I’ve spoken to you all about the numerous stomach and digestive issues that I have had for years now, giving me all sorts of stomach problems and the issues I have had with my health in general, like living with M.E that I was diagnosed with when I was 14. I’ve never really had an answer to all my problems. The symptoms I have suffered over the years have gotten worse and worse, to the point now that I can’t eat most foods, I suffer if I do, and my skin is just looking terrible and I’m constantly tired.
After I found out about my food intolerance’s and the impact they are now having on my digestive system, because I was extremely intolerant to yeast, I thought I would finally test and see if I had Leaky Gut Syndrome (medically known as intestinal permeability) and see if I had a yeast overgrowth. I spoke with Verisana which is a lab in Germany, to see about doing a test (I wont go into the details as it’s a stool sample and nobody needs to know about that). I sent it off and within 2 weeks after it was cultured, I got my results to see my bacteria levels and gut flora, along with what issues might be going on.
I found out that the PH level of my digestive system is very alkaline, but I believe that’s to do with the antacid I have to take every morning because of the gastritis. I then found out that my levels of ecoli are extremely high when they shouldn’t be, which causes me a lot of gas and bloating even when the food isn’t. It’s not great having such high levels of bad bacteria like that. The worst part that I found out about was the extremely low amount of Secretory IgA in the gut mucosal immunology which means I have a very low, if not non existent, amount of mucus lining in my digestive system. It’s an immune protein that coats the intestinal lining, especially the mucosal surfaces and is supposed to protect us from the inside. It represents the first line of defense in the GI. Such low levels of this indicated that I have Leaky Gut Syndrome so my protection against undigested food and protein is minimal, meaning that food particles and toxins are leaking through small holes in my intestines and into my blood stream.
When I found out about this, my first reaction was to wonder if it was caused by a yeast overgrowth, but my candida levels are normal, so it wasn’t. There are many reasons why I have developed Leaky Gut Syndrome and since it started when I was about 13, I would say that a high amount of stress and a very poor diet when I was younger has contributed hugely to it. Chronic stress always damages the insides and I’ve been on a lot of antibiotics and medication since I was born, which also damaged my insides.
I was really shocked to think that I have small holes in my intestines and what I eat is leaking into my bloodstream which causes my body to inflame and go on attack mode, causing antibodies to things. I did often wonder if I had an autoimmune disorder,and this is very similar. This is the reason I have food intolerance’s that I never used to have, my body has made antibodies to it. It’s the reason I am always so tired as it’s constantly fighting off what it thinks is foreign toxins. It’s the reason I have really bad acne (I use Photoshop) because the toxins are coming out of my skin. It’s the reason I constantly have cystitis because the toxins are leaking into my bladder. It’s the reason I have nerve pain and inflamed skin a lot of the time which causes so much pain. It’s the reason for everything it would seem.
I am finally happy to have the answer to my problems, but it’s so daunting at the same time. The worst part is that Leaky Gut Syndrome isn’t a part of the NHS healthcare here so finding a practitioner who specialises in it has been very difficult. There’s a few in London, but I haven’t yet found any near me in Bath. If any of you do know of someone who deals with it in the South West, Bath area, please do let me know! I’ve taken to researching so much of it online and I’ve already started the supplements L-Glutamine, some strong Pro-Biotics, a Digestive Enzyme, and a few other things as they are all designed to repair and heal the digestive system from the inside out, but it’s going to take a very long time to repair because I’ve been sick for so long. I’m quite upset and disappointed that nobody told me about this before (doctors don’t have a clue about it) because it could have saved me years and years of mild torture. But I guess I was supposed to go down this path in order to reach the end goal. I just hope that I will get better, finally.
I spoke to two specialists at Verisana lab in Germany (Panras Ohanian and Sabine Bönecker) about the benefits of gut testing as well, which I have put in an interview just below for you so you can find out more about it all. They are just a lab that do the test though and don’t offer aftercare, so like I mentioned above, if you or anyone you know deals with it, please tell me. Have any of you suffered with Leaky Gut Syndrome? I know I have probably played my symptoms down dramatically though as I didn’t want to go into all of them, but if you do some research online about it, I literally had every single symptom, including the weight gain which I can’t shift no matter what. But anyway, check out the interview below. Lorna xx.
Lorna: How important is the glut flora to our overall health?
The gut flora is incredibly important to our overall health. Ultimately, 80% of the immune cells are located in the gut. In addition, the gut is an excretory organ (as well as our kidneys and skin), which ensures that all toxins are excreted from the body.
What impact can it have on our lives if our levels are imbalanced?
An imbalanced gut flora causes bad digestion. Imagine you eat normally, but are not using the toilet for five days. All of those poisons remain in your body. If digestion is interrupted for a long time, it can even lead to intestinal ulcers in extreme cases.
In addition, as already mentioned, the gut is a discharge organ. If the gut mucosa is damaged and the discharge through the gut is not working properly, the body is looking for another organ to get rid of the toxins, which is often the skin. This often manifests itself in the form of acne.
Leaky gut is something not many people know about, but it seems to be a big factor in health. Could you tell my readers more about leaky gut and what it does?
Different factors can cause a change of the gut flora and gut mucosa so that they become more permeable. This is what is called “leaky gut” (the “permeable gut”). When your gut mucosa is permeable, not only nutrients, but also toxins and metabolic products are able to penetrate through the damaged gut mucosa directly into the organism, where they can cause a variety of disorders: food intolerances and allergies, bloating, immunodeficiency, skin problems (especially around the mouth) and deficiencies, because nutrients are not absorbed correctly, so that deficiency symptoms can occur etc.
As my leaky gut syndrome is not caused by an overgrowth of yeast like most can be, what are the other causes?
It is difficult to identify a single cause. Most likely there are several factors that interact and lead to the syndrome. In general, everything that irritates or even destroys the gut mucosa can cause a leaky gut. That might be antibiotics or cortisone intake, pathogens, e.g. Fungi and viruses, an unbalanced diet (too much sugar, white carbohydrates, soft drinks), chemotherapy or heavy metals.
What other things do you test for at Verisana?
Verisana is a naturopathic laboratory specialized in the diagnosis of hormonal disorders, metabolic disorders and other holistic health problems. Therefore, Verisana offers for example hormonal saliva tests and gastrointestinal tests. All tests can be easily and conveniently taken from home.
Can almost all health complaints be related to the gut and an imbalance?
It’s difficult to generalize, but we know that the immune system is located in the gut and accordingly many complaints might have their origin in a damaged gut. Nevertheless, there can be many other causes, especially causes that interact.