I have been reading a book about digestion (Healthy Gut Guide) to help get that underway for all of us. Since our digestion controls everything we can absorb from our foods, I figured this was a good place to start. Essentially if our digestion is working at its optimum we will absorb all those superfoods and supplements so much better. If we are not absorbing them, then they are simply going to be flushed down the toilet, so to speak.
Well, I came across a chapter in this book about a condition called leaky gut syndrome. It sounds worse than it is! Basically, we have a mucous lining in our digestive system which is about one cell layer thick. It protects us from absorbing the toxins in our food, undigested food compounds and bacteria. This lining can easily become damaged, especially by taking anti-inflammatory medication. It also gets weakened by food allergies (gluten), alcohol, stress and parasitic infection.
So, what happens?
The lining protects us from absorbing all the toxins and undigested food and bacteria. When that lining is weakened, those toxins and things go straight into our bloodstream. This will make us super tired and is also cause for the body to rush into auto-response. In other words it switches on its auto-immune system on those foods and toxins that are in the bloodstream.
Once they are in the bloodstream, it also lands up coming back to the liver to clean up. As we know, the liver is responsible for controlling all toxins in the body and also our hormone balance. The more strain we place on this poor liver of ours, the more it has to work and guess what? It has to get to what it can and leave the rest in the body. This means those nasty toxins we are trying to flush out aren’t going to get out. These toxins then permeate into other organs and tissues, and that includes our womanly bits.
So, to recap: the gut is not protecting the inner body from toxins and bacteria; they land up in the bloodstream; this means the liver has to clean them up; the liver can’t do all of it, so it lands up staying in the body.
When toxins stay in the body and we give them space to do that (fat cells), it makes it really hard to heal your Endo. See, toxins cause an inflammatory reaction in the body. Of course! The body wants to protect itself so it draws attention to the area where it senses danger. This is why we experience all sorts of inflammatory responses: UTI, joint pain, bowel problems and Endo. They are all inflammatory in their nature.
The other sad thing is, when the liver is overworked, it actually produces stress by-products which actually cause damage in our oxygen-sensitive tissues (the brain, heart, blood, lungs and kidneys).
Now, without scaring you to bits…..
There is actually an easy solution to all of this leaky gut syndrome!
See, because leaky gut syndrome has to do with the mucous lining of our intestine, we can heal that lining really easily with aloe. Aloe heals the lining and protects it brilliantly.
We can add a few other things to the list to ensure our digestion is absolutely brilliant:
• Slippery elm powder
This stuff is brilliant for any of you suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. It stops diarrhea and helps with constipation. It has a healing and soothing property for the bowel.
Little tip: Get the powder form to ensure best absorption. Put a teaspoon in a cup with boiling water. Only fill half-way. Add a teaspoon of honey (I didn’t like it on its own) and stir in well. Add a little cold water and stir again. Sip slowly.
This is naturally found in cabbage but honestly I tried the cabbage juice idea Jill suggests in her book and just found it nasty! You can get glutamine in a supplement and at least you will take it.
• Get plenty of anti-oxidants
These include all those yummy berries including goji berries, Acai berries and of course maca root. Raw chocolate, chia and flax as well as various spices are also great.
If you want to read more about Leaky Gut, check out this website.
I know it seems like a question of what came first, the chicken or the egg. Did we have food allergies and damaged the intestinal wall,which caused more toxins to stay in the body, which resulted in Endo, or did we have Endo, take painkillers and damage the liver? I guess it all comes down to your personal history and what you may recognize in this article. I personally think I have always been sensitive to gluten and I simply aggravated the whole body by eating it. My stomach has never felt so flat and light my whole life! I used to constantly get skin allergies, bloating and soreness in my body, even when I was a teenager, so I can’t blame it on age.
I am just working backwards on these concepts, so if there is something that doesn’t make sense, please ask.
If anyone is keen to read the book, here it is on Amazon. Healthy Gut Guide