Leaky Gut is one of those "natural health" conditions that we all hope we never get. The truth is that many of us have it to some degree and our symptoms vary widely. So - What is "leaky gut"? It is a condition in which the gut lining leaks.
You might ask "Is this bad?" Yes it is bad. I will paint a more graphic image. Some years back, I visited a natural M.D. to see what I could learn. He viewed live blood under a microscope and projected the images on the screen. One particular sample looked strange - when I asked what it was, he said that it was poop in the blood. Yuck! That’s disgusting, but it is a very effective image of what leaky gut is.
The intestinal lining is meant to be permeable - in a healthy state, only certain nutrients and water will pass through the gut wall. However, in an unhealthy state, the intestinal lining is inflamed and excessively permeable and waste products that should be carried out of the body will pass into the blood stream.
This condition of excess permeability is caused by food sensitivities, yeast / fungus, parasites, certain drugs - particularly NSAID’s, alcohol, caffeine, liver dysfunction, and food additives and preservatives.
Symptoms of leaky gut are varied, but they include: gastrointestinal discomfort such as gas and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, asthma, allergies, headaches, fatigue, anxiety or moodiness, poor concentration or memory loss, and autoimmune disease.
Fixing a leaky gut involves several steps. The first is to eliminate the foods that inflame the intestinal lining. I write and talk a lot on food sensitivities. Everybody has them. I will say it again. Everybody has them. To find out what they are visit an alternative health practitioner or some M.D.’s. You can also read Eat Right 4 Your Type by Peter D’Adamo. I find the blood type diets very helpful.
The second step is to kill off the harmful microbes that love to live in an unhealthy gut lining. There are many good products out there from anti-parasitics to anti-yeast/fungus.
They will contain black walnut, artemisia, cloves, echinacea, olive leaf, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, colloidal silver or caprylic acid - or some combination of these. My favorites include d-Lenolate, Defense Plus and Caprylic Acid Combo. What is most successful depends on your specific mix of microbes.
When you kill off the harmful microbes, it is a good idea to repopulate the intestine with healthy microbes such as acidophilus and bifudus. If you do not repopulate, the bad stuff comes right back. Again - there are many good products out there. I like Jarrodophilus, Probiotic Eleven, and Primadophilus.
For chronic cases, the gut lining needs to be rebuilt and there are products that supply nutrients that help the process. They normally contain l-glutamine and slippery elm. Note that there are many good formulas that contain more ingredients. I recommend Intestinal Soothe and Build or Intestinal Bowel Support.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a herb, vitamin and health food store in Mason, Texas.