Many holistic and naturopathic practitioners will use the term ‘leaky gut’ to describe a range of inflamatory digestive issues in the gut.
While conventional medicine is still catching up on the latest research and theories, leaky gut can be a contributor to many types of diseases including mood disorders.
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What is leaky gut?
Put simply, leaky gut is when the lining of the intestines become porous therefore enabling undigested waste such as toxins to flow in the blood stream causing a whole host of issues in the body.
Sally, our nurse and Colonic Hydrotherapist says “when inflammatory foods reach the gut it causes these holes to be created and toxins then purge through the blood stream and causes an autoimmune response.”
In other words, these foreign toxins end up being attacked by the body, with the liver and immune system kicking in.
She discusses that this immense stress that the body is put through (usually without any chronic symptoms initially), causes an autoimmune response which can manifest into health issues like;
But what is believed to be a major cause of leaky gut?
Sally says that this inflammation which makes small holes in the intestinal wall is caused primarily from grains and therefore discusses in depth with guests the reactive inflammatory response grains have on the gut during her talks, her one-to-one sessions and colonics.
She advises them to either cut grains out completely or investigate through trial and error which grains guests have a response to, “ask yourself, what can your body cope with? Some people can tolerate in small amount, others can’t tolerate at all” says Sally.
Here are the most common types of grains that are also snuck into a lot of processed food products:
Interestingly, Dr. Perlmutter discusses the “silent attack” grains have on the body in his book Grain Brain (2013).
He discusses that when the body reacts to food, the immune system sends out inflammatory chemicals to kill the enemies leaving the walls of the intestines damaged; “once you have a leaky gut, you’re highly susceptible to additional food sensitivities in the future.
And the onslaught of inflammation can also put you at risk for developing autoimmune disease.” (Perlmutter 2013 pg, 63).
Sally expresses that when grains come into the body, the “good bacteria” is also killed in the process and “while you may not get symptoms of digestive issues, the grains still reduce your absorbtion of nutrients in the body.”
So how do we allow the gut to heal?
Firstly, Sally recommends going on a detox either juice fasting or raw food, in order to give your body a break from these toxins – and at Amchara we are a completely grain free/dairy free kitchen.
During the retreat Sally recommends colonic hydrotherapy as “there can be pockets in the bowel where waste is stuck and unless you have a colonic to fill bowel up with water, that sludge that is going into your blood stream can never fully empty.”
Secondly, taking a good probiotic (which we provide at the first initial consultation) in order to bring in the good bacteria into the body is essential.
Thirdly, when going back into normal life outside the retreat Hollie, the manager at Amchara Gozo recommends that you change your mindset about grains; “treating grains as a treat, rather than a staple food and replacing grains with other foods.”
At Amchara Gozo, we have Sally and Hollie offering their extensive knowledge on gut health and expertise on colonic hydrotherapy, as well as creative chef’s who do weekly food demonstrations to provide you with healthy food ideas to take home.
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