Did you know that the work of the human digestive system from the mouth, down the pharynx, through the esophagus, into the stomach, through the small intestine, and large intestine all technically occur outside of the body? So, from the moment that hunk of broccoli passes your lips to the final glorifying moment it’s flushed away, all happens within the outside world. Metaphysically perplexing ain’t it? Only when food is broken down into palatable peptides in the stomach and absorbed into the bloodstream by the small intestine is it then considered part of the body. What if then, particles from the outer world escape directly into the body without the safety and benefit of this canal system, filtering and absorbing strictly necessary nutrients into the bloodstream? The lining of the intestines plays a starring role in the immune system. It is permeable yes, but acts as a gatekeeper only allowing what it deems fit to enter the body’s sterile bloodstream. But as it turns out, if years of the gluttonous, nutrition deficient standard American diet (S.A.D.) passes through year after year; chances are it can no longer function as a proper guard and the pores of this miracle mucosa liner become larger and larger allowing matter from the outside world to escape directly into the body without the aide of a filter. It’s not just particles of food either, but bacteria and toxins are also allowed free range. This hyperpermeability of the intestinal lining is what they refer to as “leaky gut syndrome.”
This is the root cause I had been seeking for years. Infections, overuse of antibiotics, processed foods, hormone imbalance, stress, and excess sugar are all some of the factors that lead to a leaky gut. This syndrome, when left unchecked will wreak havoc on all systems of the body, mind and spirit, eventually advancing into many preventable diseases. I wrote up a hypothesis in a previous blog post, The Happening ,where I discuss a potential cause of some of my internal woes over the years as relating to elevated histamine levels causing severe autoimmune reactions and an abundance of developed food sensitivities. Well, that was only part of the story, not the whole non-GMO wheat free enchilada. I had blood drawn for allergy testing some years ago and the list of allergies went on and on. I was determined to find the reason for this, and now I have. All the items that came up as an allergy that late spring all happened to be things I had recently consumed or had been in direct contact with. My allergy to peaches, pears, apples, hazelnuts, sesame seeds and so on were due to the handmade fruit cobbler, nutella, and hummus I had eaten prior to the lab test. My sharpshooter fallacy of a birch pollen allergy was only a sliver of the deeper issue. In my non-expert opinion, I feel leaky gut syndrome is the root cause of many people’s pain and suffering. But, there is hope!
I have now restored my digestive system by seeking the help from a delightful and wise clinical nutritionist named Sarah J. Kenney who was able to immediately assess my body’s weaknesses and strengths with her fascinating practice of Nutritional Response Testing (NRT or muscle testing.) She got me on some great enzymes, probiotics, Standard Process brand whole food supplements and what she lovingly refers to as, not a diet, but a “Joy Plan.” I had already about a year ago eliminated refined sugar, processed foods, gluten, and dairy from my diet, so I was on the right track and off to a benifical start. She tailor made me a daily meal and supplement plan that my body desired. Within one month my hormones were balanced, my daily anxiety was gone and my musculoskeletal pain has diminished, within two months my candida index was normalized and my sleep is the best it has ever been, within three months time my gut flora has been re-established and I have felt deep levels of gratitude, joy, and happiness each day since starting the program with Ukiah Nutrition & Wellness Center. I am currently enjoying my fourth month with Sarah as my guide to nutrition, health and wellness and my smile has never been so big and eyes so bright! No longer merely surviving, I am relishing each day, thriving, and looking forward to enjoying this and all seasons.