Friday, 22 May 2020

What Is A Leaky Gut? - It Does Have any Connection With Food Allergies?

What Is A Leaky Gut? - It Does Have any Connection With Food Allergies?

Leaky gut in Autism disorder


Essentially, a leaky gut is exactly what it sounds like.  Someone who has a leaky gut have intestines that have been damaged with small holes.  This is primarily caused by some type of invasive organism living in the gut.  It could be from parasites, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses etc.  These things are almost always found in the gut.  However, it doesn’t usually become an issue unless they are allowed to proliferate and colonize.


Leaky Gut might not sound like a big deal but it is a huge problem to ones health.  These holes allow the contents of the gut to escape.  These things can be pathogenic organisms like bacteria, viruses, yeasts and fungi.  The toxins and poisons that these organisms metabolize.   In addition it could be Vitamins, minerals, or partially digested food.  Not to mention, the majority of our neuropeptides  and components of our immune system are made in our guts.  Once our guts have been damaged, our brain, nervous and immune systems cannot function properly.


When the vitamins, minerals or food escape into the body, the immune system has a hard time recognizing them for what they are.  partly because they are not  where they are supposed to be there.  Partially digested proteins are especially at risk of not being properly identified.  Generally it is only a matter of time before the immune and nervous systems decide these things are foreign invaders and react as such.  Therefore, developing an allergy.  Once our systems view them as harmful it remembers this substance as harmful and will react that way next time and the next time and the next.  Foods are most Complex this days.  It contains all sorts of colors, preservatives, additives, and even "enriched" with synthetic vitamins.  Even our “fresh foods” could be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, antibiotics, or acid rain. 


This tends to further confuse our systems, because 1 or 2 items may be beneficial and 1 or 2 items could be toxic or harmful.  Eventually, the body may view it as all bad or all good.  Either way, when this happens, it is not a good outcome.  If the body thinks all components of a food is beneficial, it will try to use or store any toxins or chemicals in it.  If the body thinks all components of a food is harmful, foreign or toxic, it will dump everything including the nutrients. 


This "dumping" may explain why so many autistic children require quite high doses of nutrients.  Not to mention, there needs to be enough nutrients leftover from what the invasive organisms will steal from them.  Once the gut has been severely damaged it is unable to assimilate nutrients.  Because of that, until there has been significant healing of the gut, natural liquid supplements work better.  Furthermore, anything absorbed by the skin can be used and assimilated directly to the cells where they’re needed.  This can bypass a lot of the over-reaction by the immune and nervous systems.  Mainly, because the cells can pull it in and start to use it before the immune system forces the body to get rid of it.


You can see this time and time again on hair analysis.  There is no other explanation of why there are such mineral deficiencies.  This can be seen on my hair analysis as well as my daughter’s.  We both eat much better than the average person.  Our hair analysis didn’t show severe deficiencies because we weren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals.  It was more that:

1. Our bodies weren’t doing the right things with what it was getting (mainly due to allergy)
2. Our bodies use massive quantities of minerals to buffer our bodies from our extremely                        3. low pHlevels (acidic)
4. Pathogenic microbes were stealing it right out of our guts
5.We weren't able to assimilate and extract out the nutrients 


Furthermore, once you develop food allergies and a leaky gut.  You are supposed  to be more likely to experience in the future.  This is because with food allergies comes mal-digestion.  With mal-digestion, there are plenty of nutrients, acidity, and putrefying food for organisms to feed on.  This is exactly the type of environment that these invasive organisms love and thrive in.  Therefore, it attracts more.  With more, comes further damage, which perpetuates the vicious cycle.


As if all this weren’t bad enough…  If, (or more like when), the invasive organisms doing this damage escape the gut you are really in trouble!  These organisms are called invasive for a reason.  They are insidious, hard to get rid of, have a great survival instinct, and they are smart.  What do I mean by smart?  have the ability to trick the body.  This is why from one flu season to the next, it is almost never the same strain.  It changes itself just a little to stay one step ahead of your immune system.  They can camouflage themselves to look like a gland or organ tissues or cells.  They use these survival tactics to get the body to attack itself.  An autoimmune disease is born.


If you want to significantly improve autistic behaviors and improve food allergies.  You have to first start with supporting and supplementing what the gut can’t provide in its damaged state.  Second you have to begin healing the gut.  Almost every biochemical treatment either directly or indirectly centers on these two aspects:

  1. Supplementing what the damaged gut can't provide
  2. Healing the gut 


Even the fact that children with autism don't get rid of heavy metals can be linked to a damaged gut.  The body requires sufficient amount of amino acids to be able to excrete heavy metals.  A damaged gut cannot not properly break down proteins into amino acids required for this process. 


So many of the most effective biochemical treatments focus on protecting or repairing a leaky gut.  Some treatments are only lasting once the gut has been repaired.  This should be your number one priority.  Once there has been significant healing of the gut these children can turn around very quickly.


Where Do I Start To Heal A Leaky Gut?!? -

(In Order of Priority)

Leaky gut in Autism disorder


  1. Create an environment that doesn't enable pathogenic organisms to thrive and enables probiotics (friendly bacteria to flourish)
  2. Kill, starve, strip or crowd out pathogenic organisms
  3. Protect it from further damage by eliminating food allergens
  4. Introduce nutrients and herbs that repair and strengthen the gut lining

Behavior Problems & Autistic Symptoms......Caused By Food Allergies?

Behavior Problems & Autistic Symptoms......Caused By Food Allergies?



Long before I had ever heard the term leaky gut or anything about food allergies (or other allergies) causing behavioral problems or Autistic symptoms, I knew some days Hannah was totally different from other days.  This was true even before she was diagnosed with Autism.  At the time my mother, my husband, and myself couldn’t put our fingers on what was causing these changes in her behavior.



At Hannah’s evaluation and diagnosis appointment, I asked the Developmental Pediatrician if it were possible that a leaky gut or food allergies could be partly responsible for her daily behavioral changes.  We discussed the gluten free casein free diet at length.  The diet was one of the only things I had any knowledge of before her appointment.  Albeit, very limited.  It was the only possible treatment her Doctor even mentioned other than the traditional Speech, Preschool, Occupational Therapies or possibly ABA. 



Her Doctor did not suggest a gluten free/casein free diet. many parents who have tried it, I am not a supporter of the diet because it is difficult to implement and maintain.  However, because of Hannah’s severe gut symptoms, the she may be one who responds favorably to the diet.”  Hannah’s doctor suggested we not implement a special diet until she was evaluated for her chronic explosive foul smelling diarrhea by a gastroenterologist



To give a perfect example of the behavioral effects of food allergies, our worst autistic day by far was the day after her formal diagnosis.  That morning, I made the biggest mistake…  I was convinced that maybe like me she suffers from severe hypoglycemia.  Was that the cause of the daily behavioral changes and didn’t have anything to do with gluten or casein as the Doctor suggested?  So I decided instead of giving her rice cereal or a blueberry waffle (without syrup), I needed to get protein in her to stabilize her blood sugar.  I went with a toaster scrambler since it was one of the only ways she would eat eggs or some meats



That day, I brought her to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta to have her lab tests that the diagnosing doctor ordered.  Her behavior has never been more aggressive, agitated and uncooperative.  She wouldn’t look at me at all or even attempt at listening.  I couldn’t even keep her occupied with food or drink.  Her sensory issues were in overdrive!  She kept lifting her shirt and swimming across the cold tile floor on her bare tummy.  Anytime there was a transition on the floor (rug on tile, tile to carpet, a threshold etc.) she had to get down on all fours and feel it.   All through out, she was making all sorts of animal sounds and barking like a dog anytime someone spoke to her.  Her behavior could only be described as absolutely out of control and very disturbing.  She had never been like this!



Not to sound totally selfish about what my daughter experienced, but I absolutely fell to pieces!  Mind you I was still in shock about the diagnosis and with the realization “this is NOT just a phase – and she may be like this forever”.  This was my breaking point. I decided right then and there, I would pour everything I had in finding out what had caused these extreme behaviors.  That was the day that I decided to find out more about dietary intervention and food allergies.  Then I would try whatever had worked for others parents, immediately.  We decided not to wait until we could get in to the Gastroenterologist.



Knowing what I know now, there was not a single item in the toaster scrambler that Hannah is not allergic to.  Including her most severe food allergies the first being baking powder and her second being wheat.  In addition, she is sensitive to the buzzing sound from the fluorescent lights and the reverberation of tile.  This added insult to injury.



Of course I did what you’re doing now and hit the Internet.  The minute I heard about food allergies causing someone to either be addicted to a food or refusing it – I knew I was on to something.  We were calling Hannah the carb queen.  She lived on bread, (whole-wheat) cereal, and waffles (without syrup).  She had stopped eating or drinking dairy entirely (except yogurt).  She only ate grilled cheese sandwiches because it was surrounded by bread.  I had learned how many of her “autistic” symptoms could be caused by food allergies.



You know what…Forget the behaviors of autism – What about her other symptoms?!  This is what I kept bringing up to every Doctor she saw (which were many).  They all seemed unconcerned and kept telling us there is no link.  (Which you will learn if you don't already know...  This is the current mantra of traditional doctors about just about every subject about Autism.)  She had all the symptoms of Leaky Gut.  I knew there was more to her dysfunction than just the behavior.  My little girl was sick –Would it explain her other symptoms?  What about the purplish-black bags under her eyes or ghostly white pale skin some days and almost gray ashen skin others?  Or maybe her chronic explosive foul smelling diarrhea?  Maybe her constant gas?  Could it even cause the light yellow, foamy and yeasty smelling stools?  I swear the yeast smell was so bad once, I thought my husband had spilled his beer.  Then I realized that Hannah had a stinky diaper!



How about her completely undigested stools?  It was blatantly obvious she was not getting any nutrition from her food.  Her regular Pediatrician tried telling me this was due to her “improperly chewing her food.”  I don’t care if she were swallowing it whole.  You should not be able to identify everything she has eaten from the contents of her diaper!  I think, if I had it to do all over again, I would save one of those diapers and plop it on the Doctor’s desk.  “Tell me this is normal!”



Ok.- Enough of about our personal experiences.  Does any of this sound familiar or maybe yours goes something like…  My child wouldn’t have a bowel movement for three or four days.  Then it would be so big and hard it would cause bleeding.  Or maybe their tummy is so bloated they look like they are pregnant.



Dr. Bernard Rimland, Director of Autism Research Institute and Founder of Autism Society of America, made a prediction at the 1972 annual meeting of the National Society of Autistic Children “in 10 or 15 years the average physician will think of allergies as an immediate possibility when he sees an autistic-type child”.  Unfortunately, this prediction has not happened yet. still We have a long way to go.




Allergies Defined 


An allergy is any abnormal reaction to any amount of a substance (allergen).  This abnormal reaction causes an individual to develop excess antibodies produced by our immune system.  These antibody allergen protein chains cause histamines and other body biochemicals to release.  This is what  the symptoms of allergies  causes.  symptoms can be physical, psychological, or emotional.  The substance (allergen) can be toxins, chemicals or poisons, benign items like foods, grasses or pollens, or even beneficial things such as vitamins, minerals, even sunshine.  Pretty much anything made in the body, stored in the body, brought into the body, or experienced by the body could cause an abnormal reaction by our nervous and immune systems.




The Two Types of Food Allergies 



The first is known as an IgE antibody mediated response.  It produces symptoms almost immediately -  Possibly within seconds, usually within 15 minutes, but might take as long as an hour or so.  This type is the traditional anaphylactic allergy.  Chances are, unless extremely mild, you would already know of this reactivity.  These allergies cause things like shock, asthma, breathing difficulties, hives, rashes, throat, eyes or face swelling, severe itching etc. 



The pediatric allergist we went to told me “there is only one type of food allergy – and if Hannah had a food allergy you’d already know it.  Have you made any trips to the emergency room after feeding her something?  Or does she carry an epi-pen?”  She hadn’t and doesn’t.  Therefore, he refused to do any allergy testing for foods at all.  I was very upset and frustrated. 



Then I told him we were waiting for the blood work back to diagnose celiac disease.  He went crazy…  He told me dripping with condescension and defensiveness “celiac is an autoimmune disease and the trigger happens to be gluten but it isn’t really a food allergy”.  To me this was a little like splitting hairs.  To me by definition, any item (whether defined as a “trigger” or an “allergen”) that produces an inappropriate response by the immune system is an allergy!   Should it matter that it causes the body to attack itself rather than the perceived invader?  At the time, I had done just enough research to know he was flat out wrong but not enough to actually argue intelligently



If there is a history of autoimmune disease(s) in your family, which is extremely common in families with autistic children, it may be appropriate to get screened for celiac disease.  As a matter of fact, some DAN Practitioners (I am using "DAN (Defeat Autism Now) Practitioners" interchangeably with any doctor who treats Autism with biomedical or biochemical means.)  will automatically screen for celiac disease since it is so common among the Autism community and their families.  This is especially true if your child is underweight, has a ravenous appetite, with chronic diarrhea, or mal-digested chunky stools and a general “failure to thrive.



Testing for Food Allergies



By the time of our wasted trip to the allergist, I knew Hannah had some sort of food allergy.  She had made huge strides immediately after getting her off wheat and dairy.  However, I hadn’t yet learned and adhered to the hidden sources of gluten so she was probably still getting trace amounts.  This wasn’t enough for the traditional doctors to be willing to order the appropriate blood tests.  Her regular pediatrician said she would order the tests but never did.  At least she appeared supportive.  They thought and probably still think I am crazy



Unfortunately, in our personal experience, most of our traditional doctors failed to even attempt to find answers.  Then when I brought the answers to them, they failed to, at the very least, humor me.  After all, I am the one paying for the tests.  Chances are the tests I wanted were just as likely to be covered by insurance as the tests they wanted.



If any of this sounds at all familiar and you want to get reassurance that you are on the right track - That Food allergies may be a contributing factor.  You can order a test (with or without your regular Doctor’s orders).  This test analyses a tiny sample of blood, from a finger or heal prick, to see if food intolerance exists.   Please note it only tells you yes or no if you have IgG antibodies to 113 very common foods – It will not tell you which foods.  It might be helpful if you want to try some type of dietary intervention but are getting resistance from someone you know.  Or might tell you if full allergy testing is warranted.  If the test comes back positive and you decide to get the full IgG Elisa FoodScan to find out which of the 113 foods the subject is allergic to, they will give you a $25 credit.  



If you are already certain (or almost certain) that food allergies exist in your child, you need to know to which foods.  This can be done by number of effective ways.  My personal favorite which is free (or very cost effective – only cost of sample if not something you already have.), accurate, and immediate is muscle testing.  I’ll be upfront and honest…  It sounds crazy, it looks crazy, it is crazy – But it works!!!  My first experience with muscle testing was reading about it in The Natural Medicine Guide to Autism.  I had to reread the chapter 2 or 3 times.  In the end, I couldn’t even understand what they meant, how to do it, how and why it worked.  I filed it under-must see to understand let alone believe”.  Then I had the opportunity to have it demonstrated on me.  All I can say is “WOW”.  I now use it for everything.  I can say that it has been the greatest tool and biggest part Hannah’s road to recovery.  Also, my recovery from chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia, autoimmune (Hashimoto’s) thyroiditis, autoimmune adrenal (Addison’s) disease, chronic pelvic pains, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, hypoglycemia, Candida (yeast) overgrowth, and heavy metal toxicity, and food allergies.



If you want to “see the results in black and white”, then an IgG Elisa lab test may be the right choice for you.  This test is what I wanted more than anything before I learned how to muscle test.  As I said before, I had difficulty getting support regarding testing and food allergies from her traditional doctors.  This included her…  regular pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, pediatric gastroenterologist, and pediatric allergist.  No one was willing to order blood screening for IgG antibodies for foods



When I was developing this website, I stumbled onto a vendor that you can order this test with or without a doctor’s cooperation.  Plus, only York Nutritional Laboratories actually has a validated method for screening up to 113 foods for IgG-mediated (delayed) food allergy without the need for a full blood draw.  This lab classifies foods as “No Reaction”(this is IgG only – If there is a traditional IgE – anaphylactic allergy continue to avoid), “Rotate”, or “Avoid”.  There may be some cases where foods listed under “Rotate” should also be “avoided” at least temporarily.  Generally, Elisa Blood Antibody tests are most accurate if the subject has been eating wide varieties of foods before the test is preformed.  However, if you highly suspect a food is problematic for your child, I wouldn’t reintroduce something just for the sake of testing.  With the test you will get your very own custom Food Intolerance Guidebook.  It is 45+ pages of valuable information on how to interpret the results, dietary recommendations, rotation section and recipes.  Also, they have included 12 months of unlimited and complimentary telephone & email support to assist you.

All statements made on this website are for informational and educational purposes only.  We believe all statements are factual.  However, they are the individual experiences of each author(s) and are not warranted.  All sources are referenced when possible.  This information is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or illness – It is simply mothers sharing what treatments worked or didn’t work to help their child’s autism.  We believe all children with autism are unique individuals and should be treated as such.  Therefore, no two children will respond to the same treatments the same way.  All health concerns including, but not limited to, starting or stopping any medication or supplementation should be addressed with a doctor or other appropriate health professional.

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