by Gloria Gilbère, N.D., D.A.Hom., PhD.
What exactly is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is a clinical disorder associated with increased intestinal permeability (leakage through the intestinal walls).
"Disease enters and leaves man as through a door," wrote French philosopher Georges Canguilhem more than half a century ago - illustrating the notion that still exists today that disease is a distinct "thing" that exists apart from the human body.
Sadly, this same view prevails today towards the millions afflicted with the invisible disorders stemming from digestive disorders and chemical exposures.
While our ancestors attributed their maladies of unknown origin to demonic possession (evil spirits), we now openly discuss disease-generating microorganisms and their consequences. With multiple allergic response syndromes (MARS®) and environmental illness (EI), a not so different opinion has emerged among conventional physicians, families, insurance companies and employers - an opinion that those suffering the symptoms of MARS have some sadistic demon that brings on these "invisible" symptoms, therefore, the illnesses cannot demand recognition in a conventional medical world that must have double-blind studies, an "official" clinical name, and a drug for it's symptoms before validating its existence. The generalizations and varied symptomology makes for a confused patient and healthcare provider.
After many years of working with clients that were labeled victims of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and Environmental Illness (EI), terms I never felt accurately portrayed the syndromes; I coined a phrase to name these invisible illnesses as Multiple Allergic Response Syndromes (MARS®).
The first term implies reactions to only chemical substances – not validating that allergic responses can occur to anything, even to the body itself. In addition, MARS describes the feelings of an individual who develops multiple reactions that defy conventional diagnosis and are equally not validated by loved one and society in general; they feel like they’re from another plant…I know, I’ve been to MARS and returned to earth healthier as a result of my journey.
With MARS, a very different opinion is finally emerging - that disease is not a separate entity, but a changed state of the organism, a disturbance of the natural equilibrium or harmony of the body systems. This is not a novel new idea. Since the time of Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, various remedies were prescribed to restore the body's natural balance. Although these two views of disease appear to be incompatible, both are valuable in understanding how to reverse MARS. What is equally important to note is that the insight of the past decade declares that all diseases are both genetic and environmental.
Most individuals that acquire MARS are looked upon as chronic expostulates (complainers) – according to most conventional physicians, their condition is nothing a prescription for an anti-depressant medication can’t cure. The few physicians and healthcare practitioners specializing in environmental medicine mostly deal with the patients' symptom-care, neutralization medications and environmental modifications. What is grossly overlooked is the importance of detoxifying the internal organs of the liver, intestines (large and small) and the lymph system of toxic substances.
Equally important is the purging of often-repressed emotions of pain, grief, anger and unresolved traumas – to reduce the overall toxic load of the individual because stress equates to toxins created within the body at a time when the body’s burden has already reached it capacity.
Only when detoxification of these organs and emotional traumas are addressed and resolved can there be true lasting reversal of symptoms and a return to the natural equilibrium of the body systems. As expressed by the late Dr. Hazel Parcells, "cleanse the body and mind, give it the right building materials and nature will heal and rebuild."
Reversal of the disorders associated with the resulting maladies of leaky gut syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), psoriasis, lupus, and chemically induced immune system disorders is accomplished by repairing damage to the small intestine and reducing the overall toxic load of the large intestine. The colon, approximately five feet in length in the average adult, is a virtual breeding ground for toxic substances to which the body is subjected. The digestive system, which includes the small and large intestines, is a direct connection to all allergies, not just food allergies. Proper digestion assists the body in clearing out toxins. When digestion becomes impaired, or in leaky gut syndrome where toxins are distributed into the blood, the body loses its ability to dispose of foreign substances and the immune system become overwhelmed and reactive.
Attention has been focused on the small intestine and the connection to MARS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, especially as it relates to the disorder of leaky gut, clinically known as intestinal permeability. This is where the villi (brush borders) of the small intestine are weakened and allow toxic material and food particles to permeate and enter the bloodstream. What is not often discussed is the leaking of toxic matter from the walls of the large intestine (colon). Celebrities will go on national television and allow the country to view a colonoscopy being performed on them, for the sake of early detection and education; politicians do television commercials discussing the latest drug for erectile dysfunction (ED), and we now openly discuss breast and prostate cancer, safe sex and menopause. However, our colon is a subject most are not comfortable discussing. The colon is intimately connected through an elaborate system of veins and venules into the liver, through a portal venous system, and the lymphatic system through the cisterna chyli. The more appropriate name for leaky gut syndrome would be auto-intoxication.
Leaky gut is the process by which the body literally poisons itself by maintaining a cesspool of decaying toxic matter in the colon. There are trillions of cells associated with the human body - 90% are bacteria and micro-flora microorganisms living in the large intestine. According to the late nutrition expert, Dr. Bernard Jensen, "Bacteria in our intestinal tract weigh nearly 3 ½ pounds, and are metabolically active." The toxins released by the decay process circulate into the bloodstream and travel to all parts of the body. Every cell is affected, and because the toxins weaken the entire system, autointoxication and many forms of "incurable and diagnose defying" diseases get their start in the colon. Still another source of intestinal poisons is putrefaction of the portion of the proteins from food that fail to undergo absorption as a result of an enzyme deficiency.
Intestinal poisoning not manifesting immediate visible effects present themselves in invisible disorders such as MARS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, lupus, arthritis, and gulf war syndrome to mention a few. Eventually the chemicals produced by putrefaction are so poisonous they irritate the delicate lining of the large intestine and destroy the protective barrier keeping out the invading toxins. Damage from the chemical toxins is so destructive the colon walls become leaky and allow penetration through the damaged barrier into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, especially through the hepatic portal vein directly into the liver.
The lymph nodes acting as filtering stations, detect foreign and potentially harmful substances in the lymph fluid. The lymph nodes act like spongy filter sacks, and are part of the lymph system. Lymph fluid in an adult equals one to two quarts, and accounts for 1% to 3% of total body weight. This is basically the body's secondary circulation system, and thus toxic substances are circulated throughout the system directly through the lymph ducts and nodes connected to the small and large intestines. Lymph vessels are located throughout the body and are more numerous than blood vessels. The lymphatic system, four times larger than the blood circulatory system, provides the means for each individual cell to get rid of waste. Lymph handles only cell wastes; however, when the blood is also dumping waste toxins from the intestinal tract into the lymph system via the liver, the lymph becomes overworked and its filtering/neutralizing function is dramatically decreased. This buildup of toxic lymph fluid is what contributes to the inflammation and pain in the soft and connective tissue disorders as in fibromyalgia and Myofascial pain syndromes.
When the body becomes overwhelmed with toxins it can't handle, it becomes a raging fire on a path of self-destruction. The body then views any additional chemical exposures (prescription and over-the-counter drugs, environmental exposures, mold, etc.) as enemies, and thus the birth of allergic reactions.
This is not to imply that chemical allergens are not the smoking gun of allergic reaction, only that in order to reverse their effects once the trigger is pulled and the would is inflicted, the body's detoxification pathways must be cleansed and supported for the repair process to proceed.
Colon hydrotherapy, along with specialized blends of herbal colon cleansing products, is the best way to detoxify accumulated toxic colonic plaque and facilitate the repair of the immune system. Properly administered, colon hydrotherapy is not addictive but therapeutic; it encourages the restoration of the colon's natural function by strengthening peristalsis. With colon hydrotherapy, the entire large intestine is cleansed and the therapeutic benefits are much greater than those achieved with an enema. Enema cleansing is effective in the rectum area and, due to the body's natural desire to expel, is limited in duration. During a typical colon hydrotherapy session, approximately 25 to 35 gallons of water are transported into and out of the colon. Just one professional therapy session could equal 20 or 30 regular bowel movements - it's no wonder the body becomes reactive to everything!
This system of cleansing must be monitored by a health care professional and continued for a significant amount of time, until the body can repair and the overall toxic load is significantly reduced so the individual becomes less reactive.
Aiming for the exact cause of MARS is like "shooting rubber bands at the moon." The causes are many - a single toxic exposure (mold, pesticides, insecticides, prescription medications etc.) accumulated exposures (toxic dental restorations, repeated use of antibiotics, long-term use of food preservatives and additives, new building syndrome, chronic constipation etc.), health-depleting dietary habits (processed foods, diet high in simple carbohydrates and sugars, excessive drinking, diet low in fiber etc.).
1. Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is a condition of autointoxication.
2. Multiple Allergic Response Syndrome (MARS) is a condition where an individual becomes highly allergic to substances that were not previously reactive - a result of the overall toxic load exceeding the body's ability to neutralize.
3. The large intestine (colon) must be cleansed of toxic matter before the repair process can begin.
4. The small intestine must be supported with nutrients such as L-Glutamine to assist in repairing damaged mucosal lining. This can be accomplished by using a functional food (formerly called medical food) which will additionally support phase one and two of liver detoxification. This is especially helpful for those who have a limited diet due to being overly reactive.
5. The lymph system must be gently stimulated in order to avoid blockage due to cellular debris. 6. Environmental modifications must be made to address anything that is adding to the overall toxic load (cleaning chemicals, mole, personal care products, laundry products, floor coverings and furniture etc.).
About the Author:
Gloria Gilbère is a traditional naturopath, homeopath, a doctor of natural health, and renowned for her Wholistic Skin and Body Rejuvenation (WSBR®) programs. She is director of Global Integrated Health & Research located in Sandpoint, Idaho, USA. She maintains a global clientele via telephone and at her office in Idaho. As a recovered victim of leaky gut syndrome, multiple allergic response syndrome, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, she understands what it takes to recover from these invisible disorders.
Dr. G is internationally respected as an authoritative influence in the discovery of the causes, effects and drug-free solutions or leaky gut syndrome and chemically induced immune system disorders. She has authored over 400 articles, many of which can be viewed on her website at www.gloriagilbere.com
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