REST DAY!!!! I gotta tell you guys, I didn’t do much resting today though. I’ve been on my feet so much that they actually hurt. HA! I’ve been in my kitchen since I got up this morning, trying new recipes and making cookies for my man and cooking a late St. Patrick’s day dinner which is still cooking. There was about an hour break in there where I cleaned my bathroom shower and tub which was a nightmare because the shower doors were awful. We’d tried so many different glass cleaners and FINALLY found one that works but it took many passes and much elbow grease to get it clean. Damn soap scum. Then the bathtub is large enough that I have to get in it to clean the front half and the ledge behind it and then climb out to clean the back half. Its truly comical. But the reality behind it taking so long to clean one bathroom is that I’ve been traveling so much that I’ve not had time or taken the time to do it. The boyfriend and I have a deal….I clean everything except the floors (which he’s been cleaning since 10:00 this morning because he’s obsessed with clean floors and I HATE doing floors). OK. Enough of that. Let’s talk about my GUTS now.
Earlier in the week I mentioned that my guts were leaky. Many in the world know about digestive issues. But there are many who don’t know about digestive issues. And as someone who has a partial education in holistic nutrition and has done tons of research online and in books, one would think that I would actually work hard to have a healthy digestive system. However, as mentioned in previous blogs, I’m a food addict who fights the good fight of building a healthy relationship between myself and food. I must work harder than most to be mindful of my eating (why, when, where and how). But due to many, many, MANY years of eating for pleasure, boredom, sadness, fear, etc., I’ve done a lot of damage to my body. Leaky gut being just one of the side effects.
Leaky gut simply put is: when the intestinal wall is weakened and small particles of food are able to pass through it accessing the bloodstream. When this happens, the food particles then travel to the liver for final digestion. This is not the job of the liver and by the additional work being put on the liver, it adds stress to the body which, in turn, causes other problems with the endocrine system. And so it goes from there. Many doctors, specialists, health researchers, pharmacists, etc., will tell you that the digestive systems is the glue that holds the body together. If our digestive system isn’t functioning properly, it will affect every other system in our body. Case in point, I’ve had poor digestion for years and since learning that my digestion needed to be corrected and doing little to correct it, I’ve been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, I have poor circulation in my hands and feet at time, my brain is pretty foggy a lot and focus is challenging for me. WHEW! That’s a lot.
What are my symptoms?
- Inflammatory conditions
- Food Intolerances
- Arthritis, joint pain
- Memory problems
- Chronic fatigue
- Feeling toxic
- Active stomach after eating
But there are many more possible symptoms
- Other skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, hives
- Celiac disease
So what causes leaky gut?
- Food Sensitivities & Intolerances: If you have leaky gut; offending foods will only worsen the issue and you may develop sensitivities to a multitude of other foods. It’s not necessarily permanent. But if not treated will only get worse over time with more and more foods being triggers (my current situation; I can’t eat much of anything without having problems).
- Stress: Stress doesn’t just come from work, relationships, money or the other more commonly considered issues. Yo-yo dieting, rapid weight loss or gain and addictions of any kind can also play a large part in stressing the body.
- Incomplete Chewing: It allows larger than normal proteins into the bloodstream. I was taught in school that you should chew your liquid food and drink your solid food. Sounds weird, huh? The idea behind this is that you’re activating the digestive enzymes that begin in the saliva in the mouth. So if you don’t allow this to happen by chewing your food, the beginning stages of digestion are skipped and already the rest of the body is working overtime as soon as you swallow.
- Large meals: Overeating will overwhelm your digestive system. This goes back to the addiction I mentioned earlier. I was a binge eater from early in life. Food was my best friend even as a child. I could polish off a bag of bbq potato chips like nobody’s business by the age of 10. Think my guts said thank you? Probably not!
- Low Levels of Stomach Acid: If you don’t have adequate stomach acid (HCl), you can’t digest your food properly, period. Inappropriately large proteins and pathogens can reach your intestines. One of the best ways to know if this is a possibility is to mix a 1/4 tsp of baking soda in a glass of water first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. Wait to see how long it takes to belch. If you haven’t belched within 5 minutes, you probably have low stomach acid.
- Low Levels of Pancreatic Enzymes: Enzymes are so very important. Once you have leaky gut this will only worsen the issue. I’m currently taking a digestive enzyme to help me out but once my body is back on track, my digestive enzymes should be at the proper levels.
- Medications: Prescription antibiotics are indiscriminate killers – they kill the good and the bad. If you must take them, try taking a double dose of probiotics to help offset the damage done by the antibiotics. Frequent use of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve) can very often damage the gut lining.
- Alcohol: Alcohol compromises gut health, particularly on an empty stomach. Alcohol abuse makes people much more susceptible to a compromised gut. Oh yes, this is me also. I’ve been sober for a number of years but prior to sobering up, I had quite a go with the go-go juice for about 18 years.
I’ve included quite a bit of info in this post about leaky gut causes and things that can help. One of the best things I’ve read about so far for healing the gut is collagen, bone broth and gelatin. If you’re vegan, I know there are some options out there for plant based collagen as well. This is how I’ve started my healing journey. Yesterday and today I had a bullet proof coffee with collagen in it. I’ll share some of the meals I’m trying this week also. In my research, it would seem that the best eating program for healing the gut is the Scientific Carbohydrate Diet which I made my entire meal plan out for the week around. Time will tell and I will tell all of you as this journey progresses.
I hope that any of you who read this might find some of it helpful. There is a ton of research on the market these days but if you just don’t like to do it or don’t have time, feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll gladly help you out as much as I can.
“Note: I am not a doctor or a certified nutrition. All information in this post is based on personal knowledge and experience and recommendations are from personal experience. If you are experiencing any of the possible symptoms listed above, consult your doctor before treating it.”