an Alternative to Natural Health
Nature's Sunshine Products
Have Your Intestines Sprung a Leak?
Leaky gut syndrome is a hidden factor for many health problems ...
Have you ever ...
You may have intestinal inflammation
and leaky gut syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal membranes have lost structural integrity. This causes them to become excessively porous, which allows toxic material and large molecules of unprocessed foodstuffs to pass into the body. Numerous physical and "mental" health problems have been linked with this leakage in the intestines, including ADHD, autism, depression, allergies, asthma and skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. Leaky gut syndrome may be a factor in autoimmune diseases like arthritis, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut starts with intestinal inflammation. A number of drugs are known to contribute to intestinal inflammation, including antibiotics, corticosteroids (Prednisone, etc.), NSAIDS (ibuprofen, indomethacin, etc.), aspirin and birth control pills. Infections from yeast, parasites and bacteria like Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) can cause intestinal inflammation and leaky gut.
Dietary factors like alcohol and caffeine contribute to intestinal inflammation, as do many chemical additives in fermented and processed food (dyes, preservatives, peroxidized fats, etc). Enzyme deficiencies and a high carbohydrate diet are culprits as well.
What Happens When the Intestines “Leak"?
The intestines do not absorb nutrients correctly when they are inflamed, which can cause fatigue and bloating. When large, undigested food particles are absorbed because of the excessive porousness in the membranes, this contributes to allergic and autoimmune responses like asthma, hay fever, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
The inflammation damages carrier proteins that help nutrients to be assimilated. This can cause nutritional deficiencies. Leaking toxins burden the liver and immune system. The damaged intestinal membranes allow bacteria, viruses and yeast to pass more readily into the system to damage other organs and systems.
Natural Approaches to Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome
Many people in natural health think that colon cleansing will solve all colon problems, but solving the problem of leaky gut isn't the same as doing a colon cleanse. A cleanse is focused on detoxifying the colon, while solving leaky gut is primarily about reducing inflammation and promoting tissue healing and repair.
There are some similarities between colon cleansing therapies and natural therapies for leaky gut, but there are some important differences. Here are seven steps you can take to reduce intestinal inflammation, promote healing and stop intestinal leakage.
Health Problems Associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome
|Abdominal discomfort |
Inflammatory bowel disease
|Irritable bowel syndrome |
|Autoimmune diseases |
Chronic fatigue syndrome
1. Avoid Intestinal Irritants
To get rid of intestinal inflammation, you need to stop consuming substances that irritate and damage the intestinal membranes. You need to avoid foods with food additives and food allergens (wheat, corn and dairy products the most common culprits). Diets high in refined sugars and simple carbohydrates (bread and pasta) will contribute to intestinal inflammation.
You should exercise caution with drugs that may damage the intestinal membranes, including NSAIDs, antibiotics, corticosteroids and birth control pills, using them only when absolutely necessary. Drinking purified water will help, as chlorine and other chemicals in water can contribute to intestinal inflammation.
2. Bind Irritants and Toxins with Fiber
Fiber is your intestinal security guards. Fiber can protect your colon from toxic or irritating substances you are unable to avoid. It binds these substances, reducing intestinal inflammation and soothes and "cools" existing irritation.
Fiber feeds the friendly bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract. (These bacteria help protect the colon from toxins.) Fiber increases colon transit time, holds moisture in the colon to encourage proper elimination and absorbs materials released from the liver through the bile (like excess cholesterol) to clear them out of the body.
The best way is to eat more fibrous foods (whole grains, legumes, leafy green vegetables, whole fruits, etc.). Take a fiber supplements like Psyllium Hulls Combination or Nature's Three. With irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other severe inflammatory conditions, the best fiber is Everybody's Fiber or just straight bulk Slippery Elm because it is very gentle and healing. Always drink plenty of water when taking any fiber supplement.
3. Improve Colon Transit Time
Colon transit time is the length of time it takes for material to travel from one end of the alimentary canal to the other. In a healthy colon, this should be about 18-24 hours. To test your own colon transit time, eat a food that "dyes" the stool (like beets) and see how long it takes for the color to show up in the stool and be eliminated. If it takes more than a day, then you have a sluggish colon transit time.
Drinking plenty of water (1/2 oz per pound of body weight) and taking dietary fiber will usually improve colon transit time. Bitter herbs can help because they stimulate digestive secretions and increase the flow of bile. Digestive Bitters, Enviro-Detox or All Cell Detox are good for speeding up a sluggish colon transit time.
Digestive enzymes Proactazyme or Small Intestine Detox can help break down food more efficiently and move it through the system more rapidly. If you find yourself a little constipated, just taking two Proactazyme every two hours with plenty of water will usually fix the problem in short order.
For most people, a bowel stimulant is needed, like LBS II or Cascara Sagrada for a sluggish bowel. If a person finds it difficult to have a bowel movement without stimulant laxatives, high doses of Vitamin C (3-4,000 mg) and Magnesium Complex will usually get the bowel working on its own again.
4. Eliminate Harmful Organisms
Yeast, bacteria and parasites can all contribute to intestinal inflammation. Yeast secretes a toxin that damages the intestinal lining and increases membrane permeability. Our colon is populated by friendly bacteria (the friendly flora or probiotics) that inhibit the growth of yeast and other harmful microbes. Antibiotics, chlorinated water, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), birth control pills and other medications can damage the friendly flora, resulting in overgrowth of yeast and other microbes.
Yeast/Fungal Detox is a great formula for helping to knock down yeast overgrowth so the friendly flora can be restored. It is helpful to use Caprylic Acid Combo since the medium chain essential fatty acids help the immune system fight yeast infections.
Another good combination for removing harmful microbes from the digestive tract is Una de Gato Combination. Una de gato is both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory and reduces intestinal permeability.
H. pylori is a bacteria associated with ulcers and intestinal inflammation. Gastro Health is an herbal formula that helps knocks down H. pylori and other bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract.
Allicin, a compound formed when raw garlic is crushed, is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic, making it one of the best single remedies for eliminating harmful organisms in the intestines. High Potency Garlic contains stabilized allicin, the same amount you would find in four cloves of crushed, raw garlic.
Parasites are a more common problem than most people think. People can easily pick up parasites from pets, contaminated food, water or foreign travel, which contribute to intestinal inflammation and leaky gut. A periodic parasite cleanse using the Para Cleanse can help eliminate these unfriendly organisms. Black Walnut ATC and High Potency Garlic are helpful.
5. Reduce Intestinal Inflammation
The focus so far has been on helping to "clean out" the intestines. It's important to reduce the intestinal inflammation to promote tissue regeneration and repair. For problems like colitis, irritable bowel or Crohn's disease, Intestinal Soothe and Build has proven to reduce inflammation and promoting healing.
A great product that can help reduce inflammation in the intestinal lining (and everywhere else in the body) is Thai-Go. This beverage has antioxidant fruits and berries, including mangosteen, which contains xanthones, powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. For serious inflammation you may use IF Relief.
6. Plug the “Leaks”
Intestinal Soothe and Build a good formula for promoting healing to the intestinal membranes and reducing gut leakage. Una de Gato Combination is helpful here too.
St. John's Wort aids the nerves that regulate the digestive process.
The amino acid glutamine is a major nutrient that intestinal cells need for maintenance and repair. It reinforces this first line of the immune system. Taking L-Glutamine can aid the gut in protecting against viral, bacterial and food antigen invaders.
7. Repopulate the Colon with Friendly Bacteria (Probiotics)
The friendly flora that inhabit the digestive tract are known as probiotics because they have a beneficial effect on health. Probiotics protect intestines from infection by harmful bacteria and yeast. They assist with the break down of food and provide nutrients to the intestinal membranes and help neutralize toxins in the digestive tact.
The best way to repopulate the colon with friendly bacteria is to take a probiotic supplement like Bifidophilus Flora Force or Probiotic Eleven especially after a round of antibiotics and can be especially helpful in knocking down yeast to prepare the way for other beneficial bacteria.
People are often amazed at how many health problems disappear (and how much better their overall health and energy is) when they heal their intestinal tract by reducing inflammation and putting a halt to gut leakage.