedies will also help deal with the symptoms.
The use of herbal remedies made from the aloe vera, the comfrey, the root of the licorice , the bark of the white willow , the herbal extracts of the feverfew herb, the devil's claw, the yarrow, yucca and the marsh mallow will greatly alleviate the symptoms and the disorders associated with a leaky gut syndrome in a person. The utilization of these herbs either alone or in combination must be done under the careful supervision of a qualified herbal doctor as the most effective dosages will need to be calibrated according to individual need-use all of these natural supplements in dealing with leaky gut syndrome.
Fungal infections and the complications due to fungal mycotoxins can be treated using herbs such as the garlic, the caprylic acid and the herbal leaf extracts of the olive leaf along with the whole leaf juice of the aloe vera-these natural herbal remedies are excellent fungicides and will produce absolutely no side effects in the person using them-they can be used as regular supplements in conjunction with other herbal treatments.
The body's resistance to infection is promoted by the herbal extracts of the Echinacea herb. Infection is a very common companion to any autoimmune disease in a person-Echinacea also boosts the immune system and renders the person's natural defenses much more resistant to disease. As a preventive measure as well as a therapeutic measure, herbal remedies made from the Echinacea can be used for long periods of time to treat all viral infections and infection from other pathogens as well.
The natural anti inflammatory action of the herbal remedy made from ginger can be used in the treatment of affected individuals and this remedy is also excellent in the treatment of nausea and motion sickness. The average dose of ginger recommended for most patients is one to two grams of powdered ginger a day, however, inflammatory conditions affecting some individuals may require higher doses to be taken over several months or for a sufficiently long term to ensure the complete elimination of the inflammation. Ginger can be taken along with food if a burning sensation develops in the stomach during the supplementation process.
The antioxidant and anti inflammatory actions of the chaparral or creosote bush which is very commonly found growing in the southwestern United States as well as Mexico can be utilized to great effect as a herbal supplement during the treatment of the affected individual.
Additional things you may do
The anti-parasitic properties of colloidal silver along with its antibiotic qualities can be of great benefit to an individual affected by the leaky gut syndrome. Dosage of the colloidal silver can be a single tsp. taken once every day during the treatment period. In addition, all individuals should take immunological tests such as ELISA/ACT to determine possible and underlying or hidden food and chemical hypersensitivities if leaky gut syndrome is persistent for a long period of time following treatment. Symptoms reversal is often achieved by the removal of any mercury dental amalgam from the teeth of affected individuals. Many types of immune system abnormalities which eventually result in the development of a chronic infection and subsequent fungal conditions can be traced back to the presence of large amounts of mercury in the body.