Table of Contents
- 1 What is leaky gut?
- 2 Symptoms of leaky gut?
- 3 But why me! Why do I have leaky gut syndrome?
- 4 Antibiotics and leaky gut
- 6 My story with leaky gut
- 7 So what are you going to eat to heal your leaky gut?
- 8 #3 Disaccharides
- 9 #4 Polysaccharides
- 10 #8 Nuts and seeds
- 11 #9 Meats
- 12 What I did to heal my leaky gut
- 13 STRESS
- 14 DIET AND IDENTITY
I believe the number one cause of leaky gut syndrome is the over use of prescription drugs that the medical doctors hand out like candy.
We have created a medical establishment that are conditioned to hear a patient’s symptom then say “aha you need to take this medicine, this will fix your problem”.
How do these doctors know this? Well they went to a medicine school to learn how to treat people with medicine. In short they are trained at prescribing medicine.
They never want to get to find the root cause!
This went unquestioned for decades as doctors wearing white coats were revered. Just like many other professions that were in authority or wore a uniform.
Guess what? Humans fuck up!
We know this now as history has proven this to us time and time again. As a nation we are much better informed and much smarter than we were back in the old days.
I mean if a doctor handed you a cigarette for stress, I’m sure you would tell them where to shove it.
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut is a term given to tiny holes that have been created in the intestinal lining of your small/large bowels. This intestinal lining acts as a protective layer to protect you from any foreign particles entering your blood.
Once it has been compromised it then enables undigested food particles, bacteria or opportunistic pathogens to pass through your intestinal lining into your blood. This can be dangerous and damaging to your body causing a host of different symptoms.
Symptoms of leaky gut?
But why me! Why do I have leaky gut syndrome?
We are all unique and all have a constitution that is different from one another. Some people are simply born with a weaker digestive system.
This can be due to a mineral deficiency passed on from parents, DNA, traumatic birth or simply nature made you this way. Most people have a health weak-spot, maybe you are just unfortunate that your digestive system is your weak-spot. Most people go through their whole life just fine.
It’s when one starts to excessively consume drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs there becomes a problem.
Antibiotics and leaky gut
Antibiotics are a massive cause of digestive problems and I believe they are one of the leading causes of a leaky gut.
Antibiotics mean anti-life, it’s great as they kill harmful viruses and bacteria. But they also kill harmless bacteria most importantly they kill crucial bacteria that resides in our digestive tract.
When you ingest a long course of antibiotics or take too many antibiotics over a period of time you potentially kill good digestive bacteria that coexists in a symbiotic relationship with you. You need these bacteria for vital digestion and to generate vitamins within your body.
This then gives the bad bacteria a chance to over populate your gut. Once this happens certain yeast bacteria most notably candida albicans will form into a fungus.
Fungi can create finger like hyphae projections that dig away and create tiny holes in your intestinal wall.
This is what we then call a leaky gut. This wall is already probably weak from alcohol, deranged food, GMO’s or an overuse of Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
My story with leaky gut
I was one of these poorly kids so I was already fighting a losing battle from the very start. I wasn’t breast fed, I violently rejected the milk formula and soy formula by vomiting.
But like most parents mine kept feeding me it as that’s what they were told to do. I suppose my body just accepted it as there was no other options at the time. So it was live or die as far as my little body was concerned.
As I was weaned on to foods I rejected most of them too. Some people will just react badly to certain foods. It’s not always down to leaky gut. You see many foods don’t want to be eaten in nature.
So they develop certain compounds that are harmful to certain animals so they are not eaten. These plants have a survival mechanism too. We have evolved over millions of years to adapt to this through developing a digestive ecosystem that is able to break down and digest certain foods.
When our bacterial colony in our gut has been compromised certain, yeast candida and parasite can overgrow and severely inhibit our ability to digest food. I was also allergic to grass, dogs, cats and had very bad hay fever. I endured a childhood of chronic eczema, asthma and aching bones.
The doctors prescribed all sorts of pharmaceutical drugs to help me cope with the pain and discomfort. These only aggravated the root cause of my condition which was a was a weak digestive system due to either a mineral deficiency or a gut imbalance which was being made worse from being forced fed milk and many aggravating foods.
All of which were suppressing my immune system. I believe the straw that broke the camel’s back was the over use of drugs to treat the symptoms and sadly not the cause, I believe this is what created my leaky gut.
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
Prescription pain medications (opiates), steroid creams, ointments and antibiotics
These drugs are still being used today 30 years on from when I was a little boy. Yes they are needed in an emergency but why are they needed? Why are we not trying to treat the root cause rather than pumping the nation full of drugs?
The two leading theories are that the pharmaceutical drugs destroy your gut lining or they destroy the delicate gut flora that then causes an overgrowth of destructive yeast, fungus or parasites that pierce holes in the intestinal lining to cause leaky gut.
If you are born with a gut imbalance and are then fed a suboptimal junk diet from birth this too could upset the balance of bacteria and cause leaky gut, without pharmaceutical drugs. But how often would we see the no use of drugs in the western world.
Vaccines are common practice for babies and all kids nowadays are immediately treated with pharmaceutical medicine. According to some media sources the pharmaceutical industry surpassed $1 trillion in 2014 with revenues continuing to climb. Yet everyone is fat, sick and fed up!
Once I hit my mid 20’s after parting hard and having my fair share of the stresses of life I started to develop chronic IBS-C, chronic fatigue, and depression.
I had to dramatically change my diet but the conflicting diet advice seemed to make it worse. This led me to binge eating that only made things worse. This was a vicious cycle that is very hard to stop.
I searched for 10 years trying to cure IBS, constipation, toxic overload, fatigue and depression. I was always a happy person and depression gets banded around way to easily.
But I had depression from frustration and a gut imbalance. Serotonin the happy hormone is stored in the gut, 95% to be precise. This is why many people that are depressed could do with changing their diet to eradicate much unwanted mental torture.
All this searching left me exhausted and there was no one who could give me the right diet advice. So I just got radical and serious and decided to take things into my own hands. I read over a 100 books on nutrition, self-help, psychology and fitness. I trained to become a personal trainer and I studied and qualified in clinical nutrition passing with distinction.
What I have learned to heal leaky gut and candida ?
Healing the gut is an arduous long task but it is worth it in the end. As learning specific diet and lifestyle principles will elevate your health to a higher place you never thought possible.
You will be healthier than most people you know. Real health is not just looking good, it’s a feeling of self-control, poise and empathy for others. It makes you a better person as you are no longer in survival mode being controlled by food, weight, skin or maladies.
The Damaged Gut Lining
The gut lining has a surface that is covered with tiny finger like things called microvilli, these tiny cells break down your food into tiny molecules so they can be digested into the blood stream for vital energy and nutrition.
The food you eat has to be broken down into a single molecule so it can fit through the tiny junctions into your intestinal lining. Below is a picture of a damaged gut as you can see there are some big gaps in the intestinal lining.
This means that big undigested food particles, bacteria, yeast, drugs and toxins can all pass though the protective intestinal barrier.
Which will cause food intolerance’s, allergies, digestive issues, brain fog, bad skin and immune system issues.
Beneath the tiny micro villi there is also another line of defense called the epithelial cells. There main job is to protect, but it is also involved in filtration, secretion, and absorption.
The digestive and respiratory tract are lined with the epithelial mucous membranes. They are there to protect us from viruses, germs and are connected to our vital immune system. When these cells become damaged from alcohol, drugs, medicine, deranged food and un-healthy living your health is on a downward slide.
Healing leaky gut is a real pain as your damaged gut lining never gets a rest as you are always eating food. This food is unable to break down efficiently due to a damaged gut lining.
Which now creates the ideal environment for parasites, pathogens and candida all of which will be feasting on your undigested food. The body begins to bloat and block while undigested particles slip into your blood stream causing muscle aches, fatigue and skin issues.
While this is going on your immune system is working overtime to neutralise these unwanted particles (antigens) and your mood is one of severe depression as 95% of your happy hormone serotonin resides in your gut.
So what are you going to eat to heal your leaky gut?
It’s a complete minefield when trying to cure a leaky gut syndrome. All foods seem to have a negative affect when trying to heal a gut lining. The fruits have the best assimilation but the high fibre can irritate the lining plus the fructose sugar can aggravate the candida bacterial overgrowth.
Meats can be hard to break down and digest plus put undue stress on an already over taxed body. Fat is slow and complicated binding to many materials when one needs a good detox flush. Grains, nuts and seeds are just the enemy on so many levels. They are crafty organism that don’t want to be eaten and have adequate defences.
The only way they can be eaten is by soaking and sprouting. Even then I would completely abstain from such foods until you are 100% cured
Below is a quick overview of foods and how they relate to your leaky gut syndrome.
Carbs are mostly made up of monosaccharides (one molecule), disaccharides (two molecules) and polysaccharides (many molecules). Obviously the more molecules there are means more work for your digestive system. Also these foods break down into glucose (sugar) which will feed any candida, fungus or parasite overgrowth in the body.
This is why many people are intolerant to many different carbs. Whether it be a potatoes, corn, wheat or a green pepper. It’s not that these are bad foods, it’s the fact you cannot break them down into their tiny molecular structure so it’s easy to digest. Creating a food source for the unwanted pathogens you now have.
The simplest form of carbohydrates and can be absorbed the easiest. They are found in sweet tasting foods such as fructose, glucose and galactose.
Galactose is usually found as part of a disaccharide like in milk lactose. So fruit and raw cane sugar seem to be the only carbohydrate that can be absorbed super-fast and leave no remaining food for the candida, fungus or parasite overgrowth.
But healing a gut on solely fruit can be very complicated and difficult as fruit is hybridised and very sugary nowadays plus you would have to eat an enormous amount of fruits and green just to get your nutritional needs met.
Then you would have to exercise a lot every single day without fail to burn off the abundance of fuel in your body. So if you have a delicate damaged gut and are not used to exercise this is an approach that need to be taken with trepidation.
But it can be done.
This is when two monosaccharides bind together to make a food. This can be found in table sugar, maple syrup, molasses, milk and honey. So for example glucose + fructose = Honey.
This will only keep feeding your candida, fungus and parasites.
These are found in starchy foods. This is the main carbohydrate source for plant seeds and tubers, or vegetables that grow in the ground. They include foods like corn, potatoes and rice.
Other examples include bread, cereal and pasta. This will only keep feeding your candida, fungus and parasites.
#5 Insoluble fibre
This is the outer skin of a potatoes or an apple. Our primate cousins will usually disregard this part in order to get to the sweet tasting best bit.
If you are having digestive trouble leaky gut in particular you may want to totally eliminate all the insoluble fibre in your diet.
This will only keep damaging your gut lining.
#6 Soluble fiber
This is the white fluffy part of the potatoes or the juicy white part of the apple. This part of a carbohydrate will be most soothing and easily absorbable to a damaged gut lining, especially if you have leaky gut.
This is a great food staple for your future healed gut and a great food to eat while you adjust to new diet requirements.
It may feed pathogens but it won’t damage and irritate your gut.
#7 Wheat and Gluten
There is a growing number of people that have celiac disease (gluten intolerant). It is not yet totally understood why this is happening but one theory is that humans lack a certain enzyme.
The majority of commercial wheat has been hybridised and and/or is a GMO (genetically modified organism). These wheat have become a super crop as they are resistant to most bacteria and viruses and grow twice as fast.
Many believe that the human gut has insufficient bacteria to help break down this wheat. The gluten intolerance, occurs when your body cannot digest gluten, a protein most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley.
When this happens it triggers an immune response which attacks the intestinal lining further damaging your leaky gut.
#8 Nuts and seeds
Nut allergies are common place nowadays. One of the reasons for this is that nuts and seeds have something inside them called phytic acid. This is found in the bran or hull of many nuts, seeds or grains.
Unlike cows and sheep humans do not have the enzymes to digest this. Nuts and seed also contain tannins and phytates both of which bind to many minerals and stop the body from producing an enzyme so the nut will not know to sprout and until it is safe to do so.
The nuts have a defence mechanism to ensure their survival just like we do. They hope to travel through an intestine intact so they can regrow once again. The outer shell is an enzyme inhibitor as well as being very rough on a leaky gut
Meat proteins are broken down into amino acid components and fat. The stomach has to produce enough hydrochloric acid to break down these proteins into tiny amino acids.
Many people lack the efficient amount of stomach acid to do this. Therefore undigested proteins enter the small intestines and cause havoc with a leaky gut. Also meat turns into ammonia in the body which the kidneys have to turn into uric acids before it can be eliminated.
Which puts an undue strain on the kidneys. Meat is also causes an inflammatory response in the body and is severely linked to high cholesterol and heart disease.
I can see how this can work for people that want to heal their gut and balance their gut flora but they would need to have a high level of hydrochloric acid to completely digest the meats.
Most people have a low stomach acid so it will not work for those people. It will not feed the candida, fungus and parasites. So that would be great as you could eliminate the vast majority of them, if not all.
However long term I don’t believe it’s sustainable as it would inevitably lead to poor health.
Eating commercial meats, fats and sugary foods will be hard to avoid and I believe will further create health issues to compound on the inflammation, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney damage and potential weight gain if eating any sugary foods that will be hard to avoid long term.
The meat approach would probably only work if you ate nothing else for the rest of your life other than organically grown meat, animals that were fed on highly mineralised soil.
Also the vegetables would all need to be of a high quality too and make up the majority of your diet. You would need to be fit, energetic and stress free breathing in fresh air to offset the by products from the meat diet IMO.
Overeating, stress, cheap and fast sugary food is what the western world does long term. The by-products from overeating commercial meats, fats and processed foods will cause disease.
The stomach cells produce tiny enzymes that help you start to break down fat whilst your stomach goes to work churning over the fat. Most of the fat digestion happens once the fat enters the small intestines as the gallbladder will produce extra bile acids to help you emulsify the fat.
This is pretty harmless on the stomach lining however fat takes the longest to digest. Therefore the fat will coat many of the cells and trap other waste in the digestive system. This is a big problem for anyone suffering from candida, parasites or pathogens.
Also if you are predisposed to diabetes or you are diabetic too much fat in your diet can lead to insulin resistance, as fat that coats the blood will block the receptor cells and inhibit the uptake of glucose thus leading to higher demand for insulin.
This will cause fatigue and weight gain. Doctor Neal Bernard wrote a great book called Reversing Diabetes. It’s estimated that over 350 million people are now affected with diabetes in the western world alone.
What I did to heal my leaky gut
To list all I done here would take me to long. So I will just outline the main jest of it. I had a severe case of leaky gut. The majority of foods disagreed with me. I was either was allergic, intolerant or unable to digest food. Fruit bloated me, meat constipated me and caused skin issues, fat moved so slow I could not get the calories and nuts and grains would cripple me.
I believe that everyone has a unique digestive system and the healing process will be different for everyone. One person may be able to eat a fruit based diet and completely heal there gut while another may bloat and fatigue every time they eat more than 500 calories of fruit.
Meat may work great for some people while other may feel heavy and bogged down. Fats digestion can be easy for some but others may have a sluggish liver with a backed up gallbladder that produces a tiny amount of bile.
I believe the road to true healing is to do whatever it takes and to stay focused and relaxed at all times. Because to do everything right but stress about the food, your new identity, fear and the never again mind-set will inevitably lead to failure.
A stressed body will switch of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and make things 10 times worse as you will be doing everything right and still not getting the results.
I believe stress to be the most crucial part in trying to heal a leaky gut. This is so often overlooked but yet it’s the most important aspect of the healing. I was so stressed out with my diet, detox and cleanses.
I was a mess and the internal conflict of I can’t eat this or can I eat that was slowly taking me away from my identity to a new world I had not agreed to enter. The new identity is massively overlooked and what is most important in healing your gut. This is what I work tirelessly with all my clients. Focused on results and the positive steps.
Becoming that new fit and healthy person you always wanted to be is a habit. The more you focus and act a certain way the more you automatically become that new person. It’s just like growing a muscle. The more you do bicep curls the bigger your muscles get. Staying focused creating goals and living for a purpose is essential.
Too many people are living other people dreams.
DIET AND IDENTITY
I was constantly trying to fit into everyone’s box. I was a vegan, paleo and vegetarian all of which I cared little for, I just wanted to be healthy. But yet to follow one of these nutrition dogmas you must be a committed follower. It all felt a bit too cultish for me.
I believe the best diet to follow is a high carb, low fat vegan diet. But also i believe many people can follow this diet yet adding a bit of lean meat and cultured food and equally thrive.
What works for one person may not work for another. Some people don’t want to eat a certain way no matter what you tell them. Some people will always undo months of hard work with crazy binges. So I believe for some people its best not to be so rigid in their dietary approach.
Cleanse, detox and rebuild the lining then a diet that is enjoyable and practical for each individuals identity. I was constantly trying to fit into everyone’s box. I was a vegan, paleo and vegetarian all of which I cared little for, I just wanted to be healthy.
But yet to follow one of these nutrition dogmas you must be a committed follower. It all felt a bit too cultish for me. Only when I started to relax did I find big results.
DIFFERENT DIETS AT DIFFERENT TIMES FOR HEALING
If your gut has an overgrowth of candida, parasites or any other pathogen a diet full of digestible sugars may not be the answer.
That’s not to say you can’t eat a vegan diet in the future. I believe that to rebuild the gut lining and your body’s overall health you need to forget nutrtion dogma until you are healed. Your leaky gut needs to heal and new bacterial colonies need to form in order to break down a plant based diet.
Some people may take to a plant based diet straight away as their bacterial colony and overall health is different. Yet some poor people eat a fruitarian diet with bloating and detox symptoms for a year or more, if only they would stop cleanse and rebuild first.
I believe you need to get smart and address your body at different stages. Maybe you need no sugar at first, then slowly introduce fruits, maybe you want meats and cultured foods, maybe you want to juice fast first. Preparation is key otherwise you will just keep bloating and suffering severe die off reactions.
Ultimately you want to be aiming for a diet that has plenty of carbohydrates with minimal amount of fat and protein, following the 80 -10-10 principle. If that’s plant based then great as you can get all your vital nutrients eating this way.
If you want to eat mostly plant based but with a bit of meat and dairy yet still following the 80-10-10 so be it. This is what most of south east Asia do and they are lean and in good health.
Maybe you genuinely enjoy eating a bit of meat or dairy even though you know it’s bad for you. Don’t beat yourself up about it, this only makes it worse as you build chronic tension in your body.
Understanding what foods will inevitably cause disease in the body and what foods will build the body is essential. So eating 90% of the good food Vs 10% of the bad food is better than 100% all bad food. I genuinely want to help people more than I want to help animals so I do not get to caught up on the nutrition dogma, that’s the bottom line.
Fruits and greens will heal your gut lining. But to heal and then thrive with a fit and healthy body you need to accept that order to have an easy life you may have to do a cleanse, detox and rebuild. This could be the time of your life. It’s never to late to get back your health, energy and body.
- Are you prepared to juice or smoothie your food?
- Can you go a month with no sugar?
- Could you do a green juice fast?
- Are you willing to try something different?
- Are you willing to adopt a new identity?
- Do you really want to be fit and active?
I did this for months plus added some supplements and juice fasted. I kept pushing knowing I was my own man and I would do whatever diet I chose when I felt better. Not a follower, not in a cult and not a vegan that thinks they are superior to everyone else.
I now eat a vegan diet 98% of the time but every now and then I eat some cheese or meat. Usually when out and about or on the go. Yes I know it’s bad but I feel less tension and rigid in my body and thinking. The Chinese believe that chronic tension in one’s body is the route to all ill health. The che (flow) is at the centre of the 2000 year old Chinese philosophy called Taoism.
To discount millions of years of meat eating human evolution because a new diet works for a few people is foolish. Meat and fat in smaller quantities works fine for every long living civilisation we have ever known.
I do respect and care for the animals and do more than the majority of people with my diet choice and message. But I care more for people and my own wellbeing. Some people just don’t want to be totally vegan. So to disregard these people because you are a vegan is foolish. These people will simply end up following a paleo diet that will further damage their health and hurt more animals.
Nutrition dogma feels many people with dread and only makes them feel pedantic and stressed. This is how I felt when following such strict regimes. Maybe one day I will go full vegan but for now this works for me and most of my clients, yet many of my clients go full vegan.
I just don’t see this happening with the majority of meat eaters in the western world.