LEAKY GUT SYMDROME (LGS)

Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH 

LEAKY GUT

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WHAT IS LEAKY GUT SYNDROME?

Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is a condition which results in increased intestinal permeability in which the walls of the gut get damaged allowing bacteria, toxins, and undigested particles to pass through those damaged (leaky) walls and get into the blood stream poisoning the body and causing systemic inflammation, autoimmune reactions and other health problems. If leaky gut is left untreated it usually develops into IBS and over time into ulcerative colitis which is an autoimmune condition. It means that now the immune system recognises colon as the source of the problem it attacks the gastrointestinal tract sending antibodies against it causing inflammation and damage.

 SYMPTOMS

Leaky gut syndrome leads to inflammation and can cause the following symptoms: Fatigue, bloating, digestive problems, allergic responses and food sensitivities, headaches, joint pain, thyroid conditions, skin issues like rosacea and acne, weight gain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, skin rashes, excessive wind (flatulence), etc.

 COMPLICATIONS

If the leaky gut syndrome is left untreated, it can lead to more serious health issues such as IBS, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, depression, anxiety, and finally ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. There is even strong evidence pointing to leaky gut syndrome as a major contributor to other autoimmune conditions, including type 1 diabetes.

Leaky gut leads also to malabsorption of vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients contributing to the deficiency of vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, iron, and deficiencies of other nutrients.

BRAIN LINK

Leaky gut syndrome has been linked to various psychological disorders including anxiety and depression. Also autism and mood swing can be caused by intestinal permeability. Gluten-free and casein-free diets have often proven to be effective or very beneficial for many children with autism because it prevents these proteins from leaking through the gut and then recirculating and acting on the brain in a similar way as an opioid drug.

CAUSES

There key causes of leaky gut include the following: Refined diet, chronic constipation, gluten sensitivity, chronic stress, toxin overload, bacterial imbalance, Candida overgrowth, sugar, GMO’s dairy.

The problem is associated with the lack of probiotic bacteria in the gut due to bad refined diet, antibiotics, consumption of meat and dairy products, sugar, stimulants, overgrowth of harmful bacteria and candida (yeasts), toxins, stress, lack of dietary fibre, etc.

All those factors damage the intestinal walls causing increased intestinal permeability. As a result toxins instead of being removed from the colon are reabsorbed back into the blood through damaged walls.

The component of dairy that can harm the colon is the protein A1 casein. In fact, A1 casein may be 26 times more inflammatory than gluten! In addition, the pasteurization process destroys enzymes, making lactose in dairy very difficult to digest thus leading to intolerance and allergic reactions which also contribute to the damage.

Sugar will feed the growth of Candida and bad bacteria, which damage the gut. Bad bacteria actually creates toxins called exotoxins that damage healthy cells in intestinal wall.

The key causes are the following:

– Consumption of dairy products and any food which may contain milk or cheese

– Gluten

– Lack of probiotic (beneficial bacteria) and overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut

– Magnesium deficiency

– Inability to control stress

– Chronic constipation caused by refined diet, lack of exercise, or stress

– Vitamin & mineral deficiencies and lack of antioxidants

– Medications (especially antibiotics)

Artificial sweeteners (Read more >

– Common food additives

Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium deficiency.

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Toxins: Mercury (from dental fillings, tap water, fish, flu shots, etc.) lead, fluoride, and other toxins.

Gluten and heated animal protein (found especially in dairy)

Stress, anxiety and depression.

– Consumption of trans fats, margarine and bad oils (high in proinflamatory omega 6) and deficiency of omega 3 healthy fats high in foods such as Flax seed, Chia seed, etc..

– Bad lifestyle, unhealthy diet high in sugar, processed refined foods, nutritional deficiencies, artificial sweeteners, lack of exercise, stimulants, drugs, medication, and in particular excessive stress, depression and pessimism may lead to the oversensitivity of the immune system which changes its nature and starts attacking own body.

– Consumption of meat and dairy products (can trigger autoimmune response and causes hormonal imbalance), refined, junk and processed foods, refined sugar, white flour products, high glucose (high fructose) syrup, stimulants (including coffee, tea, green tea, cola, etc., nutritional deficiencies, white pasta, white rice, processed foods, stress, lack of exercise, etc.

TREATMENT

– The most important aspect of successful treatment is lifestyle and diet according to the recommendations listed in the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >

Please study it carefully and do your best to use the remedies and implement all the principles. If you manage to do it you will recover from this problem.

HERBAL REMEDIES & SUPPLEMENTS

– Fortunately, it is possible to recover from this disease by practicing principles of the healthy lifestyle and using the following natural remedies:

– Use activated charcoal (especially in case of diarrhoea) to detoxify and heal colon.

– Aloe vera is healing to the digestive system.


– Take good quality probiotic formulas as gut health greatly depends on a healthy ratio between good and bad bacteria. In 2017 scientists studied adults with IBS and anxiety or depression. Half of the group took a probiotic (Bifidobacterium longum) and the other was given a placebo. It was found that twice as many patients experienced improvements from depression when they took a probiotic.

Please be careful in choosing supplements with probiotic bacteria s not long ago scientists tested many popular products and supplements which were supposed to contain live probiotic bacteria and tests revealed it was true in only 30% of them! Also majority of yogurts are deprived of live cultures and even if they contain some it is much lower number than good quality probiotic supplements.

Vitamin B12: 1,000 to 2,000 mcg a day under the tongue (must be sublingual Methylcobalamin!). Many people with LGS have low levels of this most important vitamin. Read a fascinating article on B12 >– You must take Vitamin D3 because almost all people today are deficient in Vitamin D! Without this vitamin your LGS may turn to much worse problem including ulcerative colitis which is an autoimmune condition. While using vitamin D3 supplements always remember to take also well absorbed magnesium (such as citrate) as vitamin D supplements lead to magnesium deficiency over time. Take at least 5,000 – 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day with meal. But since deficiency of this vitamin is so widespread (especially in the UK) it would be better to take 20,000 to 30,000 IU a day for a few months and then reduce to 10,000 with meals with appropriate doses of magnesium. Another requirement for proper absorption of vitamin D is 200 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7 (Derived from Natural Natto) a day. Read more about vitamin D >

Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in patients with IBS and these results seem to have therapeutic implications >

Magnesium citrate or another well absorbed magnesium: 2 times a day 200-400 mg between meals. The more vitamin D3 is used the more magnesium must be taken as D3 leads to magnesium deficiency. The most important supplement to use for IBS is a good quality magnesium. It relaxes nervous system and muscles including colon! Take 800 mg of magnesium a day (400 mg an hour before breakfast and 400 mg 1-3 hours before bed). If it causes diarrhoea (because colon is inflamed and sensitive), start from small doses such as 100 mg 2 times a day and gradually increase the dose. You can also change the type of magnesium to avoid diarrhoea. For instance, Magnesium Taurate is easily absorbed (magnesium and taurine stabilize cell membranes together), and it has no laxative effect. Magnesium glycinate (magnesium bound with glycine, an amino acid) is one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium, and also shouldn’t trigger diarrhoea. Magnesium citrate is very good but is mildly laxative. Avoid magnesium oxide, sulfate (Epsom salt), glutamate, and aspartate (glutamic acid and aspartic acid are components of the dangerous artificial sweetener aspartame, and both of them become neurotoxic when unbound to other amino acids).

– Good quality Multivitamin-mineral formula or Vitamin B-complex: 1 tablet after breakfast. Please do not buy cheap formulas as their potency is very low and they contain only short list of inorganic ingredients. It must be a good quality formula such as Healthy Mega (HealthAid), VM75 (Solgar) or Special Two (NOW Foods) which are an excellent multi-vitamin and mineral formulas fortified with alfalfa powder, rutin, citrus bioflavonoids, bromelain, herbs, digestive enzymes and many other super nutrients. If your diet is very healthy and you stay away from refined foods, sugar and stimulants then take only 1/2 tablet after breakfast.

– Since Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folate) play very important role in dealing with ADHD I recommand getting B complex with a good quality multivitamin-mineral formula which is high in B vitamins. One of my favourite ones is Healthy Mega (HealthAid) as it is not only high in B vitamins and at the same time it contains zinc, selenium, herbs, digestive enzymes, micronutrients, and few super grasses. Compared with other popular formulas Healthy mega may contain even up to 60 times more vitamins per tablet!

Adults may take 1 tablet of Healthy Mega after breakfast, children 1/2 tablet (or less) crushed and mixed with juice after breakfast.

Healthy Mega contains many ingredients such as B vitamins,  Zinc, Selenium, Alfalfa, Golden seal, Digestive enzymes or Guar gum which are very beneficial in LGS and IBS.

– Take good quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements (HealthAid makes excellent omega 3 fish oil as it is molecularly distilled and therefore perfectly free from mercury and other contaminants >): 1000 mg 2 times a day with meals. I recommand this one also because it is high in both EPA and DHA (DHA omega 3 is more important in improving brain function while EPA in coping with inflammation).

If you don’t want to use a molecularly distilled omega 3 fish oil (such as the mentioned above one by HealthAid) it’s much better to use high in DHA omega 3 oil from algae (expensive) and not from fish as unlike fish oils, the algae-derived omega 3, is free from toxins that may be present in some low quality fish oils. In case you prefer to avoid swallowing gelatine capsule pierce or cut the omega 3 capsule and squeeze it into a meal or liquid.

– Boost Glutathione levels which is a most powerful of all antioxidants and strengthens the immune system and is one of the most effective remedies against autoimmune diseases. It boosts body’s ability to modulate and regulate the immune system. It is also important to provide body with ingredients that increase glutathione production in the liver by taking turmeric, milk thistle, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), bioactive whey protein, Glutamine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, bilberry, vitamin C, asparagus, broccoli, peaches, avocado, spinach, garlic, squash, grapefruit.

Read an excellent article on most effective ways to increase GLUTATHIONE >

– Taking selenium supplements and increasing consumption of foods high in selenium (Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, garlic, onions, etc.).

Zinc (citrate as it doesn’t cause nausea) – 30  to 50mg a day after breakfast.

Pancreatic enzymes reduce symptomatic response of healthy subjects to a high fat meal indicating they may be beneficial in irritable bowel syndrome >

Clean greens powder (Pukka) is my favourite and one of the most powerfull natural remedies I know. Many of our customers told me how effective this formula was in dealing with skin conditions, inflamations, back pains, chronic fatigue, diabetes, cancer, gastro-intestinal problems, liver and kidneys problems, weak immune system, etc. It consists of organic blend of very potent 11 super-rich mostly freez-dried green super foods including Wheat Grass Juice (30 times stronger than regular juice!), Nettle, Chlorella, Spirulina, Kale Sprouts, Seagreens, freshwater plants and digestive herbs. Made with some of nature’s finest herbs, grown in fertile organic soils it captures the incredible essence of nature’s bounty. Take 1 teaspoon of the powder 30 min before breakfast and 1 teaspoon 30 min before lunch with Aloe vera juice (Pukka) or vegetable juice or distilled water.

– Beneficial herbs: Tulsi (Holy Basil), Lemon balm (Melissa), Valerian root, Chamomile, Hops.

L-glutamine powder (5 grams 2x daily) Glutamine is an amino acid that helps repair the digestive tract, especially important for people with chronic diarrhoea.

Digestive Enzymes (before meals) will help improve digestion and nutrient absorption.

Liquorice root is an adaptogen that helps balance cortisol levels and regulates acid production in the stomach. It also supports the maintaining healthy mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum

Quercetin has also been shown to improve gut barrier function by sealing the gut. It also reduces the release of histamine and inflammation. New studies have also demonstrated its effectiveness in treating ulcerative colitis. The recommended dose is 500 mg three times a day with meals.

NUTRITIONAL AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS

– No Splenda or other artificial sweeteners!!! Use Xylitol or Stevia instead.

–  No sugar and high glucose / high fructose syrup!!! Use Xylitol or Stevia instead.

– Drink and use for cooking only distilled or at least filtered water. Not all water filters remove fluoride, so make sure the one you have does or use only distilled water (buy a water distiller). Taking chlorella and turmeric help to get rid of fluoride and heavy metals such as mercury.

– Avoid gluten (wheat products, etc.) as it may cause the immune system start sending antibodies not only against gluten proteins but against proteins found in different organs causing autoimmune diseases such as IBD that usually follows IBS. Many people with autoimmune diseases have an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and it usually goes unrecognized. Gluten can cause gastrointestinal system to malfunction, so foods aren’t completely digested. These food particles can then be absorbed into bloodstream where body misidentifies them as antigens and then produces antibodies against them.

– Avoid all dairy products (cheese is the worst!) as heated dairy protein (especially A1 casein) often irritates the immune system stimulating it to produce antibodies against different internal organs including colon. The most common allergies and food intolerances today are from wheat and dairy products because of the hybridized proteins of gluten and a1 casein. These proteins can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome which leads to inflammation.

– Avoid all meat products.

– Eliminate stimulants (alcohol, smoking, anything with caffeine or other similar harmful alkaloids: coffee, tea, green tea, mate, yerba mate, cola, chocolate, etc.)!

– Go on vegan unrefined diet as it gives best results. Eat especially with lots of raw vegetables salads and raw vegetable juices. Hallelujah diet leads to remission >

– Eliminate all junk food, processed food, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and anything with bad preservatives and chemical.

– Eat whole, unprocessed foods, and choose as many organics as possible.

–  Avoid sorbitol as sorbitol intolerance may be associated with abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea >

Vitamin U (has powerful colon healer): Kale juice is the highest source. Mix kale juice with carrot juice. Drink 3 times a day before meals.

– Get adequate sun exposure if possible (20 minutes a day during summer time between 10 am and 2 pm) to maintain vitamin D levels.

– Use glass bottles as Bisphenol A (BPA) which is found in plastic bottles and cans (they are lined up with plastic) disrupt endocrine system.

– Avoiding chlorine, fluoride (toothpastes with fluoride, etc.), and bromine as they also contribute to LGS, IBS and autoimmune diseases such as IBD.

– Avoid hydrogenated fats, trans fats (margarines, doughnuts, cakes, etc.) and proinflamatory omega 6 fatty acids (soy oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, etc.).

– Increase consumption of omega 3 fatty acids in the form of ground flax seeds, chia seeds. Omega 3s are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function and cell growth.

– Detoxifying body from heavy metals by using combination of: Chlorella, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Cilantro.

– Remove any dental fillings containing mercury.

– Increase intake of healthy fats such as raw coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, chia seeds (soaked for at least 30 minutes or overnight), ground flaxseeds, and hemp seeds as they will balance hormones. Coconut oil is one of the best foods for thyroid. Coconut oil is a saturated fat comprising medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are known to increase metabolism and promote weight loss. Coconut oil is very stable (shelf life of three to five years at room temperature), so body is much less burdened with oxidative stress than it is from many other vegetable oils.

– Increase consumption of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene found in carrots, apricots, green leafy vegetables, etc.

– You need more fibre but increase it gradually. Start from vegetable juices as they are deprived of fibre and will heal colon. You can try steamed and cooked vegetables and slowly add more raw vegetables.

– Avoid hot spices, fried foods, and salt.

– Avoid antibiotics and aspirin.

Exercise at least 30–60 minutes per day.

– Get enough sleep.

– Practice deep breathing

– Address adrenal fatigue. A prolonged stress response can lead to adrenal exhaustion (also known as adrenal fatigue). Find out more about ADRENAL FATIGUE >

– Proper stress control and positive thinking – extremely important!

– Treat unresolved emotional issues as a source of stress. Autoimmune diseases reflect emotions and mental attitude. When people with autoimmune diseases make progress in treating unresolved emotional issues, their symptoms subside. Stress, anxiety or depression are often key culprits. It is important to identify the stressors and learn use ways such as prayer that can help to control stress and negative emotions.

– Read about the DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF UNFORGIVENESS >

RELATED ARTICLES

SOURCES

Hafström I, Ringertz B, Spångberg A, et al. A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2001, 40:1175-1179.

Proudman SM, James MJ, Spargo LD, et al. Fish oil in recent onset rheumatoid arthritis: a randomised, double-blind controlled trial within algorithm-based drug use. Ann Rheum Dis 2013.

Tursi A, Brandimarte G, Papa A, et al. Treatment of relapsing mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis with the probiotic VSL#3 as adjunctive to a standard pharmaceutical treatment: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Gastroenterol 2010, 105:2218-2227.

Humbert, P.; Bidet, A.; Treffel, P.; Drobacheff, C.; Agache, P. (1991). “Intestinal permeability in patients with psoriasis”. Journal of dermatological science 2 (4): 324–326.

Kiefer D, Ali-Akbarian L (2004). “A brief evidence-based review of two gastrointestinal illnesses: irritable bowel and leaky gut syndromes”. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine 10 (3): 22–30.

Pike, M. G.; Heddle, R. J.; Boulton, P.; Turner, M. W.; Atherton, D. J. (1986). “Increased Intestinal Permeability in Atopic Eczema”. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 86 (2): 101–104.

Z Liu, N Li, J Neu (2005) ‘Tight junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases’, Acta Paediatrica , 94(4), pp. 386-393.

Vaarala O, Atkinson MA, Neu J (2008) ‘The “Perfect Storm” for Type 1 Diabetes The Complex Interplay Between Intestinal Microbiota, Gut Permeability, and Mucosal Immunity’, Diabetes Journal,  (57)10(2555-2562).

Maes M, Leunis JC (2008) ‘Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria’, Journal of Neuro Endocrinology, 29(6), pp. 902-10.

Visser, J (2010) Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permiability and Autoimmunity Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms. PubMed.

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