<title>Awender Chiropractic | Leaky Gut Syndrome</title>
<h1>Leaky Gut Syndrome </h1>

Any one of the following can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome:

In addition to the creation of food allergies by the Leaky Gut Syndrome, the bloodstream is invaded by bacteria, fungi and parasites that, in the healthy state, would not penetrate the protective barrier of the gut. These microbes and their toxins, if present in large enough amounts, can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. This results in symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, brain fog or facial swelling when the individual is exposed to a perfume or to cigarette smoke that he or she had no adverse reactions to prior to the development of the Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky Gut Syndrome also creates a long list of mineral deficiencies because the various carrier proteins present in the gastrointestinal tract that are needed to transport minerals from the intestine to the blood are damaged by the inflammation process. For example, magnesium deficiency (low red blood cell magnesium) is quite a common finding in conditions like fibromyalgia despite a high magnesium intake through the diet and supplementation. If the carrier protein for magnesium is damaged, magnesium deficiency develops as a result of malabsorption. Muscle pain and spasms can occur as a result. Similarly, zinc deficiency due to malabsorption can result in hair loss or baldness as occurs in alopecia areata. Copper deficiency can occur in an identical way leading to high blood cholesterol levels and osteoarthritis. Further, bone problems develop as a result of the malabsorption of calcium, boron, silicon and manganese. (from the web page of Dr. Zoltan Rona, Toronto, Ontario)

Yeast problems have been around for a long time. The culprit--candida albicans, a type of fungus--creates minor conditions such as vaginitis and skin rashes. Allowed to multiply unchecked, it can cause a long and complicated list of symptoms--headaches, irritability, digestive problems, allergies and depression. In people with seriously compromised immune systems, yeast can enter the bloodstream and be fatal.

Unfortunately, an overgrowth of yeast is not always easy to detect. Some women (candida albicans usually favors women) simply get annoying, recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Mary Thomas had them like clockwork four times a year for 15 years. When her symptoms flared up, she treated them with a topical pharmaceutical application. They would disappear gradually over a few days, only to recur in two or three months. At her wit's end, Mary consulted an herbalist who, after a thorough examination, recommended a high oral dose of grapefruit seed extract. Her symptoms quickly disappeared. Suitably impressed, she sought treatment that would help her control her yeast infections and maintain her health.

Not all sufferers are so lucky. Candida does not always manifest itself as a simple vaginal infection, making it extremely difficult to detect and treat. In fact, for Martha Ashe, vaginal yeast was never a problem. All she new was that her stomach became distended after dinner, she often felt depressed for no apparent reason, and her joints and muscles often ached. Just prior to her periods, Martha's headaches and general sense of "spaciness" intensified, leaving her exhausted and more depressed. Most medical doctors dismissed her "vague" symptoms as psychosomatic or simply stress related, sending her home more discouraged than ever. Thinking her symptoms might be diet related, Martha turned to an herbal nutritionist for help. The nutritionist recommended a thorough examination of Martha's digestive tract, wrote up a complete heath history and ordered blood work done. The results showed that Martha suffered from rampant polysystemic candidiasis. After carefully following a strict diet coupled with herbal treatments and vitamin supplements for a year, Martha feels she's finally yeast-free.

The Unfriendly Tenant

Although candida-related illnesses have plagued women for decades, it wasn't until 1968 that anyone in the medical profession was able to connect an overgrowth of yeast with a host of symptoms and complaints. While treating a patient for a vaginal yeast infection, C. Orion Truss, M.D., of Birmingham, Ala., noticed that her migraines and depression also disappeared. Fifteen years passed before Truss's work received notice through the publication of The Yeast Connection by William G. Crook, MD.

Candida albicans occurs naturally in the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts, as well as on the skin. Ninety-five percent of us have yeast growing in our bodies by six months of age. Candida shares the intestines with billions of bacteria, which perform many necessary functions, including producing vitamins and lowering cholesterol. Yeast competes for space and food with these "good" bugs. If we have enough healthy intestinal flora, our system will keep yeast under control.

In a healthy person, candida yeast are present in very small numbers. We don't know of any benefit from them being there--they seem to live off us, but are basically harmless. However, anything that promotes yeast growth can lead to an imbalance and trigger a yeast-related disease. Candidiasis typically progresses in a very systematic way. The symptoms escalate in four stages. First, imbalances begin in the digestive tract. As the candida begins to dominate the intestinal environment, people develop characteristic symptoms such as heartburn, gas, bloating , anal itching and vaginitis. As body defenses weaken, candida and other fungi can infect other body areas, causing athlete's foot, jock itch, skin and nail infections. Although yeast cannot invade bodily tissue directly the way bacteria and viruses can, like other fungi, it produces root-like structures that penetrate the lining of the gut. This damage provides a site for incompletely digested dietary proteins to enter the bloodstream. The body sees these proteins as antigens and responds by developing an allergic reaction to that particular food. Candida sufferers are plagued by multiple food sensitivities, a condition that creates a vicious circle of immune suppression, further candida and allergy.

As candidiasis progresses, yeast cells attach themselves to mucous membrane surfaces, form a colony and transform into a fuzzy "mycelium" (think mold on bread). As their roots penetrate the tissues, searching for nutrients, the yeast produce toxins that damage the tissue and cause inflammation. Any tissue that has been colonized by yeast will be plagued with symptoms---vaginitis, diarrhea, heartburn or "thrush" (yeast in the mouth). Yeast cells can also show up in the sinuses, ears and eyes. As the toxic by-products of a yeast infection circulate through the bloodstream, they can trigger symptoms in distant parts of the body. This tissue upset can result in conditions as diverse as asthma, sinusitis, lupus, PMS and kidney stones, according to Dr. Ralph Golan, writing in Optimal Wellness. Symptoms depend on which organ has been affected by the toxins. Damage to the brain can cause fuzzy thinking, while skin damage will cause itching and rashes. As the immune system becomes compromised, the body becomes hypersensitive to otherwise benign levels of such common chemicals as gas fumes, perfume and pesticides. The yeast-damaged body becomes so overwhelmed that it can produce antibodies against its own tissues, causing conditions like severe PMS. Along with classic allergy symptoms like hay fever and hives, as the sufferer becomes more allergic and chemically sensitive, she can develop reactions including headache, joint pain and nausea.

A third set of symptoms occurs when a yeast infection involves the central nervous system, and mental symptoms such as headache, irritability, confusion and lethargy begin. Finally, in an advanced case of candidiasis the body develops symptoms of organ and hormone dysfunction. The most common of these is hypothyroidism, followed by adrenal failure, but any organ can be involved. In children, the symptoms usually start with chronic ear infections and colic.

What Triggers The Invasion?

Candida truly is a disease of modern life. All of the factors that aggravate yeast overgrowth are consequences of modern living. Healthy people do not get yeast infections.

Yeast overgrows for two reasons: Something feeds it or something suppresses the immune system, rendering the body incapable of controlling it. Antibiotics are thought to be the single greatest contributor to candida. True, antibiotics kill unwanted bacteria, such as those that cause teenage acne, but they also nonselectively kill the good bacteria in the digestive tract and vagina, allowing the antibiotic resistant candida albicans to flourish. Women often develop vaginal yeast infections after using antibiotics and frequently trace their first onset of candidiasis to a potent course of antibiotics, often years before. Once candidiasis develops and the gut is overgrown with yeast, the body's colony of beneficial bacteria cannot be reestablished without treatment.

Yeast also loves sugar. Remember, yeast is used to ferment sugar in bread and beer. White sugar, especially, is the perfect yeast food. It also suppresses immune response, which increases the likelihood that a yeast infection will spread. Sugar is not the only dietary culprit: All carbohydrates feed yeast to a certain extent and can contribute to episodes of symptoms.

Women are more at risk for the yeast syndrome, at least during their fertile years. Progesterone, produced in abundance prior to menstruation, favors yeast, and many premenstrual women see an increase in their yeast symptoms. Progesterone is a principal ingredient in oral contraceptives, which, not surprisingly, provoke yeast. When the body is in balance, taking oral contraceptives shouldn't cause significant yeast problems, but when candida is out of control, birth control pills can be a serious complicating factor.

During pregnancy, women develop higher blood sugar and higher progesterone. What could be better for yeast? In fact, many women trace the onset of their symptoms to their first pregnancy.

Finally, of course, women have a vagina---one more dark, moist, warm cavity for yeast to call home. A recent study showed that women with vaginal candidiasis had one-sixth the normal level of beta carotene in the cells of the vagina. Reduced levels of beta carotene, a recognized immune-enhancing antioxidant, suggest suppressed immunity in those tissues, leaving them more susceptible to vaginal yeast.

(N.B. It is virtually impossible to have a yeast or fungus infection in just one small area, such as the vagina. Fungi and yeast only need dark, warm, and moist conditions to become opportunistic. Our bodies have literally a multitude of other dark, warm, and moist locations. People who have been adequately treated with prescription drugs for fungi often find that have less itching in their ears, that their sinus problems clear up, and that various body rashes disappear. While those are external benefits to anti-fungals, internally, they often find that they breath easier, asthma-like symptoms disappear, thrush evaporates, and their IBS is no longer a problem. One of the main reasons for us to have fungal problems is that we have been found to lower NK cells. NK cells are among the first line of the immune system's defense to ward off opportunistic infections. While alternative medicine practitioners know and treat this problem, it is only the nationally-recognized CFS, FM, MCS, and Lyme-literate doctors who address these issues. Attempting to obtain appropriate and adequate anti-fungal treatment from one's HMO or regular Internist is almost a lost cause, despite the overwhelming research that proves its reality. MJK)

Numerous other circumstances favor yeast development. Incomplete digestion of carbohydrates, especially when combined with diarrhea, brings food to the yeast that inhabit the large intestine. A number of drugs, especially cortisone, encourage the growth of yeast, as does exposure to damaging amounts of environmental chemicals, such as pesticides. Allergies, glandular disorders from any source (including diabetes) and trauma (such as surgery) also contribute to candidiasis. Clearly, none of these factors alone causes yeast disorder, which is what makes the condition so elusive. To treat the problem successfully once yeast has gotten firmly established, you must "search and destroy" each of candida's building blocks one by one.

The Counter-Attack

Candida can be controlled with a multi-pronged approach aimed at normalizing and strengthening immune function, killing yeast in the digestive tract (and other areas it has colonized), replacing beneficial flora in the intestines and stabilizing the nutritional status of the body as a whole.


Eat whole foods that nourish you--not the yeast. You knew all along I was going to say it: No Sugar. The more you minimize simple carbohydrates in favor of complex carbohydrates, the better. Most people need to eliminate fruit for a period of time, and some can't even tolerate high-starch vegetables like potatoes. Essentially, the diet that starves yeast while supporting the immune system avoids sweets, refined flours and all allergy-producing and mold-containing foods (if sensitive to them). Such a diet includes adequate protein, a lot of fresh vegetables, complex carbohydrates appropriate to the case and moderate fat and fruit only as tolerated.

(N.B. One of the alternative products recommended to boost the immune system is Spirulina, a.k.a., Blue-Green Algae. If we are trying to lessen molds and yeast in our body, I have difficulty understanding why anyone would subject themselves to what is essentially moldy pond scum, Regardless of the alleged purity of the product and its purported high concentrations of beneficial nutrients, its basis remains the same - mold derived from murky, stagnant water. If it works for you, IÕm delighted. However, the doctors who promote of this product generally have no understanding of the our disease. MJK)

Food craving can be a big problem on an anti-yeast diet. When full of yeast, people feel a tremendous pressure to feed the fungus with sugar. Dr. Crook likens eating sugar in these circumstances to throwing kerosene on a fire. For cravings, he recommends protein, such as raw nuts or baked tofu. Ironically, when people have multiple food allergies, they are often addicted to the very foods that produce the allergic reactions and have classic withdrawal cravings without those foods. Supplements. Many natural medicines work well to control yeast. One of the most important is "friendly flora," the bactobacilli that belong in the gut. Because the yeast has colonized the membranes of the intestines, large doses of lactobacilli are necessary to overpower the candida and replace its colonies. Use powdered acidophilus from the refrigerator case. A typical dose is two tablespoons per day for two weeks. In addition, you can use five mg of biotin per day or try Caprylic acid (begin with 200 to 300 mg a day, working up to 6,000 mg a day after two to three weeks).


Many herbs act as anti-fungals. Basically, we can separate them into those that kill yeast directly and those that control it by supporting the immune system over time. Some do both.

Getting control of yeast requires a holistic approach to your total lifestyle. The world---and our bodies with it---is covered with yeast, and you will never be able to kill enough of the fungus to escape it. Only by adjusting your diet, de-stressing your lifestyle and supporting your immune system can you conquer candida. For this whole-person problem, with a little discipline, you will find a whole-person solution.

Yeast Risk Factor

Antibiotics, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, cortisone and other immunosuppressant drugs, sugar, high-fat high-sugar nutrient-poor diets, environmental chemicals, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, allergy-producing foods, malabsorption of nutrients, chronic diarrhea, chronic viral infections, anti-inflammatory drugs, ulcer medication or acid blockers/antacids used for prolonged periods, emotional trauma.


Fresh lemon, fresh lime, most vegetable juices except carrot and beet, most vegetables, fresh garlic, fresh ginger


Fruit, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, ketchup, all alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee, dried-herb teas, milk, vinegar MCS-IMMUNE-NEURO is a support/information/positive action list to help those with chemical injury and resulting immune and/or nervous system problems manage their illness and lead fulfilling lives. Ginny Kloth

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