Leaky what? That’s what my doctor asked me when I told her of a condition I was experiencing. Leaky gut. It’s not a condition recognized by the conventional healthcare community, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Like my OB, I hadn’t heard about it either…until I got the mystery rash.
In the summer of 2012 I developed an itchy rash on the insides of my wrists. I thought I was having a reaction to a plant in the garden. (It was the first summer I actually got into a garden and weeded). Fortunately, my friend has her master’s degree in landscape architecture. If anyone can identify what’s in that garden, it’s her! Well, nothing poisonous and nothing to cause a reaction, she reported.
I thought maybe it was eggs, or the laundry detergent, or a body lotion I was using. So the scientist in me set about conducting a controlled experiment. I eliminated one if the suspects and noted the change– or lack thereof.
I couldn’t figure out where this rash was coming from, and when it spread to my chest and even my legs, I made an appointment with a naturopath. I was not about to visit an allergist just to be stuck with 50 potential allergens. My mom had great success with her allergies by seeing a homeopath. She went from not being able to eat any kind of raw fruit except bananas to eating all kinds, simply by taking some pellets the homeopath suggested.
So I went to see Dr. Laura Futterman at the Stamford Center for Natural Health. She listened to my general symptoms, which also included irritability and acne. “Sounds like leaky gut,” she said. She suggested eliminating wheat, soy, dairy, and corn for a few weeks.
Leaky gut is when undigested food particles enter the blood stream via gaps in the intestinal wall. Ew! Gluten may be the main culprit here. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and some other grains. It shows molecular mimicry, which means that it looks like a molecule in our bodies. It tricks the cells in the intestinal wall to allow it through to the blood stream, and once it’s in there, the immune response is triggered. Back to the whole molecular mimicry thing, the immune response cells begin attacking cells in the intestinal wall. This breaks down the integrity of the wall and the space between the cells (called joints) widen, allowing even more foreign particles into the blood stream. Consequence include rash, acne, irritability, and In some cases, malabsorption of nutrients and compromised well being.
My rash cleared up and so did my acne. My mood was more stable and I was shedding excess weight. I cried, of course. I had a very strong attachment to food and love to eat. It felt like I was grieving the loss of a dear friend. Even though the benefits far outweighed the negatives, it was tough to say no to chicken parmigiana and the homemade bread at Villa Italia in Stamford. Accupuncture helped with grieving and so did meditation and surrendering the attachment to the creator.
To surrender an attachment, emotion, or situation to the Creator, close your eyes and feel your heart. Feel the peace and serenity in your heart. Feel the love that fills your heart when you focus on it. This is the Creator’s Love. Hold your hands in front if your heart said you are holding your attachment, emotion, or situation, and say, Creator, I surrender this to you. Bring your hands up to the sky and open them, letting go of everything. You don’t have to know how to let go or how everything will be resolved. Just intend to surrender. Practice this as often as necessary. I did it at every meal and at every craving.
Living gluten free was very challenging at first, but now it’s easy. Ok, easier. Still looking for a brunch location that series gluten free pancakes! Tons of great products are on the market. Even my husband can’t tell the difference with some of them! I’ll leave you a list of my favorites.