Leaky Gut

I’m creating this page to document my frustrating journey with healing leaky gut in hopes that I can make it less frustrating for others. The frustration comes from a lot of information about how to heal it using bone broth and different variations of an elimination diet. I’ve been eating a whole-food, plant-based (vegan) diet since 1991 and there has to be some good solid scientific studies supporting the claims before I would consider using bone broth.

Doctor Michael Greger from Nutritionfacts.org reports that there is nothing published in the scientific literature supporting the use of bone broth for leaky gut. I looked on PubMed and there are a few studies about bone broth, including this one, that debunks the collagen theory and nothing about healing leaky gut. Dr. Greger addresses high lead concentrations in bone broth here. And here is an interview with Dr. Pam Popper and special guest Dr. Janice Stanger talking about “Why Bone Broth Can’t Possibly Help You.”   Dr. Pam addresses bone broth again here.  She starts talking about bone broth at 5:45 

Dr. Tom O’Bryan gives the best explanation of what leaky gut is in this video interview with Clint Paddison of the Paddison Prgram for reversing rheumatoid arthritis.  The underlying issue with rheumatoid arthritis is leaky gut so I have learned a lot from his YouTube videos. In fact, this has been the best information source for me.

So what does a person do when they test positive for leaky gut and follow a whole-food, plant-based diet? The more pressing questions was how in the world did I get this when I work so hard to eat the best that I can. I did a lot of praying and searching doctor google.

My first clue that I might have leaky gut was from this interview on the Lillian McDermott radio show. Dr. Fred Pescatore was her guest on this show that I just happened to stumble upon. (I don’t believe in coincidences) He talks about allergies and how leaky gut is the cause of them. He lists all the other symptoms of leaky gut, one of which was food sensitivities and headaches. You know  when you hear something and you just know without a doubt that it’s right? That was my light bulb moment! I had been suffering with regular head aches for 20 years! (And I often had them growing up.) And it’s only the last 8 years that I’ve related them to food sensitivities and began eliminating obvious offenders.  Within a week I once again stumbled upon an interview on the Lillian McDermott radio show with Dr. Richard Horowitz and he talked about leaky gut. I don’t need to be hit over the head with a sledge hammer to get my attention! I knew without a doubt that this is what I had! I didn’t even need to be tested.

But I did get tested just so I had the physical proof. I sent away for a test kit from Walk in Labs.com that was recommended by my naturopath and Dr. Michael Klaper.  Within a couple of weeks I got the results and it was positive.  But the way that it read, it seemed to indicate that it wasn’t that bad. I figured this would be a piece of cake and since I was so healthy, I would heal quickly.  WRONG! Get that out of your head right now! This takes time, sacrifice, commitment, and a whole lot of patience!

Another thing I needed to get out of my head was that the green smoothies and big leafy green salads that I had been eating daily for over 20 years are no longer good for me. They were actually some of the foods that were causing my head aches. That is because when you have leaky gut, it’s the foods that you eat on a regular basis that your body creates an allergy to. (The video above with Dr. Tom O’Bryan explains this perfectly.)  For me this included beans, nuts, seeds, wheat, oats, and many fruits. So what is left? Sweet Potatoes, rice, quinoa, millet, and most cooked vegetables…..welcome the “elimination diet.” These foods are all neutral foods that don’t normally  cause inflammation.

There are a myriad of opinions out there but here are a couple of resources that I found trustworthy and valuable. Dr. John McDougall 2002 Newsletter and another great article is from Plant-Based Health Australia.

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