Leaky gut in myself and possibly my breastfed son - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-25-2012, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have recently been diagnosed with a leaky gut due to several food intolerances - corn, gluten, dairy. I have probably had this for the last couple of years, at least, before being diagnosed.

I have two sons 3.5 yrs and a 1 yr old- both breastfed, #2 still being breastfed. I was highly suspicious of food intolerances in both sons, so I decided to cut out the aforementioned items. They both improved both physically and mentally from taking these items out. Now I suspect leaky gut in them.

My question is this- what is the role breastfeeding plays in leaky gut for the child when a mother diagnosed with this? Does she set them up for leaky gut too? Is it inevitable that they will get it too? What can you do to prevent this from happening?

I just started to heal my gut myself and I have a very long road ahead. Now, maybe my sons too? It is all so overwhelming! Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:57 PM
 
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I think leaky gut is a bit over diagnosed these days and is being used as a catch-all for a variety of things.  Not to say you don't have it, but it's hard to get a picture of what you personally are dealing with because of the broad use of the label.

 

You can wind up with leaky gut from things that have nothing to do with your diet--including stress, so could you prevent it?  Possibly, but that would mean knowing what a particular infant is going to find stressful and anticipate every intolerance they could have (staying off of meds is more do-able).

 

If your child is nursing and doesn't have an intolerance to things you are intolerant of, it SHOULDN'T pose a problem/risk to the nursling so far as I can figure.  I'm not sure the extent to which you have it and therefore what is happening in your body that you might or might not pass on.  But it's definitely not something that would keep me up at night.  You said they had intolerances and removed the irritants.  That's the biggest thing you can do for them aside from introducing probiotics and keeping them on the cleanest foods possible (meaning fresh, whole/unprocessed and organic to the extent that you can).

 

As for healing, they're young and you would think it wouldn't take the same amount of time for them that it could take for you.  You can give them probiotics (there are plenty of children--even newborn--formulations) to help the process along.

 

Hope this helps.


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Old 06-27-2012, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your input. I think you are probably right in that it is overdiagnosed these days.

For me, the food intolerances are a BIG part of it, though, I don't know yet if they are the only part of my problem. I would guess the stress part factors in as well, since me (and many in blood relation) are rather 'stressful' people!

There doesnt seem to be much support in my direct community for food intolerances and certainly I don't want to push my son(s) on this insane diet unnecessarily. I feel sad too that he wouldn't get a chance to partake in the things like halloween, easter like a 'normal' kid would. In addition, I feel like when I try to explain that he can't have certain things to people they act like I am *doing*this to my child, when I am just trying to look out for his health.

On the other hand, maybe avoiding these foods for them is unneccesary. I will be going with my first son to my naturopath soon so I can get the food intolerance testing done. So I have something more definitive to go off of, not just an 'impression' that he does better off of these things.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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Lvrba,

 

"Leaky gut" and food intolerance is a very big topic. One could muse for hours about this stuff :)

 

Essentially, the leaky gut is evident when food intolerances are present. Food intolerance, allergies, sensitivities do not exist without a leaky gut. Removing those offending foods is important but that is only step 1 in the healing process. Step 2 involves healing and step 3 actually involves adding back some or all of those foods.

 

Why the leaky gut is there in the first place is as variable as we are. It is almost always a combination of factors, usually; inadequate nutrition for that person's needs, bacterial imbalance due to infection and/or poor diet, infection, surgery (such as gallbladder removal), poor flora due to multiple antibiotic use, steroid drugs, and vaccinations, inherited poor flora, etc.

 

The nutrition part is key because if you are nourished the way you are supposed to be (and this varies from person to person) then the immune system will work well and the cells in your gut will produce all the things it is supposed to (hydrochloric acid in stomach, enzymes, bile, etc). When nutrition does not meet needs then things can go awry. And this happens over many, many years.  Of course stress can play a role here as well. Chronic stress results in lots of cortisol, which inhibits immune function in the gut. 

 

How do you heal? You already did step 1. Yay! Step 2 involves getting excellent nutrition over a long period of time. Also, some healing supplements will help the process tremendously. Probiotics are great of course. L-glutamine powder is very good too, that is the fuel of your gut lining cells. A comprehensive gut healing supplement is good (something that has marshmallow root, aloe, gamma oryzanol, etc). Usually you have to be working with a care-provider to get access to the good ones. And of course, essential fatty acids are key. Throw in some zinc too while you're at it. All this type of stuff a good practitioner will be able to do easily. It may take months or years to heal but it is totally doable!

 

As for the kids, I would definitely get them on probiotics. And I agree with you, testing is a good idea because they shouldn't have to be restricted needlessly. If you gave birth to them vaginally and/or breastfed they inherited your flora, which is good, some is better than none. But they may have issues to deal with. Especially if they have had antibiotics and/or vaccinations.

 

The good news is that kids heal fast!! Even if you do have to limit them for awhile, if you do agressive healing and excellent food they will heal fast and may be back on those foods eventually. 


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Old 06-28-2012, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your response, and yes, I have mused myself for many hours with this stuff, lol!

Some good info you put forward. Starting to get a solid understanding of what I am dealing with here. (There is so much info out there about this, it's hard to weed through)

I know it sounds crazy, but I believe I have suffered with food sensitivites since I was a child(i wont get into why, too much to explain here) I just want my kids to get the right 'start' to life is all.

I don't know if I will ever me able to completely reverse the damage I have done to my body. Now I know what it means to truly eat right (clean food) and I won't let go of that even if I get over my intolerances. However, it would be nice to be able to have a pizza or even go out to a restaurant and have a normal meal once in a while!

Do most people who deal with this get over their intolerances? When I asked my naturopath if I could ever eat corn dairy wheat again, there is a chance that I couldn't. I was just wondering for me and my kids sake. Of course, for myself I see it being less likely since I believe I have suffered so long with this.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:53 AM
 
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It is possible to get over food sensitivities. It takes removing that food or foods and doing a solid gut rebuild and then nourishing oneself very well for awhile. Over time, the body heals and the food is well-tolerated again. I did this myself with my sensitivity to white meat poultry. 


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Old 08-08-2012, 11:55 PM
 
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lvrba-do you plan on doing the GAPS diet with them?


 

 

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are ona different protocol. i am not sure what its called exactly. It starts with eliminating your food intolerances then you deal with other issues if needed. Right now, i am dealing with severe candida so now my food options are narrow and I am constantly rotating allowed foods! Ugh!

As for my 2nd son, I have just started with probiotics with him and continuing gluten, dairy,corn free. Since he is bfing he is also healing while I am healing.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveRealFood View Post

It is possible to get over food sensitivities. It takes removing that food or foods and doing a solid gut rebuild and then nourishing oneself very well for awhile. Over time, the body heals and the food is well-tolerated again. I did this myself with my sensitivity to white meat poultry. 

 

We did this with my son, who is now 8yo.  It's been an incredible blessing that foods that made him present as deaf and having cerebral palsy can now be eating without repercussion.  But we started when he was 1yo.  And really, in the course of a lifetime... not such a bad deal.


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Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:06 PM
 
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Were you ever tested for Celiac Disease, by any chance?

 

If you're not familiar with it, it's an auto-immune disease that can cause leaky gut, you react to gluten if you have this, and it has a genetic component so it can be passed down to your children.

Unfortunately, if you weren't tested, you can't be tested now. The only tests available can test for our bodies' reaction to gluten, but not the disease itself, so after we go gluten free, everyone tests negative. For yourself, this doesn't matter, really, as you are staying gluten free, right?

 

For your children, the difference between gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease might be important. It's possible that gluten intolerance might be outgrown, from what I understand. For those who have Celiac Disease as children and go gluten free, sometimes they will heal and stop having noticeable symptoms of Celiac Disease. Doctors used to think that children could outgrow the disease for this reason and would encourage parents to put gluten back into their diet eventually, if the children had no symptoms. Years later, it's been discovered that the body continues to take damage, just with no outward symptoms until there is permanent damage. My father had this disease since he was a child, ate gluten, and it destroyed his spine and and joints due to nutritional deficiencies so that he was forced to walk using a cane by his thirties. :-(

 

For your little ones, if you do decide to eventually put them back on gluten, you might want to think about getting them tested for Celiac Disease after they've been eating gluten for a year, just in case. Even testing them now likely wouldn't help too much, as the test is pretty inaccurate for very small children. Their bodies don't react to this disease quite the same as adults do.

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Old 08-17-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Heather, what great news that you son can eat those foods again! Good to know that sometimes this can happen.

We actually figured out that my son doesn't have intolerances, but does have some degree of dysbiosis bc of me.(I have since figured out my main issue is not the intolerance but candida so he may have adopted some of my issues with this)

Shauna,
Thanks fo the info about celiac! I know it is much more prevalent than people think. So sorry your dad had to go throught that. Luckily, we are more understanding of it than before, so there is a better future for our generation and the kids.

My naturopath decided to test us both before going GF and it was negative. This was not the highly effective testing but merely a blood test. He doesn't believe we have it, but its also not off the radar. I think the candida diagnosis I got recently actually fits us very well, but we are always learning about ourselves in this process!

Thanks so much!
Laurie
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