Let’s talk about signs that you have a leaky gut. Now it’s not as easy as looking underneath your car and seeing where the grease dripped on the driveway. But there are a lot of things you can do to tell if you have a problem with leaky gut. Well the first one is, if you have obvious food allergies. And the second one is if you have a food allergy, such that when you switch from one food to the other, so you become allergic to that food. Now that’s a really good sign of a leaky gut.
What is food allergy? It’s a reaction that occurs anywhere from a few minutes to a few days after you eat a particular food. And it happens fairly consistently. The reaction could be on your skin or it could be bloating, or it could be arthritis. All of those could be signs of a food allergy. Now I’m using food allergy in the loosest manner. Because strictly speaking, there are many physicians who consider a food allergy only to be an immediate allergic response in IGE mediated response. But I look at this in a bigger context with any kind of food sensitivity.
So other signs that you have food allergy could be any number of types of inflammation that are chronic and repeated. Not proof that you have a food allergy but certainly requiring you to look and figure out if that’s what’s going on. That could be auto-immune diseases,that could be recurrent headaches and migraines. It could even be neurological problems. These things all suggest that you should be looking in that arena as well as other arenas. Not diagnostic but suggestive that, that could be going on. But digestive symptoms are really big part of many food allergies.
So if you’re getting bloating after you eat, if you get tired after you eat, and you have to lie down and you can’t keep your eyes open at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. If you are having other kinds of reactions or you are getting an after taste or reflux, those could be signs also of food allergy.
So I think it is important to keep this as we say, in your differential diagnosis, the possible causes of what’s going on. You should consider food allergy when you have a number of these things from allergy to auto-immune stuff to breaking out with acne and rashes that are explained. And not caused by something from the outside. All these are signs of a possible food allergy and should be explored as such.
I’d like to talk a little bit about breastfeeding and eczema and what it has to do with Integrative Dermatology. The whole idea of eczema is to try to reduce the allergies that are coming to the infant that would be coming if you fed all different kinds of foods that come from the table. And the idea being that the infant is adapted to having breast milk as a much gentler much healthier, much less allergy containing food than saying giving cow’s milk or soy milk or something like that.
So what you really want to do is have a less allergenic product to feed the baby with. Now here is the problem, if you have allergies coming out into your breast milk, then that could aggravate the baby. And how would that happen? That could happen if you have a problem known as “leaky gut”, which means there is a defective barrier between your intestines and your bloodstream. So that food substances that aren’t completely broken down get out into the blood and get into the breast milk and cause allergies in the baby.
And this problem, this leaky gut seems to be more and more common. Why is it more common? Because lots of people are eating huge amounts of sugar. The American public eats 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. So that’s a lot, it creeps into all of our different foods, and of course it’s tasty. And the problem is we have a lot of yeasty food, bread, wine, beer and fungal related foods are cheese and mushrooms.
All of those convince the immune system in the gut to allow more yeast to grow, more yeast causes more inflammation, more inflammation causes more leakage across the membrane disruption of the barrier. And all of these substances get in that shouldn’t get in. Now if they were completely broken down to amino acids, that wouldn’t be a problem.
But also we have problems with digestion, so the combination of digestive problems, inflammation from overgrowth of the wrong organisms like yeast And the foods that may also be allergens; potent allergens like milk and gluten, all these things together can lead to leakage across the gut. And by the way gluten itself can cause leakage. So all that combined allows things to leak across and get into the blood stream. And into the milk, and therefore a lot of the babies breastfeeding are getting the allergens you are trying to avoid in the first place.
So it’s really important to fix leaky gut before you get pregnant. Because you don’t want to correct your digestive system when you got a baby growing in there. So we have a big problem in the world today of too many pregnant women with leaky gut leading to too many allergens getting across to the babies even in breast milk, and too many allergies, so that babies are born with eczema in higher and higher numbers.
Leaky gut use to be a bad phrase in medicine, because it was considered to be kind of hokey. But thanks to Doctor Fasano, who has studied and documented it, the condition is now well-established.
The inside of the small intestines has bonds between the cells that form a barrier. But in leaky gut, the breaking of those bonds allows materials to get between the cells and invade both the blood stream and the lymphatic tissue that surrounds the small intestines.
These materials get transported out to the rest of the body in a way that is not often good. Some of those substances have information to, say, put you to sleep, some of them have allergens and can cause an immune attack and inflammation of the body, and some of them are toxins that can cause the whole variety of changes that shouldn’t be happening. One of the most common causes of leaky gut is gluten in ordinary wheat and barley.
Lesser known is a substance called Zonulin, It’s is released when gluten comes in contact with that area of the intestinal barrier. Zonulin has a role in opening up the barrier and breaking the bonds. So there are a lot of people now who are finding themselves getting a leaky gut situation from eating gluten. They may not have a reaction to the gluten itself in other parts of the body, but other substances make it through the barrier and cause trouble in the blood stream. This double action causes a lot of people both to be confused and to be sick.
So leaky gut now is a real thing, thanks to Harvard Medical School physician Doctor Fasano. We are now learning more and more about leaky gut and how it could be bothering you.
“I began seeing Dr. Dattner after I started breaking out all over my face for no apparent reason.
My skin had always been acne-free, even as a teenager, so I knew there had to be a reason for this unprecedented skin problem. I was concerned that if I went to a conventional dermatologist, she/he would likely just attempt to treat my skin topically instead of determining and treating the underlying issue. I found Dr. Dattner after a quick Google search, and while working with him, I realized that my skin began acting up after I accidentally ingested gluten (I have an intolerance).
I have struggled with a sensitive stomach, acid reflux, and several food intolerances for the last few years, but I did not consider that they might be related to my new skin problems in any way. Dr. Dattner diagnosed me with leaky gut syndrome and began treating me with supplements and an anti-inflammatory diet.
Within a couple of weeks, my stomach issues began to improve and my skin began clearing up.A few months later, my skin is 100% back to normal and my stomach has never felt better. While under his care, he has also helped me understand and treat my tension headaches, sciatica, and back pain.
I have honestly never had a better experience with a health care provider. Not only is his holistic approach to health incredibly effective, he is a uniquely thorough and attentive doctor.”