Yesterday, I blogged about the Gallbladder/Liver flush protocol that I will implement next week. The second part of the equation will be treating my leaky gut. Dr. Leo Galland, M.D. seems to be the only M.D. I have found that recognize leaky gut. I must give my M.D. a little bit of credit, I don’t know if she recognizes leaky gut as an actual phenomenon; I haven’t asked. I suppose I will in the next two weeks.
Why the next two weeks? I plan on going into her office specifically for her to run tests for intestinal infection or dysbiosis. Hopefully this will go smoothly. I will wear my mask (need to finish sewing it) and will leave the Yipiyuk with the hubby so that she doesn’t get exposed to the fumes in the office…and the gum chewing nurse. I have a word document of all the information I plan on researching concerning leaky gut that I would like to share with you all. It is really just my musings, thoughts, and plan of action. I apologize now if it is not as polished as most of my posts. My goal was to have it posted by today and I’m not feeling that well. I’ll attach a PDF of the word document as well as copy and pasting the contents into this post. Here’s to the testing (drinks a tall glass of warm water)!
Treating Leaky Gut
Avoidance of enterotoxic drugs, treatment of intestinal infection or dysbiosis, and an allergy elimination diet of high nutrient density that is appropriate for the individual patient are the primary treatment strategies for the Leaky Gut Syndromes.
Avoid foods with added sugar and refined starches, made from white flour. Decrease consumption of saturated fat and most vegetable oils, using extra virgin olive oil instead. Eat at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and at least 4 servings of fish per week.
- Get testing of intestinal infection or dysbiosis done. Possibly get some compounded medication to treat this. - Dr. Sullivan
- Already avoiding white flour and starches. Is yacon ok? Need to research
- Already avoiding saturated fat and most vegetable oils. Is coconut oil ok? Need to research more. Olives didn’t like me last year
- Need to eat more vegetables! Fruit…not so much. Maybe if it liked me.
- Fish?!?!? That may not work out so well.
- Already avoiding enterotoxic drugs
- I think I have an allergy safe, anti-inflammatory diet.
- Already avoiding alcohol. Never drank and don’t plan to start.
- I have L-glutamine. Yay me!
- I need N-acetyl- glucosamine… need to find an allergy safe version
- After intestinal bacteria are under control need, begin supplementation:
- Find allergen free: Retinol, tocopherol, selenium, and molybdenum.
- Already have B vitamins, zinc, manganese, magnesium, ascorbate (vitamic c)
- Have not been successful in finding corn free tocopherol or molybdenum. Have been looking for over 4 months.
- Email Bluebonnet to see if Power-zyme is additional allergen safe (papaya enzyme derived). Papaya may be issue http://www.bluebonnetnutrition.com/product/210/Power-Zymes%AE_Vcaps
- Email Thorne to see if M.F. Bromelain is additional allergen safe (pineapple enzyme derived). Pineapple may be issue http://www.thorne.com/Products/Gastrointestinal-Health/Digestive_Support/prd~SB315.jsp
- Research Barium used for x-ray. I think barium is made from rock but I’m not sure. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/digestive_disorders/barium_x-rays_upper_and_lower_gi_85,P01275/
Five Steps to Help Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome
Get rid of anything that might be causing or contributing to increased intestinal permeability:
- Stop drinking alcohol for at least a month.
- Stop using aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). I wrote about the side effects of these common pain relievers in a recent Huff Post article “Why Medication Can Be Dangerous to Your Health.“
- Have a stool test for intestinal parasites. There is extensive medical literature on intestinal parasites causing symptoms like fatigue, joint pain and skin disorders, without causing diarrhea. I discuss these in a chapter I wrote titled, “Intestinal Protozoan Infestation and Systemic Illness”, for the Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd Edition, in 2005 .
- Adopt an anti-inflammatory dietary pattern. I explain the benefits of eating to reduce inflammation, and provide a plan to achieve that, in my book, The Fat Resistance Diet. The principles are simple to understand: avoid foods with added sugar and refined starches, made from white flour. Decrease consumption of saturated fat and most vegetable oils, using extra virgin olive oil instead. Eat at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and at least 4 servings of fish per week.
- There are dietary supplements that help the small intestine heal and restore its functional integrity. The most important of these are the amino acid L-glutamine and the amino sugar N-acetyl- glucosamine, which are readily available in health food stores.
Many naturally occurring substances help repair the intestinal mucosal surface or support the liver when stressed by enteric toxins. More specialized nutritional, glandular and herbal therapies are considered below. These should not be used as primary therapies. Avoidance of enterotoxic drugs, treatment of intestinal infection or dysbiosis, and an allergy elimination diet of high nutrient density that is appropriate for the individual patient are the primary treatment strategies for the Leaky Gut Syndromes. The recommendations that follow are to be used as adjuncts:
Please follow the aforementioned link to see all of Dr. Galland’s recommendations.
What to Expect at Your Provider’s Office:
Intestinal Bacteria Test
Your health care provider will ask if you have traveled out of the country recently and whether you have recently lost weight. If your health care provider thinks you have an intestinal parasite, you will probably have one or more of the following tests:
- Fecal testing (examination of your stool) can identify both helminths and protozoa. Stool samples must be collected before you take any antidiarrhea drugs or antibiotics, or before x-rays with barium are taken. Several stool samples may be needed to find the parasite.
- The “Scotch tape” test identifies pinworm by touching tape to the anus several times, then looking at the tape under a microscope for eggs.
- Your health care provider may use x-rays with barium to diagnose more serious problems caused by parasites, although this test is usually not required.
Your health care provider will choose the drug that is most effective against your intestinal parasite. You may need one dose, or you may have to take the medication for several weeks. Be careful to take the medicine exactly as it is prescribed, or it may not work.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Conventional medical treatments can get rid parasites more quickly and with fewer side effects than most alternative treatments. Alternative treatments may be helpful along with conventional medications. However, your health care provider must find out what kind of organism is causing your problems before you start treatment. The following nutritional guidelines may help keep parasites from growing.
Nutrition and Supplements
- Avoid simple carbohydrates, such as those found in refined foods, fruits, juices, dairy products, and all sugars, except honey.
- Eat more raw garlic, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, beets, and carrots, all of which have been used traditionally to kill parasites. In one study, researchers found that a mixture of honey and papaya seeds cleared stools of parasites in 23 out of 30 subjects. Drink a lot of water to help flush out your system.
- Eat more fiber, which may help get rid of worms.
- Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacilus plantarum, Saccharomyces boulardii, and bifidobacteria, one to two times per day between meals) help keep your digestive tract healthy.
- Digestive enzymes will help restore your intestinal tract to its normal state, which makes it inhospitable to parasites. Papain is an enzyme from the papaya plant that may help kill worms when taken 30 minutes before or after meals.
- Vitamin C (250 – 500 mg two times a day) or, if well-tolerated, much higher doses of up to 6,000 mg per day in otherwise healthy adults — supports the immune system. Lower vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.
- Zinc (20 – 30 mg per day) — also helps support the immune system.
Herbs are generally a safe way to strengthen and tone the body’s systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to diagnose your problem before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). People with a history of alcoholism should not take tinctures.
Many of the herbs used to treat intestinal parasites have toxic side effects or interfere with other medications. Use them only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Your health care provider should treat you with the most gentle herb that is effective for the type of parasite you have. A few of the herbs that your health care provider might consider include:
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
- Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
- Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
- Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium)
- Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
- Wormwood (Artemisia annua)
- Curled mint (Mentha crispa)
- Black walnuts (Juglans nigra)
Signs and Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites:
Parasites can live within the intestines for years without causing any symptoms. When they do, symptoms include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Gas or bloating
- Dysentery (loose stools containing blood and mucus)
- Rash or itching around the rectum or vulva
- Stomach pain or tenderness
- Feeling tired
- Weight loss
- Passing a worm in your stool