Thanks for checking out this comprehensive video today. In this video, I’m going to talk about leaky gut syndrome. It’s a functional complaint that’s often been maligned by medical practitioners. Before I delve into it, I just want to read out an email I got from a first-year medical student from America regarding leaky gut.
I wrote an article on EricBakker.com regarding leaky gut, and this is what this particular student wrote. She says, ‘Mr. Bakker, leaky gut syndrome is pure naturopathic nonsense. It’s just like adrenal fatigue, just another fictitious man-made disease. Many people confuse adrenal fatigue with Addison’s disease, which is an actual, real and diagnosable medical condition when you don’t make enough cortisol in your glands. This can only be diagnosed by your real doctor, and various tests are needed to diagnose this disease. Candida is bullshit, too. It is possible to have a full body fungal infection, but you’d be in the intensive care unit nearly dead.’ Signed, Miss so and so.
This is a very interesting email from a person, obviously a first-year medical student, so I’ll forgive her for her ignorance. When I was a medical student, I was quite ignorant, too, and had a lot of strong opinions about things which I know now 27 years later I’ve got completely different ideas about. It’s interesting and I think back at my dad who was a very pragmatic man, and Dad said that opinions are like bowel motions. We all have them from time to time. Sometimes some people have more or less. Sometimes people are full of these things and just pass out bowel motions all the time. Almost like verbal diarrhea. And that’s what we’ve got in this case. A person with verbal diarrhea. So I’ll forgive this person, of course, because she’s a medical student. And if she happens to see this YouTube clip, I welcome her to contact me when she’s qualified and maybe 10 years down the track when she’s settled into a practice a bit more and overcome a little bit of that verbal diarrhea.
Let’s now have a look at leaky gut syndrome, what the condition really entails. Leaky gut syndrome is not a fictitious disease. In fact, there are many different research papers in mainstream medical journals that have been written about intestinal permeability. It’s certainly not fictitious by any means.
When we examine the small intestine, there are three sections to the small intestine. The first part, which connects up to the stomach, is called the duodenum. And in America, I believe they call it the duodenum. The duodenum contains quite a lot of intense solar activity there in terms of digestion. In fact, there’s a very small section at the beginning of the duodenum which is about 75 to 90 mils that contains most of the person’s immune function activity of the whole digestive system. We’re talking about probably three or four inches of bowel, which is impacted with an incredible amount of immune cells.
It’s estimated that about 60 percent of a person’s immune activity is located in the small intestine, and probably three quarters of that is in the first three to four inches of that section of small intestine. If we examine the small intestine and open it up, it has a surface area of about a tennis court. It’s remarkable. You may see some pictures on the internet of what we call villi and microvilli. Villi are basically, I’ll draw a picture for you. They’re small, funny shaped objects like this. That’s a villi and a villi looks a little bit like that. Microvilli are basically the little projections that run off the villi. You can see those. If you have a look closer, we’ve actually got even smaller villi that run off those. The point I’m making here is the surface area is dramatically increased because we’ve got a huge amount of digestive area that we’re looking at.
If you look at the microvilli, little finger-like projections, there’s basically one cell layer that goes around the microvilli. These cellular junctions in a healthy person are very tight and well-controlled spaces. And the body does this to allow very well digested particles of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to get through to the circulatory system. These food components have to be broken down to the tiniest unit before they’re allowed to get into the body. Sometimes, however, with people these cellular junctions aren’t as tight as they should be, so they’ll be a slight gap in the cellular junction. And this will allow partially digested food particles to get through those cellular junctions into the bloodstream and affect the immune response on the other side. This is what we know as “leaky gut syndrome.”
Leaky gut is actually very common. And, in fact, I would say easily three quarters of my patients have some variant of leaky gut, and it’s not hard to see why. There are many causes of leaky gut, but the common cause, I again, would anticipate to be stress, pharmaceutical medications, diet, alcohol, various toxins and various other causes, but those are the common ones. Alcohol is a very common cause of leaky gut syndrome because just about everybody drinks booze. Lots of people take paracetamol or Tylenol, ibuprofen. Antibiotics are one of the biggest causes of leaky gut syndrome. You’d be surprised how many millions of tons of antibiotics are used in the food chain every year in America and in Europe and in many other countries. These are the silent causes of leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is also implicated very much with irritable bowel syndrome, which I’ve done another video on, and also inflammatory bowel syndrome.
If you’ve got leaky gut, what are some of the primary causes and what are some of the effects of leaky gut on our body? How would it affect our health? Some of the symptoms that you’ll experience with leaky gut are typically bloating, burping, gas, altered bowel motions. A little bit like what you would expect with irritable bowel. You would also find, though, that many people with leaky gut have got some type of a food allergy. Something I very commonly see.
Before you go running off taking all gluten out of your diet, why don’t you do a test called an Intestinal Permeability Test? Which is a lactulose mannitol test. So you basically swallow these two types of sugars and you see by what comes out of you which sugar is held back and which one is passed out if you’ve got leaky gut or not. That’s certainly a viable test to do. Before you start taking all gluten out of your diet, maybe you should start taking alcohol out of your diet. Maybe you should have a look at the stress levels that you’ve got. Whether you like your work or your partner. If you have issues with people close to you. If you’re sleeping properly. If you’re relaxing properly. If you’re doing too much. These are all common things you need to really analyze before you start making major dietary changes.
I’m not a huge fan of everyone going off gluten. I mentioned this before in many videos and I think it’s a bit of a cop out that everyone’s going on a Paleo diet or a modified carbohydrate diet. People need to go on a modified stress lifestyle before they go on these modified carbohydrate diets. Stress is never looked at with people. It’s silent. It’s in the background. It’s just never really attended to. It’s one of the key causes of most people’s gut dysfunctions, is stress. We’re living increasingly stressful lives.
Leaky gut syndrome. You can also experience sensations in the digestion system. You can experience sensations anywhere around here. Off on the sides here. Centrally probably more because of the small intestine. Irritable bowel you’re going to probably experience sensations more along the top or in the colon. But the small intestine, you’ll sort of feel it there really in the middle of the gut.
If we’ve got this condition, what the heck can we do to get on top of it? How can we fix it up? As I said in my irritable bowel syndrome video, you need to address the causes. You need to look at the primary cause, the exciting thing, the thing that got it started and you need to look at the maintaining causes. Have you taken antibiotics in the past? Are you on the Pill? Are you taking medications? These things need to be changed. If you’re currently taking pharmaceuticals and particularly if they’re non-essentials or you don’t really need them, I would recommend you stop taking them. If you’re taking a drug and you think it’s affecting you, go and see your doctor, your naturopathic doctor or medical doctor, and have a talk with him or her about this and ask if there are any alternatives. There might be a natural analog or a natural product you can take.
Analyze your lifestyle. As I mentioned before, look at the kind of stresses that you’re living under. Are you happy with the person you’re living with? Have you got a mortgage over 200K that you can’t service? Is there some kind of stress that you’re going to bed with every night? Is your mind taking over and you can’t switch off? Maybe you’re one of these type A people that I see, one of these human dynamos that has to do everything perfectly. Everything has to be cleaned and wiped down and tidy. You’ve got millions of lists of things to do. Maybe your thyroid or adrenals are being overactive. That can certainly cause a lot of hormonal disturbances leading toward leaky gut syndrome. As you can see, there’s a lot for you to think about.
If you don’t attend to leaky gut over time, what you’re going to find will happen is you could get increasing cognitive dysfunction. So the mind could become affected. Brain fog is quite real. You could start losing train of thought a bit, memory loss. You’re losing that sharp edge that you used to have when you were in your 20s and 30s. You could be noticing some pains around the joints, finger joints or wrists or shoulders or elbows. These things can happen.
As these partially digested food particles get into the bloodstream, they upregulate the immune response. White blood cells start recognizing these things as foreign invaders and secrete chemicals, which can attack them and form what we call “circulating immune complexes.” These CICs then can travel through the bloodstream and lodge in different parts of the body where they attract more attention and inflammation can increase. There’s potential there for quite a lot of serious problems down the track. Many people, I believe, develop leaky gut syndrome in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, and tend to keep this condition for 30, 40 years until they end up with all sorts of autoimmune responses and even cancers.
The problem with medicine is there’s never any attention paid to cause and effect. So a person develops a functional complaint 20 or 30 years prior to a major diagnosis, it’s never taken seriously. Like anything in life. If you’ve got a small problem, fix it now before it becomes a serious problem. If you found rust on your car, would you ignore it? Probably not. You’d probably get it cut out and fixed. Because if you left that rust for 20 or 30 years, your car’s a write off. If you live in Australia where I used to live and you’ve got termites that are boring into the walls of your house, you better get the pest control guy out and get that attended to. Because if you turn a blind eye to it, that whole house is gone. Small problems fixed up don’t become major problems where your life is in jeopardy.
Many different issues there with leaky gut syndrome. How do we remedy it? As I mentioned, stress, attention to diet, maybe some dietary supplements, and an antifungal/antibacterial product is worth taking. I developed a product called Canxida, which you can get from Canxida.com. That’s going to help clear any potential pathogens like small intestinal bowel overgrowth or what we call SIBO or Candida or parasites. It’s going to help clear that from that bowel. In my opinion, it works as effective if not better, than most of the prescribed antifungals/antibacterial products, antibiotics you get on the market without having the side effects. That product is going to work quite well if you use it in conjunction with a carefully controlled diet and you cut booze out of your lifestyle for a while.
And, of course, you need to include fermented and cultured foods into your diet like some kimchee, some yogurt, and some sauerkraut. There are different foods that you can include in your diet which are high in lactic acid, which build up the beneficial bacteria. That’s a very smart move to do, particularly if you’re going to pull alcohol and these sugary foods out of your diet. So take these things out of your diet. Include these cultured foods, and I think you’ll find that a lot of your functional digestive symptoms will disappear.
You’ve got to try to understand that your digestive system is like a garden. You’ve got to weed it from time to time. You’ve got to culture it. You’ve got to nurture it. You’ve got to tend to it. You can’t have a beautiful garden per chance. It needs attention and regular maintenance. And the digestive system is no different. And some people’s lawns and gardens look absolutely beautiful. They’re a joy to behold. Other people’s gardens like my neighbor I used to live next door to will have a car body in the yard and beer bottles piled up in the corner and no doubt there’ll be a few rats and mice running around, which really are the parasites, aren’t they?
How do you treat your lawn? As a dumping ground? Or is it a place where you like people to come and really enjoy it because it’s such a beautiful thing? I think you get my point by now. It’s really up to you how you develop and culture your internal garden. You don’t need to develop a botanical garden, but surely you can weed and mow quite regularly. The product Canxida will do that. It will tidy up that interior. The fertilizing is really the fermented and cultured foods. Eating foods rich in lactic acid are going to help to provide compost and fertilizer and really help to build a beautiful garden. Both of those things are worth thinking about.
I hope that’s given you some good information on leaky gut syndrome. You can fix this condition up within a week by making some serious changes to your lifestyle and diet. But in all honesty, it’s going to take probably three months and even six to twelve months before it’s 100 percent again. The garden is not dissimilar. When you start with bad dirt, you can’t have a beautiful lawn in a week. But you can certainly get rid of the symptoms in a few days with leaky gut syndrome by making the significant changes I’d like you to make, particularly to your diet up front. And when you do it and the symptoms improve, that will give you more confidence to go further and start tackling the bigger projects like the stress, maybe that job you don’t like, or you need a relationship change or you need to scale down your house or things like that.
Remember, and never underestimate stress. To me, it’s one of the biggest causes of irritable bowel and leaky gut. If you can get that nailed and your diet sorted, you’re going to be well on the road to having a very good functioning digestive system and no doubt perfect health in time.
Thanks for tuning into this video today.