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Ross River Fever Experience

I was diagnosed with Ross River Virus (RRV) in early February 2019. The fist test came back negative but having had this happen with Malaria before, I was aware that the results might not show up immediately, so I asked to be tested again two weeks later. This time it was positive. I had no rash, just a day or so of low grade fever followed by a few days of general fatigue. I thought I was lucky and had dodged a more severe condition.

However one or two weeks later, some nagging aches and pains became uncomfortable. I was beginning to experience severe joint and tendon pain, stiffness and swelling. It was mostly in my fingers, wrists, ankles and shoulders. At first I thought the pain might have been a response to my clumsy attempts to do a handstand on the lawn a week previously, but instead of easing it got worse. I thought of other causes but none made sense. Had I’d over done the exercise? It kept coming back to RRV as the cause. 

The pain appeared to be in the tissues surrounding the joints, mostly in ligaments and tendons. Usually it eased during the day but one wrist was quite swollen for some weeks. I had to strap it and avoid using it. Walking any distance aggravated the pain in my ankles, particularly the Achilles tendon on one foot.  

I employed a cleaner, as I couldn’t physically do it, I was in so much pain.  I had someone come and do some maintenance in the garden. The projects I had planned were put on hold. I curtailed my activities and withdrew. I slept in the middle of the day and watched an unprecedented amount of television.  I researched and went to great lengths to make sure there were no other reasons I might be in such pain. Was it the mould in my house?  I had it cleaned.  Could it be my teeth? I went to the dentist to make sure there was no chronic inflammation in my mouth.  Could it be Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune condition with similar arthritic type pain? I had a series of blood tests, CRP, ESR and Rheumatoid Factor that would indicate inflammation. None of these were elevated. I had tests for parasites, but there was nothing unusual. I reasoned that it was unlikely to be as a result of toxin exposure because I already keep away from or avoid as many environmental toxins as is possible. The cause of this joint pain just had to be Ross River Fever.

Once I accepted this was what I was dealing with, I started researching how best to attack it. I’m a nutritional therapist and already eat a relatively ‘clean’ diet, so I explored ways in which it could be improved. I put myself on as close to an Autoimmune Protocol as was possible and ate accordingly. It’s a difficult diet to follow but the rewards of reducing inflammation were a great incentive.  I allowed myself some nuts and seeds and continued with my red wine and one coffee a day.  I looked at what I could do to support my immune system.  I supplemented with several vitamins ranging from A, B, C and D and included Selenium, Zinc and Magnesium. I tried to change my thinking to reduce any stress and made sure I had quality sleep and some physical exercise.

Just as the pain varied in intensity, it varied in location.  For a week or more it might be most intense in one wrist and then it was an ankle. When one joint subsided another flared up but all the time there was a low grade pain and inflammation in fingers, wrists, shoulders and ankles.   I took CoQ10 for energy, I ate pineapple, ginger, pawpaw and kiwi fruit for their enzymes and tried to remember to eat them outside mealtimes so the enzymes might get used systemically. I investigated several herbs, one of which is stupidly illegal. proved to be exceptional in its pain killing and anti-depressive properties. Ashwagandha may also been of assistance for its anti-depressive properties. I’d been beginning to feel quite depressed and was aware of the relationship between chronic pain and depression.

Three months elapsed before I explored mild electric shock therapy. I bought a little pen that delivered a pulsating current. When placed on an acupuncture point it caused the muscle to spasm. Remarkably this seemed effective on the wrist, supporting an old wives tale that suggested holding an electric fence.

I found it frustrating that as a nutritional Therapist that I couldn’t heal myself, so I continued to explore other modalities. Sound Therapy was interesting. Homeopathy looked promising, indeed the course I undertook may have been the breaking point. It was either that or it was getting better anyway.  It might even have been the B complex injection I had. Either way, just over 4 months later I began to realise I felt almost back to normal.  My ankles and wrists are still slightly painful on extreme extension but for regular movement I am out of pain.

It’s been a journey and I rather suspect, it’s not over. It is highly likely that when my immune system is under par, this debilitating virus will once again make its presence known. I am nowhere near as strong or resilient as I was, nor am I as fit or as flexible as I was. There’s still much to do.

Toxins – just a thought.

The other day, I watched someone I knew drink their coffee through the plastic lid of their disposable mug. This is just one way of ingesting toxic chemicals present in plastics.  There are thousands of chemicals in plastics, released into our system all the time. Think how often we use plastic in wrapping. “Why expose your self to more,” I thought. Phthalates are a common group of chemicals used in hundreds of plastic products, such as toys, vinyl flooring and wall covering, detergents, lubricating oils, food packaging, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, such as nail polish, hair sprays, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfumes. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and carcinogenic, known to damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.

Man has created over 80,000 different chemicals since World War 1 and only a few hundred have ever been tested and deemed ‘safe’. There is no legislation that demands they’re listed in a product. “Fragrances” in the list of contents, could mean anything.

Later I watched her peel a sticky label from an apple before eating it. These glues contain a variety of chemicals and one possible ingredient might be formaldehyde. She didn’t wash the apple and I was tempted to point out that apples are one of the ‘dirty dozen’. These are a group of foods that are heavily sprayed with chemicals.  

I noticed she was wearing makeup and had painted her fingernails, giving her an extra does of phthalates and another called toluene, a neurotoxin, found in many products. She had probably had a shower in chlorinated hot water that morning. Chlorine is another endocrine disruptor, and can cause headaches and respiratory issues, like asthma.  She probably washed with a fragrant soap and applied some sort of antiperspirant adding to her daily dose of phthalates. Antiperspirants contain a variety of chemicals, commonly aluminium chloride, easily absorbed through the skin and inhaled as it is applied. Apparently phthalates in the concoction cause the fragrance to linger longer. Aluminium is known to cause breast cancer.

Her breakfast cereal would have been laced in glyphosate. The milk would have been too, with added hormones and antibiotics. Glyphosate is a known carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and antibiotic. It kills off bacteria in the gut, but more importantly it damages our mitochondria (once bacteria in our cells), our little powerhouses that produce energy.  Glyphosate is now everywhere and virtually impossible to escape. All we can do is minimise our exposure.

She regularly uses antibacterial soaps and alcohol wipes to disinfect her hands. The chemical in these wipes is Isopropyl alcohol (IPA), a poison.  It becomes toxic when the liver is no longer able to manage the amount of IPA in the body. We can handle small amounts as the kidneys remove most of it. The rest is broken down into acetone by enzymes known as alcohol dehydrogenases. This acetone is filtered out of your body through the lungs or kidneys. As for the antibacterial wipes, they include a range of nasty chemicals like alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride, pesticides that not only kill toxic bacteria and but they will affect human health, as our beneficial bacteria will be killed off.

She lives in an older style wooden house and had complained of mould in the past. Mould produces Mycotoxins which are ingested or inhaled and have a range of harmful effects on the body. They are carcinogenic, able to alter our DNA and they’re estrogenic, triggering hormonal imbalance. They impair the immune system, the kidneys, liver, and nervous system. They also damage the gut microbiota acting a bit like an antibiotic, which of course has it’s own range of issues.

I knew she and her husband had been doing some painting and renovating recently. The neurotoxin, toluene would have featured in many of the products they used.  They had recently bought some new furniture and had bought a new car last year. This would have exposed her to Benzene, a chemical found in crude oil, more toluene and formaldehyde, a chemical used to preserve building materials, plus a range of heavy metals.

So, she is exposed to many chemicals during the course of her day, from shampoo, soap, dishwashing liquid, hand sanitizers and fumes.  All pretty normal stuff really. It is frightening to think she intends to fall pregnant.  She’ll have a depleted microbiome to pass on to her child and her baby will be born loaded with chemicals.  An article in the Scientific American reported that the average baby in the United States is born with over 200 chemicals in their system.

She’ll wonder why she gets breast cancer, perhaps blaming it on her genes or just bad luck. Her child might be autistic to some degree and she might develop one of the many autoimmune conditions. She almost certainly will develop some chronic inflammation that she may or may not be aware of and her quality of life will suffer. Her grandchild will inherit an even further depleted microbiome and an even bigger toxic load.

I urge all my clients, and friends to look very closely at where they’re exposing themselves to toxins. Toxins are everywhere. How necessary are certain behaviours and are there other ways of doing things?  Perhaps a little apple cider vinegar and an essential oil is enough to use as a deodorant.

The Rise of Chronic Disease

The number of people being diagnosed with a variety of chronic diseases continues to rise and according to a National Health Survey in 2015, one in every two Australians have at least one prominent chronic condition (i.e. arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or mental health conditions). Half of all deaths now across the world are as a result of non-communicable diseases, i.e. diabetes and heart disease. What isn’t necessarily recognised by allopathic medicine is that many of these are conditions have arisen as a result of a dysfunctional immune system, when the body acts against its own cells, tissues and/or organs, Autoimmunity.

What is becoming clear is that the state of the immune system is critical to health. The allopathic response to illness is to treat the symptoms. We have a string of specialists like nephrologists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, neurologists, haematologists gastroenterologists and dermatologists all treating conditions that are connected. They’re connected through the dysfunctional immune system.

What causes this dysfunction? It is becoming clear that our exposure to toxins, our nutrition, pollutants in the air and in the water, coupled with other factors like stress and our sedentary life style are all impacting upon our immune system.

In recent years there is more and more understood about the role of the microbiome, the gut microbiota and the part it plays in maintaining health. The microbiome represents 90% of the cells and more than 99.9% of the genes in our body. It has been shown that changes in microbial populations, species and diversity results in immunological imbalances which leads to inflammation and disease.

Microbial diversity is vital for the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis and for the development of the immune system in the gut mucosa. It is recognised that an important function of the gut microbiota is to educate the immune system as to what is friendly and what is foe.  When the microbial diversity is not there, or key species are not present, the education of the immune system is impaired and this causes one of the hundred or so autoimmune conditions to develop.

The hygiene hypothesis provides an explanation for the rise in autoimmune and allergic conditions. We inherit a large number of our microbes from our parents, principally our mother. The over use of antibiotics, antibacterials in foods, shampoos and soaps destroy our microbial guardians. The microbes that have evolved with us over a millennia form an amazing symbiotic association where they perform a multitude of tasks. Not only do they educate our immune system but they decide how the calories we consume are used, they control our metabolism and whether we are obese, they synthesise vitamins B and K, they produce essential short chain fatty acids and they metabolise bile acids. It is the bacteria, Enterococcus and Streptococcus who produce most of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the feel-good hormone, while Escherichia produce norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. The list of important functions performed by the gut microbes is long.  Is it any wonder chronic illness results when populations of bacteria are reduced, unbalanced or incomplete, when dysbiosis occurs?

What fascinates me is the likelihood that some species of microbes may be keystone species. They may be few in number but may be absolutely vital to the balance and health of the whole gut microbiome. Just like the re-introduction of the wolves to Yellowstone National Park was able to affect the flow and health of the rivers or that Wildebeest numbers have an effect on giraffe populations in the Serengeti, it is hypothesised that there are certain species of gut microbes that have a disproportionate influence on the structure and health of the gut microbiome even though they are small in number. If we inadvertently eradicated those keystone species through over use of antibiotics in childhood, what effect would it have on our health as adults?

There is so much to understand and the realisation that our microbiome is as unique to us as our fingerprint has helped us understand why we all respond so differently to different diets, different medications and lifestyles. We are all unique.

Deuterium – Deuterium depletion and what it means.

I heard about deuterium for the first time recently. It plays such an important roll in health that I was consumed with trying to understand what it was and what the implications were on our health. The science is relatively new and the impact of deuterium on health is only now being understood.

Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen. Hydrogen normally has an electron and proton while deuterium is hydrogen with both the electron and proton but also a neutron.  As we know, water molecule is made up of two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen. Water made from this hydrogen isotope is known as heavy water or deuterium and it’s twice the weight of a water molecule.  Deuterium occurs in nature at around 155ppm. In our body, which is 60% water, we should aim to have less than that at 120-130ppm.

The mitochondria in our cells make water, known as metabolic water. It is deuterium deplete. The mitochondria in our cells take hydrogen molecules, suck up oxygen molecules and produce water, carbon dioxide and energy in the form of ATP.  At rest the body will make about 1½ litres of metabolic water per day. This will rise with activity but can also vary with the composition of food we eat. 100 grams of fat will produce 110 grams of water compared to 42 grams of water from 100 grams of protein. How effectively this is done depends upon a good supply of hydrogen from our food and oxygen from the air.  If there is too much deuterium in the mitochondria from our food and water, the hydrogen molecules are less available, the system becomes sluggish and the process will not work as well.  Less oxygen comes into the cell, less water is made and less energy results. In the long term, having too much deuterium in your cells can lead to premature aging, metabolic problems, and a range of diseases.

Low deuterium in the body improves mitochondrial function, improving energy and health.

So how do we ensure the mitochondria do not get sluggish and operate at an optimum capacity? We need to make sure deuterium levels in the body are low and we can do this by eating foods that are low in deuterium and that produce the most amount of deuterium deplete, metabolic water as possible.

It comes as no surprise that processed foods, high carbohydrate foods, grains and starches, legumes and fruits are high deuterium foods. We should aim to eat foods low in or that lower deuterium. These are foods high in animal fat (grass fed), healthy plant based fats like avocado and coconut, nuts and green, leafy, low carbohydrate vegetables. In other words, a ketogenic diet will help deplete deuterium.

Oxygenating the body will help mitochondria function, as oxygen helps deplete deuterium in the body.  This is where exercise and movement are important.

Light, in particular red light also plays a part in deuterium depletion. Red light resonates with hydrogen; the biochemist can explain how this is important for plants in photosynthesis, but in the body red light has the effect of reducing the viscosity of the water and thus improving mitochondrial function.

Interestingly the water we drink at sea level is 155 ppm deuterium. Water and air at lower altitudes is higher in deuterium. This makes sense as the hydrogen isotope, deuterium is heavier than ordinary hydrogen. If we drink too much water it will raise deuterium levels in the body. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), produced in the hypothalamus, regulates the amount of water in the body. If water is consumed at current recommendations of around the 2 litres per day, the release ADH will ensure excess water is excreted. Unfortunately this will include the deuterium depleted metabolic water. If we follow a high fat diet, we really don’t need to drink that much water.

Much of the information here came from the Centre for Deuterium Depletion. It’s worth a look – https://www.ddcenters.com/  Watch some of their explanatory videos and decide what you’ll do with the information. I’ve long understood the benefits of a ketogenic type diet and in my last blog Summer Eating, experienced the benefits as well. I’m fascinated to finally understand why I felt more energised, so I’ll be more aware of what I’m eating and I’ll be eating a lot more fat. Incidentally, I recently had some blood tests, my cholesterol has gone down, despite eating more fat!

Summer Eating

So I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve been labouring for a friend for the last few weeks or so, but now I’ve finished. I wanted to share some of my observations. I found that while I was working, my diet subtly changed.

Up here in north Queensland it’s been hot, some days really hot. It reached 37 degrees Celsius, nearly 100 F, on my veranda several days in a row.   At first I was shattered at the end of the day. The heat, coupled with the increased activity, took its toll.   As a nutritionist I am generally conscious of what I eat and drink and I’m also getting good at ‘listening’ to my body. I raced home for lunch had to make something quick. The lads working on the site sat down to a sandwich or a pie.

Whilst I felt hungry I didn’t feel like carbohydrate rich foods. It was almost an unconscious decision. I sensed that in the heat carbohydrates would have slowed me up, made me feel heavy and fatigued. Some days I chopped up a range of vegetables, mostly greens and made a stir-fry, being liberal with the coconut oil. On other days I cut up a lettuce, which I ate with sardines and sauerkraut. Occasionally I ate cheese with cucumber and sauerkraut.  Sometimes I might have a small piece of meat, or some bacon and eggs. Often I would wilt some leafy greens while I poached a couple of eggs, always giving a generous splash of olive or macadamia oil. Surprisingly these hastily prepared, simple meals became my main meal of the day. In the evening I’d have something small.

I felt good for it. I had more energy and I lost a bit of weight.  I have no doubt I expended more energy than usual. I had to give away the sweet potatoes and I didn’t eat rice. I stopped buying the tropical fruits, which are generally high in sugars, in favour of some local temperate fruit, apples, peaches, nectarines and blueberries.

I think we forget these days to eat to the environmental conditions, to only eat when we’re hungry and to eat good, nutritionally dense foods. How often do we eat when we’re not hungry, out of habit, or eat something quick and convenient because we’re in a hurry?  Then again, how often do we pick at comfort foods?

We’re all different, have different needs and likes but there are some core recommendations, or nutritional practices common to all of us. That is to eat nutrient dense foods, avoid starchy and processed foods, empty of nutrients and high in calories. Eat mostly fresh, organic plant based foods, colourful where possible. It goes without saying; we should avoid grains and sugar. Eat quality fats, coconut, olive, macadamia and avocado oils. Above all, eat less and enjoy it!

Obesity – Why we are fat and what can we do about it!

Obesity is a modern disease. No ‘hunter-gatherer’ was obese, they wouldn’t be able to function in that society.  Now more than sixty per cent of the population are obese and the number is rising. Many chronic, metabolic conditions are becoming increasingly common and they are all associated with obesity. These include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, diabetes, various cancers, heart disease as well as liver, gallbladder and kidney diseases.

We used to think, and it is still commonly touted that if someone is obese, they simply eat too much, that it is merely calories in and calories out. One might think that if calories in, equal calories expended, balance is achieved.  However the human body is dynamic and it is constantly adjusting. For example it adjusts the metabolism up, to burn more or down to burn less. So same calories, different response, some people will gain weight and others wont.

It seems the body has what is referred to as a ‘set weight’ or ‘set point’ and will do it’s best to maintain this weight.  Studies have been done with obese and non-obese people to try and get some to gain weight and others to loose weight.In the short term it proved challenging to change their weight as the body tries to maintain it’s ‘set weight’.  The hormone leptin plays an important role in appetite control and metabolism. It’s produced by the fat cells and it is produced in proportion to body’s fat mass.  Therefor the more the body fat the more leptin produced. Through the hypothalamus it regulates appetite and the rate at which the body will burn energy. Leptin regulates metabolism.   If the body is constantly ‘bathed’ in this hormone because there is too much fat, there is the danger the body becomes less sensitive to it and leptin resistance occurs. Now there is no turn off to appetite.  I like the analogy of playing music. Too much, too loud impairs hearing, so we turn the music up to hear better which causes more damage. Too much leptin means more produced, which means more food, more fat and more leptin. Leptin resistance occurs. 

A deficiency in leptin hormone can also lead to obesity. The signalling pathways can become disrupted to the hypothalamus and without leptin signally ‘enough food’ calorie intake is not regulated. There is a hypothesis that inflammation of the hypothalamus might cause dysfunctional signalling, and cause over eating resulting in a higher ‘set point’.

Similarly insulin when it is always in the bloodstream the body becomes less sensitive to it. Insulin is produced in the pancreas in response to how much glucose there is in the bloodstream. It has two main jobs, firstly to ‘escort’ the glucose to our cells and secondly to promote any excess to form fat. When insulin resistance occurs or the body doesn’t use insulin efficiently, the body is forced to make yet more insulin to compensate. With too much insulin in the bloodstream, there isn’t the control of leptin, which creates a range of problems.

It is not just inflammation of the hypothalamus that may lead to a higher set point or set weight. Another cause may have started a lot earlier. Obesity is occurring in young children at an alarming rate and it’s not just from inactivity and junk food, but from their obese mothers. The glucose molecule is small and can easily cross the placenta and into the foetus, so the unborn child has to deal with large amounts of mother’s circulating glucose. Her insulin can’t help as the insulin molecule is too large to cross the placenta. The unborn child’s own pancreas has to compensate producing high levels of insulin in response to mums high levels of glucose and this puts the child at risk of developing Insulin Resistance Syndrome. At the very least the child is likely to develop insulin and leptin resistance at a later stage. 

When the body’s two choices to either burn or store calories go awry, obesity and disease results.  What do we do to avoid, type 2 diabetes and the variety of other metabolic disorders developing? How do we loose weight easily?

There is a plethora of diets, ideas and protocols that have been developed over the years. People have made a lot of money selling all manner of supplements and plans and with so many ideas, many conflicting, it is almost impossible to decide what to do. Lots people try and give up, resigning themselves to being obese.

We need to turn the volume down, not up. We need to increase sensitivity to leptin. Likewise by not spiking blood glucose to dizzying heights with refined carbohydrates we can reduce the amount of insulin required and again, increase sensitivity to it.

We need to reduce the body’s ‘set point’ or ‘set weight’,and yes, this does require less calories in, but it is also important to keep in mind the body’s metabolic rate and how the body might not only deal with those calories, burn or store, but how the body will respond to those calories.What signals are triggered? This is important, different foods may have a similar calorific value, but the effect on the ‘reward’ centre of the brain, which releases dopamine, the effect on the pancreas which releases insulin and the effect on satiety, can be completely different.

It is actually not that difficult to follow a plan that reduces the reliance on reward or dopamine, reduces insulin production and increases the feeling of satiety. We can avoid feeling hungry, eat many of the foods we like and still loose weight, and it is not what popular press, nor the medical world will tell you. 

This way of eating and change in lifestyle, will slowly reduce the body’s ‘set weight, increase metabolic rate and decrease overall weight.It promotes high protein foods, like meats, because proteins will signal appetite satiety, it promotes eating complex only carbohydrates as they do the same and don’t spike insulin production and what’s more, they also reduce the stimulation of the reward centre.  These high fibre foods like leafy greens and roots vegetables are high in nutrients.Nutrient dense foods are what we should be aiming for, not the ‘empty’ calories of processed foods.

In summary, the changes in nutrition and lifestyle I would be recommending would be to eat high fibre foods, low glycemic fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples and kiwi fruit, nutritiously dense dark leafy greens and high protein foods. This translates to eating meat and eggs regularly, so an average day might look like bacon and eggs on wilted greens for breakfast, sardines and salad for lunch and steak, onions, broccoli and cauliflower for diner.

I would recommend good sleep and moderate exercise, walking daily is good, as this would improve metabolism. Whilst I don’t advocate high fat foods in isolation, I do suggest that there is nothing wrong with a healthy amount of various fats on meat, in cooking or as a salad dressing.  However to loose weight, I do strongly suggest following a very low carbohydrate diet, which includes avoiding all processed flours, especially wheat.

Another important suggestion would be to follow a fasting regime. This can mean a combination of eating within a small window during the day, i.e. 11 am to 5 pm and, or having one or two days per week where a very small amount of food is eaten, if any.

If you would like to talk further, have meal plans and shopping lists prepared, please make an appointment.

So What’s ‘Leaky Gut’?

The intestinal barrier is a crucial barrier against the external environment. Made up of a single layer of cells, the intestinal barrier is selectively permeable, allowing the absorption of nutrients, electrolytes and water, whilst making an effective defence against toxins, antigens and intestinal microflora. Below this physical barrier is the body’s second line of defence, the immune system, ready and waiting to act upon any unwanted or unrecognised molecules.

Leaky gut or intestinal permeability occurs when this barrier, the mucosal membrane, becomes compromised allowing potentially harmful molecules to enter the interstitial fluid and then into the bloodstream. This is the cue for various mechanisms of the immune system like leucocytes and macrophages, monocytes, and neutrophils to kick into action to stop any of this foreign matter entering the bloodstream. White blood cells that have quietly been mopping up unwanted material go into over-drive and call for help, stimulating an inflammatory response.

This single layer of cells, enterocytes are cemented together by tight junction proteins creating the intestinal barrier. It was recently discovered (Fasano 2000) that a human protein called Zonulin was responsible for regulating these tight junctions. Zonulin causes the ‘cement’ to give up its hold between cells resulting in the gut lining becoming loose as they separate. The intestinal lining becomes ‘permeable’. The mechanisms of Zonulin release is still being studied, suffice to say the wrong bacteria or a condition known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Over-growth (SIBO) and plant lectins, like Gluten (grains) and Candida over-growth (high sugar diet), have been identified as major triggers. 

Normally bacteria in the gut play a crucial role in actively maintaining a healthy intestinal barrier but when their composition and their location in the gut goes wrong, the resulting damage can cause abdominal pain and bloating, flatulence, reflux, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea, inflammation and poor absorption of micronutrients. The immune response can become exaggerated and disordered. SIBO has been linked with autoimmune disorders like diabetes, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis and coeliac disease, obesity and many other conditions.  This disturbed or damaged gut can result in food allergies and sensitivities, skin disorders such as acne and rosacea, and generalised inflammation. Mal-absorption of nutrients is likely to lead to deficiencies of iron, B12, calcium, zinc and fat-soluble vitamins A, D & E. These deficiencies result in fatigue, anaemia, weight loss, as well as mood and behavioural disorders like anxiety, depression and exaggerate conditions like ADHD and autism.

A combination of other things like the environmental toxins, chemicals like glyphosate, medications and alcohol, age, stress and lack of sleep can also lead to either Zonulin dysfunction and / or damage to the equilibrium of the microbiome. Either way the tight junctions give way and toxins or partially digested material is able to enter the bloodstream. The good news is, these enterocytes are renewing all the time and depending upon the level of damage, the lining of the gut will repair and re-new anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks. Consuming grains with gluten will lead to ‘leaky gut’ but depending upon the frequency, this sort of damage can repair in a relatively short time. However over time complications can arise and the damage may take longer to repair and if gluten and other lectins are consumed several times a day, seven days a week the gut is never given a chance to ‘heal’.

Come and talk to me about minimising damage to your gut, what it takes to eat heal and maintain a healthy gut lining, to calm your immune system and avoid autoimmune conditions developing. Most people don’t show any symptoms of chronic disease and inflammation until the damage is done, until a doctor diagnoses a condition.   I see this inflammation in people all the time, dry flaky skin, rashes, acne, aching joints, flushed faces, bags under their eyes, fatigue and brain fog. The indicators are there. Don’t let disease develop. Change your diet. leaky gut