LEAKY GUT SYNDROME – Causes and Treatment Approaches

It is possible that leaky gut syndrome may be causing other health issues that are affecting you; from weight gain to skin problems, depression, autoimmunity, to food allergies.

Your gut should contain its contents within the gut.  Leaky gut happens when your intestines develop tiny holes and contents leak into the body. The gut wall houses up to 80% of your immune system. Up to 80% of the immune system is located within the gut walls, the leak causes excess inflammation as your immune system tries to deal with the leak. Over time this can lead to chronic inflammation which is at the root of many modern illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, autoimmunity, heart disease, cancer and many more. 

Not everyone with leaky gut has digestive symptoms and sometimes the problem manifests itself elsewhere in the body.  If you have digestive symptoms such as gas(wind), constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, cramping, bloody stool, abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, smelly stools, IBD, SIBO, candida overgrowth, gastroparesis, dysbiosis, then pretty much any and all digestive symptoms and disorders may be due to leaky gut syndrome. 

Some research has suggested that in order for autoimmune disease to be active leaky gut syndrome must be present, and over 80 have been identified including Celiac disease, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, alopecia, and rheumatoid arthritis among others. 

A substantial number of disorders or diseases could be related to having an underlying leaky gut, which can include but is not limited to cardiovascular disease, cancers, thyroid disorders, digestive disorders, urinary conditions, obesity, reproductive disorders, respiratory disorders, hepatitis, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis. But there are steps that can be taken to help alleviate the causes.

Leaky gut may also be behind some skin disorders; the connection between skin and gut health has been well established and many conditions such as acne, hives, psoriasis, hair loss, rashes, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, and dry skin could be connected to leaky gut syndrome. 

It is thought that many brain and mood disorders/conditions such as anxiety, depression, brain fog, chronic fatigue, migraines, mood swings and cognitive diseases have a connection to leaky gut syndrome at their roots.  The same applies to body and joint pains such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal conditions which have been connected to increased intestinal permeability according to research. 

Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances may to some degree have an underlying issue with leaky gut syndrome; once the gut has healed many patients discover that their food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances will resolve themselves. 

In testing, low trace minerals are often an indicator of leaky gut.  Inflammation inside the digestive tract makes it difficult for vitamins and minerals to be absorbed through the gut wall and into the body which may be what is leading to these low mineral readings. 

Sugar cravings may be a symptom of an overgrowth of bad bacteria within the gut, this dysbiosis will often disappear once the patient has addressed the health of their gut lining. 

Some steps which may help to heal a leaky gut include:

  1. Removing all irritating foods and other toxins from the diet and environment.
  2. Replacing all toxic foods with those that support digestion and healing foods.
  3. Repairing the intestines with nutrients needed to heal the gut wall and underlying immune system.
  4. Reinoculating to restore a healthy balance of the gut’s microflora.
  5. Remove all main dietary triggers for leaky gut including legumes, dairy, grains, refined foods, processed foods, and put the focus on relaxing before, during, and after meals to help optimize digestion, especially while healing. Stress is bad whether it be mental or physical can trigger leaky gut syndrome. 
  6. Diet, several drugs, and alcohol are all triggers that have been most studied. Imbalance in gut microflora, infections, and yeast overgrowth all contribute to an increasing intestinal permeability. The mouth is the beginning of the GI tract thus research suggests that poor oral hygiene and dysbiosis in the mouth can also contribute to increased intestinal permeability. 
  7. Replace bad dietary habits with those that are healthy, nourishing, and whole foods can really help. While healing the digestive system may need some additional temporary support such as hydrochloric acid, bile salts, or digestive enzymes. Often those with leaky gut have low stomach acid production that may benefit from taking apple cider vinegar before meals. 
  8. EPA and DHA found in fermented foods, oily fish, ginger, quercetin, and turmeric all have also been shown to help repair leaky gut.
  9. Fermented foods and probiotics will help to reinoculate the gut with healthy bacteria to restore a healthy ratio of gut bacteria. To help improve the health of the gut microflora eat a variety of healthy foods and fibres; avoid using antibacterial cleaners; consume raw/live/unpasteurized fermented foods; and consume a range of probiotic and prebiotic foods. Keep in mind that it is possible to over consume one type of bacteria, making it recommended to get probiotics from a variety of fermented whole food sources. 

Leaky gut is something we can help with, so it is worth your coming along to see us. Contact secretaries@doveclinic.com or call 01962 718000 to arrange a consultation.

GFRT – Gut Flora Replacement Therapy

Gut Flora Replacement (GFR) is available at the Dove Clinic.

It is the process of implanting the beneficial intestinal bacteria and yeasts, from specific varied probiotic supplements, in significant quantities.
This is in order to reset the essential gut microflora needed for the gut to function properly. Disease finds it difficult to expand when gut flora is normal. Gut Flora Replacement aims to restore gut flora that has been damaged.  For further information, please contact the Clinic.

Dr Kenyon has had a clinical interest in this area for many years.

If you want to watch a short video about the function of the microbiome, please take a look at this film. We didn’t produce it but we think it explains the function well. https://youtu.be/YB-8JEo_0bl

 

Recommended Reading:

Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life
Book by David Perlmutter and Kristin Loberg – click image to link to Amazon
The Diet Myth – book by Tim Spector – click image to link to Amazon

For further information or to arrange an informal discussion with Dr Julian Kenyon, please contact our Reception Team or call 01962 718000.

Long Covid – Treatment Approaches

Our approach to Long Covid is to treat it as we would our Chronic Fatigue Syndromes. [1]

We have had significant success with replacing the gut microbiome in our Chronic Fatigue population, many of them had Chronic Fatigue for decades, and we have published on this. [2]

Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have had to switch from Faecal Microbiome Transplantation (FMT) to Gut Flora Replacement Therapy (GFRT), which is very much cheaper than donor-derived, laboratory-processed Implants, and we have published on this. [3]

We have had significant success with this in treating Long Covid, and indeed have had more success than we had with Faecal Microbiome Transplantation in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

There is evidence that the microbiome is abnormal in Covid-19 [4] [5]

We also use High Dose Intravenous Vitamin C and Ozone Autohaemotherapy for Long Covid, with significant success. These are all safe treatments, and they are all available at The Dove Clinic for Integrated Medicine www.doveclinic.com Any questions about Long Covid and the treatments we offer can be directed via secretaries@doveclinic.com.

References:

  1.  Karl J Morten, Eleonora Staines-Urias, Julian N Kenyon – Potential clinical usefulness of gut microbiome testing in a variety of clinical conditionshttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.humic.2018.08.003
  2. J.N. Kenyon, Shelly Coe, Hooshang Izadi  – A retrospective outcome study of 42 patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 30 of whom had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Half were treated with approaches, and half were treated with Faecal Microbiome Transplantation – https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humic.2019.100061
  3. Julian N Kenyon – Comparing the Results from Faecal Microbiome Transplantation (FMT) and Gut Flora Replacement Therapy (GFRT) using 16s Mrna Microbiome Mapping –  yon ISSN 2692-5877 DOI: 10.46998/IJCMCR.2021.11.000253
  4. Heenam Stanley Kim-  Do an Altered Gut Microbiota and an Associated Leaky Gut Affect COVID-19 Severity? DOI: 10.1128/mBio.03022-20
  5. Yeoh YK, Zuo T, Lui GC, et al Gut microbiota composition reflects disease severity and dysfunctional immune responses in patients with COVID-19 Gut 2021;70:698-706.

Ozone Therapy

What is Ozone Therapy?

Ozone as a therapy

Medical Ozone is always a mixture of purest oxygen and purest Ozone.

According to its application, the Ozone concentration can vary between 1 and 100 mcg/ml (0.05 – 5% O3).  A trained physician determines the correct dosage according to the medical indication and the patient’s condition.

Properties and Effect

Medical Ozone has bacterial, fungicidal and virocidal properties and is widely used as a disinfectant.

Its ability to stimulate the circulation is used in the treatment of circulatory disorders.

When administrated at low concentrations, the body’s resistance is mobilised, ie: Ozone (re)activates the immune system.

As a response to this activation through Ozone, the body’s white cells produce protein messengers called cytokines (including important mediators such as interferons or interleukins).  These inform other white cells, setting off a cascade of positive changes throughout the immune system, which is stimulated to resist diseases.  This means that the application of medical Ozone is useful for immune activation in patients with low immune system activity.

Small quantities of Ozone applied in what is called “major autohaemotherapy” (external treatment of the patients blood before reinfusion) consequently activate the body’s own antioxidants and radical scavengers.  It is thus possible to understand why Ozone is used in diseases that involve inflammation.

As an additive or complementary therapy in various illnesses, Ozone is applied for general immunoactivation at low dosages in the form of “major autohaemotherapy” (reinfusion). This is done using CE marked equipment from the Hansler Company in Germany. A small volume of blood is taken from the patient, mixed with Ozone and then re-infused into the patient, using a sterile, closed system. Specific doses of Ozone are given per unit volume of blood depending on the condition.

Click here to download our information sheet.

Ozone Therapy

What is Ozone Therapy?

Ozone as a therapy

Medical Ozone is always a mixture of purest oxygen and purest Ozone.

According to its application, the Ozone concentration can vary between 1 and 100 mcg/ml (0.05 – 5% O3).  A trained physician determines the correct dosage according to the medical indication and the patient’s condition.

Properties and Effect

Medical Ozone has bacterial, fungicidal and virocidal properties and is widely used as a disinfectant.

Its ability to stimulate the circulation is used in the treatment of circulatory disorders.

When administrated at low concentrations, the body’s resistance is mobilised, ie: Ozone (re)activates the immune system.

As a response to this activation through Ozone, the body’s white cells produce protein messengers called cytokines (including important mediators such as interferons or interleukins).  These inform other white cells, setting off a cascade of positive changes throughout the immune system, which is stimulated to resist diseases.  This means that the application of medical Ozone is useful for immune activation in patients with low immune system activity.

Small quantities of Ozone applied in what is called “major autohaemotherapy” (external treatment of the patients blood before reinfusion) consequently activate the body’s own antioxidants and radical scavengers.  It is thus possible to understand why Ozone is used in diseases that involve inflammation.

As an additive or complementary therapy in various illnesses, Ozone is applied for general immunoactivation at low dosages in the form of “major autohaemotherapy” (reinfusion). This is done using CE marked equipment from the Hansler Company in Germany. A small volume of blood is taken from the patient, mixed with Ozone and then re-infused into the patient, using a sterile, closed system. Specific doses of Ozone are given per unit volume of blood depending on the condition.

Click here to download our information sheet.

Long Covid

LONG COVID19

This shows a diverse group of presentations increasingly referred to as “Long COVID”.

It has also been described in patients who did not require hospital treatment.  These patients report a wide variety of symptoms, persisting for many months after acute infection.  To date, most research on Long COVID has been led by patients and this suggests that it is a common and disabling disorder.  Characteristically, it has all of the features of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Long COVID is likely to result in substantial population morbidity with serious implications for health and social care.  Research is needed to characterise this disorder, to define disease mechanisms and direct the use of either existing therapeutics or the development of novel treatments.

We have had significant success in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome which we have been involved in for many years and this involves looking at the gut microbiome.  There are two studies that we have published in the Human Microbiome Journal which describes these approaches and these are safe and definitely worth considering in the population of Long COVID-19 sufferers.

A Retrospective Outcome Study of 42 Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 30 of Whom had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Half were treated with oral approaches, and half were treated with Faecal Microbiome Transplantation* – click here for link or download from here

Potential clinical usefulness of gut microbiome testing in a variety of clinical conditions – click here for link 

It is worth noting that graded exercise is no longer recommended by NICE for treating CFS/ME , also they stated that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy should no longer be seen as a cure but only as a support for CFS/ME . This clearly defines CFS/ME as a biomedical condition.

*Note that we no longer offer Faecal Microbiome Transplantation. This has been replaced with our new service Gut Flora Replacement Therapy (GFRT).

Immune Therapy

This centres around the use of medications known to improve cell mediated immunity. The main group of these medications are the proteoglycans preparations (1-3, 1-6 beta glucans), and there is a good deal of research evidence to show that these preparations specifically improve cell mediated immune function which act as the front line of immune surveillance, by stimulating CR3 receptors on the innate immune cells. A wide variety of chronic illnesses, life threatening disease and allergies are caused or worsened by weakenend or ineffective immune function, addressing these issues are a key part of the Dove Clinic’s approach.

In some cases, we refer our patients to clinics abroad, in order to obtain a dendritic cell therapy vaccine, though this is not prescribed directly by the Dove Clinic.

For a number of serious illnesses, intravenous Vitamin C may be administered at very high doses, at which level it has a pro-oxidant as opposed to an anti-oxidant effect. This three week programme is run at our Winchester clinic only and has extensive research support.  As mentioned elsewhere, all our treatment programmes are offered on an informed consent basis.

We also administer Vitamin C Therapy using various oral supplements, which raise the serum levels of vitamin C reached by the vitamin C infusion programme.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy – What is MBCT?

Mindfulness is about learning to train the mind to focus on the present moment, without judgement. A task which is easier said than done! Mindfulness is not a new concept and originates from the teachings of eastern Buddhist philosophy.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a programme of classes designed to help people ‘move toward greater balance, control and participation’ in life. It was developed at Cambridge University by Professors Mark Williams, Zindel Segal and John Teasdale, to bridge the gap between mindfulness based approaches to healthcare and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which has been scientifically proven extremely effective for a wide range of physical and psychological problems.

MBCT evolved from a programme called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn  in the USA for people suffering from chronic pain and psychological difficulties.

Over the years the appeal of mindfulness has grown. It is now offered throughout the UK in both the NHS and private sectors to people looking for  support with life’s varied and many challenges. Including for example: physical disturbance such as illness, fatigue, headaches and high blood pressure;  sleep disturbance; emotional disturbance such as stress, anxiety, panic and emotional dysregulation;  and life stressors such as academic pressure, workplace demands or life events.

 

Chronic Fatigue / ME

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—there is hope!

Imagine waking up every morning feeling like you have a hangover combined with the flu, and even the smallest amount of activity leaves you exhausted? That’s what life is like for almost a quarter of a million Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  (CFS) sufferers in the UK. Also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), this mysterious illness has only recently finally been officially recognised by the Department of Health.

So what is CFS? Why is it surrounded in mystery? And how do you know if you have got it?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a devastating and debilitating potentially chronic illness that is characterised by profound exhaustion, muscle pain and cognitive problems such as memory and concentration loss. Other symptoms that are common include sensitivity to light, noise and smell; disturbed sleep patterns and persistent headaches. These symptoms fluctuate from day to day.

The reasons why it is mysterious is because no two patients are the same. It is difficult to diagnose because there aren’t any conventional recognised tests for it, and there are various causes, although it is estimated that around two-thirds of all cases are preceded by a viral infection of some kind. Other contributing factors include neurotoxins (such as organophosphates), exhaustion, mental stress and poor diet.

What are the warning signs? Fatigue is the principal symptom; it is severe, disabling and affects physical and mental functioning. Other typical symptoms include muscle pain and aching on minimal exercise, as well as mood and sleep disturbance. If any of this rings true for you then you should see your GP as it is important to have other disorders ruled out, such as abnormal thyroid function and depression, amongst others.

Symptoms need to have been present for a prolonged period of time for a true diagnosis to be made.

If your GP makes the diagnosis what should you do?

We encourage people to work towards recovery in order to get back to their normal lives. Finding the best balance between rest and activity is essential, remembering that most people do improve over time to a significant degree.

Rest from mental activity and emotional stress is also very important, particularly in the early stages of the illness, however it is possible to rest too much as your muscles may become de-conditioned. ”Pacing” means alternating activity with rest, also alternating different activities e.g. mental work with physical tasks, stopping each before you become exhausted.

Please click here for information on Chronic Fatigue Nutritional Support

Please also refer to the following:

Gut Flora Replacement Therapy

Immune Therapy

Ozone Therapy

 

For a patient testimonials click here

 

Treatment for Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome

Dr Julian Kenyon has published two papers in the area of the microbiome, which have been published in the Human Microbiome Journal.

A Retrospective Outcome Study of 42 Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 30 of Whom had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Half were treated with oral approaches, and half were treated with Faecal Microbiome Transplantation.

Abstract

The gut microbiome comprises the community of microorganisms in the intestinal tract. Research suggests that an altered microbiome may play a role in a wide range of disorders including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Methods

42 participants with ME/ CFS with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) were allocated into one of two groups, 21 were treated with standard oral approaches, which centred around various nutritional remedies, probiotics, prebiotics, dietary advice and lifestyle advice. The second group who had mostly failed using oral approaches, were treated with Faecal Microbiome Transplantation (FMT). Each patient received 10 Implants, each from a different screened donor, and the Implants were processed under anaerobic conditions.

To read the full research, please visit the external site by clicking here

Potential clinical usefulness of gut microbiome testing in a variety of clinical conditions

The gut microbiome comprises the community of microorganisms in the intestinal tract. Over the last five years, interest in the gut microbiome has grown considerably driven by new techniques in DNA sequencing allowing for characterisation of gut bacteria and the recognition of the potential impact the microbiome may have on health.

Potential clinical usefulness of gut microbiome testing in a variety of clinical conditions