Suffering from brain fog, confusion, poor memory or irritability? How about more serious disease like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis or Alzheimer's? All of these and more are linked with leaky gut syndrome. Physicians and natural medicine practitioners both agree: The foundation for health is always within the bowel and healing disease invariably involves first tending a distressed gut.
A common disorder, leaky gut syndrome develops when lesions form on the intestinal lining. These lesions have abnormally large spaces between the cell walls, allowing toxic material to seep into the bloodstream. Autism, rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn's disease and colitis stem from the inflammation triggered by a leaky gut. Malabsorption of nutrients, candida and parasitic infections along with food sensitivities and allergies are also connected with this malady. Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne indicate a leaky gut too.
Protocol for healing
A damaged gut responds well to select herbs and supplements, a clean diet and healthy lifestyle choices. Below are a few recommendations.
A pure diet is crucial for repairing the gut. A standard anti-candida protocol is beneficial -- eliminating sugar (in any form), gluten, processed foods, dairy, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine while focusing on high-fiber, nutrient-dense fare. Since pesticides and GMOs antagonize the situation, consume only organic food. Essential fatty acids from fish, flax, chia or borage are also vital to healing the bowel and reducing inflammation. Drinking plenty of purified water is crucial as well to avoid gut-destroying contaminants.
Oftentimes, those suffering from leaky gut syndrome have low stomach acid. This creates poor digestion, causing toxins to leach into the body. Digestive enzyme supplements are helpful along with lemon or raw apple cider vinegar water.
Fiber protects the gut while sweeping fungus, harmful bacteria and other pathogens quickly out of the system. Good options include organic psyllium powder, ground flax and chia seeds.
Several herbs are known to calm inflammation and the subsequent damage that occurs in the gut. Marshmallow root along with slippery elm are excellent choices. Both soothe and coat the intestinal tract, minimizing the absorption of toxins. These herbs also help to heal damage, further reducing excessive permeability. Kudzu, licorice root, goldenseal, sheep sorrel, fennel seed and ginger root are beneficial as well. To eliminate parasites that frequently accompany a suppressed digestive system, try echinacea, garlic, colloidal silver, cloves, wormwood, black walnut, caprylic acid or grapefruit seed extract.
Since leaky gut syndrome contributes to malabsorption of many nutrients, it's important to supplement the diet. A, B, C and E vitamins are essential as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and coenzyme Q10. Colostrum helps to heal the intestinal lining and reduces inflammation. To rebuild gut wall integrity, L-glutamine is exceptional. And don't forget a daily, high-quality probiotic.
Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is valuable for encouraging a healthy digestive system. Minimizing stress, gentle exercise, adequate sleep and slowing down during mealtime supports healing.
As we have seen, disease is substantially influenced by the health of the gut. In light of this, the words of Dr. Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, ring true:
"A well functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health. And, just as a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of the body cannot thrive without a well-functioning digestive system."
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