LEAKY GUT SYNDROME: THE MOST IGNORED, MISUNDERSTOOD, MISREPRESENTED, AND MISDIAGNOSED HEALTH PROBLEM IN AMERICARead Now
NEW RESEARCH ON INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY
Cells are tightly packed, having slight spaces in between for tiny particles (nutrition) to pass.
Due to inflammation, the junctions between cells gets wider. Bigger molecules enter the bloodstream.
As the process continues, large gaps form, allowing a vast array of nasties into general circulation.
If I had time to do it, it would have been easy to find hundreds of similar online statements concerning LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. In light of the thousands upon thousands of peer-reviewed studies on the subject, this has become the biomedical equivalent of denying the Holocaust. When you start digging into the research, you quickly realize that the two sides of the coin representing true "Gut Health" (MICROBIOME / DYSBIOSIS and epithelial barrier dysfunction --- LGS) have, along with FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION, arguably been the hottest topics in health-related research for at least half a decade. What makes denial that much more egregious is the fact that there are several simple and inexpensive DIY home-tests for Intestinal Permeability.
As for the reasons for this denial, it's simple. The average physician is locked into where they put their faith and what they do --- drugs and surgery. Once one realizes that not only are there not any medications that effectively treat LGS, but that lots of medications --- not just ANTIBIOTICS --- actually cause (or at least contribute to LGS and dysbiosis -- HERE), it's easy to see why keeping their heads in the sand is the usual modus oporandi. Or shutting you down if you bring it up to them. "Oh Mrs Johnson; you've been reading Schierling's qackery again, haven't you?"
Leaky Gut goes by any number of names in the scientific literature, although it is becoming more common to actually see it referred to as such. In today's post we are not going to cover Gut Epithelial Barrier Dysfunction / Intestinal Hyperpermeability (LGS) as it relates to common problems such as DEPRESSION, OBESITY, DIABETES, etc, etc --- if you want those, they and numerous other "mainstream" diseases can be found under my previous articles on the topic (see earlier link on LGS). Today I am going to show you the weird stuff, using peer-review from the last few months, I want you to see a few of the crazy numbers of crazy health issues that are related to Leaky Gut Syndrome. What I really want you to pay attention to as you read this is just how far apart mainstream medical practice is from mainstream medical research --- a gap I've repeatedly said makes the GRAND CANYON LOOK LIKE A DITCH.
(All quotes are cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space)
- ROOT CANALS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH LEAKY GUT SYNDROME: I've shown you previously how many experts believe ROOT CANALS act as reservoirs of occult infection. Just last week, the journal Molecular Neurobiology (Increased Root Canal Endotoxin Levels are Associated with Chronic Apical Periodontitis, Increased Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress, Major Depression, Severity of Depression, and a Lowered Quality of Life) revealed that, "Evidence indicates that major depression is accompanied by increased translocation of gut commensal Gram-negative bacteria (leaky gut) and consequent activation of oxidative and nitrosative (O&NS) pathways. There were significant and positive associations between CAP (chronic apical periodontitis) or root canal endotoxin with the vegetative and physio-somatic symptoms of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale as well as a significant inverse association between root canal endotoxin and quality of life with strong effects on psychological, environmental, and social domains. It is concluded that increased root canal lipopolysaccharide accompanying CAP may cause depression and a lowered quality of life, which may be partly explained by activated O&NS pathways, especially NOx thereby enhancing hypernitrosylation and thus neuroprogressive processes. Dental health and "leaky teeth" may be intimately linked to the etiology and course of depression, while significantly impacting quality of life." Just click the link to see that this thought process is becoming mainstream, even though experts on natural health (that both happened to be renowned dentists --- Drs. LEE & PRICE) were talking about this dilemma 80 years ago. Hang with me because we'll talk more about lipopolysaccharides (endotoxins) momentarily
- INTESTINAL HYPERPERMEABILITY IS A KNOWN LINK BETWEEN METABOLIC SYNDROME AND MOOD DISORDERS: One of the drums that I've beat over and over again is that numerous health issues --- particularly CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, and AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES --- should be viewed systemically, as whole body health issues. Listen to what the journal Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry (Shared Metabolic and Immune-Inflammatory, Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress Pathways in the Metabolic Syndrome and Mood Disorders) said just two short weeks ago. "This review examines the shared immune-inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative stress and metabolic pathways underpinning metabolic syndrome, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Shared pathways in both metabolic syndrome and mood disorders are low grade inflammation..... and increased bacterial translocation (leaky gut). Mood disorders should be viewed as systemic neuro-metabolic disorders." Bacterial translocation simply means that the tight junctions between the epithelial cells of the Gut lining have gotten loose enough to start allowing bacteria through. Not pleasant or healthy. It's caused by inflammation. Figure out what's driving your inflammation, solve your Leaky Gut!
- LEAKY GUT CONTRIBUTES TO ALCOHOLISM AND VICE VERSA: Last month's issue of Neuropharmacology (A Role for the Peripheral Immune System in the Development of Alcohol Use Disorders?) concluded that, "Preclinical studies have largely supported that alcohol-consumption induces the development of an important neuro-inflammation and this neuro-inflammation contributes to alcohol-drinking behaviors. Ethanol in particular interacts with the intestine to develop a gut dysbiosis and an increase in gut permeability, that allows the liberation of bacterial fragments to the systemic circulation and induces a pro-inflammatory response in the systemic circulation and peripheral organs, and in particular the liver. Peripheral cytokines or activated peripheral cells may cross the blood-brain barrier and activate neuro-inflammation. In humans, peripheral inflammation and intestinal dysbiosis are related to symptoms of alcohol use disorders, such as depression, anxiety and alcohol-craving, However, the dysbiosis, could also participate in a different manner to the symptomatology of the addiction, possibly by interacting with the stress system, by interfering with the sleep processes and altering the abilities for social interactions. The role of the gut suggests that interventions with probiotics or prebiotics might in the future be of interest for the treatment of the addiction." We shouldn't be surprised considering what we know about dysbiosis as related to sugar consumption (it's the fuel), and the fact that alcohol is metabolized in the body like sugar. Speaking of sugar.....
- SUGAR CONSUMPTION CAUSES INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: Why should we be surprised considering sugar feeds both cancer and infection (HERE and HERE)? In a March study from the Journal of Nutrition (Intestinal Barrier Function and the Gut Microbiome Are Differentially Affected in Mice Fed a Western-Style Diet or Drinking Water Supplemented with Fructose) we see just how bad sugar affects the Gut. "High fructose intake increased endotoxin translocation 2.6 and 3.8 fold in the groups fed the control diet + fructose and Western Style Diet + fructose, respectively, compared with the control group." Among an array of other problems you can read about if you want to, this diet caused certain strains of bacteria to increase by 33,000% (not a misprint) --- the ultimate definition of dysbiosis. "The consumption of a Western Style Diet or high fructose intake differentially affects gut permeability and the microbiome." Never forget that as bad as white sugar is, HFCS is worse.
- OVERWEIGHT PREGNANCY CAUSES INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY Last month's issue of Metabolism (Increased Intestinal Permeability, Measured by Serum Zonulin, is Associated with Metabolic Risk Markers in Overweight Pregnant Women) revealed that, "Increased intestinal permeability with subsequent metabolic endotoxemia (elevated circulating levels of bacterial lipopolysaccharide), has been introduced as a novel initiator of obesity related metabolic disturbances in non-pregnant individuals. Serum zonulin was analyzed using ELISA, and markers for metabolic endotoxemia (LPS), inflammation (high-sensitive C-reactive protein and glycoprotein acetylation GlyA), glucose metabolism (fasting glucose and insulin), and lipid metabolism were measured. Higher serum zonulin concentration associated positively with LPS, inflammatory markers, insulin, insulin resistance, and triglycerides, and negatively with insulin sensitivity. Increased intestinal permeability contributes to metabolic endotoxemia, systemic inflammation, and insulin resistance in overweight pregnant women."
- LOSING WEIGHT HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON LEAKY GUT SYNDROME: The most common cause of Fatty Liver Disease (Hepatic Seatosis) is obesity. January's issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Gut Permeability is Related to Body Weight, Fatty Liver Disease, and Insulin Resistance in Obese Individuals Undergoing Weight Reduction) concluded that, "Intestinal permeability is increased in obese patients with steatosis compared with obese patients without. The increased permeability fell to within the previously reported normal range after weight reduction." In other words, the more obese one is, the greater the chances of both a Leaky Gut and a Fatty Liver. The cool thing is that both can be effectively dealt with via WEIGHT LOSS.
- WESTERN DIET, ENDOTOXEMIA, AND THE LEAKY GUT: Endotoxemia is defined by Dictionary dot com as "The presence of endotoxins in the blood, which, if derived from gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria, may cause hemorrhages, necrosis of the kidneys, and shock." We've talked a couple of times about lipopolysaccharides. Just realize that they are synonymous with the word endotoxin. In other words, the whole mess is essentially the result of dysbiosis. Last month's issue of the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism (Western-Diet Consumption Induces Alteration of Barrier Function Mechanisms in the Ileum that Correlates with Metabolic Endotoxemia.....) bore this out when it concluded that diet is related to dysbiosis, and that, "ileal mucosal defense impairment induced by Western Diet feeding contributes to metabolic endotoxemia." The study's title shows exactly how this is related to a Leaky Gut (altered barrier function).
- ANOREXIA NERVOSA RELATED TO LEAKY GUT SYNDROME: January's issue of the European Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Food Matters: How the Microbiome and Gut–Brain Interaction Might Impact the Development and Course of Anorexia Nervosa) starts out by saying, "Anorexia nervosa (AN) is one of the most common chronic illnesses in female adolescents and exhibits the highest mortality risk of all psychiatric disorders (less than 50% of patients with AN fully recover). Evidence for the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic or psychopharmacological interventions is weak." After talking extensively about the Gut / Brain / Endocrine System Axis (read about it on ENDOGUT) the authors concluded that, "There is growing evidence that the gut microbiota influences weight regulation and psychopathology, such as anxiety and depression. A “leaky gut”, characterized by antigens traversing the intestinal wall, was demonstrated in an animal model of AN, and could underlie the low-grade inflammation and increased risk of autoimmune diseases found in AN. The so-called “leaky gut” (increased intestinal permeability) might facilitate the transfer of potentially pathogenic members of the microbiota (i.e. “pathobionts”), metabolites, toxins or lipopolysaccharides from the gut lumen to the lamina propria and on to the mesenteric lymph nodes, from which they may reach systemic circulation, especially in the case of an aberrant immune response Moreover, starvation has a substantial impact on the gut microbiome...... This review discusses how consideration of gut–brain interactions may be important for treatment regarding the determination of target weight, rapidity of weight gain, refeeding methods and composition of the diet which might all be of importance to improve long-term outcome of one of the most chronic psychiatric disorders of adolescence." Incredible study, although it leans toward veganism as opposed to the types of diet I prefer my chronically sick patients to eat (GAPS, PALEO, KETOGENIC, etc). Plainly stated, anorexic individuals need quality protein and plenty of it. Not impossible, but certainly tougher to do without eggs, fish, RED MEAT, etc, etc, not to mention the beneficial effects of animal fats on the brain (HERE).
- EXERCISE AFFECTS INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY IN TWO DISTINCT WAYS: Two months ago, the March issue of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity published an amazing and detailed study called Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects, with a bio alone that was worth the price of admission. While the authors showed that exercise is undoubtedly beneficial as far as GUT HEALTH is concerned, they provided a caveat that I have warned people about (particularly hardcore runners) for a long time --- that too much exercise can actually cause intestinal hyperpermeability. "Prolonged exercise also determines an increase of intestinal permeability, compromising gut-barrier function and resulting in bacterial translocation from the colon [into the blood stream]." Conversely, "Low intensity exercise can influence the gastrointestinal tract, reducing the transient stool time [making you regular] and thus the contact time between the pathogens and the gastrointestinal mucus layer. As a consequence, it seems that exercise has protective effects, reducing the risk of colon cancer, diverticulosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Collectively, the available data strongly support that exercise appears to determine changes in the qualitative and quantitative gut microbial composition with possible benefits for the host. In fact, stable and enriched microflora diversity is indispensable to the homeostasis and normal gut physiology [is your Gut leaky or not?] contributing also to suitable signaling along the brain-gut axis and to the healthy status of the individual. Exercise is able to enrich the microflora diversity; to improve the Bacteroidetes-Firmicutes ratio which could potentially contribute to reducing weight, obesity-associated pathologies, and gastrointestinal disorders; to stimulate the proliferation of bacteria which can modulate mucosal immunity and improve barrier functions [LGS], resulting in reduction in the incidence of obesity and metabolic diseases; and to stimulate bacteria capable of producing substances that protect against gastrointestinal disorders and colon cancer."
- LEAKY GUT SYNDROME AND GULF WAR SYNDROME: I have heard any number of theories about what causes Gulf War Syndrome --- exposure of DIET SODA in ALUMINUM CANS to extreme heat, freaky numbers of freaky VACCINATIONS, chemical warfare, etc, etc, etc. Without getting into that debate, the March issue of PLoS One carried a study called Altered Gut Microbiome in a Mouse Model of Gulf War Illness Causes Neuroinflammation and Intestinal Injury Via Leaky Gut and TLR4 Activation. This rather amazing study by a team of 16 MD / Ph.D researchers concluded that, "Many of the symptoms of Gulf War Illness that include neurological abnormalities, neuroinflammation, chronic fatigue and gastrointestinal disturbances have been traced to Gulf War chemical exposure. Using an established rodent model of Gulf War Illness, we show that chemical exposure caused significant dysbiosis in the gut that included increased abundance of phylum Firmicutes and Tenericutes, and decreased abundance of Bacteroidetes. Altered microbiome caused significant decrease in tight junction protein Occludin with a concomitant increase in Claudin-2, a signature of a leaky gut. These events signified that gut dysbiosis with simultaneous leaky gut and systemic endotoxemia-induced TLR4 activation contributes to Gulf War chemical-induced neuroinflammation and gastrointestinal disturbances." Whatever chemical(s) caused this crap; the resultant Dysbiosis and subsequent sequelae have proved a nightmare for many who were exposed.
- STRESS LEADS TO INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: A study done by a team of 15 researchers working for our military and published in the American Journal of Physiology: GI and Liver Physiology (Changes in Intestinal Microbiota Composition and Metabolism Coincide with Increased Intestinal Permeability In Young Adults Under Prolonged Physiologic Stress) showed yet another way that stress fouls up the system. "Findings demonstrate that a multiple-stressor military training environment induced increases in intestinal permeability that were associated with alterations in markers of inflammation, and with intestinal microbiota composition and metabolism." Yes, it's true; living in a state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE is bad news for your Gut. The cool thing is, there are actually ways to measure this stress (HERE), and do something about it (more to come momentarily).
- LEAKY GUT RELATED TO FEMALE INFERTILITY / PCOS: Far and away, the number one cause of INFERTILITY in America is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). The January issue of PLoS One (Alterations in Gut Microbiome Composition and Barrier Function Are Associated with Reproductive and Metabolic Defects in Women with PCOS) concluded that, "Women with PCOS frequently display overweight, insulin resistance, and systemic low-grade inflammation. To date, no published data on the gut microbiome in human PCOS patients exist, though there have been recent reports of alterations in the fecal microbiome in PCOS rodent models. Data on gut permeability in PCOS patients are likewise scarce, though an increase in serum zonulin, a regulator of tight junction function, has been reported. We found significant or borderline significant increases in several parameters of intestinal barrier dysfunction and inflammation in PCOS patients. Zonulin is a regulator of tight junction function in humans and serum levels correlate with in vivo gut permeability assessed by lactulose/mannitol test. The serum zonulin increase observed in our study is in accordance with recent studies in PCOS patients and obese individuals, where serum zonulin was correlated with measures of insulin resistance and fecal bacterial colony count. Zonulin, calprotectin, LPS, and blood lymphocytes were associated with gut microbiome parameters, indicating support for the gut barrier-endotoxemia-inflammation mechanism.... Similar to the gut microbiome, gut barrier changes may become more pronounced in specific PCOS phenotypes, such as those with more pronounced insulin resistance and/or obesity." Want to get pregnant but are having trouble? Before spending tens of thousands on IVF, click the links above.
- ANIMAL STUDIES GALORE: I'll not delve into these here, but I saw study after study on Leaky Gut Syndrome in all manner of farm animals, including cattle (both beef and dairy) as well as chickens.
- CERTAIN PARASITES MIGHT BE PART OF A NORMAL MICROBIOME AND HAVE A BENEFICIAL AFFECT ON INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: A January study published in Tissue Barriers (Helminths and Intestinal Barrier Function) concluded, "The data available on direct effects of helminths on epithelial permeability are scant, fragmentary and pales in comparison with knowledge of mobilization of immune reactions and effector cells in response to helminth parasites and how these impact intestinal barrier function." The study talked about helminths in relationship to Autoimmune Diseases. Although it's not difficult to find studies showing how PARASITES cause problems, there are actually a large number of studies showing the benefits of treating certain INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISORDERS with helminths (parasitic worms).
- AGING'S EFFECTS ON INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: Last month's issue of Cell Host and Microbe (Age-Associated Microbial Dysbiosis Promotes Intestinal Permeability, Systemic Inflammation, and Macrophage Dysfunction) concluded that, "Although there were no gross differences in intestinal architecture, permeability was higher in the colons of old mice. Consistent with evidence of increased permeability in the colon, where bacterial numbers are highest, levels of the bacterial cell wall component muramyl dipeptide were also significantly higher in the plasma of old mice compared to young mice. Thus, increased leakiness of the gut is a consequence of aging." Fix your Gut and not only will you live better, you will likely live longer.
- PROTEASES AND INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: Proteases, also known as 'Proteolytic Enzymes,' break down proteins to peptides and amino acids via a process known as hydrolysis. Six short weeks ago, the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Regulation of Intestinal Permeability: The Role of Proteases) came to some interesting conclusions concerning proteases. "The gastrointestinal barrier is the body’s largest surface separating the external environment from the internal. This barrier serves a dual function: permitting the absorption of nutrients, water and electrolytes on the one hand, while limiting host contact with noxious luminal antigens on the other hand. To maintain this selective barrier, junction protein complexes seal the intercellular space between adjacent epithelial cells and regulate the paracellular transport. Increased intestinal permeability is associated with and suggested as a player in the pathophysiology of various gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. The gastrointestinal tract is exposed to high levels of endogenous and exogenous proteases, both in the lumen and in the mucosa. There is increasing evidence to suggest that a dysregulation of the protease/antiprotease balance in the gut contributes to epithelial damage and increased permeability. Excessive proteolysis leads to direct cleavage of intercellular junction proteins, or to opening of the junction proteins via activation of protease activated receptors. In addition, proteases regulate the activity and availability of cytokines and growth factors, which are also known modulators of intestinal permeability." I'll be anxiously awaiting more studies because many people are helped with their chronic conditions by supplementing with proteolytic enzymes.
- HERBS, BOTANICALS, COLOSTRUM, AND PROBIOTICS HAVE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON GUT PERMEABILTY: There are scores of studies on various PLANTS and PROBIOTICS, showing their mostly positive effect on LGS (I say mostly because even though most of these studies show benefit, some show no effect --- not sure I've seen any studies on people getting worse).
- OTHERS: Truth be known, I found studies linking Leaky Gut to all manner of physical ailment.
Those in the field of natural health have been proven correct time and time again --- when it comes to restoration of health, it all starts with healing the Gut. Furthermore, there's not a day go by that I don't see people using these timeless truths to solve their chronic health problems. HERE is a post on how to get started.
INFLAMMATION, PAIN, GLUTEN, AND THE LEAKIES
(Leaky Gut, Leaky Brain, Leaky Lung, Leaky Cord, Leaky Nerve, etc, etc, etc)
While researching this post, I was curious to see what that shinning pillar of truth and light, Wikipedia, had to say. Upon looking up 'Leaky Gut Syndrome,' I was surprised to learn that, "proponents claim that a "leaky gut" causes chronic inflammation throughout the body that results in a wide range of conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and autism. As of 2016, there is little evidence to support the hypothesis that leaky gut syndrome directly causes this wide array of diseases." But after looking at who Wiki's "expert" author was for this entry, I clearly understood what was going on.
Using the discredited psychiatrist STEPHEN BARRETT (or HERE; a colleague of HALL & GORSKI) as the source of their information, Wiki went on to describe Leaky Gut Syndrome as, "a hypothetical, medically unrecognized condition... claims for the existence of "leaky gut syndrome" as a distinct medical condition are mostly made by nutritionists and practitioners of alternative medicine... an opportunity to promote a number of alternative health remedies including diets, herbal preparations, dietary supplements... probiotics, herbal remedies, gluten-free foods, and low FODMAP, low sugar, or antifungal diets, but there is little evidence that the treatments offered are of benefit." In light of the peer-reviewed science --- much of it decades old --- this is a harsh indictment for us ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE QUACKS.
Despite what Barrett says, there is a veritable mountain of peer-reviewed evidence that Leaky Gut Syndrome not only exists, but is intimately associated with massive amounts of physical suffering and CHRONIC PAIN --- particularly in those consuming large quantities of HEAVILY PROCESSED CARBOHYDRATES that are ubiquitous to the SAD (Standard American Diet). Those who follow my blog won't be surprised to see that I have written about every topic Barrett mentions, along with the intimate way(s) they are all related to each other. I go a step further by always giving you the study's name as well as the journal it came from.
If you go to PubMed, you can see just how few studies have been specifically done on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME --- only 180. However, plug in 'Increased Intestinal Permeability' and that number jumps to 3,500. This doesn't count searches for other terms commonly associated with LGS (increased, intestinal permeability, intestinal hyperpermeability, abnormal gut permeability, gut barrier insufficiency, mucosal dysfunction, intestinal epithelial aberrations, along with dozens of others). By my reckoning, there are at least 12,000 studies related to this topic, and maybe several times that number.
Just to show you how far removed from reality Barrett and his brethren are, if we take a quick look at Intestinal Hyperpermeability as it relates to MS, we immediately find two studies that were published over twenty years apart, but telling us essentially the same thing.
- 20 years ago in December, the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences (Multiple Sclerosis Patients have Peripheral Blood CD45RO+ B Cells and Increased Intestinal Permeability) concluded that, "Five of 20 MS patients had increased intestinal permeability, a finding not previously reported. A subgroup of MS patients has increased intestinal permeability."
- In June of this year, the journal Multiple Sclerosis (Altered Intestinal Permeability in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study) revealed that, "Alterations of intestinal permeability may contribute to the pathophysiology of immune-mediated [autoimmune] diseases. The proportion of participants with increased intestinal permeability was significantly higher in patients than in [controls]. The relatively high proportion of intestinal permeability changes in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients seems to confirm our hypothesis."
The thing is, we can do the same thing with any health problem or disease we want. Let's try plugging in ASTHMA --- now known to be an autoimmune disease --- and see what happens.
- Twenty years ago this past summer, the June 1996 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Increased Intestinal Permeability in Bronchial Asthma) revealed that, "Our results support the hypothesis that a general defect of the whole [Gut] mucosal system is present as a cause or a consequence of bronchial asthma." They didn't know whether LGS was the cause or effect, but they knew it was there.
- Eight years later, the March 2004 issue of the Archives of Diseases in Childhood (Intestinal Permeability is Increased in Bronchial Asthma) went a step further by concluding, "Intestinal permeability is increased in children with asthma, suggesting that the whole mucosal system may be affected."
- Six years ago next month, the November 2010 issue of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology (Altered Gastrointestinal Mucosal Permeability in Asthma) showed that, "Abnormal gastrointestinal permeability has been implicated in immunologic disease, including Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, but also including non-intestinal diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. This study demonstrates an increase in gastrointestinal permeability in the small intestine of asthmatic patients, illustrating an association between abnormal gastrointestinal permeability and current asthma."
- In April 2014, the journal Clinical & Investigative Medicine (High Prevalence of Abnormal Gastrointestinal Permeability in Moderate-Severe Asthma) not surprisingly showed a strong link between LGS and asthma. "Although evidence in the literature demonstrates mucosal abnormalities of the digestive barrier in asthma, previous studies have assessed only colonic permeability, while ignoring the small intestine. Fourteen patients with moderate to severe asthma were studied, half of whom were found to have abnormal gastrointestinal permeability. This study demonstrated our ability to identify abnormal gastrointestinal permeability in the small intestines of patients with asthma."
How about taking a look at Leaky Gut as it relates to PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
- The month I was married (March, 1996) the Postgraduate Medical Journal (Intestinal Permeability and Orocaecal Transit Time in Elderly Patients with Parkinson's Disease) concluded that among other things, "Intestinal permeability was deranged." In other words, the gut was hyperpermeable.
- In 2011, the medical journal PLoS One (Increased Intestinal Permeability Correlates with Sigmoid Mucosa Alpha-Synuclein Staining and Endotoxin Exposure Markers in Early Parkinson's Disease) concluded that, "Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder of aging. The pathological hallmark of Parkinson's Disease is neuronal inclusions termed Lewy bodies whose main component is alpha-synuclein protein. The finding of these Lewy bodies in the intestinal enteric nerves led to the hypothesis that the intestine might be an early site of Parkinson's Disease disease in response to an environmental toxin or pathogen. One potential mechanism for environmental toxin(s) and proinflammatory luminal products to gain access to mucosal neuronal tissue and promote oxidative stress is compromised intestinal barrier integrity. Our data show that our Parkinson's Disease subjects exhibit significantly greater intestinal permeability (gut leakiness) than controls. These data represent not only the first demonstration of abnormal intestinal permeability in Parkinson's Disease subjects but also the first correlation of increased intestinal permeability in Parkinson's Disease with intestinal alpha-synuclein (the hallmark of Parkinson's Disease)."
- Last March Acta Neuropathological Communications (Structural Alterations of the Intestinal Epithelial Barrier in Parkinson's Disease) hit us with more revelations. "Functional and morphological alterations of the intestinal epithelial barrier have been consistently reported in digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. There is mounting evidence that Parkinson's disease is not only a brain disease but also a digestive disorder. Gastrointestinal involvement is a frequent and early event in the course of Parkinson's Disease, and it may be critically involved in the early development of the disease. Our findings provide evidence that the intestinal epithelial barrier is morphologically altered in Parkinson's Disease and further reinforce the potential role of the gastrointestinal tract in the initiation and/or the progression of the disease."
- A month later, scientists and doctors working in both Missouri and Illinois published a study (Leaky Intestine and Impaired Microbiome in an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mouse Model) in the journal Physiology Reports showing that the link between abnormal gut permeability and Parkinson's Disease was well established --- almost passe. They discussed it's link to ALS (Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). "Emerging evidence has demonstrated that intestinal homeostasis and the microbiome play essential roles in neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease..... Taken together, our study suggests a potential novel role of the intestinal epithelium and microbiome in the progression of ALS."
- The February 2008 issue of Neuro Endocronological Letters (The Gut-Brain Barrier in Major Depression: Intestinal Mucosal Dysfunction with an Increased Translocation of LPS From Gram Negative Enterobacteria (Leaky Gut) Plays a Role in the Inflammatory Pathophysiology of Depression) showed such a strong link between Depression and Leaky Gut that they concluded, "There is now evidence that major depression is accompanied by an activation of the inflammatory response system and that pro-inflammatory cytokines and lipopolysacharide may induce depressive symptoms. It is suggested that patients with major depression should be checked for leaky gut and accordingly treated for leaky gut."
- A year ago this month, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (Breaking Down the Barriers: The Gut Microbiome, Intestinal Permeability and Stress-Related Psychiatric Disorders) revealed that, "The emerging links between our gut microbiome and the central nervous system are regarded as a paradigm shift in neuroscience. Mounting evidence broadly suggests that the gut microbiota can modulate brain development, function and behavior by immune, endocrine and neural pathways of the brain-gut-microbiota axis. The concept that a "leaky gut" may facilitate communication between the microbiota and these key signaling pathways has gained traction. Deficits in intestinal permeability may underpin the chronic low-grade inflammation observed in disorders such as depression and the gut microbiome plays a critical role in regulating intestinal permeability." In the last sentence you can clearly see how a intestinal permeability is affected by the microbiome and vice versa.
- This past April's issue of The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (Modulatory Effects of Gut Microbiota on the Central Nervous System: How Gut Could Play a Role in Neuropsychiatric Health and Diseases) stated, "Gut microbiome is an integral part of the Gut-Brain axis. It is becoming increasingly recognized that the presence of a healthy and diverse gut microbiota is important to normal cognitive and emotional processing. It was known that altered emotional state and chronic stress can change the composition of gut microbiome, but it is becoming more evident that interaction between gut microbiome and central nervous system is bidirectional. Alteration in the composition of the gut microbiome can potentially lead to increased intestinal permeability and impair the function of the intestinal barrier. Subsequently, neuro-active compounds and metabolites can gain access to the areas within the central nervous system that regulate cognition and emotional responses." No wonder Depression is listed among those health issues intimately related to inflammation.
Or CHRONIC PAIN?
- According to a nine year old study from the journal Rheumatology (Altered Intestinal Permeability in Patients with Primary Fibromyalgia and in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), "The pain intensity of patients with fibromyalgia has recently been reported to be correlated with the degree of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is often associated with an increased intestinal permeability. The intestinal permeability values were significantly increased in the patient groups. Intestinal permeabilities in primary fibromyalgia and, unexpectedly, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) are increased." Making this problem even bigger is the fact that numerous drugs, including most of those given for pain, cause increased intestinal permeability. And if you're not sure what SIBO is, I've written several articles about.
Or even CANCER?
- The April 1999 issue of Carcinogenesis (Increased Tight Junctional Permeability is Associated with the Development of Colon Cancer) revealed that, "Barrier function is provided by the epithelial cells and the tight junctions that connect them. Diseases of the colon characterized by increased permeability, like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis are typically associated with a high frequency of genetic alterations and colon cancer. We postulate that an increase in tight junction permeability constitutes a critical change for determining the growth of transformed epithelial cells into tumors, acting as an epigenetic tumor promotional event in colon cancer." I'll discuss other epigenetic factors in a moment.
- Writing about a study done by Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University and published in PLoS One, ScienceDaily (Stronger Intestinal Barrier May Prevent Cancer in the Rest of the Body...) let the world know in February of 2012 that, "A leaky gut may be the root of cancers forming in the rest of the body. It appears that the hormone receptor guanylyl cyclase -- a previously identified tumor suppressor that exists in the intestinal tract -- plays a key role in strengthening the body's intestinal barrier, which helps separate the gut world from the rest of the body, and possibly keeps cancer at bay. Without the receptor, that barrier weakens."
- Furthermore, dozens of studies have revealed that chemotherapy for a wide array of cancers frequently leads to increased intestinal permeability. The January 2014 issue of Nutrition and Cancer (Changes in Intestinal Permeability and Nutritional Status After Cytotoxic Therapy in Patients with Cancer) stated that, "Abnormal intestinal permeability... and its possible relationship with intestinal alterations... may be associated with poor nutritional status in cancer patients." And here's the thing about nutritional status in cancer patients --- the medical community will prove unhelpful in this endeavor as they do not recognize nutrition as important in the battle against cancer (HERE). It also helps explain why antibiotics are so strongly linked not only to LGS, but to cancer as well (HERE).
The point is, I could go on and on and on with this exercise, showing that no matter what sort of health issue you have, you are far more likely to have some degree of intestinal hyperpermeability (a "leaky" gut). Furthermore, most of these chronic conditions are going to be associated with higher levels of pain. And on top of everything else, you can see from the dates of some of these studies that such findings are neither new nor controversial. Now let's shift gears and talk a bit about the anatomy and physiology of the 'Leakies' --- complete with a few pictures.
ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY OF THE 'LEAKIES'
In fact, what you start to see as you study this issue is that all these diseases are really one big continuum of dysfunction --- physiology gone haywire, usually in the absence of gross pathology. It's the reason so many chronic health conditions don't offer much as far as positive test results when you go to your doctor feeling like crap (HERE). Fail to grasp this and you'll find yourself trapped on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND, taking all the very meds that Barrett and his ilk so heartily promote for BIG PHARMA under the guise of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
Because there is such an absurd amount of scientific evidence for Leaky Gut, and because if you have chronic illnesses of any sort, there's a good chance that you are dealing with this problem on some level, it is important you know what it is and how it works. Firstly, it is absolutely imperative that you understand what INFLAMMATION is and what it does. I continue to stand by my statement that 999 people out of 1,000 --- including many healthcare professionals --- do not understand inflammation and cannot explain it in a meaningful way. When it comes to inflammation, Leaky Gut is unique because it can both cause inflammation and be caused by inflammation (HERE). Bottom line, if you don't have a good handle on Inflammation, you have very little chance of actually getting better.
Secondly, because it is going to provide the same basic anatomical and physiological model of the other "Leakies" (Leaky Brain Syndrome, Leaky Nerve Syndrome, LEAKY CORD SYNDROME, Leaky Lung Syndrome, etc, etc), understanding a Leaky Gut will help you understand the hidden cause of a plethora of health issues. Let's get the ball rolling by discussing epithelial tissue --- in this case, simple columnar epithelium, because that's what's found in the Gut lining.
THE SMALL INTESTINE, SIMPLE COLUMNAR EPITHELIUM, TIGHT JUNCTIONS,
THE BASEMENT MEMBRANE, AND THE CAPILLARY BED (BLOOD SUPPLY)
What you need to remember here is that when we talk about GUT HEALTH, the "Gut" is one cell-layer thick, and this is where the barrier is. Another well-known barrier system that works in an almost identical fashion is the BBB (blood/brain barrier). Whether talking about the Gut, the BRAIN, the cord, the lungs, etc, the gates in these barriers are known as "tight junctions". If you look at the pictures directly below, you will notice the "tight junctions". Although these tight junctions are found near the top of the cell, there are looser connections below this called "gap junctions" (not shown).
When normal digestion occurs (SEE ENDOGUT), tiny particles of nutrients along with H2O are allowed to pass through the tight junctions, through the basal membranes, and into the capillaries, where they will be taken where needed for growth, repair, regeneration, energy, hydration, etc, etc. As long as the tight junctions are doing their job and only allowing in what should go in, all is well with the world. But what would happen if these "tight junctions" were to lose their tightness? What happens when things go awry in the body's barrier systems? Can anyone say 'leaky'?
LEAKY 'INCREASED PERMEABILITY' SYNDROMES
The bottom line is that if unwelcome guests manage to get past the barriers and into the blood, they are likely to create an immune response. The body recognizes these entities as foreign invaders and begins attacking. What's interesting (in a terrible way) is that once the tight junctions are opened and the body starts attacking the onslaught of invaders, it often starts attacking itself. This is known as AUTOIMMUNITY. If you are interested in looking at a short list of some of the more common autoimmune diseases (many of which you likely were unaware were autoimmune), HERE it is.
In the brain, things get even more interesting because head injuries themselves can cause hyperpermeability of the BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER. This not only allows the molecules we've already discussed to get into the brain's blood supply, but allows the cellular contents of dead or dying brain tissues to get in there as well. As long as brain tissue is where it should be, the body is more apt to be fine with it. But when significant amounts start getting into places it should not be, such as the blood stream; as crazy as it sounds, the body will often start making antibodies and mounting attacks against its own brain (HERE, HERE, or HERE). This can lead to a crazy array of problems including GLIAL CELL ACTIVATION, subsequent to something called CENTRAL SENSITIZATION (hellish chronic pain that has the potential to play on a continuous, never-ending loop).
WHAT CAUSES "THE LEAKIES" AND
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO FIX THE LEAKS?
Remember the quotes from Wikipedia concerning Leaky Gut Syndrome from the beginning of this article? Lets take a cherry-picked glimpse their piece on "Intestinal Permeability".
The barrier formed by the intestinal epithelium separates the external environment from the body and is the most extensive and important mucosal surface of body and serves two crucial functions. First, it acts as a barrier, preventing the entry of harmful substances such as foreign antigens, toxins and microorganisms. Second, it acts as a selective filter which facilitates the uptake of nutrients, electrolytes, water and other beneficial substances. One way in which intestinal permeability is modulated is via receptors in cells in the intestinal epithelium, which respond to zonulin. Gliadin (a glycoprotein found in wheat) activates zonulin signaling irrespective of the genetic expression of autoimmunity, leading to increased intestinal permeability. Bacterial pathogens modulate intestinal tight junction structure and function, and these effects may contribute to the development of chronic intestinal disorders. Stress and infections also seem to cause perturbations in intestinal permeability. Opening the intercellular tight junctions (increased intestinal permeability) can allow microbes, microbial products, and foreign antigens into the body. This can result in activation of the immune system and secretion of inflammatory mediators.
After this, the author(s) list a slew of the diseases caused by these inflammatory mediators. If you want to see not only this list of diseases but the list of mediators as well, HERE is the link. Again, a failure to understand inflammation means that solving (or at the very least, dampening) the effects of the Leaky Gut and other Leakies will be unlikely. Furthermore, there are two critical points to be made in this paragraph.
First is that gliadin is a component of GLUTEN. Gluten is intimately related to autoimmunity because (secondly) REGARDLESS OF YOUR GENETICS (irrespective of genetic expression --- these are the epigentic factors I told you we would get to), it activates zonulin. What the heck is zonulin? Discovered in Y2K by DR. ALESSIO FASANO and his team from the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, zonulin is not only the chief modulator of the tight junctions --- it's the only known modulator of the tight junctions. And as you can see above, the two things that modulate zonulin (increased zonulin breaks the tight junctions) are DYSBIOTIC INFECTIONS (bacteria, mold, yeast, virus, and other nasty critters) and gluten.
For those who don't think this is important, you can read the short article I wrote on this topic a few years ago (HERE) or you can read the words of Dr. Fasano himself from the 2012 issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Zonulin, Regulation of Tight Junctions, and Autoimmune Diseases). After invoking the HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS, Fasano went on to say (extremely cherry-picked as are all quotes in this post).....
Collectively, autoimmune diseases are highly prevalent in the U.S., affecting between 14.7 and 23.5 million people — up to 8 percent of the population. Increased intestinal permeability, which may be influenced by the composition of the gut microbiota, has been proposed in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Zonulin as the only human protein discovered to date that is known to reversibly regulate intestinal permeability by modulating intercellular tight junctions. Exposure to environmental triggers, and loss of intestinal barrier function secondary to the activation of the zonulin pathway by food-derived environmental triggers or changes in gut microbiota, all seem to be key ingredients involved in the pathogenesis of inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer. Among the several potential stimuli that can trigger zonulin release, we identified small intestinal exposure to bacteria and gluten as the two more powerful.
If you weren't knocked off your feet by the sheer force of what Fasano is saying here, read it again. This is groundbreaking. Although I think his stat of 8% is incredibly low, this would mean that in tiny MOUNTAIN VIEW, MISSOURI, we have over 250 individuals who are autoimmune --- and who knows how many with CANCER or other INFLAMMATORY DISEASES intimately associated with leakies. This is why if you are chronically ill and still eating not only Gluten but ANY GRAIN AT ALL, you need to have your head examined. No; it doesn't matter that your doctor told you that this whole gluten thing is a big fad (HERE). Let's shift gears and talk for just a moment about the other zonulin activator --- MICROBIAL CAUSES (screwed up microbiomes). For my example, I am going to pick on a common bacteria called H. Pylori.
One of the biggest fallacies in the practice of medicine is the myth of too much stomach acid (or similarly, that stomach acid can be too strong). Unless you have a specific kind of tumor, this is virtually impossible. So why then are PPI DRUGS (acid blockers) one of the most-prescribed medications in the good ole USA? Mostly because when it comes to the practice of medicine, much of it --- particularity the way they deal with chronic conditions --- is completely backwards and upside down. This is particularly true when it comes to stomach acid as it relates to the ulcer-causing bacteria known as Heliobacter Pylori (HERE). (This link is for you MC)
If you've stuck with my post this far, you are definitely dedicated. Best guess is that you or a loved one is suffering from some sort of chronic condition. So; what does this post really mean for you? It explains why GUT HEALTH is the new frontier in real healthcare (HERE). It's why yesterday's healers said that all that was needed to heal the body was to heal the Gut. It's why generations of physicians and nurses understood the power of simple water-based therapies such as ENEMAS & COLONIC IRRIGATION. It's also why the single hottest area in Gut Health is FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTS (FMT).
As a final note to my readers who are suffering with any of the chronic conditions mentioned in this post, including OBESITY or an inability to either lose or gain weight (that's right folks, the vast majority of THYROID PROBLEMS and ADRENAL ISSUES are autoimmune), I have a gift for you. If you want to SEE WHAT IT WILL TAKE to solve your autoimmunity and get your life, health, and mental acuity back on track, make sure to read both THIS LINK and the previous. No matter what your doctor tells you, it's possible to make incredible healing changes without "THE BIG FIVE" or other DANGEROUS DRUGS that themselves are a huge cause of The Leakies.
If you thought that this post kicked it, and if you know people who need this information in front of their faces, the best way to reach those you love and care about most is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
FACT OR FICTION?
- IMAGING A LEAKY GUT: Although Cyrex, along with a couple other labs, have excellent (cheap, effective, simple) tests for determining LGS, were you aware that it can now be visualized? Two German universities teamed up with the Mayo Clinic to publish Imaging the Leaky Gut in last November's issue of Gastroenterology. As amazing as it sounds, there are now endoscopes with enough power (confocal laser endomicroscopes that have 1000× with 1-micron resolution) to be able to watch a "leaky" intestinal barrier in real time. "Thirty-six IBS patients with suspected food intolerance were exposed to food antigens during ongoing endoscopy; in 22 of these patients, CLE showed typical changes indicating remodeling of the epithelial architecture of the mucosa within 5 minutes of exposure. After starting an exclusion diet, symptom scores in these patients improved by more than 50% after 4 weeks and 74% after 1 year." Did you catch that? It only took five minutes for the body to react to the food, and the scope provided a live feed to the doctor's computer screen.
- KIDNEY PROBLEMS AND LGS: A Swiss study published in this month's issue of Nephron --- a journal for Nephrologists / Kidney Specialists (The Gut as a Source of Inflammation in Chronic Kidney Disease) provided some incredible information as far as the whole Gut Health / MICROBIOME / Leaky Gut connection is concerned. "Chronic inflammation is a non-traditional risk factor for cardiovascular mortality in the chronic kidney disease (CKD) population. In recent years, the gastrointestinal tract has emerged as a major instigator of systemic inflammation in CKD. Postmortem studies previously discovered gut wall inflammation throughout the digestive tract in chronic dialysis patients. In CKD animals, colon wall inflammation is associated with breakdown of the epithelial tight junction barrier ('leaky gut') and translocation of bacterial DNA and endotoxin into the bloodstream. The CKD diet that is low in plant fiber and symbiotic organisms [good bacteria] can alter the normal gut microbiome, leading to overgrowth of bacteria that produce uremic toxins. The translocation of these toxins from the 'leaky gut' into the bloodstream further promotes systemic inflammation, adverse cardiovascular outcomes and CKD progression. Prebiotic and probiotic formulations have shown promise in small clinical trials, in terms of lowering serum levels of uremic toxins and improving quality of life. The evidence points to a strong relationship between intestinal inflammation and adverse outcomes in CKD." For more on FIBER AND PREBIOTICS, follow the yellow brick road.
- MIGRAINE HEADACHES AND LGS: A Dutch study published in last month's issue of Beneficial Microbes (The Effects of the Multispecies Probiotic Mixture... on Migraine: Results of an Open-Label Pilot Study) had this to say about the relationship of PROBIOTICS to MIGRAINE HEADACHES. "Migraine prevalence is associated with gastrointestinal disorders. Possible underlying mechanisms could be increased gut permeability and inflammation. Probiotics may decrease intestinal permeability as well as inflammation, and therefore may reduce the frequency and/or intensity of migraine attacks. In conclusion, probiotics may decrease migraine supporting a possible role for the intestine in migraine management. Feasibility and lack of adverse reactions justify further placebo-controlled studies." effectiveness and a lack of "ADVERSE EVENTS" is certainly a good starting point!
- ALS AND LGS: If you know anyone who has died slowly and unmercifully at the hands of ALS (Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis --- an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE otherwise known as "Lou Gerhig's Disease"), the April edition of Physiological Reports (Leaky Intestine and Impaired Microbiome in an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mouse Model) contains some truly amazing information from this recent Chinese study. "Emerging evidence has demonstrated that intestinal homeostasis and the microbiome play essential roles in neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of motor neurons and muscle atrophy. Currently, there is no effective treatment. Most patients die within 3-5 years due to respiratory paralysis. Although the death of motor neurons is a hallmark of ALS, other organs may also contribute to the disease progression. We examined the gut of an ALS mouse model, and discovered a damaged tight junction structure and increased permeability with a significant reduction in the expression levels of tight junction protein [Zonulin]..... These changes were associated with a shifted profile of the intestinal microbiome.... Principal coordinate analysis indicated a difference in fecal microbial communities between ALS and wild-type mice. Taken together, our study suggests a potential novel role of the intestinal epithelium and microbiome in the progression of ALS." Because PARKINSON'S DISEASE runs heavily in my family, I feel a need to share this amazing information with whoever will listen. Has your doctor shared anything similar with you yet?
- ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND LGS: In February, the Journal of Neural Transmission carried an Austrian study on the relationship between Leaky Gut and ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE (Elevated Fecal Calprotectin in Patients with Alzheimer's Dementia Indicates Leaky Gut). Here is a little bit of what Wikipedia has to say about Calprotectin. It is a protein with, "complex antimicrobial properties. Calprotectin comprises as much as 60% of the soluble protein content of neutrophil cytosol and is secreted during inflammation, and can be found at a lower concentration in monocytes, macrophages, and squamous epithelial cells. Fecal calprotectin has been used to detect intestinal inflammation, and can serve as a marker for inflammatory bowel diseases. Calprotectin was first described in the 1980s as a mammalian antimicrobial protein. For instance, calprotectin is secreted in the mouth during inflammation of the gingiva and during oral candidiasis infection." As you can see, the protein can work as a biomarker to determine whether or not one's intestinal wall is "leaking". "Fecal concentrations of calprotectin were examined in 22 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and compared with serum concentrations of aromatic amino acids. 73 % presented with concentrations outside normal, which correlated inversely with serum levels of tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine [essential amino acids]. Increased concentrations of fecal calprotectin indicate a disturbed intestinal barrier function in AD patients." If some of this information is not beginning to freak you out a bit about LGS, something is wrong.
- AUTISM AND LGS: When we hear that AUTISM is linked to Leaky Gut Syndrome, we cannot in any way be surprised. The alternative health community has been talking about this for decades. MERCURY in VACCINES has a propensity to foul the Gut, which occurs in two different but intimately related ways. It not only fouls the Microbiome (the type and number of bacteria living in the Gut), but affects Gut Permeability as well (if you want more information on this, read my LETTER TO THE WEST PLAINS QUILL). The study, published in last month's issue of Medical Hypotheses (An Agent-Based Modeling Framework for Evaluating Hypotheses on Risks for Developing Autism: Effects of the Gut Microbial Environment) says this in its abstract. "The number of cases diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders is rising at an alarming rate. Recently, it has been hypothesized that gut bacteria may contribute to the development of autism. Specifically, the relative balances between inflammatory microbes and anti-inflammatory microbes may become destabilized prior to autism development. The imbalance leads to a leaky gut, characterized by a more porous epithelial membrane resulting in microbial toxin release into the blood, which may contribute to brain inflammation and autism development. Simulation results suggest that disturbances such as a prebiotic or antibiotic treatment may only transiently affect the gut microbiome. However, sustained prebiotic treatments may correct low population counts of bifidobacteria." Did you catch the word "transient"? This is why I told you that often times Probiotics are simply NOT ENOUGH. If you want to see what might be, start reading THESE POSTS. By the way, a study in this month's issue of Nutritional Neuroscience (Environment, Dysbiosis, Immunity and Sex-Specific Susceptibility: A Translational Hypothesis for Regressive Autism Pathogenesis) linked Autism with ANTIBIOTIC-fueled DYSBIOSIS (not to mention the antibiotic effects of NON-ANTIBIOTICS), as well as LGS.
- HEART DISEASE, STROKE, AND LGS: How about your Cardiovascular System? Another recent study from Austria (Cardiovascular Complications in Inflammatory Bowel Disease) published in Current Drug Targets said this about the relationship between one's Microbiome, heart health, and Leaky Gut Syndrome. "Over the past years, a growing number of studies have indicated that patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Both are chronic inflammatory diseases and share certain pathophysiological mechanisms that may influence each other. High levels of cytokines, C-reactive protein (CRP), and homocysteine [all are markers of INFLAMMATION] in IBD patients may lead to endothelial dysfunction, an early sign of atherosclerosis. Finally, the gut itself may have an impact on atherogenesis during IBD through its microbiota. Microbial products are released from the inflamed mucosa into the circulation through a leaky [Gut] barrier. The induced rise in proinflammatory cytokines could contribute to endothelial damage, artherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. Although large retrospective studies favor a link between IBD and cardiovascular diseases, the mechanisms behind still remain to be determined." Has your cardiologist mentioned anything along these lines? Of course not. And if you mentioned it to him, you already know you would be frowned at and told to keep on with your STATIN DRUGS.
- CANCER AND LGS: We surely could not leave here without talking about the relationship of LGS to CANCER. In October of last year, the Brazilian medical journal, Revista Brasileria Hematol de Hemotologia Hemoteropia, ran a study on cancers of the blood vascular system called 'Leaky Gut' in Hematological Malignancies. In it they concluded that, "In humans, the intestinal epithelium is a single layer of cells that constitutes one of the most important barriers between internal and external environments. The so-called ‘intestinal barrier’ (IB) is a dynamic structure composed of different types of cellular junctions that can be regulated by physiological and pathological stimuli, and act as a selective barrier to antigens and pathogens. Physiological mechanisms that regulate IB function are important for nutrient absorption and antigen permeation, with potential roles in the regulation of tolerance to non-self antigens. However, pathological stimuli such as pathogens, cytokines and immune cells are also capable of affecting IB function as demonstrated in studies about tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-mediated IB disruption. Accordingly, a model known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’ has emerged based on the concept that TNF-mediated cycles of increased IB permeability may lead to translocation of macromolecules from the lumen into the lamina propria, and to amplification of mucosal immune activation. In the absence of appropriate regulatory signals, this vicious cycle may result in local or systemic immune-mediated diseases, such as Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, food allergies, and even type-1 diabetes mellitus." I get it --- it's a bit too technical in places. But I think you get the point. And I left out the part on Cancer because it would have lost too many people.
- CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, CENTERAL SENSITIZATION, AND LGS: Although this study is not so new (January of 2009), Current Opinion in Psychiatry published a study (Inflammatory and Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress Pathways Underpinning Chronic Fatigue, Somatization and Psychosomatic Symptoms). This study's abstract states that, "Activation of IO&NS pathways is the key phenomenon underpinning chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): These IO&NS pathways are induced by a number of trigger factors, for example psychological stress, strenuous exercise [READ THIS], viral infections and an increased translocation of LPS from gram-bacteria (leaky gut). The 'psychosomatic' symptoms experienced by CFS patients are caused by intracellular inflammation (aches and pain, muscular tension, fatigue, irritability, sadness, and the subjective feeling of infection); damage caused by O&NS (aches and pain, muscular tension and fatigue); and gut-derived inflammation (complaints of irritable bowel)."
The point is, If I would have spent any real time, I could have found studies linking virtually every disease you could name (and most you couldn't) to altered Intestinal Permeability. Plainly stated, if you have a chronic health issue, it is more likely than not that you have a "Leaky Gut". Although there are very specific ways to deal with the LGS, HERE is a good general place to start if you are interested in getting your health back.
DR OZ ON LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
(THE SOLUTION TO AUTOIMMUNITY?)
As the disease progressed, the boy went from taking anti-inflammatory medications to control his RA symptoms, to taking the popular chemotherapy drug commonly prescribed for RA (HERE), Methotrexate. As the child's health continued to deteriorate, the child's mother sought out alternatives to the the medical care he was receiving that obviously was not working. After being diagnosed with something known as "LEAKY GUT SYNDROME" by an alternative practitioner, radical changes were made in the boy's diet (GAPS, which is very similar to PALEO). Within six weeks the child was pain free, normal, and off his meds. Watch the show!
Dr. Oz seemed genuinely ticked off about the way the medical community handled this situation --- and described it as being the norm ---- something that is happening every day all over America (I can second that motion). He further described the medical profession as having a far too-narrow focus, and hell bent on prescribing DRUGS no matter the problem. In fact, he said that the relationship between the medical community and CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) has become a "Civil War" in this country, largely due to the medical community's inability to pick up on new ideas that do not involve drugs or surgery. Like one of the child's original doctor's said (loosely paraphrased), "I've treated thousands of patients with drugs; changes in diet never make a difference". This itself begs the question of how much the average doctor really knows about nutrition (HERE)? But I regress.
There are a couple of things I want to expound upon and clarify about the program --- a program that was mostly very accurate and extremely well done. My biggest beef was probably the fact that Doctor Oz referred to Leaky Gut Syndrome as a "theory". It is not a theory. It is a cold, hard, medical fact. There are well over 10,000 peer-reviewed medical studies on Leaky Gut Syndrome. Only "Leaky Gut" is not what the medical community calls it. They refer to it as "Increased Intestinal Permeability" (or an array of others such as "Gut Barrier Dysfunction," Gut Barrier Integrity," Intestinal Barrier System," etc, etc, etc). Simply go to Pub Med and start looking.
Leaky Gut Syndrome (Increased Intestinal Permeability) is a condition where INFLAMMATION, driven by things like DYSBIOSIS (overgrowths of bad bacteria, H. PYLORI, YEAST / FUNGUS, etc), Hypochlorhydria (decreased stomach acid or the use of antacids and PPI DRUGS), ANTIBIOTICS, GLUTEN or other food sensitivities, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MEDICATIONS (and HERE), PARASITES, MERCURY, ALUMINUM, or any number of other factors, wreak havoc on overall health. In people with 'Leaky Gut', the Inflammation makes the "tight" junctions between the cells of the small intestine, "loose". Thus, the Gut is said to become "leaky".
As you might imagine, a Leaky Gut allows all sorts of too-large particles to pass through the cellular membrane and be absorbed into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, the body recognizes these entities as foreign invaders and begins creating antibodies and Immune System responses against them. The early result is such a wide array of symptoms, it literally boggles the mind. Unfortunately, the longer-term consequence is usually AUTOIMMUNITY. (HERE is a list of the most common Autoimmune Diseases, as well as the numbers of Americans with each particular disease. I promise you'll be shocked.)
I am not going to belabor the point, but the subject of Dr. Oz's program is a big enough deal that a few years ago (when I was doing more FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE), I actually created a website about the relationship between the Immune System, the Endocrine System (BLOOD SUGAR, ADRENAL GLANDS, SEX HORMONES, etc) and The Gut. The site was called ENDOGUT, which is now incorporated into this site as a huge blog post. I have a number of smaller blog posts on the subject as well. Just understand that a Leaky Gut can almost always be tied back to a crappy diet and / or over-medication.
If you are chronically sick or SERIOUSLY OVERWEIGHT (they often times go hand in hand), please take a few minutes to look at some of the links on this page. I promise that once you get over the initial shock, you will begin to see the path that will lead you back to health ---- a path that gets easier, the longer you follow it.
PLUGGING THE LEAKS
BLOG POSTS FOR RESTORING HEALTH AND FIXING LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
- EAT LOW CARB: When it comes to diet, we all know to CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR. Sure; many people think they are controlling blood sugar because their blood test tells them so. It is not that the blood test is incorrect, it is frequently being misinterpreted (HERE). LOW CARB or even KETOGENIC diets are the way to control blood sugar (particularly HYPOGLYCEMIA). More specifically, the PALEO DIET is the best way to control blood sugar and cut the most commonly reactive foods from the diet (most of which are GRAINS). Just be aware that GLUTEN and its "CROSS-REACTORS" are almost always involved in Leaky Gut Syndrome. The Paleo Diet nixes them all!
- EAT WHOLE FOODS OR TAKE WHOLE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS: There is a reason that WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION makes sense. Learn more about the difference between Synthetic Nutritional Supplements and Whole Food Nutritional Supplements (HERE is one example of many). By the way, if you decide to go Gluten Free (if you have Leaky Gut, it is critical that you do so), do not attempt to do so without first reading THIS POST on how to do it correctly. One more thing; I realize that not everyone who is seriously overweight has a Leaky Gut. But most do. If you have Leaky Gut and are overweight, you'll never LOSE THE WEIGHT and keep it off without first fixing getting a handle on GUT HEALTH.
- GET PLENTY OF OMEGA-3'S AND AVOID HARMFUL FATS: Be warned that not all Omega Three Fatty Acids are alike. This is why I only recommend PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE FISH OIL as far as fish oil supplements go. As far as harmful fats are concerned, HERE is the worst. Do not be conned into thinking that THIS is a bad fat.
- AVOID TRANS FATS: If you don't have the scoop on TRANS FATS, you are missing the boat on health. Trans fats actually create "stupid cell membranes" that tend to lose their natural "barrier" characteristics
- RESTORE THE GUT'S GOOD BACTERIA: Yes; eat fermented foods. Yes; take a good PROBIOTIC. Be aware that you may have to go beyond this. As crazy as it sounds, Dysbiosis-caused autoimmunity is now being treated with FECES TRANSPLANTS in certain parts of the world. If you do not fix your gut, you will never get healthy. This is because peer-reviewed research says that a whopping 80% of the body's entire Immune System resides in the Gut (HERE).
- GET SOME EXERCISE: Some of you will only be able to do a little bit of walking or stretching. That is OK for now. HERE is where we want you headed as your health improves.
- GET HAPPY: DEPRESSION is a bummer --- literally. Understanding it and fixing it without drugs cannot be accomplished without understanding Gut Health (90% of your "Happy Neurotransmitter" --- Serotonin --- is made in the Gut). It seems that Dr. Oz agrees with me. To understand the relationship between Antibiotics and Depression, click THIS LINK, scroll down a bit, and start reading. According to the most current research on the matter, you can substitute the word 'Depression' for "Autism" without losing any of the article's veracity. Oh, and if you click the first link in this bullet, you'll see that Depression is one of the myriad of health issues caused by INFLAMMATION.
- GET OFF THE DRUGS ---- PARTICULARLY THE ANTIBIOTICS: ANTIBIOTICS are, as I have been telling patients for over two and a half decades, one of the single biggest destroyers of health in the U.S. And in case you were not aware, medications in general are arguably the single biggest cause of death here in America --- bigger than both CANCER and heart disease (HERE). This does not even take into account the massive harm they are doing. Most are prescribed solely for financial reasons (HERE).
No; this list is not comprehensive. But it is a start. For those of you who are are serious about improving your health and your weight, you can hardly go wrong with this list. To move to the next level, HERE it is.
THE ALL-ENCOMPASSING THEORY OF MODERN DISEASE
Some of this information is way oversimplified. Some of it is probably not quite technically correct. And you should be aware that the various steps in this cycle can be in a different order than I've shown, can overlap each other, or can be skipped altogether. Regardless, this model is accurate enough (and hopefully understandable enough) to get you in the ballpark as far as recognizing the roots of chronic illness. Just remember that in the same way that there is no "Universal Cure" for all physical ailments, neither is there a single cause of these ailments. However, this is great information that will give you something to think about if you or a loved one are struggling with chronic health problems.
STEP 1: INFLAMMATION
Although these chemicals are good (even vital) in small amounts; in large amounts they promote a veritable Pandora's Box of health problems, and can be the result of many different things (GLUTEN, MOLD, YEAST, PARASITES, HEAVY METALS, THYROID ISSUES, a wide array of ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS, SUGAR), but at least in the Westernized world, is almost always tied to poor diet choices in some form or fashion. Just be aware that SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION (large amounts of Inflammatory chemicals coursing through your blood stream) eventually leads to..........
STEP 2A: THE LEAKIES
I would guess that at least half the American population ---- maybe more, have some degree of this problem, and occurs when the Small Intestine's "tight junctions" --- the gaps between individual cells ---- become loose. In healthy individuals, these tight junctions are just big enough to allow fully digested food particles to get through so they can be absorbed into the blood stream. As Inflammation increases, it destroys the compounds that hold the cells tightly together, allowing the tight junctions between the cells to become looser / larger. This then allows the Small Intestine to become increasingly permeable (leaky) to substances that should never be allowed to get through.
Just remember that this is not only happening in the Gut. Once this junk makes it into the blood stream where your body will invariably recognize them as foreign, it will begin to make antibodies against them. These "foreign invaders" include everything from parasites, to partially-digested or undigested food fragments, to bacteria, to viruses, to yeast, to heavy metals, to chemical toxicity, to medications, etc, etc, etc. The process of getting sick causes even more Inflammation. Do you see the vicious cycle starting to churn? Oh, and just remember this can happen in the lungs, as well as the BBB (Blood Brain Barrier), not to mention the similar layer of epithelium that protects the nerves and spinal cord. There is, however, another aspect of GUT HEALTH. A flip side of the coin if you will....
STEP 2B: DYSBIOSIS
STEP 3: FOOD SENSITIVITIES, INCLUDING GLUTEN
It is absolutely critical to realize that despite most people thinking of Gluten Sensitivity in terms of "Gut Symptoms" (bloating, gas, diarrhea, etc), the majority of the symptoms of Gluten Sensitivitiy will manifest as NEUROLOGICAL problems --- many of which show few (or even no) overt digestive / GUT SYMPTOMS. One of the best examples of this phenomenon is the outlandish number of Americans dealing with THYROID PROBLEMS. As you can see from THIS POST, this part of the process is a well known mechanism for developing.........
STEP 4: AUTOIMMUNITY
"Celiac Disease is what the average doctor thinks of when they think of Gluten Sensitivity. This is not really accurate. Celiac is the manifestation of Gluten Sensitivity as seen in the Small Intestine. But Gluten Sensitivity manifests very differently in other tissues and organs. For instance, in the Brain and Nervous System, Gluten Sensitivity / Toxicity manifests as clusters of symptoms we refer to as Multiple Sclerosis, or ALS, or Parkinson's, or Alzheimer's, or Seizure Disorders, or Neuropathy, as well as Sympathetic Dominance."
In other words, thanks to inflammation and a FREAKED OUT NEURO-IMMUNE SYSTEM, our bodies start picking fights against themselves. Dr. Noseworthy used out-takes from dozens of scientific papers from the most prestigious biomedical journals on the planet to prove his point. To be honest with you, it was shocking seeing so much proof in black and white. And although this idea is certainly not embraced by practicing physicians (yet), it is currently being touted by some of the world's most brilliant doctors ---- particularly the experts in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE.
Once people's immune systems begin making antibodies to Gluten; for reasons that are not yet clearly understood, these same immune systems begin making antibodies to self (HERE). This is called AUTOIMMUNITY. Unfortunately, once a person is Autoimmune, they are always Autoimmune, although there are some very cool things that can be done to dramatically dampen an overstimulated immune system. Autoimmunity leaves people susceptible to a whole host of ---- you guessed it ----- AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES ---- diseases that tend to travel in packs like wolves. In other words, if you have Psoriasis, you are 'Autoimmune' and will likely end up with many more of the diseases listed in the previous link if you do not get the situation under control.
This is because, as strange as it may sound, your problem is not the disease itself, it's the fact that your body is making antibodies to itself and will likely continue making antibodies to itself until you dry up the source of Inflammation, fix the Leaky Gut, and get the Dysbiosis under control (this includes SIBO as well). Fixing a Leaky Gut will take anywhere from 1-2 months (in some cases longer) and require real effort on your part as far as what foods you eat and supplements you take. HERE is an example of someone who followed our advice to the letter and did it with a condition widely considered "incurable". HERE is a person who successfully addressed five autoimmune diseases and lost 100 lbs in the process, all in about seven months.
STEP 5: RECOVERY
If you want to begin addressing some of the root causes of your health problems, you can start by reading HOW TO SOLVE JUST ABOUT ANY HEALTH ISSUE. The great thing is that no matter what is wrong with you, there are universal steps that must be taken by everyone in order to dry up their volcano and get well. Fortunately, some of you will be able to do much of this on your own (WE EVEN ADMIT THIS). Be aware, however, that depending on the severity of your particular situation, you may need to see a physician who will help you step out of the box.
If you are honest about it, you have to realize that the new paradigms of health and disease have bypassed the average doctor's office, leaving them in the dust. The problem is that most of them are so far behind the curve that they still think they are in the lead. Most are still using the "Better Living through Pharmacology" model (HERE) because, well, that's what pays the bills. The problem is, this model is not only not helping most of our population's chronically sick people get well (HERE), it is often times a significant contributing factor to the development / propagation of Leaky Gut / Leaky Brain Syndrome. But hey; it makes a heck of a lot of money for a heck of a lot of people. Drugs might mop up the inflammation, but they never turn off the faucet where it's pouring out of (HERE).
There is not another profession on the planet with a wider gap between the scientific research community and the professionals in the field (HERE). These two groups within medicine are often 180 degrees opposite of each other. This blog post should more than alert you to this fact. Just more proof of the myth of EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE. What does it all mean to you? Only that if you care about your health and the health of your family, you had better do some simple research into what it takes to get healthy and stay healthy! I realize that it's a tough revelation to swallow, but the truth is, it's all up to you, and I've given you a starting point. Nope, it's not a "cure," but a place to start making a plan to get better (HERE).
ANOTHER ROUND OF
GLUTEN & LEAKY GUT DISCUSSIONS
Did you grow up in the FAT FREE AGE? You know ---- the era in which we were continually browbeat by our government about the dangers of dietary fat? Was it suggested that if you wanted to be healthy, you needed to consume grain --- lots of grain? Be aware that the basic foundation all of the Food Pyramids --- both old and new --- is grain. So although the names of the pyramids have changed, the powers that be are all but universally touting the same thing they were touting several decades ago (HERE). All of this fascination with carbs (particularly grain) and ANTI-MEAT RHETORIC hearkens back to the days of Dr. Ancel Keys famous (and discredited) SEVEN NATIONS STUDY.
REASONS FOR INCREASED GLUTEN SENSITIVITY
SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE
- GMO / INTENSIVE HYBRIDIZATION: Although you will often hear that wheat has been "Genetically Modified" (GMO), this is not accurate ---- yet. No surprises here, but Monsanto is CURRENTLY WORKING ON THIS. However, because the food industry has an infatuation with gluten (they use it as thickening agents, food starches, malt extract, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and a whole host of common food additives), industry has been hybridizing wheat for increased gluten content for decades. Although it is difficult to know exactly how much more gluten there is in today's wheat than there used to be, suffice it to say that the difference is significant --- particularly in the grade of wheat used for baking.
- THE PROCESS OF DEAMIDATION: Gliadin is not water soluble (it is alcohol soluble). The process of making it water soluble so that it can be used by the food industry is called, deamidation. A 2003 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that although most people did not react to heirloom varieties of wheat, many had severe reactions to to deamidated wheat. A shocking study from a 2008 issue of the European Journal of Inflammation confirmed this by touting deamidated wheat as possibly being the number one source of hidden food allergies and sensitivities. This could be due to the fact that the part of the Immune System that actually attacks invaders (T-CELLS) is strongly activated by deamidated gliadin. Add this to the fact that gluten happens to be the most common benign substances the body recognizes as foreign, and you can start to see why wheat protein is so heavily associated with autoimmunity (HERE).
- CROSS CONTAMINATION: This is simply referring to the fact that when various grains are harvested, hauled, dumped, stored, milled, etc, they will cross-contaminate. For instance, neither corn nor oats contain gluten. However, unless you are purchasing these from a company that is certified "Gluten Free", there will be massive cross-contamination from every step of the process. Bottom line: For a grain to be considered "Gluten Free", it can never come in contact with grains that have Gluten in them. Think about it another way; you only hear about Gluten Free Diets; never "Low Gluten" or "Reduced Gluten" diets (HERE). This is because once your body ramps up its immune system to make antibodies against the gluten protein, it takes less than 20 parts per million to trigger a reaction. I treat a school teacher who is so Gluten Sensitive that she has more trouble during the school year, despite being on a strict gluten free diet. This is because if she simply has physical contact with children who eat wheat, she reacts. Fortunately her husband is gluten free as well.
- LONG TERM WHEAT STORAGE & ACCOMPANYING PROCESSES: When wheat is stored in grain bins, all sorts of really nasty chemicals are mixed with it to keep it from spoiling, as well as keeping bugs from infesting and devouring it. These include antifungals, pesticides, and a slew of other things that you hope to never be exposed to. Then there is the issue of enterotoxins being produced by bacteria in the stored wheat. Enterotoxins are produced by many different bacteria, and are often cytotoxic (they kill cells), acting by altering the infected person's mucosal cell membrane permeability. This sounds like so much medical gibberish until you realize that this process is actually describing something called........
- LEAKY GUT SYNDROME / INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: Due to INFLAMMATORY processes that occur within the body due to SUBCLINICAL INFECTIONS & DYSBIOSIS, poor diet, STRESS, lack of exercise, CERTAIN MEDICATIONS, Gluten Intolerance / Gluten Sensitivity, etc, etc, etc, the "tight junctions" between the mucosal cells of the Small Intestine become loose. This allows food particles, PARASITES, toxins, virus, bacteria, MOLDS, FUNGUS, undigested food particles, and who-knows-what-else, to be absorbed into the blood stream. Once there, the body recognizes these as foreign and the Immune System begins to mount responses to attack them (HERE). In some cases, this is normal and good. However, the reactions often end up out of control. For more information on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME and it's intimate relationship to wheat, just click the link (you'll see LGS go by at least two dozen different names in the peer-reviewed literature).
- INCREASED STRESS, HYPERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEMS, & THE SUBSEQUENT IMMUNE SYSTEM INTOLERANCE: Once the process of Leaky Gut is underway, the results can be devastating. Inflammation causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Leaky Gut Syndrome causes Inflammation. The whole thing spins in a vicious cycle, resulting in an almost unlimited number of potential health problems (HERE is a list of a few of them). For the record, this scenario usually winds up causing some sort of AUTOIMMUNE REACTION, where your body starts attacking its own tissues, cells, and enzymes (for reasons no one really understands, once the body starts attacking gluten, it often starts attacking self. This is why anyone who is chronically ill needs to be off gluten. Period.
- INFLAMMATION: Although everyone thinks they know what inflammation is, few people actually do. For more information, see the posts that are HERE. A failure to halt inflammation means that you will never get to the source of your problem.
- S.A.D: The Standard American Diet for most Americans is far worse than anyone could have even dreamed of 25 years ago. We should be eating vegetation, and animals that ate vegetation (HERE). Just remember that grain is not vegetation. I also need to remind many of you that corn is not a vegetable, but a grain. When you eat a grain-based diet (particularly when those grains are heavily processed), you will eventually end up looking like a corn-fed beef. And never forget that OBESITY itself causes inflammation --- a huge causal component of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Overeating any particular food ---- especially if that food is a heavily processed grain (wheat) ---- leaves one particularly susceptible to creating antibodies against that food.
- LACK OF THE PROPER ENZYMES TO BREAK DOWN GLUTEN: Guess where DIGESTIVE ENZYMES come from? They mostly come from naturally raised and ripened vegetables. Without fresh or frozen vegetables, your digestion will be poor. Without a wide variety of vegetables in your diet, you will have low levels of enzymes, including the enzymes used by the body to break down wheat protein. How big a problem is this? Back when James Dobson was still hosting Focus on the Family, I remember him reporting a medical study saying that 1/3 of all American children under the age of 18 got zero servings of vegetables a week ---- unless you count ketchup and fries as a vegetable ---- like our Public Schools do (HERE).
- A STEADY BARRAGE OF VACCINES AND ANTIBIOTICS FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE: Contrary to popular belief, ANTIBIOTICS do not strengthen the immune system. In fact, one of Medicine's dirty little secrets is the fact that antibiotics actually weaken the immune system ---- severely (HERE). What most people are unaware of is that vaccines do the same thing (HERE). Sure, they might keep you from getting a certain disease (OR NOT), but the process leaves you with an immune system that does not work like God intended it to. People end up trading things like Chicken Pox or Measles for life-long AUTOIMMUNITY. The problem with vaccine reactions is that they tend to be neurological and immunological --- particularly difficult to overcome. It also means that they can cause just about any health problem you can imagine. And people who have taken lots of antibiotics tend to be highly intolerant to lots of foods ---- especially wheat. This is because they destroy GUT HEALTH which makes up a whopping 80% OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
BUT DOC; I'VE BEEN 100% GLUTEN FREE FOR A
YEAR AND I STILL FEEL LIKE CRAP --- WHAT GIVES?
| || |
HIDDEN SOURCES OF GLUTEN
And by the way, It's not just about what you eat or do not eat. Gluten is commonly used as a thickening agent / stabilizer in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, detergents, spices, prescription & OTC medications, toothpaste, mouthwash, stamps, envelopes, and even children's stickers. And we have not even gotten to food items yet! Things like additives, soy sauce, dextrin, fillers, artificial colors, as well as all sorts of things you cannot even begin to imagine, contain gluten. And as I said a moment ago; once you are sensitive, it only takes a microscopic amount to trigger a reaction.
GLUTEN SENSITIVITY / INTOLERANCE
Believe it or not, there are still a lot of doctors (and PASTORS) out there who believe that if you do not have "Celiac Disease", then wheat is not and cannot be your problem (HERE) --- a myth frequently parroted by the media. However, the truth is that some people's wheat sensitivities are just as severe, or actually even worse than having full-blown Celiac Disease (HERE), even they do not have CD. Because of this, intestinal biopsy is not all it's cracked up to be.
For one, the Small Intestine is one of the quickest healing organs in the body. Research tells us that unless the biopsy is done at the right time, in the right place, the intestinal damage can either be missed completely, or healed enough that it does not meet the criteria to be officially considered Celiac Disease. Just how bad does the damage have to be to get a diagnosis of CD? The intestinal cells must be totally destroyed. And if they're not, these people are often (usually) told that gluten is not the cause of their problems, leaving them to continue spinning on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND.
Lastly, Celiac Disease is simply the name given to autoimmune gluten sensitivity of the small intestine. What about the gluten-induced autoimmune reactions against any of the tens of thousands of other tissues in the body? One of the biggies being looked at right now in people with equilibrium, balance, and motor control issues is an autoimmune reaction to one's cerebellum (CEREBELLAR ATAXIA). Bottom line, call it whatever you want; if you have a problem with wheat you need to avoid it. Unfortunately, you might not realize you have a problem until you really have a problem, which is why many people are avoiding it as a matter of prevention.
GLUTEOMORPHIN & GLUTEN ADDICTION
One of the fragments that gluten is broken down to is called Glutomorphin. If you recognized this as is a combination of the words gluten and Morphine, you would be correct (milk is broken down to Casomorphin). MORPHINE is one of the single most addictive compounds known to man. In many individuals (particularly those with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS and behavior disorders such as ADHD) Glutomorphins act just like morphine by fitting into opiate receptors in the brain.
This is why you can find cases of people (frequently children) consuming soy sauce from the fridge, children's stickers or stamps, or even mom's cosmetics (yep, makeup is often thickened with Gluten), to get their gluten fix. As you can imagine, this is a tough one to conquer. Fortunately, Gluteomorphin sensitivity can be tested for (again, Cyrex Labs). Just remember than an individual whose immune system is making antibodies to gluteomorphins or casomorphins will have a much tougher time in the early phases of a gluten-free diet. In fact, they might get worse for a couple of weeks or so. This group of people will tend toward Bipolar, self hatred, DEPRESSION, and ADDICTIONS --- especially food or SUGAR ADDICTIONS; and especially Gluten-containing foods and PROCESSED CARBS.
SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION & LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
IS INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY A HALLMARK OF CHRONIC DISEASE?
INFLAMMATION is a group of chemicals that makes up part of your body's normal immune system response, as well as having a propensity to attract fluid (swelling) to it. The group of chemicals that make up inflammation have funny sounding names like prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, cytokines, chemokines, certain enzymes, kinnins, histamines, eicosanoids, substance P, as well as dozens of others.
In normal amounts, these chemicals play a critical role in immune system response and tissue healing. However, when there is too much of these chemicals coursing through your body, sooner or later there will be big problems to deal with. If you simply review the medical literature, you will find that inflammation is at the root of …
- Disc Injuries, Slipped Disc, Disc Herniation, and Disc Rupture (HERE)
- Heart Disease and virtually all forms of Cardiovascular Problems (HERE)
- Skin conditions including Eczema and Psoriasis (HERE)
- Most Autoimmune Conditions (HERE)
- Arthritis & Fibromyalgia (HERE & HERE)
- Asthma (HERE)
- ADD, ADHD, Depression, and various forms of Dementia (HERE & HERE)
- Neurological Conditions (HERE)
- Female Issues (HERE, HERE & HERE)
- Cancer (HERE)
- Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Hypoglycemia, and other Blood Sugar Regulation Problems (HERE)
- Obesity (HERE)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease / Leaky Gut Syndrome (HERE & HERE)
The last on the list may be the most important. This is because 80% of your Immune System is found in your gut (digestive tract --- HERE). This means that problems that disrupt gut health can dramatically affect your whole body's overall health.
When the gut becomes inflamed, the “tight junctions” between the cells become lose. This means that partially digested food particles or undigested food particles, waste products, microbes, or molecules that are supposed to be too large to fit through the openings, are absorbed (or reabsorbed) into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, the body does not like this, and reacts against these particles by creating immune system responses (antibodies) against them.
Be aware that you will probably never hear your doctor talk about Leaky Gut Syndrome. And if you go to sites like Pubmed or other medical research databases, they will, at least in older studies, have little to say on the subject. However, if you research “Increased Intestinal Permeability” a new paradigm begins to take shape ---- particularly concerning Autoimmune Diseases which affect at least 60 million, and possibly as many as 100 million Americans or more. Let us look at just one of these studies.
In an October 2006 issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal, a team of doctors published a paper called, Alterations in Intestinal Permeability. Some of the things that came out of this paper included... “The goal of this review is.... most importantly [to determine] the relevance of abnormal [intestinal] permeability to disease. In this context, we will also present an emerging paradigm regarding the genesis of autoimmune diseases and describe the data that supports this from the perspective of both human disease and animal models..... Increased intestinal permeability is observed in association with several autoimmune diseases. It is observed prior to disease and appears to be involved in disease pathogenesis. For decades a variety of pathological states have been associated with abnormal permeability..... However, in several autoimmune conditions it appears that increased permeability is a constant and early feature of the disease process.” Oh, one other conclusion of this study; “epithelial permeability of the gastrointestinal tract can be evaluated in a site specific manner”. What does this mean? There is actually a brand new blood test that can be run to determine whether or not you have Increased Intestinal Permeability / Leaky Gut Syndrome.
If you want to understand how Leaky Gut Syndrome is intimately related to almost every disease process known to man, visit THIS POST.
To learn more, visit some of my websites:
- ENDOGUT: ENDOGUT is my best post for learning about the relationship between the Endocrine (Hormonal) Systems, the Immune System, and Gut Health.
- DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA: Fibromyalgia is being heavily linked to both AUTOIMMUNITY & LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. Interestingly enough, the anti-inflammatory medications that are most commonly prescribed for Fibromyalgia have been linked to Leaky Gut! For more information, visit DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA.
- THYROID EPIDEMIC: One in ten Americans has a Thyroid Problem. It has been estimated that over 90% of these problems are Autoimmune (Hashimoto's or Graves --- HERE). If your doctor does not understand the link between Gut Health, Autoimmunity, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Thyroid Disease.........
- BRAIN-BASED THERAPY, MISSOURI: Find out more about the neurological links to numerous Metabolic Diseases. Visit BBTMO.
Is our medical community truly concerned with gut health? Are you joking me? True 'Gut Health' is so far removed from the average doctor's thought process, that most are completely unaware of this entire issue. They prescribe millions upon millions of acid blockers that cause HYPO-CHLORHYDRIA. The average child is given multiple prescriptions of antibiotics ----- every single year. This is DESTROYING NORMAL GUT FLORA, and causing overgrowths of inflammation-causing "bad bacteria" ---- a process referred to as DYSBIOSIS. In fact, I am not sure if I could think of a more detrimental combination than lots of antibiotics (kill off your good bacteria and let the bad bacteria begin to get a foot hold) and lots of sugar and starch (this is the food of choice for these bad bacteria).
If you want to understand this issue a little bit better, you need to check out the transcript of the talk I delivered to the Rotary Club last month ----- THE NUMBER ONE HEALTH PROBLEM FACING AMERICANS TODAY. If there is one thing that I can promise you, if you read it, you will be shocked!
There are so many things that you can do to avoid Inflammation, but they almost all come down to you and what you are willing to do to change your life (HERE). What do you do when the medications no longer work? And those of you suffering already know that there are no good medications to deal with Leaky Gut Syndrome! CORTICO-STEROIDS are incredibly powerful, but have an array of side effects that is equally powerful. NSAIDS are bad for your heart, liver, and kidneys (remember the Vioxx debacle?). Even low doses of the so-called "safe" anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are known to multiply your chances of Kidney Failure (see Risk of Kidney Failure Associated With the Use of Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs from the December 1994 issue of NEJM). It's time to take responsibility for your health. I'm sorry, but your doctor is not going to make you healthy. That is up to you.
How on earth can you effectively treat something whose cause is completely unknown? The best their method of treatment can hope to achieve is some temporary symptomatic relief. Most doctors will tell you that since no one knows what causes Fibro, symptomatic relief is their one and only treatment goal. This is unfortunate because most of the drugs used to treat Fibromyalgia (particularly anti-inflammation medications) can actually make things worse by contributing to something called LEAKY GUT SYNDROME.
If you really want to learn more about Fibromyalgia, you absolutely must learn what Adrenal Fatigue is. This is because Adrenal Fatigue was, for decades, the clinical name of the group of symptoms that we today call Fibromyalgia. Without understanding Adrenal Fatigue, you have no hope of conquering Fibromyalgia ---- no matter what your doctor tells you! To visit my new website on the twin topics of Fibromyalgia and Adrenal Fatigue; DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration