Learn about gut health facts through readers' questions and me answering them periodically and don't forget to check Gut Health - Q and A (Part I) if you missed it.
Yes, gut health and the immune system are inextricably connected. Most scientists estimate that 70 to 85 percent of the immune system is located in the gut wall. So your digestive system is considered one of the most important immune organs.
Equally important is that the gut flora and the immune system have constant and sophisticated communication going on. The gut flora makes sure the immune system is nourished and well-fed but also keeps the immune cells balanced and informed of what is going in the body.
Think of the gut flora as the central intelligence department and if you have a healthy gut that means a healthy gut and balanced well behaved and informed immune system.
Bone broth is a traditional and nourishing food to consume. However, for individuals with leaky gut, this may not be a good choice for now.
If you have a leaky gut then there is a good chance of some type of inflammation and possibly ulceration which makes the gut wall very sensitive to bone broth with its high mineral content and high amount of glutamic acid.
Again, this is healthy and nourishing food but individuals with leaky gut in my experience they don’t tolerate it well. I suggest making meat stock that is cooked in a much shorter time and more beneficial for people who suffer from intestinal permeability or leaky gut.
Yes, you can. In my own experience (and hundreds if not thousands) following the GAPS Nutritional Protocol, you can cure leaky gut or at least improve it significantly as long as you follow the protocol strictly. It is one of the most effective tools to utilize to heal intestinal permeability and rebalance the gut microbiome.
In general, the answer is yes. Lectins are a group of proteins and considered antinutrients in several certain foods than others due to the high concentration amount of lectins and if how much they can be neutralized by cooking them in heat and/or water.
Many lectins in plant-based foods such as nightshade vegetables (potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, etc.) and legumes can damage the gut wall and cause a leaky gut. Plants and particular the seeds part contain numerous antinutrients, here are a few examples:
Because plants can't run and don't want their babies nor the plants themselves to be eaten so out of necessity they are one the best chemists out there in nature so they can deter animals including us, humans. Now there are several ways to neutralize or at least lessen the number of anti-nutrients in plants such as:
These traditional ways are mostly lost in our present time however there is a noticeable comeback of using this time-tested cooking and preparing tools. If you have some type of inflammation or ulceration then it is probably best to avoid these foods for now until you heal and seal your leaky gut.
And if you don’t digestive issues it is best to eat seasonally and use the above food preparations to maintain your digestive tract healthy.
Yes, they can. Tomatoes are nightshade vegetables and they have a considerable amount of lectins and other antinutrients, please see the above question and answer.
Many of the famous online medical websites that follow the mainstream medicine paradigm that causes chronic fatigue are either unknown yet or it is caused by other symptoms or disorders such as:
1- Allergies ( hay fever and seasonal fever)
2-Depression and anxiety
5-Rheumatoid Arthritis and the list goes on.
But the follow-up question is, what is causing allergies, food intolerance, and rheumatoid arthritis? Then you end up back to square one with an answer the cause is unknown.
However, there are medical doctors who will say that the cause of chronic fatigue is because of the body accumulating a lot of toxicity from the digestive tract and from the outside which is the environment. This toxicity will penetrate many cells and attach themselves to proteins creating autoimmunity with all types of symptoms:
This alone will make you tired if not exhausted. However, there is more to the story. The mitochondrion which is a powerhouse in the cell and there are hundreds of them in each cell synthesizing and producing ATP as energy fuel for the cell to use is getting poisoned from the incoming toxins, antibiotics, and being affected by inflammation and autoimmunity assaults (1) (2)
All these factors damage these organelles leading to poor performance in terms of producing energy. So all these components are causes of chronic fatigue where individuals range from being unable to hold a glass of water, get off the bed, or even thinking straight (3). So this will lead us to the next question...
Like how I discussed before there is a natural treatment for autoimmunity the same thing goes for chronic fatigue syndrome and natural treatment.
Stop the flow of toxins that are coming from your leaky gut, imbalanced gut flora, antibiotics, personal hygiene products, and environmental toxins that are avoidable.
First and foremost, you need to focus on healing your gastrointestinal tract and the primary target is your small intestine where intestinal permeability is the biggest suspect at the same restoring your gut flora to become healthy and source of nourishment and not a source of toxins.
All this can be done by natural treatment of sound diet and as GAPS Diet Coach and a patient myself for years I can share with you that the GAPS diet can help a lot and can also treat the chronic fatigue syndrome.
Having acute constipation can stem from various reasons, for some maybe dehydration and low fiber consumption, But for many other individuals consuming more fiber is not the solution and it can make constipation worse (4).
But let me share with you about the chronic constipation causes since chronic constipation is more debilitating on the individual’s life and I know that because I suffered from it many years ago and I don’t wish on anyone to go through these digestive symptoms as I did because going to the bathroom would be the last thing you want to do.
One of the major chronic constipation causes in many people is the accumulation of bile stones and they become larger and larger in size thus they don’t pass and get stuck in hepatic and biliary ducts.
This also creates a chain effect on another organ the pancreas and secreting its digestive juices for the digestion process to be complete and in particular for fat digestion (5).
However, the fat does not get digested or at least not completely and then gets mixed with pancreatic alkaline juice (ex., sodium bicarbonate) and this mixture can cause chronic constipation for many people and I believe I was one of those people until I started following the GAPS nutritional protocol.
Fiber and drinking too much water did not help and made my constipation worse and peeing too frequently. I hope this in one way or another will help to shed light on other chronic constipation causes that are not discussed or known in the medical mainstream sites.
I would say the best solution for leaky gut is done through different strategies or solutions and not only one. Depending on the severity of your leaky gut here is a list of things to do and things not do and they all have their importance as a compounding effect:
-Consume foods that are easy on the digestive tract and in particular the small intestine where permeability is taken place. Food such as all types of soups and meat broth will nourish the gut wall and specifically the intestinal villi, microvilli, and enterocytes just to name a few.
Basically following the introduction diet of GAPS nutritional protocol is the most effective that I have tried myself and learning from others that did the trick as an effective solution for leaky gut.
-Avoid gluten for now or maybe for a long time depending on your leaky gut severity. All types of bread or other plant foods contain gluten. Even you make the bread yourself and it is organic, not hybrid wheat, and has been done the proper traditional way where the dough has been fermented for at least 3 days.
-Starches can be tough on some individuals than others so if you can avoid them temporarily and see how your body reacts and for many including myself I felt great because the inflammation and stomach ache went down. There are more details to this nutrition protocol so please make sure you check these pages:
Don’t lose hope! Because there is a solution for your leaky gut as I found one for in my situation and hundreds of other patients. It is a lifestyle you want to consider because although the food is powerful in healing your leaky gut syndrome however there is more to it other than food.