Leaky gut and food intolerance – “The Perfect Diet”

-Leaky gut ? No, it’s not me… I have a flawless digestion process! But I do have acne, bad breath, I can’t lose weight and eat like a bird!, alopecia, allergy, runny nose, osteoporosis, Candida overgrown, mucus, stomach ache, headache, low blood pressure, Hashimoto, and a list of undefined symptoms.
Then read up my dear 😉
Today I would like to finally explain the possibility of dietary choices, and it’s correlation with the gut. 80% of an autoimmune system is in the gut. Therefore, if our health isn’t improving or gets even worst – we will have to look at gut permeability. This can be in fact caused by heavy metals (from cosmetics), or parasitic infection, from toxic environment, unbalanced gut flora to begin with (for example if you were born through a C-section, or were not breast-fed), or GERD (by h.pyroli for example) – but first and foremost we have to make sure it isn’t caused by the food we eat.
The surface area of the digestive tract is approximately 32 square meters (equivalent to half of a badminton court). It is three times larger than the exposed surface of our skin. Half of a badminton court is daily visited by million of guests. Some of the guests such as wheat, can create some damage.
inflamedgut1.jpgWhat gluten does to the gut – could be equivalent to what ice skate shoes do to a badminton court. Actually I am not a badminton expert, but I assume this could happen 😉 The undigested protein irritates the gut lining, and creates micro leaks – that’s where the “leaky gut” name comes from.
Villi.PNGGluten also act’s as a glue – and can prevent the intestinal villi in a small intestine from moving, digesting and absorbing the nutrients.
If you ever made a dough from wheat flour and tried to later wash the bowl – this hard to remove part – that’s gluten. Now picture this inside of your intestine.
Most likely by improving the gut permeability, your gut flora will finally balance – and it is the gut flora that is responsible for the immune system.
You might ask – isn’t getting more good bacteria in, going to solve the problem?
Unfortunately it isn’t always as simple as “eat more fermented foods and take a probiotic”. This could work for some people, but the process is a lot more complicated. If we are at the stage, where we produce antibodies (1) we will have to remove the foods that our autoimmune system is reacting to – to stop the antibodies production. Give the immune system a “break” (in reality leaves it to what it was supposed to do in the first place, which is – only create antibodies where a real intruder is on a horizon. )
Secondly, no bacteria will grow, if the gut lining has layers and layers of undigested particles “glued” to the lining. This also goes for micro nutrient – they can’t be properly absorbed if the lining of the wall has things stick to it.
Now picture a pipe (my first degree is in Architecture :D) – if you have a perfect pipe, and everyday there is a drinking water coming through that pipe. One day the water supply was cut, and you had few hours without the water. After sometime the water is back – first water coming out with a higher pressure is yellow with black stuff… and looks nothing like the drinking water you see.
Even if you eat a perfect diet now, just like this drinking water – most likely your gut has some of this “yellow with black stuff” stack somewhere along the way. Sometimes we react to proteins in foods like tomatoes (especially if you are allergic to pollen your body can mix tomatoes for pollen), sometimes we can react to pesticides sprayed on foods, and suddenly this perfect diet – isn’t so perfect.
This is especially true if you didn’t eat healthy your entire life, and now despite of a change in diet, still suffer with chronic health problems.
What you can do is implement lots of water and fiber – great example of such a combination would be … ALL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES;-). Fiber is a body natural brush. The stool is mostly build out of water and fiber – therefore make sure to drink plenty of good quality water and eat plenty of fiber, and green leafy vegetables.
Additional you could do a colon cleanse / enemas.
How to improve a gut lining?
Well this can be very individual, depending on the main cause of permeability, and on the approach you want to take. Both include dietary changes, and elimination of allergic and intolerant food groups, possible supplementation, lifestyle changes and removing of old substances from the gut (if any). But let’s focus on the main cause foods:
An inside to antibodies:
(1) Sometimes we don’t know that we produce antibodies (have intolerance), but if you have a chronic health problem, problem with loosing weight, undefined condition, runny nose, lots of mucus, digestive issues, breathing issues, Candida overgrowth, anxieties, bad breath, acne – this could all be your body reaction (this could vary and there is no list of symptoms, therefore testing has to be done).
We all are familiar with IgE – the antibodies, which are caused by an immediate allergic reaction. Everyone usually knows when they have it – swelling, respiratory reaction, immediate digestion problem. (I was allergic to milk my entire life – trust me you know your allergies :D)
But this isn’t all there is. Our body produces other antibodies, and its a pretty complicated process. Here is a little short stories of what they are all about:
IgG – is a delayed sensitivity which occurs 3 to 72 hours later, and is not an allergy (some call it delay allergy). IgG will create a low grade inflammation (which causes more expression of pathology).
Another thing to look at is a component ( C3d), it’s a different part of an immune system, but is equally important. If the component is present in the delay sensitivity, it creates 1000-10.000 greater reactivity to this particular food.
IgG4 – is an interesting antibody that acts “protective” to IgE – and can mask the allergic reaction. It’s IgG subtype 4 that is responsible for health conditions like Hashimoto.
There is also an IgD, IgA and IgM. Did I lose you already 🙂 ?
In ideal world, we could test for all of the antibodies and component in order to define and be able to eliminate the products we are sensitive to. This full test can only be made in several countries and in few laboratories – but if you can only test for IgG and IgE – you shouldn’t get discouraged. It is expensive – but a full test of 160-240 foods is going to give you some clues already. ANY results will result in removing some of the products your body reacts to, you should also observe your body (you could try an elimination diet or working with a practitioner).
Unfortunately if you are going to test negative for gluten or wheat, casein or milk – it doesn’t mean you should keep it in your diet. Looking at patients who try elimination diet, the most positive outcome was with removing milk and wheat. Furthermore you can try eliminating earlier mentioned soy (besides fermented soy) and corn (watch out for hidden corn in sauces and dips!). If this doesn’t bring the results, try removing nuts, and nightshades, but at this stage you should consider an intolerance test – as you could be simply intolerant to some nuts or vegetables 😉
Be open minded, and listen to your body – if you feel like you are reacting to some foods – try eliminating it, and then reintroduce after a longer period of time. If you see a reaction – just remove it.
What is best – testing for intolerance or an elimination diet?
Both are relevant. If you have the money for the complete test in a good lab (do you research, as if the test is made on organic or non organic foods, what type of antibodies are tested for, Monoclonal vs Polyclonal Antibodies, do they test for IgG4? what about the component? ). Nevertheless, with all means do the test even if it isn’t perfect and doesn’t use the newest technology. If you don’t have the money, elimination diet is going to help you determinate your food intolerances, but you will have to be more committed and really listen to your body. It will also take longer time. Doing both, will definitely give you best results.
Side note:
We know that highly processed, or recently genetically modified food – our might not recognize (and most plants were at some point in history genetically modified). To not leave you on this sad note, plants are extremely intelligent – and this needs further research- but they have intelligent system within. Firstly then won’t take the chemical substances within their structure – pesticides are only outside and we are able to get rid of them by washing the fruits and vegetables (soda + vinegar or there are probiotic substances, or nano silver cloths – find your way) . Secondly, plants have survived so many genetically changes, and catastrophes, pesticides, acid rains, human invasion (okay I am going SciFi now :D), they have the ability to adapt into the environment and into our needs. I personally like to give gratitude to my meal, and send it love, to receive love and health in return. Nor food nor our body has the intention to charm us, however let’s listen into body signals, because your body knows best what works and what doesn’t work for you.
I would also like to address the mental health and it’s impact on gut – and vice versa, so stay tuned, as it wasn’t touched upon and is equally important!
Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, Giulia Enders
*Some of the information I used are from Functional Medicine University, and are not published to public view

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