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Fibromyalgia and Leaky Gut Syndrome

In prior posts, I have mentioned briefly something called leaky gut syndrome.  In today's post I am sharing a little more detail about what this is, and what to do about it. Since the theme of this week is the gut-brain axis, and that leaky gut syndrome and "fibro fog" are part of fibromyalgia, methinks this is a very appropriate spot for this topic.

Leaky gut syndrome is a kind of grey area in medicine. For one thing, this is not something you would find a a medical textbook.  Not much is really known about the condition except that the symptoms include bloating, gas, cramps, aches, pains, and food sensitivities.  This is possibly caused by a gut that has more permeability than normal. Substances from the GI tract that would not otherwise enter the bloodstream-- seem to enter the circulation in this way.  Once in the circulation, these substances can travel virtually anywhere in the body without interference.

Another condition that often accompanies leaky gut syndrome is dysbiosis, an unfavorable growth of "bad" bacteria and yeast in the normal flora of the gut.  Dysbiosis and leaky gut syndrome can cause of distant inflammation, and have been implicated in autoimmune disease, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Diet and chronic stress seem to play a big role in leaky guy syndrome. One author suggests that the most common dietary culprits are corn, gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy.  They suggest removing all of these foods from the diet for 3 weeks. After the 3 week period, re-introduce these foods one at a time, every four days.  During the re-introduction period,  pay special attention to your symptoms.  If/when the symptoms worsen, remove the problem food from your diet for 6 months.  You can continue to eat the foods that do not worsen your symptoms.

Pay special attention to your environment; do what you can to remove your exposure to toxins. Some ideas to this point include looking through cosmetic products you use for lead.  Check the water supply in your home for lead content as well.If you eat fish, check that is free of mercury; shop for produce that is free of dioxins and pesticides.  Plastics can be an issue as well.

Pay special attention to your liver; that is the clearinghouse for toxins that may enter your body. Many foods can help you to optimize the function of your liver. These include the cabbage family of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage); kale,beans, and nuts.

Sources: WebMD,DoctorOZ,Wikipedia


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