Do You Have Leaky Gut? Find Out

What is Leaky Gut?

In a nut shell it’s intestinal permeability. People with leaky gut experience symptoms within a short time after eating.  Symptoms like stomach upset, gas, bloating and fatigue.

How Does Leaky Gut Happen?

Leaky gut occurs when your gut lining breaks down. This allows proteins, gluten, undigested foods and even bad bacteria to leak into your bloodstream.

What happens next?

Your body creates an immune response; this response is what causes you to feel ill after you eat and lethargic.

Leaky gut left over time causes your body to be in a constant state of inflammation.  Left untreated this inflammation contributes to chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, cancer,  auto-immune disorders, mood disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and allergies.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

Leaky Gut can be caused by any of number of things. Here’s the most common:

  • poor diet
  • alcohol
  • stress
  • antibiotics
  • intestinal bugs
  • sugar

What’s the Solution?

First and foremost, find out about your gut health.  If you think you may  have Leaky Gut; take the at home Genova Lab Intestinal Permeability urine test. If you do have Leaky Gut start by repairing the gut.

Leaky Gut Formula has been shown to be extremely helpful in repairing the gut lining. Also, consider Intestinal Repair Capsules.

Crowd out the bad bacteria with good bacteria. Start taking a Probiotic and a Prebiotic. Leaky Gut responds extremely well to the combination of PerfectPass Prebiotic and PerfectPass Probiotic. Together they increase your good bacteria diversity as well as help to eliminate bad bacteria.

Give your digestive tract a break so it can focus on repair by using digestive enzymes; Perfect Pass Digestive Enzymes help digest  food when taken with meals and will reduce inflammation when taken between meals.

Now, take a look at your diet choices.

A very close look.

Are you eating refined carbohydrates, processed convenience foods or foods with hidden sugars.

With a Leaky Gut, these foods will continue to wreak havoc on your system and you will have a tough time healing.

Check out this book by Elaine Gottschall; Breaking the Vicious Cycle. This is an excellent resource for recipes and tips on how to reduce inflammation and heal your gut through foods.

In the meantime for more information on Leaky Gut, watch this short video of Microbiologist Kiran Krishnan. Kiran explains how they  performed a clinical trial measuring the toxic response of persons with Leaky Gut Syndrome before and after taking a 60 day course of probiotics. The trial participants were cured of their intestinal permeability after the 60 days! The spores of probiotics are the same soil based spores that you can find in Perfect Pass Probiotics.

Its All About Diet

Does Diet Really Matter?

It’s very interesting to note that the most recent Crohns and Colitis Foundation research includes finding a suitable model to be able to ‘rate’ patients with IBD on a continuum of severity so that they would not necessarily be subjected to harsh drugs if their condition was not that severe.

To me, this is the way of the future. Yes, if a person suffering with Crohns or Colitis is dangerously ill, then it would be appropriate to use immuno suppressant drug therapy. However, if it is mild, then why not start with dietary modifications and nutritional supplementation first?

Elaine Gottschall's Specific Carbohdrate Diet in "Breaking the Vicious Cycle"
Elaine Gottschall’s Specific Carbohdrate Diet in “Breaking the Vicious Cycle”

The late Elaine Gottschall remains a pioneer in her time. Imagine that she treated her daughter who had Ulcerative Colitis with diet alone so many years ago, long before we had the research and knowledge available to support her actions. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is a dietary program that has helped to create, as well as maintain, drug-free remission for thousands of people suffering with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Actually, to start off it was developed in 1951 by Dr Sidney Hass M.D., gastroenterologist and then it was later popularized by Gottschall, who was a biochemist, in her book called ‘Breaking the Vicious Cycle’.

Not only are food choices very important to those challenged with digestive issues, but healthy food choices for every one on a daily basis, affects your health. It affect how you feel today, how you feel tomorrow, and how you feel in the future.

Dr Oz is a great advocate for investigating healthy eating options. He interviews Dr Mark Hyman MD on a regular basis. Both are staunch believers in how important diet is. When you combine it with physical activity, your diet can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of chronic diseases … be it digestive conditions, heart disease or cancer, ….and generally promote overall optimal health.

We know that unhealthy eating habits have led to an obesity epidemic in the United States. Did you know that about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese? What’s more, they have found that even when people maintain a healthy weight, a poor diet can be linked to and associated with many health risks leading to illness and even death. We can name heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer to be included in this list. So by making good food choices, you will protect yourself from these kinds of health challenges.

In a recent study  Kakodkar, S., Mikolaitis, S., Engen, P. et al. investigated the bacterial microbiome of inflammatory bowel disease patients on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Gastroenterology. 2013; 144: S552. They say

“Further evidence suggesting diet can be an effective treatment for some patients with IBD stems from the fact that diet has the potential to change the intestinal luminal environment, specifically the intestinal microbiome.  Our prior preliminary findings hint at a change in the microbiome of patients with IBD who follow the SCD. If following the SCD changes the microbiome significantly and/or reverses some of the dysbiosis reported in patients with IBD, this may be a low-cost intervention to induce and maintain remission with little or no known adverse reactions. As such, further interventional studies of SCD and diet therapies in general for IBD are urgently needed.”

Doesn’t this sound like it goes hand in hand with the thought behind the CCFA research of catogorizing patients with IBD on a continuum of severity and being able to give them a treatment plan that would, in fact, encourage their microbiome to heal?

The humans microbiome pops up as popular subject matter in journals and gut research all over the place. It’s very exciting that, literally for the first time in history, we’re finally learning enough about the properties of the human microbiome to manage treatment more completely. We now know, for example, about the importance of strain diversity. We also know which strains actually survive stomach acids. We never knew this before. We even have detailed research to show that Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus, which are prevalent strains in most probiotic formulas, are actually contraindicated for those people who have an overgrowth of bacteria in the Small Intestine.

Genova Lab SIBO Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth Breath TestThat’s why I like to recommend the Genova SIBO test to my patients. It allows me to select the appropriate prebiotic and probiotic formulas as well as other supportive digestive supportive supplements for them, specifically, when the SIBO test is positive.

Steven Wright Specific Carbohydrate Diet Advocate
Steven Wright Specific Carbohydrate Diet Advocate

A few weeks ago, I listened to the ‘Healing Your Gut Summit’. They interviewed StevenWright, a staunch advocate of the SCD diet. His personal story of how he healed himself of IBS incorporating the SCD was fascinating to hear. Several doctors had diagnosed him with IBS.  He tried over the counter pills, high fiber, and different diets. His introductory diet experience with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet was successful and he saw results really fast. It took him 3 months to get through all the phases.

He gave lots of amazingly helpful tips but, above all, these were the gems that I went away with that I’d like to share with you today:

  • Learn to cook – just a little
  • Use fresh ingredients
  • You don’t need to say its a DIET – say its a lifestyle change
  • change your mind set – its not really restriction
  • look for curiosity
  • make subtle shifts in perspective

Here are some very beneficial support material that Steve has to offer:
SCD Lifestyle Free Quick Start Guide
SCD Lifestyle eBook
SCD Lifestyle Meal Plans

Eating to Heal Your Gut: The SCD Diet

The SCD Diet – Improving Digestive Health Through Your Food

If you have ever had  to deal with the daily irritations and inconveniences caused by frequent or even chronic digestive issues you know its no fun. Sure, some people accept  symptoms like discomfort, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea as a fact of like, provided it doesn’t happen very often. However, many others are plagued with these symptoms on a daily basis and have to live their lives around the whims of their digestive tracts.

Can anything be done about these all-too-common problems? Many turn to medications to ease their symptoms and as an attempt to treat the underlying causes for certain diseases that lead to these problems. Medications, however, come with their own issues. Many medications for certain diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, are expensive, and those who need them often struggle to afford them. They are also often accompanied by unwanted side effects that can present a whole new level of problems. On top of all of this, the medications may simply not work for everyone, causing them to become an expensive and risky experiment with your digestive system.

Elaine Gottschall and the SCD Diet
The SCD Diet was conceived by Elaine Gottschall

SCD Diet is an Alternative to Medication

Dr. Alan R. Gaby, a trusted authority on the holistic lifestyle, recommends the SCD diet as an alternative to expensive medications. The SCD diet, or Specific Carbohydrate Diet, eliminates three types of carbohydrates from your diet that have been linked to digestive issues such as the following:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Digestive discomfort, “nervous stomach,” etc.

The SCD diet was actually developed by the late biochemist and nutritionist Elaine Gottschall. When her four year old daughter was diagnosed with incurable ulcerative colitis over forty years ago, Elaine Gottschall began the process of researching and developing the specific carbohydrate diet in order to help relieve her daughter’s symptoms and prevent the need to replace her colon with an external bag. She hypothesized that eating certain foods exacerbated the symptoms caused by many digestive disorders, and excluding these foods from the diet would relieve or eliminate the symptoms over time. The SCD diet has had decades of dedicated research and seen measurable results. Elaine Gottschall published her story and her findings on the SCD diet in early 1994 in her book, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet.”

What is the SCD Diet?

The specific carbohydrate diet exists on the idea of eliminating specific carbohydrates from your diet in order to prevent the side effects caused by the poor digestion of these carbs. The SCD diet gets rid of all grains, lactose, and sucrose from the diet. These carbohydrates are known to have the most influence on the intestinal microbes – the yeast and good bacteria – that live in your digestive system. Reducing or cutting out these carbohydrates completely will prevent the microbes from producing excess mucus in your intestines.

Foods to Avoid

The SCD diet avoids all grains, dairy products, and certain starches such as potatoes and corn. All of these more complex carbohydrates can be difficult for our bodies to digest and absorb for energy and nutrition. The undigested carbohydrates instead go on to feed the intestinal microbes found in our gut, which leads to excess byproducts formed by these microbes. These byproducts are the cause of those uncomfortable and often inconvenient symptoms such as cramping, bloating, diarrhea, etc. that can ruin our day or cause long term problems. When these foods are eliminated from the diet, the microbes do not receive the undigested carbs that allow them to overproduce, and will instead continue to function normally. People who are lactose intolerant, for example, can avoid their symptoms simply by cutting dairy products from their diet.

What to Eat on The SCD Diet

Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall the SCD Diet
Breaking the Vicious Cycle book with SCD diet information and the SCD diet recipes

Approved carbohydrates in the SCD diet include the more simply-structured carbs such as fructose, glucose, and galactose. These carbohydrates are more easily digested and do not give your intestinal microbes the chance to overproduce. Foods like fruits, yogurt, legumes, honey, and some vegetables are okay to eat and can help improve your overall digestive health.

Many who follow this diet begin to see improvements within just a few days, and much more noticeable improvements after the first few months. Most who suffered previously from diseases or common digestive complaints reported greatly reduced symptoms, and some have even cured themselves completely by sticking to the SCD diet.

Other Benefits of the SCD Diet

Although the specific carbohydrate diet is shown to have noticeable and lasting results for
many who suffer common or chronic digestive complaints, but almost anyone can enjoy benefits from reducing or eliminating these complex carbs from their daily meals. Undigested materials in your intestines cause the microbes found there to produce excess mucus, which in turn can prevent your body from absorbing many of the nutrients found in the foods you eat and lead to temporary digestive complaints such as discomfort and diarrhea. Following the SCD diet allows your body to properly absorb more of those nutrients from what you eat, improving your overall health.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle

Elaine Gottschall’s book is still widely known today as the go-to source for learning about
the specific carbohydrate diet and all of its benefits. Many people who have suffered from diseases related to the digestive system have turned to “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” as an alternative to expensive medications and treatments that showed unsatisfactory results or harsh side effects. The book includes an explanation of the SCD diet and why it works, as well as some recipes and guides for healthy eating.

With processed foods and complex carbohydrates becoming more and more common in our daily meals, digestive issues are on the rise. Following the specific carbohydrate diet is a great way to get your digestive system balanced and back on track.