If you’ve been following this series, you’ve learned about the massively understated role our small intestine plays in disease prevention and well being. The fact of the matter is, we need to step up and OWN our health by paying attention to the warning signs our bodies give us, instead of focusing so much on how to suppress our symptoms. This is it, folks, the key to a long, healthy life: Non-communicable diseases are prevented by YOU, first and foremost.
I keep posting blog after blog in hopes of educating everyone as best as I can with the limited time I have, but it could all be summed up by one long sentence. Eat clean, chemical-free food, not too much, seeking unprocessed, consciously produced complete proteins and whole foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains (if your body agrees), herbs, spices, and lots of water, while limiting exposure to medications, alcohol, caffeine, free sugars, and stress as much as practically possible.
If you would like more specifics, read on.
Regardless of whether you are a strict vegan, or a paleo enthusiast, you have to start paying attention to how you feel, and be willing to spend a few introspective moments a week looking at how you can tweak things to work just a little bit better than the week before.
If you are tired of being sick and tired, you have a few options. You can experiment with what you ingest/make an effort to manage stress and be on the lookout for differences in the way you feel, or talk with a provider about the antigenic permeability screen, among other tests, to confirm or deny gut damage or inflammation, or you can drown your body signals in pharmaceutical preparations and cross your fingers.
The following sub-par article is one example of how some in the medical community are significantly behind the times on this issue. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/leaky-gut-syndrome?page=2
Sadly, your doctor might still be in the dark on intestinal permeability and its consequences. Sharing with them your education on this issue can help you gauge where they are at. If they do not know hwat you are talking about, or scoff and write it off immediately, it may be in your best interest to seek other practitioners.
Start Healing Now
GREAT NEWS! Our intestinal epithelial cells continually renew themselves. This is why a food allergy, or chronic symptom, can be resolved at this critical point. Once the barrier has regained integrity and is maintained properly, the particles that caused the reaction are no longer exposed to their antigens, and inflammation can subside. As complex as we can make medicine sometimes, we only need to know the basics to benefit. Sometimes, we just need to get out of the way and let healing happen.
“Common causes of gut damage include antibiotics, alcohol, caffeine, parasites, bacteria, some food preservatives and additives, and allergic states (e.g., gluten sensitivity and lactose intolerance, corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, refined carbohydrates, oral contraceptives, and fungi). Chronic inflammation from these sources damages the protective coat of immunoglobulin (antibody) A, which interferes with the body’s normal ability to inhibit these substances. The resulting toxins then interfere with the liver’s ability to detoxify them” (MLO, 2007).
You may have already guessed what step 1 to healing the gut is. That’s right… STOP HURTING IT!
Remember, in part one, where I said “Balance means providing all of the necessary elements to optimize the system and removing interfering elements”? No one expects you to never take Ibuprofen again, or eat nothing but 100% organic foods the rest of your life. Just being aware of the basics will help you make better decisions many times a week, and this will quickly add up to serious benefits.
By default, if you are avoiding processed foods, then you are also eating more whole foods, with higher fiber, more nutrients, and generally less sodium and sugar (unless you add a lot in cooking).
“Substances that promote healing include high-fiber foods rich in antioxidants, such as cabbage, cauliflower, beets, and onions; omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and flaxseed, multi-mineral supplements and digestive enzymes such as bromelain and pancreatin” (MLO, 2007).
Chinese herbal medicine, used for centuries, has actually been studied for the treatment of IBS with significant results. In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study of a 20 herb formula developed by a Chinese medicine practitioner, the individualized treatment group showed 75% improvement after 6 months, the group receiving a standardized formula, 63%, and the placebo group, only 32% (Kiefer & Ali-Akbarian, 2004).
Fermented products such as kefir, kim-chi, and yogurt, as well as oral supplementation with probiotics and digestive enzymes help restore intestinal permeability. Probiotics, including Lactobaciilus acidophiius, Propionibacterium freudenreichii shermanii, and Bifidobacterium bifidum, maintain good bacteria in the small intestine. These macrophages aid in the breakdown of food particles and other bacteria and toxins considerably. Digestive enzymes, also made in the body, can be supplemented to boost the speed of the breakdown of food into molecules of manageable size.
For more details about the microbiome, refer to my previous blog post Gut Instincts: You’re Not Only Feeding Yourself
To truly adhere to the Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm”, we must accept that focusing on treating symptoms, rather than causes, often goes against this oath. With healthcare costs skyrocketing, and disease statistics rising, we need to prove once and for all that our convenience based consumption market needs considerable reform. Easier said than done, indeed! Regardless, the time for educating the public at large about the importance of maintaining gut health is now.
(Healing the intestinal epithelial cell membrane requires full adherence. A “baby-steps” approach is always recommended for quitting the bad, and introducing the good. This paper is not intended to imply any guarantee of cure or to override the reader’s primary care physician.)
NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) List
|Aspirin||Anacin, Ascriptin, Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin, Excedrin|
|Choline and magnesium salicylates||CMT,Tricosal, Trilisate|
|Diclofenac sodium||Voltaren, Voltaren XR|
|Diclofenac sodium with misoprostol||Arthrotec|
|Etodolac||Lodine, Lodine XL|
|Ibuprofen||Advil, Motrin, Motrin IB, Nuprin|
|Indomethacin||Indocin, Indocin SR|
|Ketoprofen||Actron,Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail|
|Magnesium salicylate||Arthritab, Bayer Select, Doan’s Pills, Magan, Mobidin, Mobogesic|
|Naproxen sodium||Aleve, Anaprox|
|Salsalate||Amigesic, Anaflex 750, Disalcid, Marthritic, Mono-Gesic, Salflex, Salsitab|
|Sodium salicylate||various generics|
Kiefer, D., & Ali-Akbarian, L. (2004). A brief evidence-based review of two gastrointestinal illnesses: irritable bowel and leaky gut syndromes. Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine, 10(3), 22.
Leaky gut syndrome. (2007). MLO: Medical Laboratory Observer, 39(5), 17.
Mellowship, D. (2006). Leaky Gut Syndrome — a modern digestive disorder. Positive Health, (122), 30-32.
Vojdani, A. (2013). For the Assessment of Intestinal Permeability, Size Matters. Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine, 19(1), 12-24.
About Chef Brandon
Chef Brandon Schlunt is co-owner of HealthSavor, a Cincinnati Ohio based healthy, organic, gluten-free meal delivery service, created to help busy families, individuals and children eat nutritious meals easily and affordably. Chef Brandon focuses on helping his customers lose weight, lower their blood sugar and feels very honored to have earned the trust of many doctors, students, parents, athletes, and on-the-go businessmen and women all over the city. In his non-existent spare time, Chef B enjoys music, hanging out with his daughter and fiance, and continuing his education in biochemistry, immunology, and nutrition.Join The HealthSavor Newsletter Here ORDER TODAY!