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leaky gut


Day 5

Welcome to day 5 of our paleo challenge. Today you will post points from 1/7. Here is some commentary from Dr. Jillian from

There are several common digestive health misconceptions and misunderstandings, and I will do my best to clear the air about them. These chew on the edges of my mind like that feeling you get from drinking a frozen green smoothie on a really chilly day.
1. That the right combo of foods is 100% of the solution: This issue has a couple of different branches. Before I begin, let me say that the healing power of food is unquestionable. However, not all gastrointestinal issues have a nutritional origin OR nutritional cure. Nutrition should always be used to hasten cure and eradication of symptoms, but nutrition alone is not going to kill a pathogenic infection or heal leaky gut. In my experience, at least, that is not the case. Are there instances where just nutrition can cure? Absolutely. Often, however, other measures are required - lifestyle changes, vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, probiotics, supplements and even medications. Nutrition can do a lot, but it cannot do it all, all of the time.
Next is the concept that if we avoid every food item that has shown to potentially be a problem, that we shall be good. We end up eating ourselves into a box and more than a little neurotic when we take on the idea that we must avoid all gluten, dairy, nightshades, FODMAPs, histamine containing foods, carrageenan, soy, corn, grains, guar gum, cassava, magnesium stearate and any other item that people can react to. 
I've written before about the slippery slope that is taking what is true for the few and generalizing to the many. Not only is it impractical to be overly restrictive when you don't have to be, the truth is that unless you have a sensitivity to a food, you can tolerate a wide variety of things in small to moderate amounts.
That's the way us humans are built. We are flexible. We can deal with a whole lot of less-than-perfect.
2. That juicing and salads are the epitome of GI health: I pin this one on social media. I am here to tell you, loves, that if you've got chronic digestive complaints, dysbiosis, IBS or IBD, you want to run screaming from anyone who tells you to go on a juice fast. Salads, raw and cold, for those with the above complaints will be less helpful and comfortable than helpful. Cold, raw foods are not easier to digest or absorb than warm, cooked ones, no matter what guru says it.
3. That yeast grow in an acidic environment: Yeast overgrowth is perpetuated by a HIGH pH environment, a more alkaline one. Cases of candida overgrowth or SIBO with a yeast component are often contributed to by high stomach pH. The appropriate pH of the stomach is low -  1 or 2. A strongly acidic stomach not only is healthy, it is part of your defense and helps keep the rest of the GI tract at an appropriate pH. Acid kills yeast and creates an inhospitable environment for it. Repleting digestive fire is one of the first orders of business when dealing with yeast overgrowth.



A little bit about me

For 2 ½ years I have suffered from leaky gut. When I was 7 months pregnant with my 4th child, my family and I all got the flu. We quarantined ourselves, it was the worst ever. Eventually we all got better, but my symptoms never went away. I continued to suffer a never ending battle of an upset stomach and chronic diaherra.  At my next doctor’s visit instead of gaining weight I was losing. The doctor’s had been worried and put me on bed rest and I went through weekly stress tests. They wanted me to eat and eat anything and everything.  I explained to my doctor that we followed a no grain based diet. The doctor’s response was “you made yourself this way. You are sensitive to gluten because you are avoiding gluten.” After Evelyn was born, I worked hard to keep my weight and milk production up. I ate higher calorie foods, started eating protein bars, and drank smoothies; I ate oats, rice and some cheese. My symptoms got worse! I was fed up. I went to visit our local family physician. She ran every test possible. I had nothing obvious; every test came up negative. (I find out later that if you avoid grains your celiac sensitivity test will be negative) Our family doc was stumped. She sent me to a G.I. specialist, the specialist gave me some pills and said, “I think you are over the hump and this will pass.” It was then when I started to take my own health into my own hands, I became my first patient.

I read books; I signed up and watched every functional medicine forum out there. I met with a GAPS practitioner – it was then I realized I was not going crazy and I wasn’t going to die. But I did come to the realization that I most likely had an autoimmune issue and it was going to take a long time to get it under control.

I suspect that I have ALWAYS had leaky gut but never recognized my symptoms. In general, it is not normal to not have a bowel movement on a daily basis. It is not normal to have potty issues after eating a spicy and rich meal. It is not normal to have blotting, gas, and heartburn after eating a meal. Eating a high fiber diet can be worse for some, while others do well on high fiber. Taking a probiotic may be the answer for some, but start slow and work your way up to a tolerable dose. Following an elimination protocol might be the answer.  But seek advice, and do your research. Knowledge is power!

It is because of my first patient (me) that I have continued passion for nutrition and functional medicine. This is also when I realized that my Certified Personal Training certification taught me nothing about alternative health, (so I let that expire).

Several books worth reading are Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, and Nourishing Broth. There are many informative functional medicine practitioners out there to follow. Dr Allison Siebecker, Dr Michale Ruscio, and Chris Kresser just to name a few.


Original Source from the Independent News Paper