For years, I am always hungry, wake up tired after sleeping 9 hours, and feel gassy and bloated along with a long list of other complaints. Honestly, I feel like I am dragging through life. My integrative doctor, found that I wasn’t absorbing my food through a culmination of tests. She diagnosed my symptoms as leaky gut. I was dumbfounded. How the heck was I going to cure my gut? You can simply plug it up like a dam. But always being tired and bloated and gassy isn’t an option anymore. So I started learning about this condition. You might have leaky gut too.
What is Leaky Gut
Bear in mind, I am not a doctor. Dr Weil explains:
“Leaky gut syndrome is not generally recognized by conventional physicians, but evidence is accumulating that it is a real condition that affects the lining of the intestines. The theory is that leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream.”
As Dr Weil further explains, leaky gut can trigger an autoimmune reaction which leads to gastrointestinal issues such as excessive gas, food sensitivities, joint pains, and skin rashes.
Dr. Robyn Chutkan, MD, FASGE Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital, Founder and Medical Director, Digestive Center for Women states that multiple food sensitivities are the hallmark of leaky gut and that this condition could cause or worsen Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), arthritis, psoriasis, eczema and asthma. Diet, chronic stress, certain medications and bacterial imbalances play a role in this condition. She explains:
“There’s still much to be learned, but diet, chronic stress, certain medications and bacterial imbalance seem to play important roles. Eating a diet high in refined sugar can lead to overgrowth of yeast species, which has been associated with leaky gut. Preservatives and chemicals in processed foods can damage the lining, and so can consumption of gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.”
Not knowing What Was Wrong with Me.
To understand how I was finally diagnosed with leaky gut is a long tortuous road. In the past, I have tried to self-remedy my symptoms. Since a teenager, I have struggled with a spastic colon alternating between constipation, a few serious bouts of diarrhea, and too much gas to talk about. Over the years, I have removed certain foods form my diet like soy protein isolate, dairy, whey, carbohydrate only meals, and now gluten.
I even went vegetarian for animal welfare purposes. I figured giving up meat couldn’t hurt and maybe I would feel better. You can’t imagine how gassy I became during my first couple of months of my vegetarian journey.
At first, I felt great but into a year I would start to fall asleep more and more after most meals. Realize, I wasn’t eating simple carbohydrates like white bread. I was eating good carbohydrates.
During that year, my doctor tested me for hypoglycemia. From my blood test, I was diagnoised reactive hypoglycemia which would cause my blood sugar to plummet after eating sugar. My lowest blood sugar was in the low fifties. This discovery was a revelation for me since falling asleep within the hour of eating or shaking after a carbohydrate meal was a common occurrence. As I got older, it was happening all the time. So, the doctor told me I had to eat protein with every carbohydrate. I tried.
But, I still didn’t feel better. I was hungry all the time even though I ate a good meal. Nuts became my best friend and the pounds started to pack on. I was tired, getting fatter, hungry and miserable.
Finally a Diagnosis
When I was diagnosed with leaky gut, I was told I had to stop eating dairy, gluten, nuts, corn and sugar for 3 months. You can’t imagine how many foods contain sugar in them–ketchup, tomato sauce, salad dressings, etc. Here is a list I compiled of products without processed sugar. (I note products that contain agave in them.)
My doctor urged me to stop being a vegetarian since it was making my hypoglycemia worse. It was a very hard decision to make. Until I got my gut in order, reluctantly I took her advice.
From a stool test, the doctor found out that not only was I not digesting my food, I had strep and other harmful bacteria in my gut that were killing all my other good bacteria. No wonder I was exhausted–a war was going on in my gut. So, I was put on a regime of supplements to kill the bad bacteria and help my digestion. After several months and stool tests, I am happy to say I am starting to win the war. My digestion is looking better and I have fewer bad bacteria.
My recent food sensitivity test showed I was highly sensitive to brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast. Oranges were also on the top of the list. So, my newest mountain is to remove foods with those ingredients in them. When I cut out these items the inflammation in my body should be reduced. Hopefully, this is the final key to a life of not being exhausted.
But First Thing First…
- Does my story sound a lot like yours?
- Are you not feeling great but not sure why?
Take the TEST to find out if you might have leaky gut and start your journey to feeling better.
I became an affiliate of this amazing program called “How to Solve Leaky Gut and Reverse Chronic Illness” by two survivors of Leaky Gut Syndrome. They worked with renown doctors to create the 10 hour long program that is easy to understand and follow.
Click on the link below to grab your spot for a FREE presentation.
Alternatively, you can sign up HERE if this topic is of interest to you.
Your health is precious. Why waste any moment feeling lousy?
Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. These are my opinions and should not be used in lieu of medical advise. Also, I am an affiliate of SCDLifestyle’ s Leaky Gut Program since I strongly believe in curing your leaky gut.