Been having problems on an off for about 5 years (I???m 32 now ??? 5???-11, 150 lbs, male). Mainly with a rash on my face (doctors finally determined it is seborrheic dermatitis), a pain in my right hip (comes and goes, gets pretty bad at times), and digestion problems. Been to the doctors numerous times??? they have tested me for everything under the sun with no answers. I???ve had 2 xrays on my hip which show no bone damage or anything abnormal. They want to do an MRI, but I???m not sure I want to shell out the $500 or so it will cost me because I doubt they will give me any real answers either. I have been told I have a high sed rate (24 at last testing??? should be between 0 and 15) which is a marker of general inflammation.
I???ve done tons of research online and really think I might have leaky gut syndrome. I ate a standard American diet for years... lots of beer too. I was also taking a good bit of advil for the hip pain (as directed by my doctor) and was given prednisone a couple of times for the rash.. both of which I now know can contribute to leaky gut. When the doctors failed to help me, I stated experimenting with my diet. I went gluten free for a month or so with no real change in symptoms. Then I cut our all sugars (except stevia) and processed foods for a week or two.. noticed some improvement in the rash. I've also been taking probiotics, flax oil, zinc, vit. D, and a multivitamin. For the last week or so I have been eating pretty strict paleo and also applying coconut oil to the rash??? which has almost cleared up. My hip is still hurting though??? do I just need to give it more time, or do I need to try something else? I???ve read about the GAPS introduction diet, but not sure if that is what I need to do or not.
Thoughts? Does leaky gut even exist? Does that sound like what I have? Should I make any changes in my diet?
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It's real. I used to be confused about it too. It's helpful to know that it's also called intestinal permeability, gut permeability, or gut/intestinal barrier dysfunction.
Here is a description (from here):
Intestinal Permeability references the integrity of the mucosal layer of the digestive tract that prevent bacteria, antigens, and undigested food proteins from seeping through the GI barrier and into the systemic circulation.
Increased permeability can result in a chronically over reactive immune system in constant battle with toxins and allergens normally kept at bay. The small intestine has the paradoxical dual function of being a digestive/ absorptive organ as well as a barrier to permeation of toxic compounds and macromolecules.
Either one of these functions may be disrupted by various mechanisms, resulting in local as well as systemic problems.
The distal intestine contains a number of dietary and bacterial products with toxic properties. Dysfunction of the immune or mechanical barriers leads to increased uptake of inflammatory macromolecules and pathogenic bacteria.
If the intestine is not functioning properly, the amount of normally excluded substances that are absorbed through the mucosal lining increases dramatically. Intestinal inflammation promotes the uptake and systemic distribution of potentially harmful macromolecules. Increased intestinal permeability of the mucosal barrier, also known as leaky gut syndrome, appears to correlate with a number of disorders, while decreased permeability appears as a fundamental cause of malnutrition, malabsorption and failure to thrive.
Increased Intestinal Permeability or Leaky Gut Syndrome is seen in disorders such as:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Crohn's disease
- Inflammatory joint disease
- Food allergy
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Reiter's syndrome
- Chronic dermatological conditions
- Allergic disorders
here's more about how it works:
I don't really have diet advice, as i struggle with some of the same things you do. I think a GAPS trial is worthwhile; but I haven't been able to do it yet.
Glutamine and bone broths are protective and healing. Both are recommended by everyone who knows anything. I do both, rather irregularly.
Personally I'd recommend the GAPS diet. Buy the book, study it, try it. Anecdotally it appears to have worked for many people with very poor gut health and eventually restore their health.
This is a very interesting podcast by Underground Wellness with author of the GAPS diet, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
Dr. Cowan in SF Bay area helped heal my issues(similar to yours) through diet, supplements, and fermented foods. Am 100% better.
See this video, a speech by Loren Cordain, on leaky gut, although its geared towards those with MS, it HIGHLY pertains to anyone with leaky gut. Its a 7 part series. He has some interesting new ideas, that are different from much of what I found on leaky gut during my search to fix my own leaky gut. Its very very interesting. I highly recommend watching.
Yes. It's real! Read Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution. He goes into detail about it. Great book for all things paleo!!
It can never hurt to take some extra measurements to restore your gut:)
Also....have you been properly tested for Lyme Disease?which frequently goes under the radar (my own experience) while having lots of weird symptoms,pain,fatigue,food intolerances etc. That's why I'm personally not crazy about the 'go-barefoot' thing which is being so praised in the Paleoscene.