Leaky Gut Is A Serious Condition

Read "Introduction to Leaky Gut" first.

Leaky Gut

When the walls of the intestines become permeable, it predisposes to almost every kind of disease condition that plagues us in the 21st century. The intestinal wall is very thin.

  • Inflammation, caused by GI tract irritants, combined with malnutrition, result in the separation of the cells that make up the mucosal lining.
  • Toxins, parasites, parasite eggs, and intestinal contents then move through the mucosal lining and enter the blood stream.
  • Candida develops into an invasive fungal form and grows like a plant, in the wall of the intestines, tapping directly into the blood stream, where it releases spores that continue to multiply and produce toxins throughout your body = chronic fatigue and brain fog.
  • The liver is overwhelmed with the burden of eliminating toxins and parasitic invaders that should never have entered the blood stream in the first place. The liver can't perform the other tasks it was designed to do.

All of this causes serious problems, including endocrine system exhaustion, liver and kidney damage, dysbiosis and autoimmune diseases. Food allergies develop, as well as multiple chemical sensitivity, thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Autism, etc. As overall health deteriorates, new crisis arise.

The onset of LGS symptoms may include severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea and poor digestion. For me, it resulted in severe malnutrition and some permanent physical damage.

There are 5 stages of Leaky Gut Syndrome 

1st STAGE: Permeability caused by malnutrition - Beneficial bacteria populations, responsible for maintaining intestinal wall integrity, have been depleted or decimated and the epithelial cells of the intestinal wall become malnourished. The cells separate, causing an increase of para-cellular absorption (between cells) and simultaneous decrease in trans-cellular absorption (through cells), which is how cells are supposed to absorb nutrients. See image above.

When beneficial bacteria populations are insufficient for maintaining an environment in the intestines that keeps Candida under control, yeast overgrowth occurs.

2nd STAGE: Dysbiosis -  Parasites, bacteria, viruses, toxins, waste and yeast are able to pass through the trans-cellular spaces in the intestinal wall into the bloodstream where they enter general circulation, travel to their favorite organs and weakest parts of the body, take up residence, consume your nutrition, eliminate their own waste and reproduce, completing their entire lifecycle in your body. Doesn’t that just sound lovely!

Yeast overgrowth has developed into Systemic Candidiasis. Candida in the blood and organs causes dysfunction that alters the metabolic or immunologic responses of their host; hypothyroidism, adrenal exhaustion, etc. Candida likes an acidic, oxygen deprived, cold environment, so your pH will drop, along with body temperature, and you may develop lung symptoms that are very similar to asthma. When I had to think about breathing or I didn't breathe, I knew it was in my lungs too.

3rd STAGE: Food allergies - Foods you once ate with no problems become your enemy. As the intestinal lining becomes porous, large food particles are allowed to pass into the bloodstream, where they provoke allergic reactions and cause inflammation.

The very end of the villus absorb dairy. Then, as you descend down the villus - grains, protein, fats, and other nutrients are absorbed. When unpleasant symptoms occur, they are often misdiagnosed as 'food intolerance' or 'allergies' and the offending food(s) are eliminated from the diet. When foods are eliminated from the diet, the nutrition they contain is also eliminated. This leads to greater deficiencies. What you do eat is often poorly digested. Every year the list of offending foods grows until you can't eat anything.

As the villus die back even more, and probiotic populations are diminished further, the ability to absorb food nutrients is lost, and malnutrition follows. Organ systems, deprived of essential nutrients, suffer and begin to malfunction, and the process of disease begins. I know the progression of this very well, because this is exactly what happened to me. The end resulted was organ damage, nerve damage and memory loss.

4th STAGE: Hepatic Stress - The liver exhausts itself to remove macromolecules, toxins produced by the invaders, chemicals from processed food and products used on the skin and hair, as well as heavy metals and other toxins from the blood.

STAGE 5: If there is one, I was there. All systems are stressed to the max, chronic conditions continue or become even worse and your health continues to deteriorate. Nothing you do to remedy the problem works for very long or not at all. Organ and system breakdowns occur; kidneys, liver, heart, brain, pancreas, gall bladder, etc.

It doesn't matter what name your dis-ease is given.

The bottom line is that the intestinal epithelium is damaged and intestinal wall integrity must be restored to recover your health. To cure this condition, I had to first understand this is a serious problem that is extremely difficult to reverse, but possible with the proper knowledge and tools. I did it!
  • It required a change of attitude. I had to make a decision to work with and for my body, and be committed to the process, however long it would take. Self care is the highest form of self respect.
  • I had to understand what I did that got me sick and make the necessary changes to my diet, habits and lifestyle.
  • I had to clean my body and keep it clean, by avoiding toxins and other things that would harm it.
  • I had to take very specific supplements to restore intestinal wall integrity, repopulate beneficial bacteria and restore Candida to its proper form, function and station.
  • I must maintain a very healthy lifestyle, to prevent me from going back to where I came from.

    1.    Ask your doctor to test for leaky gut syndrome, but keep in mind that many medical doctors still do not recognize that this is a valid disease condition. Also, I have experienced first hand the limitations of many diagnostic tests. In my opinion, they don’t tell you anything until you are so seriously ill that you fear death, and even then, they don’t tell half the story. They say the best medicine is prevention. Make healthy changes now. Don’t wait until you have no choice.
    2.    What reduces immunity? Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, antibiotics, caffeine products, hydrogenated oils, processed food products, gluten-grains, refined sugar, dairy products and foods that cause allergic reactions, smoking and alcohol products, including cold remedies, and commercially packaged beverages, skin and hair care products that contain harmful chemicals, tattoos, hair color and permanents, and exposure to environmental pollutants, from both internal and external sources all contribute to LGS. This also includes laundry and cleaning products, and dry cleaning chemicals, because anything that lays on your skin is absorbed.
    3.   The warnings I found say, “Do not take HGH  (Human Growth Hormone), which is known for its ability to repair cell damage to organs in the body. Without good bacteria in the intestines to break down HGH, it is not properly absorbed, and your body will reabsorb the HGH, which can cause tumors to grow. After LGS is healed and the good bacteria has been restored to its natural balance, HGH may help to repair cellular damage, under the advice and care of a physician”.
    4.    I feed my family according to their individual biochemistry and blood type. I prepare unprocessed lean meats, wild caught fish, poultry, raw organic fruits, raw or lightly cooked organic vegetables and whole grains. Remember to shop around the outside of the grocery store. I use natural herbal antibiotics, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic products to address specific infections. I use homeopathic remedies to treat colds, the flu and traumas to the body, like dental work, bruises, bites, etc.
    5.    It is impossible to have mucosal immunity without healthy mucous membranes. The friendly flora have died out. Repopulation of those friendly flora (acidophilus and bifidobacteria) are needed to produce the short chain fatty acids that stimulate the growth of mucous membranes throughout the intestinal tract and mucin - the glycoprotein constituent of intestinal lubricant or mucus. Beneficial bacteria feed the cells that line the intestine, but the beneficial bacteria will not set up shop until the intestinal wall is healed. Therefore, it is necessary that you heal the intestinal wall before the micro-biome can be restored and employed to maintain intestinal wall integrity.
    6.    I take a high quality digestive enzyme product before I begin my meal and I follow the rules for "food combining" in the blog, "
The Chemistry of Healthy Digestion".
    7.    I take a good phytonutrient, organic, whole food multi-vitamin supplement.
    8.    I chew my liquids and drink my solids. This means I chew until solid food goes down like liquid and swish liquids around in my mouth until I feel the enzymes breaking it down. I allow the digestive enzymes in my mouth do their best work, while chewing to mix them thoroughly with my food, as I take my time eating and enjoy every bite.
    9.    I void consuming liquids with meals, as this dilutes digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid.
    10.  I eat 6 - 8 small meals during the day and don't over-fill my stomach. The stomach is made to hold about 2-3 cups of food. I stop before I feel full. Also, I do not eat within two hours of going to bed, because digestion stops when the body is in a horizontal position. This is a time for my body to rest and repair, not digest. I work with my body and allow it to function as it was made to.

I used to think that reversing Leaky Gut Syndrome would take a long time and that sometimes it can't be completely healed, but now I know the miraculous healing ability of the body when you give it what it needs. I healed my leaky gut in 3 months. Now, I can eat anything I want, that is healthy. It took longer to reverse the damage to other organ systems and fully recover from the illnesses that resulted from LGS. For two years I felt myself aging in reverse. It has been five years since I started the healing process. NO MORE 'zombie mommy' brain, chronic fatigue, sleeplessness, chronic pain, cold-acidic body, chronic constipation, anxiety and debilitating depression. Best of all, I am myself for the first time in my life! I feel better in my 50's than I did at age 20. It feels like I've gotten back 30 years!

There is no doubt that the best cure is prevention, so I take the steps now to avoid this path of disease in my children. From personal experience, I can tell you that I wish someone had educated me, before I made unwise choices that put me in this state of disease. The effort to stop the progression of LGS is definitely worth it. If left misdiagnosed and untreated, Leaky Gut can progress into other more serious and permanent disease conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's Disease, Colitis, Diverticulitis, Diverticulosis, Dysbiosis, Systemic Candidiasis, other autoimmune diseases, malabsorption and malnutrition, just to name a few. For me, it has been like dying a very slow death. Trust me, you don't want to go there.

The problem is not IBS, IBD, Colitis, Crohn's or any of those other condition. Those are symptoms, not conditions. Body wisdom speaks to us in the language of symptom, which we misinterpret or do not understand. Symptoms are not the problem. They are body wisdom pointing to the problem. The common factor in all these conditions is Leaky Gut Syndrome.

In January 2013, I stopped fighting symptoms, and thus stopped fighting with body wisdom. I figured out how to heal my gut and restore my micro-biome, which are the microbes in the gut that make up 90% of the cells in our body, but they are not us. We employ them to do tasks for us, but they are not our cells. Only 10% of the cells in the body are human cells. We need the other 90% to be beneficial. When they are not, the gut falls apart. It was the Candida growing in the walls of my leaky intestines, that weakened my immune system and caused my issues with foods. The foods were not the problem. Symptoms were not the problem. They were pointing to the problem. The problem was not IBS, IBD, Colitis or Crohn's. It was leaky gut and dysbiosis in the gut. The solution to the problem was to heal the gut, and once my gut wall was healed, optimal immunity and digestion were restored.

In 2013, I developed The Candida Exit Strategy. I eliminated yeast overgrowth in my gut and healed my intestines. I trusted that my body would let me know when the time had come that I would be able to eat previously forbidden foods again, and it did. Within 3 months, I could feel my intestinal fortitude building, so I began reintroducing the foods I had been unable to consume for more than 20 years. I reintroduced eggs, poultry, dairy, oats, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, turnips, garlic & onion, chives, apples, pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and nuts to my diet. My body and brain healed in the next year, and I can enjoy food again! I can enjoy my birthday and have turkey and pumpkin pie with my family at Thanksgiving! I can have chocolate! I am not limited to a few short season summer fruits, leaving me with nothing to eat all winter. I can have goat milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and eggs!

For 20 years I was starving to death, but that was my education I needed to be able to help others. Now I can eat anything I want to, that is healthy. I have already traveled this road ahead of you and healed my own body. My preoccupation, purpose and passion is to coach you on your journey through illness to wellness.

I am a Mind-Body Nutrition Consultant / Eating Psychology Coach, but my specialty is yeast overgrowth and Systemic Candidiasis, and the many secondary health challenges they cause, like IBS, IBD, Colitis, Crohn's, etc. My work with clients focuses on a whole body approach, to correct the things that predisposed you to disease, so the chance of recurrence is greatly reduced.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you need more information or have questions, please don't hesitate to email
johnna@wholefamilyhealthandnutrition.com to schedule your free introductory consultation. I look forward to meeting you!

All of this information and much more is covered in the videos located on the
Candida-Leaky Gut Services page of this website.