leaky gut/food sensitivies?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
leaky gut/food sensitivies?
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 9:08am

Has anyone here dealt with leaky gut? I won't say that I have chronic fatigue, but I do feel more tired/less energy than I feel I should have (compared with peers my age). At my doctor's advice, I tried South Beach Diet (minus any artificial sweeteners. I lost weight which was great, but I didn't feel much difference energy wise. Some days I come home and nap for an hour until my husband gets home and then I get up, make dinner, and after 2 hours I normally feel like going back to bed. So I go to bed at 10, and then getting up in the morning is a chore, and I wait until the very last possible minute at 6:30. So some days I was getting as much as 10 hours sleep, but not every day. I have said for a couple of years now that getting up in the morning is the hardest part of my day. I don't feel refreshed when I get up and I still feel tired.

Anyhow, after SBD didn't make much difference, we tried food sensitivity testing. My chiropractor has long suspected I have a wheat intolerance and i wanted to confirm that. Because my tiredness seems worst in the spring time, and I get a bit of a scratchy throat, I thought I had seasonal allergies, which they test for at the same time as the sensitivities (all done through a blood test).

Well, when that blood test came back, I got more than I bargained for. Turns out I have a food sensitivity to just about everything on that list. Out of 100 or so items, probably 5-10 showed no reaction. My doctor told me I have a "leaky gut" and that while most of the sensitivities can be corrected with diet, that they find wheat and dairy can not and that I should avoid these for life. Meanwhile, the only true allergies that came up were dust mites and cockroaches.

Well, I had about 6 different supplements to be on, plus most foods I could only eat once a week or not at all and I was trying to figure out how I could avoid wheat and dairy forever. I decided this doctor was a bit extreme and took all of my results to my chiro. He has me avoiding wheat for now, dairy once a week, and any "high" sensitivity items (beef, beans, grapes, cranberries, sesame and ginger to name a few). He thinks that my leaky gut will be healed in about 6 months. I am taking Vit D, Inflamacore supplement (mixed with almond milk), a supplement that includes B vitamins and something to support adrenal function and also a supplement called Zypan because he thinks my food is not digesting properly.

I guess my questions are this...my leaky gut has never actually been confirmed. Should I have the test to confirm it now ($$) or just treat it? If I do have leaky gut and I treat it, a food sensitivity test should come back much better in a couple months. Is there anything else all of these sensitivities could be? The only actual "gut" issue I've ever noticed is gas, which I chalked up to a high fiber diet.

Also, we have no idea how I got it. I very very rarely take antibiotics (although chiro pointed out they could be in the meat I eat), very rarely if ever use aspirin, not a big alcohol drinker). How do I know it won't come back once its fixed?

If anyone has any feedback, I'd love to hear. Sorry this is so long, this whole leaky gut think is very new and very frustrating, although not as much as when I first got diagnosed. Thank god my chiro convinced me I will be normal again one day and that I don't have to avoid wheat and dairy forever. I am currently looking for a new primary care doctor.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2008
Mon, 08-30-2010 - 1:44pm

Hi there,

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I can definitely relate. For my own leaky gut problems, I have been trying to eat more kiwi (encourages the epithelial cells in the mucosal barrier to proliferate) and am considering a 14-day elimination diet to get to the bottom of any gluten, dairy or yeast issues. I highly recommend reading this article on natural solutions to leaky gut (from Women to Women). Great information and can give you lots of ideas for changing your diet/adding gut-friendly foods. Good luck! http://www.womentowomen.com/digestionandgihealth/leakygutsyndrome-intestinalpermeability.aspx#healingleakygut

Avatar for cmkarla
Registered: 01-03-2001
Mon, 08-30-2010 - 1:45pm

Hi and welcome. I don't have personal experience with leaky gut but did want to drop in and offer some resources for you to try. We have a health, diet, and wellness expert on board, Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, and she may be able to help.

Also, you may want to try our Celiac-Gluten Free Diet board to see if they have any advice for you as many there are on wheat free diets.

Community ModeratoriVillage.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2004
Mon, 08-30-2010 - 6:14pm
Hi & welcome:) I haven't heard of this condition, so I looked up my favorite resource, Dr. Weil. He believes that though traditional medicine doesn't recognize it, it does exist! He cautions ppl who don't have an existing inflammatory bowel condition, rheumatoid arthritis or asthma to beware of a leaky gut diagnosis.
His suggestions are to avoid NSAIDS, alcohol & known food allergies. Eat fiber, probiotics, anti-inflammatory foods & glutamine supplements.
Is there a test that can actually confirm leaky gut? How expensive is it? Since your current chiro is giving you more hope & you will soon see a new PCP, why not give the current chiro's regimen a chance & see what the PCP has to offer? If you don't feel better, then perhaps it would be worth it to have the test done.
I'm not sure if food sensitivities ever go away. It would seem that they will always be there, but if your intestinal health improves, you will be able to tolerate some of the foods better. The reason I believe that is I have IBS. No matter how much yoga, meditation, stress reduction, etc. that I do, there are some foods that I simply cannot eat. They will trigger my symptoms, making life miserable. On the whole my lifestyle changes have improved my IBS greatly. I don't have to live w/a bathroom in my view all the time. Nor do I have to starve myself when going on a long drive.
Your symptoms seem to follow the book. Do you have any joint pain or skin rashes? I can't think of any other condition you might have other than chronic fatigue. You have so many of it's symptoms. The last I read, there's no test that will confirm CFS. If one has @ least 4 of the following symptoms it is considered CFS.
* Significant impairment in short-term memory or concentration
* Sore throat
* Headaches of a new type or severity
* Joint pain without redness or swelling
* Muscle pain
* Tender lymph nodes
* Poor quality of sleep
* Exhaustion lasting more than a day after exertion
Please keep in touch & let us know how you're doing. Others will benefit from what you have to share about leaky gut. GL! jan



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2004
Sat, 09-04-2010 - 7:12pm
I don't think I would bother with the lactulose/mannitaol absorbtion test (test for leaky gut) right now, I would just treat the sensitivites based on the test you already had and hopefully see improvement within a month. IME you can overcome wheat and dairy issues for the most part. I can tolerate a pretty large amount of each without any reaction whereas before even a small amount set me off. Mine cleared up pretty readily with probiotic foods to recolonize my gut (kefir and kombucha not yogurt) and avoidance of wheat/dairy for a time. I was just reading the recommended supplements for leaky gut yesterday: L-glutamine, bovine colostrum, quercetin w/ bromelain, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 2:30pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2004
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 1:29pm
Thanks for posting & sharing your insights! ITA about quality sleep. If my sleep is interrupted, I feel anxious & find dealing w/stress nearly impossible. Please *butt in* anytime;) We appreciate your help! jan