January 24, 2017

Taking Care of Colon Problems

Strategies to Keep Your Colon Healthy

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

The colon is the least appreciated organ of the body – until it doesn’t work!  People with colon problems can be miserable.  The symptoms of colon trouble can include a wide variety of issues:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • And even cancer

the wrong bacteria in your colon can make you fatIf you’ve been wondering how to care for your colon, this is the article for you!

The colon is the large intestine.  It is the waste dump for everything we eat.  The small bowel absorbs all the nutrients from our food. Whatever is left over goes to the colon where the waste ferments through multiple types of bacteria. 

In the colon we have our main store of bacteria – trillions of them!

The types and amounts of bacteria we possess in our colon are essential to life. Even though they are residents of the colon, bacteria are very much a part of us, and in some ways make us what we are. They may determine our:

When we were babies in the womb we were sterile. Our first exposure to bacteria came from the birth canal, which supplied our intestines with bacteria needed to digest milk. People who are born by caesarian section don’t pick up the bacteria from their mother’s colon. Instead, their intestines start growing bacteria obtained from the skin. These bacteria don’t help digest food and can even cause inflammation over one’s entire lifetime!

One researcher concluded:

“Concurrent with the trend of increasing [Caesarean Delivery], there has been an epidemic of both autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis and allergic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.[5]

The Wrong Bacteria in Your Colon Can Make You Fat!

Additionally, those who are born by C-section are more susceptible to metabolic diseases and obesity.[6] Multiple studies in rats and humans have shown that bacteria in the colon have a large effect on obesity. One study used mice that had intestinal bypass surgery. Those mice that had the surgery now developed different bacteria. When that bacteria was given to obese mice, they lost weight without the bypass surgery. Essentially, bacteria from a thin mouse caused an obese mouse to lose weight.[7]

Humans also experience weight gain or loss associated with their gut flora.  In one study, humans with higher levels of a certain bacteria, M. smithii, were much more likely to be overweight than those with low levels.[8]

Wrong Colon Bacteria Can Cause Arthritis

Studies on the types of bacteria in the colon suggest that arthritis can be caused or worsened by our bacteria.  One study suggested that a single organism can make the difference between having arthritis – or not.[9] The organisms that cause inflammation grow on simple sugars and starches.  On the other hand, those bacteria that grow on prebiotics create butyrate. Butyrate acts as an energy source for cells lining the colon and reduce an inflammatory response.

Prebiotics are the fiber found in fruit and vegetables. They have certain fibrous carbohydrates that nourish the good bacteria to help them to grow.

Best Prebiotic FoodsGod gave us quite the gift when it comes to prebiotic foods because there are many that have just the right “ingredients” to improve gut function without us having to do anything else but eat them! The top most nutrient-dense prebiotic foods are:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Artichokes
  • Root vegetables
  • Apples

Prebiotic foods are like fuel for good bacteria. They escape digestion in our small intestine but continue to the colon where the “good” bacteria digest them.  These bacteria make butyrate, which prevents inflammation, such as arthritis.

Because of these bacterial studies, many have proposed fecal transplants to treat arthritis and obesity, instead of surgery and drugs.

What is a Fecal Transplant?

It is just as it sounds. Stool from one person is given to another person to change the bacteria in their colon.  When this procedure first started, the diluted donor stool was put through a tube that went from the nose into the small intestine. However, standard procedure today is done by way of an enema.  Doctors who do this procedure will use a colonoscope to get the bacteria all the way through the colon.

The purpose of a fecal transplant is to populate the colon with good bacteria and give it more biodiversity.

We not only need lots of bacteria, but a diverse population of bacteria growing together in harmony.  Research shows that this procedure can remedy many different problems such as drug resistance, chronic diarrhea, arthritis, obesity, and diabetes.

Probiotic Supplements

Because of this research, many advocate that we take probiotic pills that contain certain amounts of good bacteria.

Until the modern era, humans (and all animals for that matter) ate food laced with bacteria.  Dung fertilized the soil, allowing colon bacteria on the growing food.  People ate food that easily fermented and contained live bacteria. These are foods such as sauerkraut, natto (fermented soybeans), miso (another type of fermented soybeans), yogurt, kefir, and cheeses of all kinds.  Also, without refrigeration, food grew bacteria quickly.

Traditional cultures did not know all these important reasons to eat cultured foods.  However, they definitely knew that fermented food lasted longer, tasted better and made them feel better.  We would be wise to remember techniques our ancestors have left us about probiotics to help the colon!

By contrast, today, we take great measures to prevent bacteria from getting into our food.  For a longer shelf-life, food is:

  • Pasteurized
  • Radiated
  • Gassed
  • Sprayed with chemicals
  • Refrigerated
  • Frozen

Milk that has not been pasteurized lasts only a few days, even refrigerated. Whereas, pasteurized milk lasts for weeks. And ultra-pasteurized milk lasts for months without even being refrigerated!  Many think they may be getting some bacteria in yogurt or cheese. But most dairy products are also heated to prolong their shelf-life.  Canned kimchi and sauerkraut are heated so they contain little or no bacteria.  While there are benefits to decreasing bacteria in food, such as less food poisoning, there is a downside, as well. We don’t get many probiotics anymore.

The bacteria in your colon are like a fingerprint. Your native gut flora have been present since birth. They are uniquely you. They don’t like other bacteria coming in and growing so they usually kick them out.  If you thought you could take a probiotic for a short time to get it to grow inside the colon, guess again!  Probiotics do not become established members of your gut ecosystem. When you stop taking them, their numbers dwindle quickly. That specific probiotic strain level declines and eventually disappears. Within a couple of days to weeks, you’re back to your old self again.

This is why we need a constant supply of good bacteria, or probiotics, from our food.  However, since we don’t get much from food, we often supplement with probiotic pills.  For some people, taking probiotics can make a huge difference in:

To continue reading the rest of this article, please sign in using your Home Cures That Work login. Not a Home Cures That Work member yet? Click Here to join our exclusive membership and gain access to all our amazing articles!

Top 5 Health Benefits of Gelatin

Why You Want to Eat More Of It

Even though my parents were farmers and raised cattle, chicken and large gardens, the only “salad” I knew growing up was Jell-O with canned fruit. In the Midwest they have a lovely tradition of calling Jell-O desserts salads. My favorite was orange flavored Jell-O with canned mandarin oranges! Yum!

Sure, an occasional lettuce salad harvested from the garden appeared on our dinner table during the summer. But usually we set the table with our meat and potatoes, bread and “salad” – from a Jell-O mold.

Rounded nutrition it was not, but it turns out that gelatin – the base composition of Jell-O – can compensate for what you might be missing nutritionally. Yes, jello can be health food!

Anyone who has roasted a chicken (beef or pork) for dinner has seen beautiful glistening juices coagulating on the edge. This is gelatin, a cooked form of collagen. It is made by cooking down the bones, connective tissues and hides of animals, which are all rich in collagen.

Collagen is a protein from the connective tissues of animals that gives our skin its elasticity. Two amino acids compose collagen: glycine and proline. Your body cannot make enough of these amino acids on its own, especially as you get older. These amino acids are needed not only for proper skin, hair and nail growth but for optimal immune function and weight regulation.

Glycine has anti-inflammatory properties, speeds wound healing and even improves ease of falling asleep and sleep quality.

The brand Jell-O contains gelatin, but it also consists of colorings, sweeteners and/or sugar, as well as other flavorings. My not so favorite Jell-O “salad” growing up was lime flavored with carrot shreds, creating a cascading orange waterfall over and under a green mountain glob. Was my Mom trying to trick me into believing this green salad monster was nutritious?

5 benefits of gelatin But good old fashion gelatin is one of the healthiest foods you can eat and has many benefits, including:

  • Reducing wrinkles
  • Healing joints
  • Building stronger bones
  • Losing weight
  • Restoring the gut

Before you run off to re-create memories of eating strawberry Jell-O with bananas, let me quickly describe some of these specific ways pure gelatin can benefit your body.

Benefits of Gelatin

Gelatin for Wrinkles 

To continue reading the rest of this article, please sign in using your Home Cures That Work login. Not a Home Cures That Work member yet? Click Here to join our exclusive membership and gain access to all our amazing articles!

 

 

 

Foods to Calm and Lower Anxiety

Controlling Gut Behavior

by Amanda Box, N.D.

We have all felt it at some point in our lives. The feeling that paralyzes us sends us into a cold sweat and lends our heart to beat at the speed of light. Anxiety is fear incarnate. It originates from our worries, our fear of failure or simply believing worst is bound to happen.

I personally battle with anxiety. I loathe the awful sense of powerlessness that anxiety brings. But it is a battle over the mind and one that isn’t always easily won!

Releasing negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones can overcome anxiety. One important way to do this is processing through thoughts and fears on paper and with a friend or counselor.

However, what you put into your body can also affect the intensity of your anxiety. Though much of anxiety originates from thoughts and mindset, a healthy body is important for a healthy mind! Our mind, body and spirit are interconnected. So keeping all three aspects healthy is imperative for overcoming anxiety.

Food affects our mood. Particular foods create calm, while other foods produce anxiety. The key to overcoming afflicting anxiety just may be a diet that enhances a sense of peace and a calm mind.

Below are two lists of foods. The first is the list of foods to avoid that promote anxiety. These foods stimulate the nervous system or increase stress hormone production like cortisol. If you battle anxiety, then totally eliminate these foods from your diet to feel your best.

The second is a list of foods that help ease anxiety. These foods contain nutrients that promote a calm mind and help lower stress levels in the body. Make them a regular part of your diet and they will keep you calm and lower your anxiety.

4 Foods to Avoid for Anxiety

1. Caffeine

This is by far the most obvious food on the list to avoid. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and can cause physical manifestations of anxiety, even if anxious thoughts aren’t present. It speeds the heart rate and can lead to an over-excited jittery feeling that exacerbates or creates anxiety. Some people do well with just a small amount of caffeine in the morning. However, eliminating it all together is best for calming the mind and body.

2. Sugar

When I refer to sugar, I am not just referring to white sugar. I am referring to all things that encompass sugar: fruit juice, corn syrup and honey, etc. All these sugary foods can negatively affect the body.   They spike blood sugar levels which, in turn, flood your body with cortisol, a stress hormone. When cortisol levels are high, you can feel on edge and anxious. Therefore, steer clear of sugary drinks and desserts. Instead, opt for natural sweeteners that do not affect the blood sugar such as stevia.

3. Processed Foods

Processed foods included already made meals like boxed foods and fast foods. These foods contain a plethora of ingredients that are nearly unpronounceable. This abundance of fake food is not tolerated well by your body. Chemicals from the artificial preservatives and other ingredients can aggravate the brain by exciting neurotransmitters. This creates a sense of anxiousness and overstimulation. Many of the artificial ingredients are additive as well. Your body begins to crave these processed foods and you become anxious if you’re not able to eat them. The best way to avoid processed foods is to choose foods as close to their natural state as possible and cook your meals from scratch.

Also, read labels. If you see ingredients that sound more like chemicals than food, but it back on the shelf and buy something healthier!

4. Alcohol

Many people drink alcohol to help calm their nerves. However, alcohol can backfire. It can cause an even higher level of anxiety the following day.

  • Alcohol depresses the body.
  • That depression can carry through to the following day.
  • Depression feeds anxiousness.

The short term fix that alcohol creates can also be addictive, creating a cycle of anxiety and more depression.

Foods to Eat to Calm Anxiety

Pumpkin Seeds

Green pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. Studies have found that anxiety is linked to a zinc copper imbalance. Too much copper and not enough zinc in your body can cause anxiety. Just a small handful a day of pumpkin seeds provides a daily dose of zinc! Pumpkin seeds provide a healthy balance that offers relief for people suffering from anxiety.

Fatty Fish

Fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon and sardines can increase EPA levels in the brain. EPA is the primary anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid for the brain. High levels of EPA are correlated to a calmer mood and lessened anxiety. Essentially, EPA will make you happier and better able to handle stress. If you don’t consume large amounts of fish, then purified fish oil supplements can increase your EPA.

dark chocolate can reduce stress and anxietyDark chocolate

In a study of chocolate’s health benefits, eating 40 grams of dark chocolate (74% cocoa) every day for two weeks significantly reduced stress hormone levels. Those tested also noted feeling less anxious after eating the chocolate. This is likely due to cocoas flavonol content. Flavonols are a subclass of flavonoids, natural chemicals found in plants, fruits and vegetables that repair cellular damage. Flavonoids are antioxidants so they help to lower stress and inflammation throughout the body.

Turkey

Turkey is high in amino acid l-tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps you feel calm. Tryptophan found in protein like turkey has been found in studies to lower anxiety levels!

Full-fat yogurt or kefir

The majority (95%!) of serotonin, your feel good neurotransmitter that keeps you happy and calm, is produced in the gut. Therefore it is important to eat foods that help maintain proper intestinal balance.

To cultivate proper bacterial balance in the gut, go no further than your refrigerator! Naturally elevate your mood and reverse anxiety with fermented foods. The bacteria in fermented foods create an environment suitable for proper serotonin production. Fermented foods like kefir and yogurt contain probiotics that restore your gut health. Since gut microbes may influence your behavior, this is proof that fermented foods make us happier!

Tea (chamomile and green tea)

Each of these teas has anxiety reducing benefits.

The effect of chamomile is to soothe and calm the nervous system. When feeling anxious, drink chamomile to relax. Studies showed drinking chamomile tea lowered anxiety in 2 weeks! Best of all, chamomile comes without the nasty side effects of traditional anxiety and depression medications.

Green tea contains amino acid l-theanine, which has a soothing, calming effect on people who drink it. L-Theanine stimulates production of brain waves known as alpha waves. Alpha waves indicate a person is relaxed. L-Theanine also increases the levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These two neurotransmitters directly affect a person’s mood and help induce a sense of calm and relaxation.

So, alleviate your mood and feel better by drinking quality green tea!

eggs induce relaxation and promote sleepEggs

Eggs contain copious amounts of choline, needed for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essentially the opposite of adrenaline. It induces a state of relaxation and promotes sleep. Farm raised cage free eggs are the best choice. They are fresher and have higher levels of nutrients. Eggs just may give you a new reason to come out of any depressing anxiety phase!

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are low in calories, and high in many nutrients, including magnesium. Magnesium is a natural nervous system relaxant. A lack of magnesium can cause electrical changes in your brain.

Most diets are deficient in magnesium, and stress causes our bodies to deplete this important mineral. This is why getting enough magnesium in your diet while you’re stressed is so important. This essential mineral is key to relaxation and a lowered sense of anxiety. Nutrition just may trump any other form of self-help anxiety methods!

The Gut-Brain Connection

As mentioned earlier, our gut and our brain have an intimate connection. Many refer to the gut as the second brain, and for good reason! Our enteric nervous system is the name of the nervous system that resides in our gastrointestinal tract and enables us to “feel” the inner world of our gut and its contents. It is equipped with its own reflexes and senses to control gut behavior.

Our central nervous system, which is located in our brain and spinal column, is connected through the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain stem down to the abdomen.

It is through the vagus nerve that gut bacteria transmit information to the brain. Thus, the nerves in our gut probably influence a big part of our emotions.

Also, the gut produces more serotonin in the gut than it does in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps us to feel good and it produces a sense of calm. This gut-brain connection applies to anxiety levels as well.

Dr. Kirsten Tillish, a lead author in a study of gut bacteria and anxiety stated, “Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut.”

All of this makes creating a healthy gut environment key to overcoming anxiety. I believe there are 3 keys to creating a healthy gut.

1. Probiotics

Supplementation with a daily multi-strain probiotic is important in creating a healthy bacterial environment in the gut. Fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha are also great to add into your daily diet to boost healthy bacteria.

2. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that act as food for good bacteria. This allows the healthy bacteria to multiply. Some foods containing prebiotics include:

  • Chicory Root
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Jerusalem artichoke

3. Going Gluten Free

More and more research is pointing out that gluten intolerance and diseases such as Celiac, can cause anxiety and depression. Shockingly, as much as 80% of the population is thought to have some degree of gluten sensitivity!

Lectins contained in gluten can cause intestinal inflammation and permeability of the intestinal walls allowing toxic microbes to pass through the gut, into the bloodstream and to the brain causing anxiety! Some even believe that gluten itself can cause anxiety. Dr. Rodney Ford, a New Zealand-based pediatrician and author of The Gluten Syndrome, believes that gluten harms your nervous system directly and produces symptoms such as anxiety.

Going gluten free takes a firm commitment and cannot be done partially. I’ve been gluten free for nearly a year now and have no plans to go back. It has changed the health of my gut and my mind dramatically and has been worth the sacrifice. Honestly, with the rise of gluten free alternatives, I haven’t had to sacrifice much. Nearly every gluten product now has a tasty gluten free version.

Incorporating these 3 keys will create a healthy “second brain” and lower your anxiety levels. You’ll truly be amazed at how powerful the gut-brain connection is once you begin to make changes to your diet!

Below are two recipes to get you on the road to lowered anxiety and a healthy gut. The first is a salmon recipe. This incorporates the omega 3s from fatty fish and prebiotics such as garlic. Serve this with a healthy serving of asparagus on the side for even more prebiotic power. This recipe is also gluten-free!

garlic salmon with asparagusGarlic Salmon with Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb wild caught salmon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cold organic butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice and minced garlic; allow the lemon juice to reduce to 1 tablespoon. Add in 1 tablespoon of butter, remove pan from heat and swirl so the butter starts to melt. Place back on the heat for a few seconds, removed and continue to swirl until butter completely melts. Repeat with second tablespoon of butter. When butter is completely melted, remove sauce from stove.
  3. Place the salmon filet in a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Using a brush or spoon, brush the salmon with the garlic butter sauce. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cover with foil so that all sides are properly closed so the sauce does not leak.
  4. Bake the salmon for 12-14 minutes or until firm. Open the foil and allow the fish to broil under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, keeping an eye on it so the fish does not burn. Remove from oven, top with parsley. Serve with a side of steamed asparagus.

This next recipe incorporates the mood lifting power of dark chocolate with zinc rich pumpkin seeds. Though only two ingredients, these little bites can calm a sweet tooth as well as calm the mind.

dark chocolate pumpkin seed bites Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bites

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp of dark chocolate (at least 74% cocoa content)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (raw or roasted)

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds. Heat for 10 second intervals, making sure to stir in between.
  2. On a piece of wax paper drip chocolate from a spoon and make 8 even circles around the size of a quarter.
  3. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds into the chocolate and slightly press down.
  4. Let dry for around an hour or place in the fridge for even faster results.

Remember, what you eat can have a huge influence on the levels of anxiety you’re feeling. Don’t rely on simply medications any longer! Take your health into your hands and begin eating in a way that lowers your anxiety. I have personally experienced the power of food choices on my anxiety and I encourage you to as well!

 

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon recipe adapted from littlespicejar.com

How to Overcome Multiple Sclerosis with Nutrition

A Diet to Fight MS

by Amanda Box, N.D.

Multiple sclerosis is a thief. It slowly steals a person’s mobility, eyesight and ability to think clearly. It is an unrelenting disease that is progressive and deemed incurable. This devastating disease is diagnosed in thousands of Americans each year. These victims are often left with minimal options for help and little hope for recovery.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs twice as often in women as in men. It is also more common among Caucasians than any other ethnic group. MS slowly deteriorates the protective myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves in our brain and spinal column. This leads to:

Once diagnosed, MS may steadily worsen. Or, acute attacks may occur followed by remission of MS symptoms. The protective myelin is damaged in multiple sclerosis due to its autoimmune destruction. The specific cause of MS is not known, but exposure to and accumulation of heavy metals and other toxic compounds can induce MS.

The good news is that there is hope for those diagnosed with MS! Dietary changes and proper nutrition can dramatically improve MS symptoms. In some cases, MS symptoms can be eliminated completely! The body has the innate capacity to heal itself when given what it needs.

When addressing MS, it is also important to stop habits that disrupt and damage the immune system. Don’t forget that your body is made from natural materials and incorporates a system that needs natural products such as food to constantly build and heal.

Many of our modern day foods contain artificial ingredients that aren’t safe for human consumption. Some of these ingredients alter the normal activity of your nervous system, resulting in disease. So, it is important to understand the dangers and side effects of these artificial additives.

The Dark Side of Diet Soda

Many people with good intentions forego sugar-laden sodas and desserts in favor of their sugar-free counterparts. However, artificial sweeteners have a dark side. Aspartame in particular, the primary sweetener used in diet soda, has a distinct connection to MS.[1][2]

ASPARTAME in diet soda kills brain cells and lead to MS v2Aspartame is composed of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartic acid raises the levels of both aspartate and glutamate in the blood. Once these compounds reach the brain, they can cause an influx of calcium into the brains cells. This influx excites the cells to the point of their death! This is why aspartate and glutamate are often referred to as excitotoxins. If you suffer from MS, these excitotoxins can freely enter the site of injury, magnifying the damage produced from MS.

Aspartame can also rapidly break down into methanol, which can easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once methanol reaches the brain, it converts to formaldehyde and begins to break down the protective myelin sheath that surrounds our brain cells. This demyelination can lead to MS symptoms and other diseases such as:

Several other processed foods are also high in methanol and should be avoided. Some of the most common include:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Smoked foods
  • Overly ripe fruits and vegetables
  • Tomato sauce

Always read labels and be on the look out for aspartame and other artificial ingredients. These chemical additives cannot only cause symptoms of MS, but other diseases and chronic health problems as well. The damage caused by chemical preservatives and sweeteners can be catastrophic to the human body. These man made ingredients trigger a chain reaction of unnatural responses in the body, which ultimately lead to disease. MS is one of many diseases that can result from putting unnatural substances into our natural bodies! None of us would think of drinking formaldehyde, wood alcohol or other toxic substances. And yet, when we consume diet sodas or other processed foods that contain toxic chemicals, it’s like drinking poison!

MS and Leaky Gut Syndrome

Though rarely talked about, there is an intimate connection between the intestinal tract and autoimmune disease. A disorder called Leaky Gut Syndrome can play a role in the occurrence of MS.

Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal tract becomes permeable due to inflammatory damage and destruction from the overgrowth of microbes and yeast. This permeability allows toxins and microbes that your body would normally eliminate, leak from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream! Once these toxic substances begin to circulate in your system, inflammation can occur in other areas of the body. This can lead to autoimmune reactions, like MS, where the body attacks itself. This self attack mode is set off by the presence of toxins that would not be present if the intestinal tract was not leaking.

A recent study found a connection with leaky gut syndrome and MS.[3] The study found that mice infected with an MS-like disease not only had leaky gut, but had intestinal inflammation before they even showed symptoms of MS! Dr. Terry Wahls, former MS victim and author of the Wahls Protocol stated, “More studies are finding that increased intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’ has a role in the development of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.”

The good news is you can prevent leaky gut, as well as cure it! Following specific dietary recommendations can heal the digestive tract, and halt inflammation system-wide! This can actually resolve MS symptoms and help those with MS regain a normal, active life!

A Diet to Fight MS

Dr. Terry Wahls was diagnosed with MS in 2000. A medical doctor herself, she sought out the best care and took the latest and most effective drugs on the market. However, her attempts at managing her disease failed and her MS worsened in 2003. She then completed the recommended chemotherapy, but became bound to a wheelchair. Soon after chemotherapy, she became bedridden.

nutrients protect from multiple sclerosisThis is when Dr. Wahl began to take her health into her own hands. She started researching nutrients that would feed her brain and halt the progression of her disease. She noted that in MS there was shrinkage of the brain due to poorly functioning mitochondria. Mitochondria are our cell’s energy source. They need specific nutrients to function at optimal capacity. Through her research, Dr. Wahl identified 3 specific nutrients that are essential for mitochondrial function:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)
  • Creatine
  • Coenzyme Q10

She then began to research the proper nutrients needed to prevent damage to the myelin sheath, the primary cause of MS. She discovered the following were important in the maintenance and proper function of myelin:

  • B1
  • B9
  • B12
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)
  • Iodine
  • Antioxidants

Dr. Wahl also went on to discover the nutrients essential for neurotransmitter functioning. Our neurotransmitters are chemical messengers, which send information between nerve cells. The two most important nutrients for our neurotransmitters are:

  • Sulfur
  • B6

Much of the typical American diet is totally lacking in nutrition. Instead of consuming nutrient dense food, most op for processed and fast foods that are void of nutrients, but rich in artificial based preservatives and additives. It’s really no wonder that our health is declining and obesity rates are skyrocketing.

Dr. Wahls recommends following a paleo style diet that is high in essential nutrition for mitochondria and myelin sheath function. This diet includes:

  • Unlimited green vegetables – these are high in B vitamins and minerals
  • Onions and garlic – rich in sulfur
  • Fatty fish – contains omega 3 fatty acids
  • Grass-fed meat – rich in creatine and healthy protein
  • Organ meat (liver, heart, etc.) – a source of CoQ10 and protein
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables – contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Seaweed – a source of essential iodine

The Wahls protocol also recommends avoiding:

  • Starchy vegetables (corn and potatoes)
  • Grains (gluten in particular)
  • Dairy
  • All processed foods

Once Dr. Wahls began to follow this dietary protocol, her MS symptoms began to improve. Within a matter of months, she went from being bedridden to walking again! She is now symptom free and travels the globe spreading the good news of how proper diet can reverse MS!

Interestingly, this diet not only feeds the brain, but heals the gut as well! The principles outlined in the GAPS protocol, which is a diet designed to heal leaky gut syndrome, are nearly identical to the foods recommended in the Wahls protocol! A diet that addresses leaky gut syndrome is a powerful ally in the fight against any autoimmune disease.

Following these dietary recommendations allows you to heal the brain, but also heal your inflamed leaky gastrointestinal tract, the possible source of MS!! This will help end the source of inflammation and put an end to autoimmune reactions throughout the body.

In addition to the Wahls protocol diet, I recommend adding a powerful, multi-strain probiotic such as Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora. Supplementing with a probiotic helps balance the intestinal tract by boosting beneficial bacteria and crowding out damaging microbes.

A great rule of thumb when boosting nutrition is to add a lot of color to your daily meals. Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants which are essential in the health and integrity of our nerve cells. The following recipe incorporates the Wahls protocol by including grass-fed protein, green vegetables, sulfur rich onions and other colorful veggies. This recipe is so tasty you won’t even notice that it is grain free![4]

Tex Mex Paleo Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • tex mex paleo stir fry1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 oz white or baby portabella mushrooms, diced
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional for extra heat and flavor)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cups baby kale, chopped
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 12 grape tomatoes, diced

Instructions:

  1. Brown ground beef with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Next, sauté peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic in coconut oil.
  3. Once these veggies are browned, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and paprika.
  4. Place chopped spinach, kale and half the cilantro in a food processor with grape tomatoes and carefully process by pulsing on and off and stirring if necessary until finely chopped.
  5. Stir browned beef into the pepper mixture, and then stir in the greens and tomatoes until greens are slightly wilted.
  6. Add the juice of two limes freshly squeezed and add sea salt to taste. Garnish with the second half of the cilantro, finely chopped.

Green smoothies have become all the rage, and rightly so! What an easy and convenient way to condense lots of nutrition into a single easy-to-consume drink! The problem that most people run into, however, is making a green smoothie that tastes good. Many times people will try and hide the “grassy” taste of a green smoothie with high sugar fruit juices. The added sugar in fruit juices defeats the purpose and increases your risk of diabetes and weight gain.

This smoothie recipe not only incorporates healthy greens and vitamin rich fruits, but also has the addition of lemon flavored fish oil. Don’t worry…this oil doesn’t taste fishy! Rather, it gives the smoothie a slight lemony kick that is also packed with brain boosting omega 3 fatty acids!

Omega 3 Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • omega 3 green smoothie 1 1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Carlson’s or Nordic Naturals lemon flavored fish oil
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1/2 apple (roughly chopped, seeds and core removed) OR 1 pear (roughly chopped, seeds removed)
  • 1/2 orange (peeled, roughly chopped)
  • 3 stalks of celery (roughly chopped)
  • 4 large kale leaves (ribs removed)
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve over ice.

Those of you who are battling MS, you don’t need to lose hope! This is a battle you can win with the proper dietary choices and nutrition.

  1. Begin by eliminating artificial additives and sweeteners, including diet soda.
  2. Then fill your diet with nutrient dense foods that nourish your brain cells and help to prevent any further deterioration.
  3. Also, add probiotics to your daily regimen to help promote a healthy gut and quell system wide inflammation.

A healthy, rejuvenated life free of MS symptoms can be your future! Give your body what it needs and watch your life transform!

If you like this article, then you’ll love these:

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

Sources:
[1] http://www.truthinlabeling.org/Blaylock-AspartameAndMultipleSclerosis-Neurosurgeon’sWarning.html
[2] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/11/aspartame-dangers.aspx
[3] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0106335
[4] Recipe adapted from http://mamadweeb.com

Alternative Path to Treating Crohn’s

By Amanda Box, N.D.

Suffering with Crohn’s disease is far from a walk in the park.  This inflammatory disease of the bowels can rob a once healthy person leaving them both weak and wasting away.  When suffering with Crohn’s, food is barely absorbed, blood is lost, and pain and chronic diarrhea are nearly constant.  It is nothing short of a living nightmare for those who suffer.

Crohn’s is an autoimmune disorder in the family of inflammatory bowel diseases. It can be difficult to diagnose, at first, because its symptoms resemble other diseases like Ulcerative Colitis and IBS.

Ulcerative Colitis, as devastating as it is, only affects the lining of the intestinal tract. Crohn’s disease, however, causes inflammation in the deep layers of the intestinal wall.

No one is quite sure yet on what exactly causes Crohn’s disease, although there seems to be a genetic tie.  It also seems to primarily affect those between the ages of 20-30 years old.

Doctors typically treat Crohn’s with a combination of immune suppressors and anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs can offer temporary relief, but they also boast a whole host of side-effects: nausea, vomiting, and more diarrhea.  Long term use of steroids like Prednisone lowers the immune system and make a person more susceptible to infections and disease. They can also cause hormonal imbalance, weight gain, and osteoporosis.

Many people who suffer from Crohn’s undergo surgery to relieve their severe symptoms.  These surgeries are quite invasive and involve removing part or a person’s entire colon!  Here’s what a typical surgery for Crohn’s entails:

  • crohns surgery 2Proctocolectomy Surgery to remove the rectum and part of the colon or the entire colon.
  • Ileostomy During proctocolectomy, the surgeon also performs an ileostomy.  This attaches the ileum to an opening made in the abdomen called a stoma. An ostomy pouch is then attached to the stoma and worn outside the body to collect stool. The pouch needs to be emptied several times a day.
  • Intestinal resection surgery This is when only the diseased section of intestine is removed and an ileostomy is not needed. Instead, the intestine is cut above and below the diseased area and the ends of the healthy sections are connected in an operation called an intestinal resection.

What’s even worse is that, even after surgery, Crohn’s very often comes back!  Surgery is not a cure and should be considered very carefully.

An Alternative Path

Given the above options, it really seems as though mainstream medicine doesn’t have a lot to offer those with Crohn’s.  Many people throw in the towel believing they are doomed to suffer the rest of their lives with this damaging disease.  But this just isn’t the case!

Thousands of people have found a new life, one without suffering with Crohn’s, by taking an alternative path.  This path is void of side-effects and invasive surgeries.  It does take discipline and hard work, but the payoff is great!

You can reduce or even completely eliminate Crohn’s by following these natural principles.

  1. Reduce inflammation (the cause of so many ailments and discomforts)
  2. Repopulate the digestive tract with probiotic bacteria
  3. Provide the body with easily absorbed nutrients

Reducing Inflammation

The root of Crohn’s damage afflicted on the intestinal tract is inflammation.  Although pharmaceutical drugs exist that suppress inflammation, they also have many side-effects.

There are plenty of fantastic supplements on the market that target inflammation naturally and provide even greater results than pharmaceutical drugs! With so many choices that are relatively cheap and inexpensive, it might be worth trying one or two to see what affect it has on your symptoms.

Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase is an amazing supplement.  It was discovered in the 1970s in a species of bacteria located inside silkworms.  This unique enzyme has the ability to safely quell inflammation without suppressing the immune system.

Inflammation in the gut causes much of the pain, ulcers, and bleeding that accompanies Crohn’s; Serrapeptase offers a lot of hope with a whole host of beneficial applications.

Prescribed often in both Asia and Europe, it has been shown to be just as effective as NSAIDS and steroids in relieving inflammation, but without the side-effects.    A double-blind German study on the enzyme found that it could reduce swelling by up to 50% in post-operative patients!

You can also use serrapeptase for:

  • serrapeptaseSinus infections
  • Varicose veins
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Prostate issues
  • And much more

Aloe Vera

One of the most soothing plants on this plant is aloe vera.  We all know how fantastic it is for soothing sunburn.  Just as it soothes inflammation of the skin, it can also soothe the inflammation in our digestive tract!

Aloe vera also has antifungal properties, which makes it helpful in fighting off candida in the gut.  Candida is a fungus that is often a precursor to Crohn’s and its presence can exasperate the disease.

My favorite aloe product is by Aloe Life.  They sell a non-filtered aloe that includes the enzyme rich components of the inner leaf as well as the gel and juice.  Aloe is supposed to have a bitter taste.  If it isn’t bitter, much of its medicinal products have been filtered out.  If you’re not a fan of this bitter taste, I recommend one of the Aloe Life’s blends.  They combine tasty fruit juice with their amazing aloe to offset the bitter flavor.

Omega-3s

I cannot stress enough the importance of omega-3s for Crohn’s disease.  Omega-3s are not only a fabulous natural anti-inflammatory, but they contain essential fatty acids that are necessary for our bodies systems.  An enterically coated fish oil capsule seems to work best because the capsule does not release its contained anti-inflammatory benefits until it hits the intestinal tract – right where you need them!

As always, make sure that the fish oil you purchase has been tested to contain no PCB’s or other toxins.  There are too many fish oils on the market today that also contain the toxic chemicals that were ingested by the fish.

Repopulating With Beneficial Bacteria

The second principle in naturally treating Crohn’s is repopulating the gut with lots of beneficial probiotic bacteria.  This is more extensive than just eating a cup of yogurt!

When dealing with Crohn’s disease, there is typically an extreme imbalance between helpful probiotic bacteria and toxic microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other foreign substances).  More often, these toxic microbes have taken over the environment in the gut.  They not only thrive in the inflamed intestinal tract, but also promote even more inflammation and digestive tract disturbances.

The only way to take back your gut from these pesky microbes is to bombard it with the good guys.  To do this, you must supplement with the top of the line and strongest probiotics on the market!

Not just any probiotic will do.  I have compiled a list of the probiotics that are most often recommended.  I have taken these brands myself and have seen others greatly benefit from them.  I’m sure there are other reputable ones on the market as well.  However, these are my top 3 probiotics of choice:

  1. 50 Billion Probiotic from Renew Life
  2. Primal Defense from Garden of Life
  3. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula from Essential Formulas

Each of these probiotics are formulated by different methods and don’t all contain the exact same strains of probiotics.  I personally don’t take the same brand for more than two months at a time.  I switch to make sure I am truly getting a full spectrum of the friendly bacteria my body needs.  I recommend others do the same.

You won’t have instant results taking probiotics as they do take time to repopulate the gut.  You may even experience a little digestive distress as your system is adjusting.  However, after several months, the results will be significant and you will truly feel the difference.

Easily Absorbed Nutrients

Since Crohn’s can often times impair the digestive tract system, it is very important that you provide your body with high quality, easily absorbed nutrition.  Many times, even when someone with Crohn’s changes their diet and eats only healthy food, their system still struggles to break it down and absorb the vitamins and minerals.  It is best to consume something that requires little to no digestion, yet is easily absorbed.

Juicing is by far the best way to provide your body with live, vitamin rich nourishment.  You get all the benefits of fruits and vegetables without the strain of the digestive system.  Juice is absorbed quickly and easily and provides an almost instant form of energy.  However, juicing isn’t always convenient and store-bought juices do not offer the same benefits.

They are nutrient dense powders on the market that are as close to raw juice as you can get.  My favorite is Garden of Life’s Perfect Food.  It contains a plethora of health promoting greens and vegetables per serving.  And for those who aren’t a fan of the taste, they also make both a berry and chocolate flavored version.  This is great for on-the-go, quick nutrition.

It is best to give your digestive tract a chance to rest and repair, so always choose foods that are easy to break down and digest.  Many with Crohn’s follow a modified liquid diet until they obtain relief.  Pureed foods and homemade soups are great choices.  Eggs are also a fantastic choice for easily digested protein.

Remember, you are not bound to the pharmaceutical system.  An alternative path to overcoming Crohn’s disease is not only an option, but it works!  If you take natural steps towards reducing inflammation, repopulating the gut with friendly bacteria, and consume easily digested nutrient dense food, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!  You may even say goodbye to Crohn’s for good!

 If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Amanda BoxAmanda Box is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years and currently has a Naturopathic consulting practice in Sioux Falls, SD.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic doctor to turn to for your personal needs, Dr. Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

Healthy Food for Healthy Poop

We all know what goes in has to come out.  But, it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. What you put into your body can either create a healthy digestive tract and benefit your body in many positive ways, or it can encourage the complete opposite.

Many times we may not even realize something is wrong with our digestive system until the poop speaks!  Blood in the stool, hard stools, and chronic diarrhea can alert people that something is seriously wrong. However, even if you don’t have obvious signs of dysfunction, your poop may not be normal.

poop facts

So, what does a normal poop look like?

  • Medium brown color
  • Soft, yet still formed
  • Around 12 inches total passed per day
  • Easy to pass without pushing or straining

A healthy intestinal tract means your poop must have ALL of the above qualities  — not just one or two.  If your poop doesn’t have all 4 of these qualities, then you’re digestive tract is out of whack!

Certain foods can create an absolute toxic dump inside your digestive system. Your gut will plague you with these possible side-effects from a faulty digestive system filled with toxic sludge from the wrong types of food:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Systemic Candida
  • Depression

Your food is fuel and medicine for your body and your digestive system is a beautiful but delicate system for making sure your food benefit is maximized.

Beyond Just Poop

Interestingly enough, your intestinal tract is responsible for so much more than just processing food and turning it into poop. Your intestinal tract is central to your health, containing 70% of your immune system!  Therefore, the health of your intestinal tract can determine the health of the rest of your body!

Doctors and scientist are also now referring to the intestinal tract as “The second brain!”  Your intestines have their own very intuitive nervous system that is closely connected with your emotions.

  • For example, this is why you may have diarrhea when you are nervous.
  • You also produce more serotonin (your “feel good” neurotransmitter) in your gut than you do in your brain!  The state of your intestines directly affects your state of mind — and vice versa!

Having healthy poop truly is a reflection of whole health!

Cleaning up Your Dumps

Cleaning up the intestinal tract can be like cleaning up a toxic waste dump.  No need to worry!  You are definitely not alone.  It is unfortunately quite rare to find someone with a healthy, normally functioning digestive system.  I believe the majority of these problems are the result of:

  • Processed and fast foods
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescription drugs
  • Lack of cultured and fermented foods
  • Lack of adequate fiber in the diet
  • Dehydration

Incorporating the right foods into your diet and eliminating unhealthy, processed and fast foods can clean up your dump!  Here are what I believe are the top 3 foods in creating healthy poop, healthy digestion, and therefore a healthy whole body!!

To continue reading the rest of this article, please sign in using your Home Cures That Work login. Not a Home Cures That Work member yet? Click Here to join our exclusive membership and gain access to all our amazing articles!

3 Tips for Curing Constipation

by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, RHN

Constipation is one of the most common health complaints in our society. Constipation is completely controllable and stems from a number of factors including a poor diet (low fiber, low essential fatty acids), a lack of exercise, stress, and dehydration.

If left untreated, constipation leads to a host of other problems including parasite infestations, increased risk of colon cancer, weight gain, gut inflammation leading to leaky gut syndrome, and more.

Without regular bowel movements, we end up keeping rotting food, fecal matter, and toxins in our body where they can putrefy and create further toxic build-up inside the body. Think of like not being able to take out the trash in your home. Eventually, things would get pretty scary. Yuck!

Thus, getting regular and talking poop is serious business.

3 tips for constipationThe Low-Down on Poop

What you poop and how often you poop is the result of what you eat. The body absorbs some of your food intake and the rest is sent to the colon to be eliminated (as poop). But your body cannot optimally absorb nutrients or remove waste without a healthy functioning colon and digestive system.

A healthy colon and digestive system, including the stomach, and large and small intestines, has certain features. The first feature is the presence of happy, healthy enzymes that break down food, move it through the body, and increase the amount of nutrients absorbed. The second important feature is the lack of sticky mucus or old, rotting, unprocessed food or fecal matter.

If your intestines, stomach, and colon don’t have these two features, chances are, you will be backed up, constipated, and feeling tired and weak. Or, you might be fluctuating between constipation and diarhea, or fighting irritable bowel syndrome, or other health problems.

But what constitutes constipation? How often should you be pooping?

While everyone has a different body, with a unique physiology, it is still considered constipation if you poop less than once a day. I know that seems like a bit much. Western doctors only recommend pooping once a day to be healthy and some people even think it is fine if you go only (EEK!) three times a week.

But, as a sign of good health, you should passing healthy, non-strenuous poops at least twice, if not three times, per day. This indicates that your body is processing foods and moving them through and out of your body.

When food is moving through your body this efficiently, none of it is rotting in the colon for fungi or parasites to feed on. Food processed this quickly also is not irritating the intestinal walls, causing food to leak into the blood, and creating toxicity in a process called leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is a major health concern and may even be linked to lupus, asthma, and other allergic reactions.

So with that foundation, let’s look at 3 ways to cure constipation once and for all. You might actually be surprised at how simple it is.

Drink More Water, Eat More Fibre, and Lubricate Your Gut

For your bowels to function properly, they need 3 specific nutrients – water, fiber, and essential fatty acids.

Water is necessary to move waste through your colon in much the same way that a water slide shoots kids from top to bottom. No water, very little flow.

Fiber is necessary as it provides bulk to your stool, while absorbing toxins and cholesterol to be eliminated. Fiber intake increases your body’s need for water. The easiest way to ensure these 2 nutrients are balanced is by eating more fresh food like fruits and vegetables. These uncooked plant foods have high amounts of fiber and water, which would otherwise be minimized and lost, respectively, when cooked.

Finally, to lubricate the lining of your gut, allowing the easy passage of stool, essential fatty acids like omega-3s are needed. Flax oil, hemp oil, fish oil, and even monounsaturated fats like olive oil and avocados are great sources of these healthy fats that lubricate your gut.

In addition to these 3 simple tips for curing constipation for regular poops, getting regular physical activity, especially “bouncy” type of activities like walking, running, and rebounding are very helpful.

 

 

Yuri_150Yuri Elkaim is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, fitness expert, and highly sought after High Performance Health Coach. He’s also a former professional soccer player and served as the Head Strength & Conditioning and Nutrition Coach for men’s soccer at the University of Toronto for 7 seasons. For more than 13 years, he’s empowered more than 80,000 people to greater health with his no-nonsense approach to health, fitness, and nutrition.

 

 

 

 

Healing Lupus Diet

By Amanda Box

One of the basic principles of natural medicine states, “All disease must be treated at the root.”  I have yet to find a disease or ailment this did not apply to.  However, so much of what allopathic medicine promotes is pharmacies full of drugs that “control symptoms” and doesn’t actually address the root cause of the problem. Although these pharmaceutical drugs can temporarily make life more comfortable, they don’t cure the disease with this band-aid style treatment.

Lupus is one of those conditions in which allopathic medicine strives to control it’s symptoms.  Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that currently affects over 1.5 million Americans, most of which are women.  When someone battles with Lupus, their immune system begins to attack their own tissues, not just foreign invaders as it was designed to do.

lupus root by flickr Photomatt28

The Devastation of Inflammation

Many of Lupus’ symptoms are caused by the extreme amount of inflammation. Inflammation is used to bring healing quickly to an injured area. But, when the inflammation becomes chronic, as with Lupus, it begins to destroy tissue and damages the body. This inflammation is a response brought about by the extreme autoimmune reaction in the body.

Lupus has no known exact cause.  Diagnoses is typically based a combination of both symptoms and blood work.  The most common lupus symptoms include:

  • Rashes (particularly, a butterfly rash on the face)
  • Poor kidney function
  • Arthritis
  • Heart and lung inflammation
  • Positive blood tests like the ANA (antinuclear antibody)
  • Low blood cell count, low white blood cells or low platelets
  • Anemia

Steroids are usually involved for treating Lupus because they lower the body’s immune system response. Since Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, this can help stop the body from attacking itself.  Unfortunately, this is a temporary solution and, again, doesn’t treat the root cause.  The use of steroids also comes with a plethora of side-effects, some of which include:

  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Increase in cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Susceptibility to diseases and ailments due to lowered immunity
  • Osteoporosis

Millions of people suffering with Lupus are left believing that steroids are their only option.  They put up with the side-effects because they believe this is their only option.  I am here to tell you that chronic inflammation can be stopped in a safer, more natural way!  And it starts with what you put in your mouth!

The Leaky Gut Connection

Around 12 years ago, I began to hear the term “leaky gut” being used in correlation with health conditions like ADD and Autism.  Then as the years passed, testimonies of “leaky gut” causing  more than psychological issues began to circulate in natural medicine health circles.  It has now been suggested that this severe digestive disturbance is a major factor in autoimmune disorder like Lupus.  Other conditions associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome include:

  • IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Celiac Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

I personally believe that the majority of people suffering with Lupus have Leaky Gut Syndrome.  And if they didn’t begin with it, they will likely develop it due to years of inflammation and pharmaceutical drug use.

When you understand what a leaky gut does to the body, it makes a lot sense that it is a large contributing factor.  Our intestines are meant to be a barrier that protects microbes, undigested food and toxic chemicals from entering into our bloodstream and circulating through the body. But when the intestines become inflamed, Leaky Gut Syndrome begins and sets off an immune system response.

Leaky gut2 fix by flickr ian boyd

This inflammation of the gut can be caused by:

  • Parasites
  • Ingesting toxic chemicals
  • Improper bacteria in the gut
  • Antibiotic use
  • NSAID drugs
  • Food allergies
  • High sugar intake
  • Intestinal infections
  • Chronic candida overgrowth

Once the intestines are inflamed, the mucosal wall is damaged and becomes permeable.  This allows the microbes, food particles and toxic chemicals to pass through the wall and out into the bloodstream.  Hence the name, Leaky Gut Syndrome.

The body sees these particles as foreign invaders and the immune system goes to work. Inflammation is the autoimmune response and causes even more stress on your system.  The little battles are starting to be ignored, like filtering out the blood, calming inflamed areas of the body, fighting bacteria, regulating the gut, etc.  This process flow can lead to your body fighting itself and an array of autoimmune disorder such as Lupus. Inflammation, allergic reactions and psychological issues can result from this internal poisoning.  The good news?

Leaky Gut can be healed and it’s symptoms along with it! Treating Leaky Gut is a multi-faceted approach that requires many different pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.  If each one is utilized, the holes in the sinking ship will plug up and allow the body to return to a more normal state.

Because so much of Lupus is rooted in inflammation, healing the gut can result in giant steps towards a resolution of it’s symptoms! Here are a few of the most agreed upon avenues for healing Leaky Gut and reversing Lupus!

Healing Leaky Gut

Books that address healing Leaky Gut such as, Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha  Campbell-McBride, have taken the nation by storm.  This GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) diet has become the saving grace for thousands suffering with Leaky Gut and many of it’s accompanying conditions.

I have seen the GAPS diet change the lives of people suffering from things as simple as eczema and allergies to more intense ailments like inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia and Lupus.  The results can truly be amazing! However, the principles must be adhered to rigorously over a period of 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity of the condition.

There are other diets targeted towards healing the gut.  Many of them contain the same principles as the GAPS diet and are designed to soothe an inflamed intestinal tract.  I don’t advocate that GAPS is the only path towards healing.  But my mantra is that I only recommend what I have personally seen work.  I have seen the GAPS diet give people the 180 degree turn they needed in their health!

4 Steps to Healing Leaky Gut

The GAPS Diet can be broken down into 4 main principles:

To continue reading the rest of this article, please sign in using your Home Cures That Work login. Not a Home Cures That Work member yet? Click Here to join our exclusive membership and gain access to all our amazing articles!

 

Pin It on Pinterest