Healing food allergies and leaky gut syndrome

by Ed

If you have food allergies, particularly if you developed them later in life and are allergic to more than one food, chances are you also have leaky gut syndrome. If you can heal your leaky gut then you will be able to overcome your allergies as well.

What is leaky gut syndrome? When the intestinal lining becomes damaged, it can let partially digested proteins into the blood stream. The body does not recognize these foreign proteins and assumes they are invaders. It therefore sends out an immune response, attacking the protein molecules. After that happens a few times, the body quickly recognizes that particular food as dangerous and starts attacking very quickly. That is the way leaky gut can lead to food allergies. Leaky gut syndrome can also be at the root of other health problems, such as arthritis, excema, irritable bowel syndrome, and many believe fibromyalgia.

How do you get leaky gut syndrome? Being our first line of defense against many things trying to enter our bodies, the intestinal lining is well designed. However, it is rather fragile, as it is supposed to let digested nutrients through. It usually takes a number of different factors over a period of time to compromise the intestinal lining to the extent that we develop a leaky gut. Bacteria, fungi, yeast, such as candida, and other parasites can all damage the lining. Many drugs can as well, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other pain medications. Antibiotics, indirectly can cause it, by killing the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which allows harmful bacteria, and fungi to flourish. Anything that causes inflammation of the intestines can also damage the lining.

How do you heal leaky gut syndrome? This can be a difficult an lengthy process. I highly recommend seeing a health practitioner that specializes in it. In some countries there are several lab tests that can be done. These help not only in making an accurate diagnosis, but also in forming an efficient treatment plan. If you do not have access to a qualified health practitioner and believe you have leaky gut syndrome, there are a few things you can do for yourself. First, find out more about it to have a better idea if you really have it. Leaky Gut Syndrome by Elizabeth Lipski, is a great little booklet that goes into a lot more detail than I have here, about the symptoms, the causes, and the treatment. I Was Poisoned By My Body by Gloria Gilbere is another good book with more information on things you can do to help yourself.

The most important thing to do is give your intestinal lining the chance to heal itself. You need to stop eating foods that you are sensitive to. The best thing to do is an elimination diet, to figure out which foods cause reactions, then go on a rotation diet to avoid developing new sensitivities. Avoid taking any medications that are harmful to the digestive system, including anti-inflammatories, steroids, and antibiotics. You also need to restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut by taking large doses of probiotics and other supplements that enhance the beneficial bacteria. When looking for a probiotic, get one that has several different bacteria, as the work synergistically. Primal Defense is one that I have found to work well. It also has soil microorganisms that have proven beneficial to the immune system. Start taking your probiotic at one capsule twice a day. Slowly work up to about ten a day. You may need to stay at that dose for several months. Another useful supplement for the good bacteria is fructo-oligosacharide. You can be sure that you have some bad bugs in your gut, if you do have leaky gut syndrome. The best thing to do is find out what they are and take the right medicine to get rid of them. Chinese herbs are very useful against most of the harmful bugs in the gut. If you are going it on your own, though, I would only suggest eating raw garlic or taking garlic capsules.

I have skimmed over many things on purpose because if you do have leaky gut syndrome, you really need to get professional help. As I mentioned earlier, there are many conditions besides food allergies that could be related to leaky gut syndrome. If you have a chronic complaint that is resistant to treatment, check out one or both of the books I mentioned or see a health practitioner who specializes in treating leaky gut syndrome.

{ 28 comments }

1 Martha Thomas 01.02.08 at 11:49 pm

I’d like names of health practitioners who spcialize in treating LGS in Nashville, TN. I was dianosed with Intercistisitis, but I thing I have LGS.

2 Ed 01.14.08 at 11:11 am

I am sorry, I am unable to help with finding practitioners, except in Northern California. There is not a network that I know of. I would check with acupuncturists and Naturopaths in your area

3 Heather Waltz 03.25.08 at 12:45 pm

I am getting treatment from a naturopath. There are naturopaths all over the US and Canada. I found mine here: http://www.naturopathic.org

4 Jane 04.05.08 at 9:08 am

For Martha — I was just diagnosed with leaky gut. I am working with both a regular MD and a naturopath. My “regular” MD, though, has alternative medicine leanings and a holistic approach. When looking for an MD, look to see if there is a “holistic MD” or MD trained in “functional medicine” in your area. These docs may be more familiar with leaky gut and able to help you. Best of luck, Jane in Seattle

5 Ed 04.05.08 at 10:51 am

Thanks, Jane and a Heather. Not all Naturopaths know leaky gut syndrome well, but that is a good place to start looking. And Heather has a great suggestion in looking for an MD trained in functional or holistic medicine.

6 nancy 05.24.08 at 12:11 am

May I ask a question of Jane?
I live in the Seattle area and would appreciate getting the name of the MD and ND that you are working with. Thank you!
Nancy

7 Pam 05.12.09 at 5:00 am

Martha,
My daughter has had quite a battle with leaky gut and all that comes with it. We are not out of the woods yet, but a naturopathic in Nashville, TN has helped us. Her name is Dr. Liz Ellerman and she works out of Greenhills Chiropractic. Good Luck and God Bless! (She has a waiting list so don’t be discouraged if you have to wait several weeks to get an appointment.)

8 Ed 05.12.09 at 7:32 am

Thank you Pam for the suggestion. Suggestions of practitioners in your area are greatly appreciated.

9 Chena 06.30.09 at 9:42 am

I am suffering bleeding and passing of intestinal lining due to radiation treatment to the abdominal area. Is this at all similar? Doc are not really helping the situation, and im wondering if there is anything i can do naturally to help heal? what should i ingest and avoid to heal my intestines and stop the radiation effects??

10 Ed 06.30.09 at 9:53 am

Chena,

Chinese herbal medicine is very good at relieving the symptoms of chemo radiation treatment. I would find an acupuncturist with experience in that field. You should not have to suffer like that. This is not leaky gut syndrome, though it could lead to it.

11 Khy'em Amri 10.22.09 at 11:27 pm

I’d be interested in the ref’s to the Nor-Cal practitioners. Thanks!

12 Ana 03.24.10 at 6:53 pm

Could someone recommend a health practitioner with knowledge/experience in leaky gut syndrome in the Kansas City area?
I greatly appreciate it!

13 melissa 05.13.10 at 10:02 am

martha: I have intestinal cystitis and Leaky Gut and I am being treated for all of it by http://www.icama.org/

She sees people out of state by phone. I live in IL, she is in CA.

14 Sheila 08.24.10 at 1:57 pm

Ed,

Can you please recommend a Doctor who treats leaky gut in Nor Cal. I live in Oakland, but am willing to travel within the bay area.

Thank you

15 Philip Anslow 02.07.11 at 7:00 am

Hi, i have terrible bloating and smelly wind, which my GP has put down to an allergy to Dairy. I agree with him, but i also go to nepal each year and almost always get some sort of vomiting sickness. i beleive the bloating etc started when i first went to nepal in 1992 and has continued ever since, while i am trying to stop all dairy, i feel that after reading your article i may have LGS .I live in the South of England and have immediately put myself on a 20 billion probiotic, should i get more tests by my Gp.

16 Ed 02.07.11 at 8:51 am

Hi Philip,
I don’t know much about health care in England. if you have really good labs that test for parasites and leaky gut, I would get the tests. A lot of standard parasite tests miss them. If you have parasites they need to be cleared out. That could cure your dairy allergy, or at that point you may need to deal with the leaky gut. If you can, find a practitioner who understands these things.

Keep up the probiotics, and good luck

17 someone 05.13.11 at 6:05 am

Hey, my situation here sounds just like a part from the article “I Was Poisoned By My Body “. When I was 3 months old i cough pneumonia. I had antibiotics injections in order to cure pneumonia. And I developed bronchial asthma. At that time i couldn’t eat anything. I had to take the one and only food – natural barley grits. For about 3-4 years. I know that sound a lot, but I have outgrown my food sensitivities. (strongest ones like eggs still followed me to my 13s). Then I started drinking milk in huge amounts – 2 liters per day (I couldn’t get breastfed at my early months, because of my allergies). So then I ate everything, loads of candies, chocolates, cakes, and normal food till i turned 16 years old. Then mom cooked me mostly what i wanted at that time. I drank 2 liters of lemonade per day, ate a lot of pasta/rice + sausages meals, hot sandwiches. (and this was – almost a daily routine for me, for about 2 – 2 and a half years). Then my face started to suffer from acne/pimples (at this time a little eczema occurred on my finger). So I thought i can heal it with foods good for us – citrus/nuts/meat, but mostly citrus (all about these citrus healthy for acne sufferer foods i found out on the internet). After I tried to heal acne on my own, i found myself in probably most difficult situation i ever had. Eczema had spread out all over my body (forehead, cheeks, finger, elbows, both legs(below the knees/front), Shoulders, chest). Then I took food intolerance test, which showed me allergy to almost everything in low level (1-15%). I started to avoid foods like citrus, wheat, dairy. And started to eat more healthier foods with no preservatives, broccoli, black bread, no sugar no sweets, more water. And I lost like 50-75% of my energy, I couldn’t train karate anymore so I had quit. Little by little i started to improve, but even some good foods makes my eczema to reappear. For example yesterday I had some sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, later i had an apple, then after some time a cucumber, and again later spinach. One of these foods made my eczema reappear, and Its definitely not spinach, cucumber. And the reappearing of eczema mostly create new spots on my body. For example little eczema spot appears on hand where It never appeared earlier. Most interesting thing on my eczema now is that when i started to get eczema (that was 1 year and 4 months ago, on 2010-01) eczema appeared and disappeared in no time, like two days. Now if It appears, it stays for about a week or more. I eat spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, spring onions, garlic, black bread with no yeast, brown/wild rice, rarely with rice i buy some good sausages with no preservatives, and I very rarely try barley grits. When i bought some probiotics, and took them 2 capsules per day, i felt a little improvement. This current diet also shows little improvement (bigger on my finger, lesser on my face). I even tried now drinking alkaline water, It may be helping me a little. Over the past 4 or 3 months my face cleared up like 30% of my pimples. Also if i cook anything i use olive oil, i moisturize my face/skin with olive oil (extra virgin of course). When my eczema reappears (not triggers), i get some new pimples below my jaw. And those pimples are not acne like. They are sensitive, and feels different than acne ones. When eczema disappear (not fully, it never does fully disappear just like for 65%) those pimples gets inactive. But when it reappears new, sensitive ones comes out. Maybe Its related.

Also before I started my healing, during my culmination in sports I took a shot in trying to drink white egg (raw). (i was allergic to it the most in my early childhood) But friend said it was good for sports and etc. So i tried few cocktails, they were delicious, then i had with more eggs. And just after my last cocktail i noticed my face was all in spots, allergic reaction, i had to take strong medicine then.

I’m sorry for writing that much about me, but sometimes it may help for others to understand what could be the problem to that person. So after recent surfing on the internet, I believe i could be related to LGS. I was healthy for ~15 years, and i could have ate everything. If someone else thinks so to please email me or post here. I tried a lot of things, and willing to do anything to get rid of this allergies/eczema.

Im 18 years old,
Thank you for your time – please email me if you have any info about my kind of situation.

18 Ed 05.13.11 at 10:07 am

Hi,
Even though you felt you were over your food sensitivities, you probably were not. Once you have that problem, you always have to be careful of overdoing certain foods, like eggs and milk. You were drinking so much milk and eating a lot of sugar. That probably brought it all back on. I would look for a naturopath or acupuncturist who deals with leaky gut syndrome and try to clear it all up again, that way.

Good luck.

19 someone 05.13.11 at 10:47 am

Thank you for your post,
But I feel like I’m in a corner. It’s like doctors can’t help me, and I don’t believe that they know this syndrome at all. My current doctor is the same for all my life, and all she manages to offer me is some creams and homeopath pills.
I feel that I should fight it till the end, because It has been over a year, and it was my research and other peoples help on the internet that gave me a bit of relief. Especially now, when I have found interesting information about Leaky gut, enzymes etc.
I need to find out how to battle the leaky gut with foods, probiotics. And try this road.

20 sw 07.22.11 at 12:39 am

Hi,
We are not really sure but syptoms show that one of our friend is suffering from this LGS and a frequent allergic itching that form a temporary rash wherever the itch occurs. We wanted to find how to confirm if she really has this LGS? We are living in South Asia and wanted to find any good holistic physicians anywhere in say Asian region? Also some home treatments that help kill this LGS? Lastly, please telll normally, how long it takes to cure the problem?
Thanks alot.

21 Ed 07.22.11 at 8:16 am

Hi sw,
I’m sorry I can’t help you to find a practitioner in Asia, and you will need to find someone to get a confirmed diagnosis. Depending on the severity, it can take many months to heal. Even if you don’t find a practitioner, if you follow my suggestions in this article, your friend should get some relief.

22 Hope 07.22.11 at 1:42 pm

I was recently diagnosed with LGS by a certified acupuncturist and herbalist, whom I trust. I have suffered with digestive disorders and various symptoms (fatigue, breakouts, hair loss, food intolerances, poor memory, mood swings, poor concentration, constipation, etc.) and did not know what was causing these various conditions. Life was unbearable at times, so much I quit my full time job and stay isolated, because I was feeling sick and miserable all the time. Only recently, after many tests (and diagnoses), various treatments and a few different holistic healthcare practitioners later, that I am finally starting a LGS diet and treatment plan. Though I had other conditions develop related to LGS, that I treated first, (hormone imbalance, heavy metal toxicity, adrenal fatigue and depression), I now feel optimal health is within reach!
I encourage anyone who suspects they have LGS or relates to the symptoms listed in LGS articles (there are many resources online) to find a holistic medical professional to test you. There’s no need to suffer! I understand that each person is different, but your gut can be healed between 2-6 months depending on severity of your case. And reintroduction of your food sensitivities (once your gut is healed), though a lengthy process, is a very possible. A consult with a nutritionist who analyzed my food sensitivity test results (Alcat Labs is a good one), revealed that many foods can be highly tolerated long term when eaten as a rotation diet. Though genetic allergens still need to be avoided, but often LGS is the underlying cause for the long list of intolerances brought on from overuse.
LGS is a condition you don’t have to live with anymore. It is slowly being recognized as a real disease but one that has a cure. There are many naturopaths that have been treating for over a decade. I, myself, can’t wait to reap the benefits of my treatment program. Wishing everyone success in finding your path to health!

23 Janet 08.27.11 at 9:34 pm

Can you please recommend a doctor who treat Leaky Gut Syndrome in the No Cal Bay Area? I have been suffering with LGS for the past 3 years, and having difficulty finding a doctor who can help my gut heal. Thank You.

24 George 09.21.11 at 11:54 am

Great article! I was wondering if you could recommend a great leaky gut Dr in the the Northern CA/Bay area. I would love some help. Thank you.

25 Jessica Sautter 10.16.11 at 10:06 am

I know a Chiropractor in Castro Valley that tests for LGS. Dr John. Guilford 510 886-7515.

26 Jeanette 07.24.12 at 4:33 pm

I first became sensitive to nightshades, then hot spices and then high-oxylate foods. I have LOTs of widespread body pain, small stools plus various neurological problems with depression, sleep and burning sensation in my feet.
Please could someone recommend a doctor in Eastern North Carolina who could help with LGS?

27 Ligaya 08.07.12 at 10:06 am

For all leaky gut sufferers I highly recommend the GAPS diet and the Intro diet that precedes it – http://www.gapsdiet.com. I’ve been on the Intro diet for a month now and have seen great improvement.

28 David 12.23.12 at 3:59 pm

Who can i see that u mentioned in Nor California??

Thanks

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