Despite growing recognition that leaky gut triggers many illnesses, including autoimmune conditions, there is surprisingly little science on how to address this leak.
Although restoring healthy gut and microbiota is considered essentials, conventional medical doctors often debate how best to achieve this. Even alternative practitioners haven’t arrived at a consensus.
When I started practice a long time ago, and I talked about intestinal permeability, people were looking at me like I needed a psychiatric evaluation. Okay? Well, no longer are they looking at me like that.
A lot of doctors know that intestinal permeability exists, but they often don’t have the knowledge or skill set to address a leaky gut. Many MDs, bless their souls, have used pharmaceutical medications for so long, other skills have atrophied. They may give lip service to diet, but their knowledge isn’t extensive.
There are some conventionally trained doctors that masquerade as naturopaths. There walk around in a white coat, saying, “Don’t eat this food and don’t eat that food.” What annoys the heck out of me is that a lot of these doctors have prescribed antibiotics for years, and now they are getting on board with treating leaky gut.
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I’ve always worked in intestinal permeability and tried to get patients to understand that lifestyle and diet are paramount in improving gut function. I have always made the point that drugs are usually not the answer to chronic gut problems. In rare cases, pharmaceuticals are necessary, but that is not generally the case.
There is more and more evidence that you can reduce antibody levels by taking gluten, alcohol, coffee, tea, nuts, grains, legumes, and nightshades out of the diet. However, I’m not a fan of a rigid of lists of foods to avoid. The physician or naturopathy needs to customize the patient’s diet rather than applying a cookie-cutter approach.
Patients can usually start putting a lot of these foods back in relatively quickly.
To me, the concern isn’t gluten per se but how much gluten people are eating and how often food is very poor quality.
I’m convinced that eating the right kind of food and living the right kind of lifestyle is the key to preventing autoimmune conditions.