All the many and intricate processes our body does to keep us alive and healthy rely on a group of “essential nutrients” which we need to replenish every day. The supply of these nutrients depends on both your digestive tract and the quality of the foods you eat.
Modern foods and lifestyles are not gut friendly! Stress, refined carbohydrates and sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup, factory famed animals and crops, GMO crops are not only deficient in nutrients but also contain substances that lead to damage of the gut flora needed for effective digestion, protection of the gut wall and eventually can cause a condition called “leaky gut” (Increased intestinal permeability).
Leaky gut is caused by a imbalance between the good and the bad flora in our intestines, the good bacteria protect our intestinal walls and when deficient the bad bacteria can breach the walls and enter our blood stream.
The good bacteria also help us digest our food so once more, if deficient our food is not digested properly and the undigested proteins enter our blood stream where the immune system sees them as invaders and builds up antibodies to attack and eliminate them.
Furthermore the gut being damaged is unable to process the food properly and various nutrients are not extracted. Interestingly a well fed individual with malabsorption can suffer from malnutrition! In these cases supplements might be needed as well as correction to the diet.
Our digestive system is the most important system, for without proper digestion you cannot get the fuel you need to run your body efficiently. It is so important that 80- 85% of our immune system is found in the walls of the digestive tract. When our digestion does not work as it should, our whole body and brain cannot function!
Gut feelings are very important!
Leaky gut and its consequences.
Malnutrition is not the only outcome from a damaged gut. The passage of foreign bodies into your blood stream and impact of the “bad” flora itself can have wide ranging health implications.
When these foreign particles enter the blood stream they not only cause the immune system to go into overdrive but as they are all taken to the liver for processing this poor friend of ours gets overwhelmed and cannot cope with the many processes it does for us.
It then uses other parts of the body to detox, the lungs, resulting in asthma, the urinary tract, resulting in cystitis and the skin resulting in eczema. When totally over whelmed it allows toxins and partly digestive foods into the blood. The worst toxins are those produces by the bad bacteria, some of these melt the glue that stick our cells together in the blood brain barrier, allowing the brain to be compromised resulting in mental dysfunction, from mild depression right through to severe mental disorders.
Other substances combine with cells in our joints and muscles, making them a different composition, the immune system sees them as invaders and rushes in to eliminate them, resulting in migrating pains round the body, this is the start of autoimmune disease!
When the body repairs tissues it uses inflammation as part of the repair mechanism, which disappears once the repair is done. Should there be a deficiency in the right nutrients to complete this repair the inflammation remains and can become chronic.
Our best friend, our liver also processes our used up hormones and neurotransmitters, but should it be too busy trying to detoxify our bodies it cannot do this properly, leading to partially processed (damaged)ones being released into the blood steam to displace healthy ones, this results in hormone imbalances and problems linked with neuro transmitter deficiencies.
This along with too much refined carbohydrate, sugar (empty calories) pushing up our blood sugar and therefore our insulin and the stress of modern day living are the causes of most of the health problems we have today.
Symptoms and conditions associated with “leaky gut”
Head: Chronic headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, dizziness, brain fatigue.
Mouth & throat: Coughing, sore throat, hoarseness, swelling/pain, gagging, frequently clearing throat, sores on gums, lips and tongue.
Nose & eyes: Runny or stuffy nose, post-nasal drip, ringing in ears, blurred vision, sinus problems, watery/itchy eyes, ear infections, hearing loss, sneezing attacks, hay fever, excessive mucus formation, dark circles under eyes, swollen, red or sticky eyelids.
Heart & lungs: Irregular heartbeat (palpitations, arrhythmia), asthma, rapid heartbeat, chest pain and congestion, bronchitis, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.
Gastro-intestinal: Nausea and vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, bloating, passing gas, stomach pain (chronic), cramping, heartburn, haemorrhoids, constant hunger pangs, anal irritation, depleted appetite, gluten intolerance (celiac disease – gluten intolerance that has been untreated for over 13 years or hereditary), food cravings, ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, food allergies and intolerances, Giardia, Pancreatic dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease, liver dysfunction.
Renal: bed wetting, nephritic syndrome and non-bacterial nephritis, frequent urination, recurrent bladder infections.
Skin: Hives, recurrent skin rashes, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, dry skin, excessive sweating, acne, hair loss, irritation around eyes, rash, fungal infections, tinea, ulcerative acne, hives.
Muscle & joint: General weakness, muscle/joint aches and pains, arthritis (not all types, see list pg. ), swelling, stiffness, Anykolosing spondilytis.
Energy & activity: Fatigue, depression, mental dullness and memory lapses, difficulty getting your work done, apathy, hyperactivity, restlessness.
Emotions & mind: Mood swings, autism, anxiety and tension, fear, nervousness, anger, irritability, aggressive behaviour, binge eating or drinking, food cravings, depression, confusion, poor comprehension, poor concentration, difficulty learning, poor memory, schizophrenia, ADHD, somatisation disorder, hypersomnia, insomnia.
Overall: Lupus, overweight, underweight, fluid retention, dizziness, genital itch, malnutrition, anaphylactic reactions, fevers of unknown origin, muscle cramps, night sweats, multiple chemical sensitivities (environmental illness), muscle pain, myofacial pain, poor exercise tolerance, poor immunity, recurrent vaginal infections, brittle nails, swollen lymph glands, liver dysfunction, sluggishness, chronic fatigue, iron deficiency, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Candidiasis, chronic hepatitis, cystic fibrosis, accelerated ageing, endotoxemia, AIDS, alcoholism, cravings, addiction.
Additional signs of food allergies in children
In addition to the symptoms listed above, children with food sensitivities may have:
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Behavioral problems
- Learning problems
- Recurring ear infections