Leaky Gut Syndrome is such a new thing to many people. Many primary care physicians are not even aware or acknowledge its existence. I want to share with you my journey recovering from Leaky Gut Syndrome. This is what I call “My Fit Healing,” because I’m healing incorporating Fitness, Nutrition and a holistic approach. I will do a post on my fit healing process each month to update you how I feel, improvements, and any method I use to heal my health. I’m excited to share this journey with you.
I will state that although I live a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy and workout, my health was affected prior to starting my fitness journey 3 years ago and competing in fitness worsen my symptoms. I can’t be an overall healthy person, If I don’t heal my gut. Most of my health issues happened due to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky Gut Syndrome is a health condition that affects the lining of your intestine, which becomes permeable or porous, you can say it has little “holes” or “gaps” where undigested food particles (proteins and fats), toxins, bacteria and other biological substances/waste can easily get through into your bloodstream. The lining of the intestine or digestive system is meant to be “semi-permeable” where only certain things that qualify can get through to your bloodstream, such as amino acids (broken down from proteins), triglycerides (broken down from fats), and glucose (sugar broken down from carbohydrates), water, and pretty much the “good things” needed for proper body functioning.
The main cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome is “Stress,” but also taking antibiotics, taking large amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), chronic inflammation, Candida Overgrowth (bacteria imbalances) or food sensitivities could also cause it. If you have been keeping up to date with “My Story” you will know the cluster of health issues I developed due to daily chronic stress due to unhealthy relationships. Read My Story here.
If you don’t heal Leaky Gut Syndrome, you can end up having more health issues that stem from this for example autoimmune diseases, food sensitivities, Candida overgrowth, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, ADD, depression, mood swings, not able to concentrate, poor memory, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, nutrient malabsorption, muscle mass loss since your body is not absorbing nutrients properly, etc.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms:
Note: I experienced most of them (1-12) and I went to the Functional Medicine Doctor with this list and told him I had a feeling I had this syndrome, which was later on diagnosed.
- Food Sensitivities, Allergies or Intolerances.
- Malabsorption of nutrients, muscle loss and prevention of muscle gain.
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Mood Swings. Sometimes you feel you are Bipolar.
- ADD, ADHD
- Seasonal Allergies or pet allergies (which I never had in my life).
- Chronic Fatigue (Adrenals and Thyroid Gland problems).
- Hormonal Imbalance, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, PCOS.
- Candida Overgrowth, recurring yeast infections.
- Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
- Autoimmune conditions that cause inflammation in body, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
I found out there was something not right with me when I developed chronic pain in my arms (bicep/tricep) and legs (quads) 8 years ago. I didn’t understand what was happening. I lived smelling like “icy hot,” which is not pleasant when you are trying to go to school and live a daily life. I felt embarrassed and I isolated myself. Some days I’d go to sleep crying of pain. The pain I felt was a burning, itchy and painful sensation, as if someone was twisting my muscles and nerves from the inside to the point of burning. I felt I had no cure and hopeless. I refused to think I’d live the rest of my life in pain. I was not able to wear jeans, leggings, or any tight fitted pants/shirts. My life has changed since 2008 due to this condition. The pain has significantly reduced since 2010. I’m still not able to wear tight fitted clothes for long periods of times or have my legs crossed. I learned to modify my life that now is just part of me. I live on baggy clothes and comfortness. The pain today is less, but I have learned to read my body and learn what triggers the pain, which is Stress! Before, I thought it was a mystery illness that had no cure. After doing so much research, reading and just keeping a pain journal, I learned that the pain was triggered after being in stressful situations. I learn that my health issues can be resolved with food! Yes, I will use as medicine to heal my life!
It is important to consult a Functional Medicine Doctor if you suspect you can have this condition. I went to 4 different primary care physicians and they only prescribed Vicodin to heal the pain of my arms and legs. I will admit, Vicodin did help me deal with the pain, but as soon as the medication wore off the pain came back. I didn’t want to live on narcotics to relief pain and I knew there had to be a cure. They said I had Fibromyalgia, which now I know I only have flare ups, but I don’t live with Fibromyalgia pain daily. I also consulted a Gastroenterologist and Endocrinologist and neither was able to give me a diagnostic. I was so fed up and tired that no one would give me a diagnosis. I finally came across a post on Leaky Gut Syndrome and it said a Functional Medicine Doctor had helped some girl. I went to find one in my area and made an appointment. Functional Medicine Doctors They deal with finding the root cause of the problem. I needed someone that cared and helped me find the root cause. I visited the Doctor and after telling him my symptoms, he ordered the following
- Food Sensitivity Test
- Saliva Test for Adrenal Gland
- Blood Test for Thyroid Gland and a regular check up
When the results came back he provided the following diagnosis:
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- High Cortisol Levels
- Hormonal Imbalance (high Testosterone and Estrogen)
- Food Sensitivities: gluten, chicken, almonds, whey protein, eggs and honey.
- Fibromyalgia flare-ups
I finally felt a relief I had found someone that gave me answers to my questions. I was shocked as those are the foods I had been eating almost every day. I then understood why I was so lethargic, sleepy and had no energy. I had been following a clean diet and was eating boiled chicken, grains, oats, gluten-containing foods, raw honey, whey protein, eggs, and my usual healthy food. After I cleaned my diet and eliminated the foods I was sensitive to, I felt better. However, I know I still haven’t healed my Leaky Gut Syndrome as I still experienced many of the symptoms.
Although the Doctor did provide a diagnosis, I felt he didn’t provide the proper steps to help me heal. I stopped seeing the Doctor as I felt he was not helping me beyond giving a diagnostic.
After I got certified as a Health Coach and Fitness Nutritionist, I can now say I have the tools and knowledge to heal my Leaky Gut Syndrome. I decided to go on my own journey and heal alone. Of course, I will always get my routine blood exams to test my thyroid, cholesterol, vitamin levels and the usual. However, I will do the GAPS Diet on my own and keep track on my journey. From the research I’ve done, it is estimated that you can heal your gut from 3-6 months, sometimes 1 year. I recommend if you experience symptoms to consult your Doctor and don’t stop until you find answers to your questions!
I will do a separate posts on GAPS Diet and any approach I decide to take.
I can’t wait to share My Fit Healing Journey for my Leaky Gut Syndrome with you!
I used 2 main sources when I was doing my research on Leaky Gut Syndrome. I hope you find them useful too.