Having struggled with IBS for a number of years and not found anything that really helped to any significant degree, I was fortunate enough, almost 3 years ago now, to be introduced to a natural nutritional supplement called Phytolife that helps to restore the bodies PH to a neutral and healthy alkaline state, which has had a hugely positive and beneficial effect on my condition, to the point that I no longer have any issues. The main concerns for me and anyone else who suffers with IBS or any other digestive disorder is, Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome is the name given to a very common digestive health disorder where the intestinal lining becomes more permeable (porous) than normal. The abnormally large spaces present between the cells of the gut wall allow access to toxic material into the bloodstream that would, in a normal healthy gut, be repelled and eliminated.
The gut becomes leaky in the sense that bacteria, fungi, parasites and their toxins, undigested protein, fat and waste normally not absorbed into the bloodstream in a healthy state, pass through a damaged, hyper-permeable, porous or “leaky” gut. This can be identified through specific gut permeability urine tests, microscopic examination of the lining of the intestinal wall as well as the bloodstream with phase contrast or darkfield microscopy of living whole blood.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT ABOUT LEAKY GUT SYNDROME?
The leaky gut syndrome is generally associated with autoimmune disease and reversing autoimmune disease depends on healing the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Any other treatment is just symptom suppression. An autoimmune disease is defined as one in which the immune system makes antibodies that fight against its own tissues. Diseases in this category include lupus, alopecia areata, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, vitiligo, thyroiditis, vasculitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, urticaria (hives), diabetes and Raynaud’s disease. Physicians are increasingly recognising the importance of the gastrointestinal tract in the development of allergic or autoimmune disease. Understanding the leaky gut phenomenon not only helps us see why allergies and autoimmune diseases develop but also helps us with safe and effective therapies to bring the body back into balance.
Due to the enlarged spaces between the cells of the gut wall, larger than usual protein molecules are absorbed before they have a chance to be completely broken down which is what happens when the intestinal lining is intact. The immune system starts making antibodies against these larger molecules because it identifies them as foreign, invading substances. The immune system starts treating them as something to be destroyed. Antibodies are generated to fight against these proteins derived from previously harmless foods.
Human tissues have antigenic sites (areas of the body that produce antibodies) very similar to those on foods, bacteria, parasites, candida or fungi. The antibodies created by the leaky gut phenomenon that fight against these antigens can get into various tissues and trigger an inflammatory reaction when the corresponding food is consumed or the microbe is encountered. This results in Autoantibodies being created and inflammation becomes chronic. If this inflammation occurs in a joint, autoimmune arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) develops. If it occurs in the brain, myalgic encephalomyelitis (a.k.a. chronic fatigue syndrome) may be the result. If it occurs in the blood vessels, vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) is the resulting autoimmune problem. All these conditions cause pain, inflammation and fatigue.
If the antibodies end up attacking the lining of the gut itself, the result may be colitis or Crohn’s disease. If it occurs in the lungs, asthma is triggered on a delayed basis every time the individual consumes the food which triggered the production of the antibodies in the first place. It is easy to see that practically any organ or body tissue can become affected by food allergies created by the leaky gut. Symptoms, especially those seen in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, can be multiple and severely debilitating.
The inflammation that causes the leaky gut syndrome also damages the protective coating of antibodies of the IgA family normally present in a healthy gut. Since IgA helps us ward off infections, with leaky gut problems we become less resistant to viruses, bacteria, parasites and candida. These microbes are then able to invade the bloodstream and colonise almost any body tissue or organ. When this occurs in the gums, periodontal disease results. If it happens in the jaw, tooth extraction or root canals might be necessary to cure the infection.
In addition to the creation of food allergies by the leaky gut, the bloodstream is invaded by bacteria, fungi and parasites that, in the healthy state, would not penetrate the protective barrier of the gut. These microbes and their associated toxins, if present in large enough amounts, can overwhelm the liver’s ability to detoxify. This results in symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, brain fog or facial swelling when the individual is exposed to a perfume or to cigarette smoke that he or she had no adverse reactions to prior to the development of leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome also creates a long list of mineral deficiencies because the various carrier proteins present in the gastrointestinal tract that are needed to transport minerals from the intestine to the blood are damaged by the inflammation process. For example, magnesium deficiency (low red blood cell magnesium) is quite a common finding in conditions like fibromyalgia despite a high magnesium intake through the diet and supplementation. If the carrier protein for magnesium is damaged, magnesium deficiency develops as a result of malabsorption. Muscle pain and spasms can occur as a result. Similarly, zinc deficiency due to malabsorption can result in hair loss or baldness as occurs in alopecia areata. Copper deficiency can occur in an identical way leading to high blood cholesterol levels and osteoarthritis. Further, bone problems develop as a result of the malabsorption of calcium, boron, silicon and manganese.
COMMON CAUSES OF LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
The leaky gut syndrome is basically caused by inflammation of the gut lining. This inflammation is usually brought about by the following:
• Antibiotics because they lead to the growth of abnormal flora in the gastrointestinal tract (bacteria, parasites, candida, fungi) · Alcohol and caffeine (strong gut irritants)
• Foods and beverages contaminated by parasites like giardia lamblia, cryptosporidium, blastocystis hominis and others
• Foods and beverages contaminated by bacteria like helicobacter pylori, klebsiella, citrobacter, pseudomonas and others
• Chemicals in fermented and processed food (dyes, preservatives, peroxidized fats)
• Enzyme deficiencies (e.g. celiac disease, lactase deficiency causing lactose intolerance)
• NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ASA, ibuprofen, indomethacin,
• Prescription corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone)
• High refined carbohydrate diet (e.g. sweets, chocolate bars, cookies, cake, soft drinks, white bread)
• Prescription hormones like the birth control pill, mould and fungal mycotoxins in stored grains, fruit and refined carbohydrates.
Leaky gut syndrome can cause the malabsorption of many important micronutrients. The inflammatory process causes swelling (edema) and the presence of many noxious chemicals all of which can block the absorption of vitamins and essential amino acids. A leaky gut does not absorb nutrients properly. Bloating, gas and cramps occur as do a long list of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Eventually, systemic complaints like fatigue, headaches, memory loss, poor concentration or irritability develop.
Broad spectrum prescription antibiotics, especially when taken for extended periods of time, wipe out all the gut friendly bacteria that provide protection against fungi and amoebic (parasitic) infections, which help the body break down complex foods and synthesise vitamins like B12 and biotin. Since this friendly bowel flora is killed off, the body has now lost its local defence against the parasites or fungi that are normally held in check. This ultimately causes an inflammatory reaction leading to the leaky gut syndrome. Food allergies quickly develop and these may trigger the signs and symptoms of arthritis, eczema, migraines, asthma or other forms of immune dysfunction. Other common symptoms of this bowel flora imbalance and leaky gut syndrome are bloating and gas after meals and alternating constipation with diarrhoea. This set of symptoms is usually labelled as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or spastic bowel disease and treated symptomatically by general practitioners and gastroenterologists with antispasmodic drugs, tranquillisers or different types of soluble (psyllium) and insoluble (bran) fibre.
LEAKY GUT AND IBS
The mainstream thinking on IBS is that it is caused by stress. Irritable bowel syndrome is the number one reason for general practitioner referrals to specialists. In well over 80% of the cases, tests like the intestinal permeability test (a special urine test involving the determination of absorption rates of two sugars called lactulose and mannitol), CDSA or livecell darkfield microscopy tend to reveal the presence of an overgrowth of fungi, parasites or pathogenic bacteria. The one-celled parasite, blastocystis hominis and different species of candida are the most common microbes observed in IBS. The only stress associated with IBS is that which is generated by infection and the leaky gut syndrome. If allowed to persist without the correct treatment, IBS can progress into more serious disorders like the candidiasis syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities, chronic fatigue syndrome, many autoimmune diseases and even cancer. If treated medically, IBS is rarely cured. To treat it correctly, natural treatments work best and must include the removal of the cause, improvement of gastrointestinal function and healing the lining of the gut. Synergy Worldwide’s Phytolife does exactly this by re-balancing your body’s PH back into neutral and healthy alkaline state.
HOW TO REVERSE LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
Band-aid treatments with corticosteroids, prescription antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs may be temporarily life-saving for acute episodes of pain, bleeding or severe inflammation as occurs in lupus or colitis. In the long term, none of these treatments actually do anything to heal the leaky gut problem. To reverse the leaky gut syndrome the diet must be completely changed to one which is as hypoallergenic as possible. Sugar, white flour products, all gluten-containing grains (especially wheat, barley, oats and rye), milk and dairy products, high fat foods, caffeine products, alcohol and hidden food allergies determined by testing must all be eliminated for long periods of time (sometimes for several years in the most severe cases).
Treatment might also include the use of natural antibiotics (echinacea, colloidal silver, garlic), anti-parasitics (cloves, wormwood, black walnut) and anti-fungals (taheebo, caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract) depending on the type of infection which shows up on objective tests. It is rare that victims require prescription drugs for these infections and they should be discouraged. The drugs are usually expensive, have unpleasant side effects and are best reserved for life-threatening conditions.
Leaky gut syndrome patients can help themselves by chewing their food more thoroughly, following the basic rules of food combining, eating frequent small meals rather than three large ones and taking more time with their meals. Gastrointestinal function can be improved with a juice fast or a hypoallergenic diet and supplements like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus as well as FOS (fructooligosaccharides) derived from Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, the dahlia plant or burdock root. Also taking Phytolife twice per day enables your gut to reduce the internal acidity level, allow the gut to heal and therefore prevent further leakage of nutrients out and toxins in.
BENEFICIAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
Natural digestive enzymes – from plant (e,g, bromelain, papain) or pancreatic animal tissues (porcine, bovine, lamb) and aloe vera juice with a high MPS concentration (good brands are International Aloe, Earthnet and Royal) stomach acidity enhancing supplements – betaine and pepsin, glutamic acid, stomach bitters, apple cider vinegar amino acids – L-glutamine, N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) essential fatty acids – milled flax, flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage oil, olive oil, fish oils, black currant seed oil soluble fiber – psyllium seed husks and powder, apple or citrus pectin, the rice derived gamma oryzanol, antioxidants – carotenoids, B complex, vitamin C, E, zinc, selenium, germanium, Coenzyme Q10, bioflavonoids, especially quercetin, catechin, hesperidin, rutin and proanthocyanidins (pycnogenols, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, bilberry) herbs and plant extracts – kudzu, and a high chlorophyll containing green drink such as Pyhtolife (http://www.synergyworldwide.com/EN-GB/Content/Products/V3Nutrition)
Due to the increasing recognition of chronic fatigue syndrome, the leaky gut syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivity, a number of supplement companies have been marketing powdered hypoallergenic formulations containing most of the nutrients mentioned above in one convenient package. Synergy Worldwide created Phytolife, which is in liquid form and is sourced from mulberry leaves and alfalfa, Synergy’s PhytoLife is a rich combination of chlorophyllin (sodium copper chlorophyllin) and peppermint oil which contributes to normal digestive function and helps turn ordinary water into a great tasting drink that you can enjoy throughout the day. This, along with the fresh taste and liquid form, makes PhytoLife a great companion to your food supplement regime.
If you suspect you may be suffering from leaky gut syndrome, the most important thing to do is get yourself tested by a natural health care practitioner. A personalised natural program of diet and supplements can then be recommended to help you reverse this debilitating condition.
For more information and to arrange a consultation with me, email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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