Best article I have personally read in a long time about 'Leaky Gut'. Leaky Gut is 'all the talk' in the wellness circles right now. So much so that it's actually trending on social media outlets such as Twitter. And I have personally gotten a bit lost on what is factual and what path is an appropriate one for healing leaky gut if I even have it.
Dr. David Edleberg of Whole Health Chicago in Lincoln Park provides a concise education below along w/ steps to diagnosis & heal.
Before you read below, I genuinely believe it is worth repeating that everyone should consider adding an 'Integrative Physician' to your team of doctors or as your Primary Care Physician. Integrative Physicians practice both Western & Eastern medicine & their holistic angle will 'catch' what your 'Western' physician's labs, tests, etc. might just miss.
Understanding Leaky Gut
If you read much about health, you know about controversial diagnoses. The list might start with candida overgrowth, food sensitivities, and toxic mold syndrome and end with adrenal fatigue, heavy metal toxicity, chronic Lyme, and multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome.
Because controversial conditions aren’t routinely covered in medical textbooks, they can easily fly under the radar of your doctor’s medical education. Worse yet, these diagnoses often aren’t accepted as “real” by a majority of conventionally trained physicians. Even today, far too many doctors disbelieve the very existence of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal hyperpermeability, is a disorder that never appeared in any medical textbook I ever encountered, and I’ve not seen articles about it in JAMA or the New England Journal of Medicine. I first learned of its existence at an integrative medicine meeting many years ago, and since then I’ve encountered it numerous times in patients with previously undiagnosed chronic conditions. But when I mention leaky gut to gastroenterologists I know professionally, they always respond with a variation of “I read about it somewhere” and end it at that, sort of a last gasp of intellectual curiosity.
Leaky gut was first described in a South African medical journal in the 1980s by a physician dealing with the consequences of intestinal parasites and chronic diarrhea. To this day, most new research on it emerges from medical journals outside the US. Now, decades later, because Stephen Barrett, MD, America’s self-appointed quackbuster, wrote the Wikipedia entry on leaky gut, it’s listed among his other fad diagnoses and referred to as a “dishonest ploy to make money” even as perfectly respectable medical and scientific journals overseas are publishing scholarly reviews of it.
Here’s what happens with leaky gut
In leaky gut disorder, any of several triggers damages the lining of the small intestine, where most food is absorbed. The single most common of these triggering agents is an irritating food. This isn’t necessarily a food allergy, but rather a food sensitivity. Let’s say you’re sensitive to the gluten in wheat. Every time you eat a wheat product it irritates and inflames the lining of your intestine. Ultimately, this constant inflammation damages the protective barrier between the lining of your intestine and your bloodstream.
After weeks or months of this low-level inflammation, the intestinal lining becomes increasingly porous, and large molecules that were once kept away from your bloodstream now leak through. Depending on your individual intestinal lining susceptibility, other irritating triggers include dairy, egg, corn, citrus, soy, and various chemicals, additives, and preservatives. Non-food triggers include NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen, alcohol, intestinal parasites, and candida. Chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s also often have a leaky gut component.
When your immune system, ever on the alert for foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria, IDs the large molecules (called “macromolecules”) as the enemy it generates antibodies to clear them out of your body. These antibodies attach themselves to the macromolecules, just as they would to a virus or bacteria, creating what’s called an antigen-antibody complex (an antigen is a foreign body that can trigger an immune response).
Now the trouble begins
This antigen-antibody complex circulates through your body, becoming trapped in certain susceptible areas and immediately causing trouble by triggering local inflammation. For example, if caught within the microscopically small blood vessels in your skin, you can get a rash like eczema or psoriasis. Trapped in your lungs, you might develop symptoms of asthma. In your nasal passages, chronic sinusitis; in your joints–especially the small joints in your hands and wrists–joint pain, swelling, and stiffness; in your nervous system, brain fog and symptoms not unlike multiple sclerosis.
On the other hand, in place of localized symptoms you might feel a constellation of symptoms like vague fatigue, brain fog, indigestion, and weight gain from fluid retention. The False Fat Diet, by Elson M Haas, MD, blames much of America’s obesity on undetected leaky gut syndrome, since all this newly generated inflammation causes a lot of fluid retention (hence “false fat”).
Leaky gut diagnosis
Diagnosing leaky gut isn’t difficult, but can only occur if your doctor is willing to recognize and suspect the possibility. Patients who have virtually any chronic symptom to which a doctor has responded “We can’t find anything wrong with you–your tests are normal,” should be on the lookout for leaky gut, even if their docs aren’t.
Find an integrative physician to help you with this protocol:
These two tests are usually covered in part by health insurance, but a third very useful test isn’t covered by any policy I’m aware of, though its out-of-pocket price has dropped considerably. Also, if you have a health savings account, you can cover it from there.
Healing leaky gut
Once you’ve located your leaky gut triggers and clear them, your intestine will start to heal itself. However, you can also take several steps to speed the process. Our nutritionists at WholeHealth Chicago have created a highly effective nutritional program to quickly heal leaky gut. I’ve seen many patients with undiagnosed chronic ill health simply blossom under this program.
In addition to avoiding trigger foods and clearing parasites or candida, a typical regimen for leaky gut also includes:
David Edelberg, MD
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Hey everyone. My week flew by, how about yours?
Let's have a brief chat about simplifying our diets. My diet is really beginning to mirror my overall lifestyle which is an ode to simplicity. Less 'stuff' equates to more 'inner freedom' for this one. I champion minimalism as a lifestyle & it's bringing me so much more joy then having 'more'.
I am not a girl who can exist in clutter and simplifying my space by having less material items in my closet and condo has now naturally flowed into my diet and overall health. And I can actually 'feel' my body healing. It's so amazing.
I used to eat so many processed foods! My pantry was full of tons of packages of chips, cookies, dips, sweets, etc. And then in 2010, I became a vegan. And just observing my journey of veganism which - from a compassion for animals standpoint - has been fulfilling. I was not a healthy vegan though. I wrote an article about it here. I was eating loads of soy & processed meals but because they were 'vegan', I convinced myself I was eating health'ier'. I hated salads and I wasn't too keen on veggies. So, I never transitioned into eating healthy, I just took out animal products. So, I was still treating my body poorly. And how we treat ourselves translates into all areas of our lives - it's true!
I have tried so many approaches to food/diet while I was listening to the experts. The expert though is my body. And the expert you should be listening to is YOUR body. Before you listen to anyone else, listen to your own body and it's needs.
This concept - listening to our bodies first - is such a natural thing to do and yet, so many of us are not doing this. And once you begin to really get in tune w/ how your body is responding to the food you are eating, you just want to be so good to yourself. So, on a really philosophical level, it's all about self love.
The more I am in tune w/ my body, the more simplistic my diet has become. I am about two months into this lifestyle change with how I am approaching food and I have already lost 11 pounds. I eat SO simply!!! And I love it! And I am loving my body - what it is capable of, how my body is able to heal itself and yes, how my body looks. We - as women - need to really appreciate the body that God has blessed each of us with. Our bodies are so beautiful.
I think when we remove toxic foods from our diets, our bodies begin to exude a glow that is pretty incredible. The natural form of our bodies is incredible. I support women's rights to do what they want to their bodies but I always appreciate women who age naturally. It's such a privilege to be alive and well, I think wrinkles and aging is such a miracle from Him!
Back to our diets (got off track there) I can 'feel' the difference beyond how I feel physically.......I can feel the effects emotionally too.
And I have come to love hearty & crunchy veggies & big colorful salads (0:
Be good to yourself. You have one body and it's fully reliant on YOU to feed it well - treat yourself well. Gosh, that cliche of a saying 'If you don't really love yourself, no one else will be able to love you well' is so true - deeply true. Love yourself well. Your body will respond and thank you back in so many ways that will grow you as a person.
Hi all! This will be a mini-post just to say that I am getting all of your feedback on the blog - thank you so much! I am reading all of your emails and correspondence across social media! And thank you for those of you that are contacting me on my Pinterest - didn't expect that!
For those of you who have expressed frustration with the amount of time it is taking to build up the site, you know it's a lot of work! And this blog is more of a self-interest of mine then a career. So, I do what I can, when I can. I am doing my best. Your best bet is to scroll through this 'Daily' tab & keep going to 'Previous' at the bottom of the page. There are a LOT of articles that are there for you to read! I will be transferring them into the 'Tabs' above but I just haven't gotten to that yet.
Spring in Chicago has arrived! Yay! This means, Chicago is starting to come alive with people - music - outdoor cafes - farmers markets - all that we love so much! It's basically why I really embrace the city! I know that for me personally, I am most looking forward to the Green City Market, hiking trails, grounding in nature near the beach & music!!!!
Today, I am giving away TWO tickets to see Andrew Ripp & Anu Alphonse on May 3rd. They are playing at Shubas which is seriously such a great venue for an intimate concert. And these musicians are incredible!!! Come join us! All you have to do is email me why you & your guest feel you should win the tickets! Simple enough! The first person to email me, get's them! firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is so much coming on the blog (so much) from some simplistic yet delish recipes, social outings/events in the city that you will want to tap into and we will be talking health - tips of my own & some wellness experts in the city!
Stay tuned! And enjoy the weekend ahead!
Oh, quickly, some of you asked about photography on the site & if I am the photographer via the photos. Yes, I take the majority of the photos or have a friend snap them if I am in them. Note I am not a photographer but I am passionate about photography itself! I also hire photographers often as well. If you ever want to know who the photog belongs to, just click on the photo itself. If I hired a photographer, the photo you clicked on will take you directly to their site via recognition. And if you click on the photo and there is no attached link, it is my photo.
And a couple of you asked me if it's me in a lot of the photos and yes, it is (0: I suppose I should add some captions to make it more clear for all of you wanting to know!
OK, that's all she wrote! Enjoy the weekend & festivities you have planned!
Article written by Dr. William Cole at MindBodyGreen.com.
Low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, affects around 20 million Americans, and 1 in 8 women will experience a thyroid issue in her lifetime.
Hypothyroidism is so common that it can be treated with something like disregard. The reality, though, is that if your thyroid isn't working well, nothing in your body will. This master gland that is located in your neck and controls many, far-reaching facets of your health. So let's dig deeper and look at the top signs indicating something is wrong with your thyroid:
1. Weak bones
If you have weak bones, have your thyroid checked. Abnormal thyroid function can decrease bone mineral density. Serum calcium will typically be in the "normal" reference range with hypothyroidism, but outside of the functional, optimal range.
2. Gut problems
Low thyroid function can reduce the movement of your intestines, which is essential for healthy digestion. The ability of your body to absorb nutrients is also altered when your thyroid isn't working well. Healthy thyroid function dampens gut inflammation, and low thyroid function is linked with gastric ulcers and leaky gut syndrome.
3. Low sex drive
Many people think their low sex drive is due to aging, when in fact it may be a symptom of a bigger hormonal problem that's anything but normal. Thyroid function affects the metabolism of estrogen and testosterone in the body. Hypothyroidism in men is linked with erectile dysfunction and low libido in both men and women.
4. Weight gain
When your thyroid hormones are low, your body will be less able to break down fat, making you resistant to weight loss. Years of fad diets and grueling hours in the gym won't fix the underlying problem. Weight gain isn't the cause of your problems, but a symptom of something not being addressed. You have to get healthy to lose weight, not the other way around. When you deal with the underlying hormonal problem and heal, weight loss is the natural byproduct.
5. Low energy
In addition to slowing your ability to burn fat, hypothyroidism will also decrease your energy, causing debilitating fatigue.
6. Blood sugar problems
When your body is in a low thyroid state, it decreases your body's ability to absorb glucose or blood sugar. You need glucose to get properly in the cell to create ATP, your cellular energy source. Despite sluggish glucose metabolism, many people struggling with low thyroid hormones can feel hypoglycemic, like they have low blood sugar. Because the cells are not getting the glucose they need, you can feel like you are hypoglycemic even with normal looking blood sugar labs. This vicious cycle of hormonal dysfunction can lead to metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance.
7. High cholesterol and triglycerides
A sluggish thyroid hormone levels decreases the breakdown of cholesterol, leading to elevated total cholesterol and triglycerides. While high cholesterol alone is a poor predictor for heart attack and stroke risk, elevated triglycerides is an accurate marker for increased risk factor.
8. Adrenal fatigue
When you have hypothyroidism, it puts stress on your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Because of the lack of glucose and energy getting to the cells, the brain-adrenal axis pumps more cortisol in attempts to get more energy to the cells. This further complicates your hormonal health, leading to HPA axis dysfunction or adrenal fatigue.
9. Toxin overload
Poor thyroid health will lead to your liver and gallbladder not working very well. This can significantly decrease your body's ability to rid itself of toxins, and may also cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. I commonly see impaired detoxification pathways in patients dealing with thyroid problems.
10. Estrogen imbalances
Estrogen comes in the form of three metabolites: Estrone (E1, estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estrogen balance is essential for your health. When your thyroid isn't working well it can unbalance your estrogen metabolite ratio.
11. Brain problems
Hypothyroidism is linked with poor neurotransmitter expression and an increased risk of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. This is due to the fact that a predominance of thyroid receptor sites are found in the brain. One 2014 study found that people with depression had higher rates of thyroid conversion impairments, or low T3 syndrome.
12. Hot flashes or being cold
When your thyroid hormone levels are low, it affects your body's temperature control. This can cause you to feel cold all the time, or have night sweats and hot flashes.
13. Hair loss
Since the thyroid determines your metabolism and absorption of nutrients, when your thyroid hormones aren't functioning optimally this can lead to hair loss. Making sure your levels are optimal is essential to regaining hair health.
What To Do Now
As you can see, thyroid health is essential for you to feel and be healthy. Many people instinctively know that they have a thyroid problem despite "normal" labs. If this is you, educate yourself on the thyroid problems that won't show up on standard labs.
The labs that are typically run in mainstream medicine are an incomplete look at your thyroid. Make sure to have a full functional thyroid panel run and interpreted properly.
If you're on a thyroid hormone replacement drug but still have low thyroid symptoms, be sure to look at the reasons your medication may not be helping.
Because your body is an interconnected system, it's important to get a comprehensive hormonal work-up to uncover other factors in your case.
You can always take advantage of our free functional medicine evaluation via the phone or webcam. Wherever you are in the world, this will allow you to gain more insight into your unique case.
Our decisions literally shape our lives. And our decisions determine our overall wellness.
Getting 'wise counsel' prior to making a decision (big & small) is incredibly important. Where & who we get our advice from is the critical component - Let's chat about it.
As a Christian, when I am making decisions - all of them - that will impact my life, I am first and foremost, going to chat w/ God - listen to Him - pray with Him. I am also going to read The Word b/c He tells us every single thing we need to know there (so generous of Him). And thirdly, I am going to seek out 'wise counsel' aka those that are giving me biblically sound advice. And if the advice is not biblical, it's not for me.
I love what Pierre Eade has to say about receiving wise & Godly counsel below:
Two things the Bible makes very clear are the benefit of godly counsel and the detriment of ungodly counsel. “The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.” (Proverbs 12:5)
Therefore it is imperative when seeking counsel that we examine the character and values of the person(s) of whom we receive advice.
Not only are one’s character and values of utmost importance, we must also factor in a person’s motives when evaluating the merit of their advice. Receiving advice from a person who has a vested interest or potential gain from the decision we make can lead us astray. The more subtle, but equally misleading advice can come from people who care about us, but give advice based on their own fears, insecurities or expectations. For example, a situation that would require complete reliance and dependence upon the Lord may make a family member or friend uneasy and unwilling to support. It is therefore imperative to seek advice from people who know and love God, seek His will and will be impartial to our circumstances and faithful to the truth of God's Word.
Instead of relying on the sole advice of one person, it is at times best to hear from several godly people and assess the direction of the Lord by understanding where there is consensus and harmony. When the early church was challenged with a question of doctrine that was causing dissension and dispute, they decided to come together to consider the matter collectively. (Acts 15:6) “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14) It is particularly wise to receive counsel from an extended group of confidents when considering major changes in life or when facing significant life battles. “For by wise counsel you shall wage your war: and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 24:6)
When we receive counsel from a group of people, we cannot assume that the majority is always right. Upon the Lord’s directive, Moses sent spies into the Land of Canaan to see what the land was like and whether the people in the land were strong or weak. After forty days, the spies came back and reported that the land “truly flows with milk and honey”, but that the people in the land were too strong to overtake. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith to believe that the land could be conquered. (read Numbers 13:1-14:10) “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” (Proverbs 1:5)
Therefore as we weigh out the counsel we receive from others we need to ask ourselves the question, “Does this advice fit the character and nature of God as portrayed in the Bible?” We should test to see whether the counsel we receive is true and honest, just, pure, loving, of good report and would glorify God. (Philippians 4:8)
Seeking wise counsel is a sign of maturity and humility. “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels." (Proverbs 1:5) Learning to discern the difference between wise and poor counsel requires discernment and reliance upon God’s Word (Psalm 1:1-2) and the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. “
(1 John 4:1) Ultimately, our trust should never be in the people who give the advice, but in God who through His Holy Spirit can use people to give us wisdom and assist us along the path of life.
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.