By Dr. Daryl Gioffre, Nutritionist
Hippocrates is one of the most distinguished figures in the history of medicine and many of his findings hold true today. One quote of his in particular, “All disease begins in the gut,” might be one of the most important things he said. Although I would argue that all diseases originate on your plate, Hippocrates looked to the gut as the cause of many diseases and over time, modern day physicians and scientists have proved his proclamation correct.
When you are pumping acidic foods into you your body such as sugar, grains, dairy, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, and too much animal protein, the gut will become inflamed. Did you know that 80 percent of your immune system and 80 percent of your nervous system lives in your digestive tract?
Proper digestive health is critical to your overall health and energy. The gut becomes inflamed due to toxins we take into our body. Signs of inflammation in the gut aren’t limited to stomach problems, but can include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas, reflux, and leaky gut. Chronic issues such as fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, skin issues, and other illness can be traced back to acidity and inflammation, which is the smoking gun that is causing the issues. Eating unhealthy foods leads to acid in the body and causes inflammation, which can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, and even Alzheimer’s Disease!
LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
Today, a major problem some 95 percent of Americans (if not more based on my Live Blood Cell Analysis research) are facing is called leaky gut syndrome. This occurs when the lining of the digestive tract is damaged, and increasingly, toxins and harmful substances that are supposed to be making their way out of your body slip right back in. A once healthy gut, begins to be overtaken by unhealthy bacteria, which leads to a state called dysbiosis.
These unhealthy bacteria create gas and noxious toxins that can lead to all kinds of problems such as reflux, stubborn weight gain, food allergies, slow metabolism, thyroid disease, joint pain, fatigue or lack of energy, autoimmune disorders, headaches, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and skin conditions like acne and rosacea.
Many foods are highly acidic and lead to leaky gut and acid in the body. Gluten is a major force behind leaky gut syndrome; it’s so acidic that it creates openings (more like craters) in the tight junctions of the gut. As a result, the body’s natural defenses can’t stop acid from getting into the bloodstream.
What happens with leaky gut is that the problem spirals downward. As nutrients don’t get properly absorbed from food, acid and inflammation increasingly builds up. If your body isn’t processing nutrients properly, you could be eating healthy but someone eating a Big Mac and fries could be healthier than you (well, not really but you get my point!). To compound the problem, many Americans have a leaky gut and don’t know it.
Many symptoms of a leaky gut are treated as diseases or conditions rather than a symptom of leaky gut. For example, gluten and dairy sensitivities are the top signs that the there is an issue with the gut, as are other food allergies and intolerances. If the intestines are leaking toxins, the body’s immune system starts working overtime, producing antibodies to foods and causing a reaction when the food is consumed. This can ultimately lead to other gastrointestinal illnesses such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, or Crohn’s Disease, almost always are traced to a leaky gut. Other signs that there is a problem in the gut are autoimmune diseases or disorders. Illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, and Fibromyalgia all have been tied to leaky gut syndrome as well. Not to mention, general fatigue and skin problems are often based on an imbalance in the gut.
THERE ARE SOLUTIONS
To know for sure if the problem is a leaky gut, there are tests. At the Gioffre Chiropractic Wellness Center, patients receive a live blood analysis to determine if yeast and other toxins have made their way into the blood stream.
The good news is inflammation and leaky gut can be corrected, by using my Weed/Seed/Feed approach.
Rule #1 is to weed out and remove any and all trigger foods. This includes refined grains, soy, rice and anything with gluten. Stay away from all dairy products. The dairy protein casein that hurts the digestive tract is even found in goat’s milk and sheep’s milk, so only use dairy alternatives like almond, hemp, and coconut milk. Perhaps the worst thing you can eat is sugar. Sugar is one of the most acidic substances on the planet and is just helping the bad bacteria in your digestive system, making a leaky gut worse. You’ll also want to avoid meat, anything that might have been produced using pesticides (choose organic), antibiotics, and even over the counter pain relievers.
Rule #2 is start to heal the gut and seed it with a combination of nutrient-dense, alkaline foods and restorative supplements like good quality probiotics and the Alkamind Daily Greens, which contains 21 nutrient-rich super foods. Another supplement to add is one such as the Alkamind Daily Minerals that contains magnesium, which most Americans are deficient in and which can cause digestive problems.
Rule #3 is to incorporate a healthy, alkaline lifestyle and follow an ongoing regime; it will keep the body in balance and keep down inflammation. Eat healing alkaline foods instead. Add plenty of good healthy fats into your diet like hemp, chia, and flax seeds, as well as all coconut products. Foods rich in Omega-3 like wild-caught Pacific or Alaskan salmon also support your healing gut. You’ll also want to take a good Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement, such as Alkamind Daily Omega-3. Low-sugar fruits like tomatoes, avocados, and citrus fruits other than oranges are the way to go while your gut is healing. Raw and steamed vegetables are a great source of healing nutrients, and soups made with homemade broths can be especially good for the gut.
ABOUT DR. GIOFFRE
Dr. Daryl Gioffre, author of the best-selling Get Off Your Acid: 7 Steps in 7 Day to Lose Weight, Fight Inflammation, and Reclaim Your Health is the creator of the Alkamind Cleanse and longevity expert who specializes in the alkaline/keto diets. A former sugar addict turned health machine, Dr. Gioffre knows firsthand what it takes to overcome adversity and challenges in your health. His specialty is uncovering the root causes of inflammation and chronic illness. He is also a chiropractor, health coach, certified raw food chef, ultra-marathoner, and a passionate speaker, and educator, and has been featured in the docuseries on longevity called Live Longer Feel Better.