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How to Deal with Leaky Gut Syndrome

The evidence that is slowly emerging suggests that if people avoid the foods to which they are intolerant for three months then the symptoms will be improved in seven out of ten people. If they then reintroduce these foods the symptoms will come back if they had gone away or worsen if they are still present. The medical allergy specialists regard this as the acid test of food intolerance. This suggests that the leaky gut has not had enough time to recover. If however the foods are avoided for at least eighteen months there are indicators that the foods can be reintroduced without any recurrence of the IBS. This would fit with the theory that daily exposure to the problem foods (principally milk, yeast and egg white) hinders healing but that given a reasonable length of time the healing is completed and these foods are now no longer a problem. In view of the part played by inherited factors there is likely to be a lifelong tendency towards difficulty with the primary culprit.

This substance is likely to be nonhuman milk and it is probably the primary cause of leaky gut syndrome. After the initial damage is caused, egg white and yeast can get through the bowel wall and after them almost any food or food constituent may follow to cause intolerance to that particular food. The effects seem to be dose related, so that the symptoms will be worse after taking cheese, biscuits and coffee together rather than just taking a milky coffee. A rational regime would be to exclude milk and milk products rigidly for eighteen months and then reintroduce them slowly, one at a time and starting with small quantities. If IBS recurs then any recently reintroduced food should be immediately stopped again for a further year. This is initially a difficult problem as milk appears in different guises, such as cheese, cream, butter, yoghurt, whey powder, casein, caseinates and so on, but you will soon get to know the common packaging and labelling and their notice of the constituents of the foods in them and so whether you need to avoid that particular product. Lactose is a sugar and is not involved in the leaky gut syndrome. It does not therefore cause attacks of IBS and in that context is safe to eat. There are many substitutes for cows' milk, examples being rice milk and soya milk but these themselves may induce food intolerances in the presence of a should avoid introducing milk substitutes to overcome the problem. The remainder of the troublesome three (yeast and egg white) probably need not to be excluded for so long. It seems that one year should be sufficient. You may well be able to be less rigid about excluding these as long as the milk exclusion is complete. It is probably a good idea to try reintroducing these slowly and keeping off them for a longer time if symptoms recur. The troublesome three and the nuts are found in many foods and again the labelling should be consulted.

Remember that it is yeast that produces the alcohol in drinks and that there are likely to be yeast residues in beer, with less in wine and spirits.

However life is to be lived and you must prioritise the foods that you exclude.

I have to say that as a successful user of my technique I drew the line at excluding wine although I did avoid real ale for the duration! I am now enjoying cheese again so there is light at the end of the tunnel for IBS sufferers who adopt this technique. The commonest place to find yeast, and eggs is in the bakery, and bread and cakes of all sorts should be avoided unless you are certain that they are yeast and egg free. Again this is getting onerous and it is worth pointing out that this should only be necessary for a short while and that these foods may well be able to be introduced later. It is interesting to note that almond and cashew appear in the top six foods involved in food intolerance and there may be both classical allergy and food intolerance to one food at the same time in susceptible people. Because of the potential fatal dangers of classical allergy in this mix of problems cashew and almond should be excluded with the other three foods for at least 6 months. Furthermore, if you think that you have a classical allergy to any food you must discuss this with your GP giving as good an idea as possible what the offending foods are. Classical allergy is easily proved by a simple blood 28 test as long as the laboratory selects the correct foods to test. It is up to you to provide that information as accurately as you can.

Food Intolerance Blood Tests

Either of the IgG ELISA or leukocyte cytotoxic type have their place and indeed can pinpoint exactly what foods need to be avoided. There is no evidence that excluding all the foods that show up on these tests is more effective than excluding the troublesome three with such a plan as I have suggested above and it is probably worth saving that approach for consideration if this whole holistic regime is ineffective.

There are other tests for food intolerance that are scientifically unproven and until there is some evidence that they can truly identify food intolerances they cannot be considered as a sensible alternative to this plan.

What Helps, What Doesn't

Leaky gut is made worse by alcohol, and non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs and these should be avoided or used in moderation. You can buy Ibuprofen (a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) over the counter from your chemist. Others are prescription drugs and it is important to check with your doctor or pharmacist whether anything taken regularly can cause intestine or stomach problems or will react badly with anything else that you might be taking.The occasional use of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in irritable bowel syndrome during an attack is not likely to hold up the leaky gut healing process too much and it can be very helpful in relieving the abdominal pain.

In a Nutshell!

  • Strictly exclude milk and milk products for eighteen months
  • Exclude egg white, yeast for 1 year
  • Exclude almonds and cashew nuts for six months
  • Avoid non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs
  • Drink alcohol in moderation

Index What is IBS? Leaky Gut Syndrome Stress and Heredity Herbal Remedies in IBS The FISH Regime in One Place


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