My Leaky Gut

I’ve mentioned Leaky Gut several times now. It’s also called intestinal permeability. What causes it? Put simply, the things we put in our mouth. Our gut lining is supposed to be a protective layer against such things as undigested food particles, toxic waste products and bacteria inside the digestive tract. When that lining is damaged it allows these things to pass through the intestinal wall, into our bloodstream and throughout our bodies, wreaking havoc along the way.

Some common signs: food intolerance, irritable bowel disorder, migraines, auto-immune disorders, joint and muscle pain, mood disorders, even skin disorders. And once again, I have suffered from all of these and more.

When I first began my research project, I was basically bed-ridden. My husband and daughters became my full-time caregivers.

My life felt like I was on a non-stop roller coaster. Most times I could do somethings for myself, but needed help with others. And there were times I was at the top of the track, when I was asymptomatic, completely independent. But then there were also the times had to have help bathing, getting dressed, moving from room to room, even eating.

Going out, whether to the store, a restaurant, worship, or just visiting family was always touchy. I was already in a wheelchair and that drew attention, but my tics and tremors really got me noticed. And when my seizures would kick in… Let’s just say I didn’t get out much. I was very self-conscious.

And from the best I can figure, this can all be traced back to my leaky gut. Eating and taking all the wrong things throughout my life, caused body-wide damage. Is it irreparable? I don’t know. But I do the best I can to not repeat any of my previous mistakes. And then eat in such a way that helps to heal all that can be healed.

What about the MTHFR? Well the two conditions are connected. The MTHFR is like being predisposed to a condition and the leaky gut is what set the wheels in motion.

As far as the straw that broke the camels back, what actually started me on this disabling roller coaster? I have no idea. I asked myself that many times. Was it a particularly bad flu or other virus I had? Could be. But looking back doesn’t fix anything. Its being proactive, doing the research, and changing our approach to life that makes a difference.

I hope that reading about my journey gives you readers the courage to start your own recovery, even if its only a partial recovery. Our life is in our hands, and its the only one we’re going to get. So do the best you can, and enjoy what you do with it.

 

 

My Diet, My Life

So after one confusing appointment after another, I finally stumbled upon a diagnosis of sorts. But even that is a mystery for the doctors in my area.  Now let me clarify, there are a few that are familiar with the cardiovascular side of MTHFR. (Thankfully I caught that early.) It’s the other side that evades the local doctors. It can cause anxiety, depression, neurological disorders, food intolerance, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, (yes I’ve had all of these), in addition to autism (two daughters with Autism Spectrum Disorder), and a host of others. Now when no one in the medical profession can help you, its downright upsetting.

So as I said I began studying, and researching, listening to podcasts, and gathering all the information I could. It was exhausting. And you know what I found? I can’t convert folic acid/folate into its active form, which is necessary to metabolize B-12.  And just about every system in your body needs these two nutrients to operate correctly.  As a matter a fact, I also had low iron stores. And no matter how much iron I took, it didn’t raise my storage levels. Until I learned about methylated folate and methylated B-12. It took a while, but these two vitamins saved my life.

Also for me, it is vital to understand: DIET is EVERYTHING. To begin with I went on a three-week elimination diet. I copied the one from the Institute of Functional Medicine. (see below)  This diet is designed to remove all allergens from your system. It helps to detox and to heal leaky gut. And yes, if you’re reading this, its possible you have leaky gut. But that’s a whole other post. The down side is for the first week or two there are some nasty symptoms from the detox. Just ride it out. Its part of the cleansing process. My worse symptom was the migraine. Ooh.

Then after going through all that, I decided to stick to a whole-foods, gluten-free, dairy-free diet; which is one of the suggested diets for children with Autism. However I was still having issues. So I cut out all corn, eggs, and peanuts. (Sound familiar? These are allergy related foods. Perhaps what we think is an allergy is actually a food intolerance.) Unfortunately, I also had to cut all refined oils which are in fried foods, such as chips; and breads, even if they were gluten-free. I had some serious healing to do.

Its been about a year since I first launched my new way of eating. I am still on a whole food, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Now I can eat most corn products, pasture raised eggs, peanuts, and gluten-free breads with no side effects. However the refined oils in some foods continue to be an issue for me. So we do a lot of baking. And when we do use oils, we use coconut and olive oil. Also key is to look for non-gmo products. The less food is processed or refined the less problems on the digestive tract.

As you begin your self-education on your symptoms. I strongly suggest you start by looking at your diet.

I hope this was eye-opening, if not encouraging. If you are going through what I am, as are many others out there, remember you are not alone.

***for more information on the three-week elimination diet see: https://experiencelife.com/article/the-institute-for-functional-medicines-elimination-diet-comprehensive-guide-and-food-plan/***

***for more information on mthfr and B12 issues see: https://mthfrgenehealth.com/mthfr-vitamin-b12/***

***for more information on proper diets for children with Autism see:  https://www.autism.com/treating_diets***

 

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