Health issues and don’t know why? Is it leaky gut?!

“all diseases begin in the gut” Is the common Naturopathic adage. This is because Naturopaths recognise the crucial role that gut health plays in our overall health and well-being. There are so many health conditions that come back to getting gut health right.

Quite simply, if your gut is unhealthy, you cannot be healthy.

In Chinese medicine, the gut is called the second brain. Modern research has verified this in that we now know that 90% of the body’s serotonin and 50% of the body’s dopamine is produced by the nerves in the gut. These important neurotransmitters regulate our mood, behaviour, appetite, sleep, and our feelings of well-being and happiness. The enteric nervous system (the nervous system within the digestive system) is extremely complex and vital to our health. A large portion of the immune system also resides in the gut. The food we eat every day provides the greatest immune challenge to our bodies. The immune cells in the gut are the ‘first line of defence’ for the body – protecting us from parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins and other harmful substances.

So what happens when things go wrong? What happens when our intestinal lining is under stress, when the intestinal immunity it compromised, and the nervous system in the gut is out of balance?

One of the major issues with gut health when things go wrong is Leaky Gut Syndrome. This occurs when the lining of the small intestine is damaged and it becomes more permeable – and all kinds of toxins, parasites, bacteria, etc. leak into the bloodstream and cause all kinds of damage to the body. This puts a significant load on the liver and immune system and affects a person’s health – it feels bad!

Causes of leaky gut can be quite varied and include stress, inflammation, poor diet and processed foods, medications (including antibiotics), excess alcohol, zinc deficiency,  yeast or bacterial overgrowth in the intestines, poor digestion, food allergies or parasitic infection.

Leaky gut, left unchecked, can lead to a number of symptoms and health issues:


Frequent indigestionBloatingBelchingFlatulence

Diarrhoea

Constipation

Nausea after supplements

Food allergies/ intolerances

IBS

Chronic fatigue

Fibromyalgia

Gastritis

Skin conditions; psoriasis, acne, hives, eczema

Autoimmune disease

Arthritis

Asthma

ADD and ADHD in children

Migraines

Depression

Anxiety

General feeling of poor health

At the core of virtually all gut issues is STRESS, whether it’s physical (such as poor foods choices, medications) and/or mental and emotional stress. Stress inhibits our digestive function and reduces the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Stomach acid is our essential barrier, helping to neutralise bad bacteria and break down our food before it reaches the small intestine. Inappropriate foods, partially digested foods and bad bacteria can then damage the lining of the gut and contribute to leaky gut.

One of the most significant issues that occurs with leaky gut is nutritional deficiency. This occurs on two fronts. Firstly, an inflamed, leaky gut simply does not absorb nutrients effectively. Additionally, the load on the liver and immune system in clearing the foreign particles from the blood greatly taxes the body’s nutritional resources. A person can then get into a vicious cycle of deficiency, and their associated health issues then worsen the longer they are left unchecked.

So what can we do to help you?

Urinary indicans testing – this is a key Naturopathic test for leaky gut. It is an accurate test that picks up the by-products of harmful bacteria in the intestines that occur in the urine. As this provides a benchmark for the treatment process and helps to identify the extent of overgrowth in the gut (aka dysbiosis).

Live blood analysis – this provides a ‘here and now’ look at your blood. By checking the quality, viscosity, immune cells and other particles in blood, we gain an understanding of the degree of inflammation, immune stress, oxidative stress and leaky gut that is happening in the body. Indicators of yeast overgrowth and parasites can also be seen in Live Blood.

Naturopathic assessment – dietary assessment and guidance is essential to help repair the gut. Identifying any other factors such as stress, toxicity, food habits, and others is also needed.  Your Naturopath will be your guide and support throughout the treatment process.

Gut cleansing and healing – At New Leaf we use high quality products specific for healing and soothing an inflamed and leaky gut. This is a core element of the treatment process. Metagenics G-Tox powder and UltraInflammX powder are two favourites with powerful anti-inflammatory and gut healing nutrients. Antimicrobial agents, Probiotics, digestive enzymes and other gut support are also used, depending on the individual case.

Kinesiology – Kinesiology can do a vast amount in supporting healing in any area of the body. Through kinesiology testing, specific organs can be identified as over or under working, toxic, or inflamed. Treatment with supplements can then be more targeted once we know what exactly is happening in the body. Kinesiology testing also helps to identify what enzymes may be deficient  within the digestive system and help support the vitality of the organs in order to correct this. Immune boosting protocols are also used to support healing. Additionally, Kinesiology helps to treat a key area at the cause of leaky gut – stress. When we are stressed, the physical reaction in the body lasts up to 16 hours afterwards – wreaking havoc on our organs, immune and nervous systems

Chi Nei Tsang – this is a deeply healing treatment for the digestive organs. By massaging directly on the abdomen, we promote blood supply, detoxification, better organ function, and emotional stress release.

A whole food diet – what we eat feeds our cells. We cannot heal if we don’t provide the body with the nutrients it needs to heal. Similarly, processed, devitalised foods weaken digestive function, damage the gut and cause further inflammation. Suspected food intolerances should be identified and avoided. A health promoting diet that is low in sugars, grains, and starchy foods is essential to prevent any further fermentation by unfriendly bacteria and further damage to the gut.

 

**Kinesiology testing can help to identify food intolerances.**

Foods to eat would include an abundance of non-starchy vegetables, high quality proteins, healthy fats and low sugar fruits.   

 Drinking 6-8 glasses of clear fluid (water, herbal tea) daily is also essential.

Call 33486098 today for an appointment!

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