New research in the field of gastroenterology is showing that there is a close relationship between the function of the brain and the gastrointestinal physiology including the nerves that control the gut. When the brain does not send proper signals to the gut, the gut can develop many disorders, including larger than normal spaces between the cells that line the small intestine. This is commonly referred to as ‘leaky gut syndrome’. Leaky gut can also be the result of chronic imbalances of the proper microbes that should inhabit the gut, in cases like candida yeast overgrowth. People with the antibody to gluten can easily develop this porous gut lining as well. We have recently heard that as many as 1 in 8 people has an antibody to gluten.

We see many patients every day who show evidence of this basic pathology as a root cause of many of their problems. Symptoms can include: Allergies, food sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, inflammation, headaches, frequent infections, auto-immune problems, digestive symptoms of all kinds, thyroid and adrenal problems, depression, anxiety, insomnia, autism, schizophrenia, and more.

There are many ingestible materials that can help heal the lining of the gut and normalize the microscopic creatures that inhabit the gut. In the field of Chinese medicine, there are specific formulas of herbs that can help to heal the gut lining. In Euro-American herbalism there are well-known herbs that can help heal the gut lining. In the field of nutrition, we have many supplements and protocols that help heal the gut lining.

The GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet) is often used to heal the lining of the small bowel and discourage the growth of inappropriate organisms.

Eating ‘lactofermented’ veges such as sauerkraut and pickles, and probiotic cultures such as home made yogurt, kefir, and water kefir is also essential to restoring the chemistry and flora of the gut.

At Acupuncture of Iowa we can help you with Leaky Gut using many different tools, including acupuncture to help the immune system and gastrointestinal function, Chinese and Western herbs and nutritional supplements, as well as advice on dietary changes that may be of help to you.