Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Leaky Gut

Chronic fatigue syndrome patients experience a condition commonly called leaky gut. The technical term for this is intestinal hyper permeability, which means the intestines have lost the ability to prevent food particles and toxins from entering the blood stream.

This leaking of nutrients and particles into the bloodstream stimulates the immune system to take a response. Patients with chronic fatigue symptoms have an already depleted immune system and have difficulty combating the effects of leaky gut.

Not only does the individual lose toxic particles, but they lose healthy bacteria that line the intestines as well. These good bacteria are critical for the absorption of the B vitamins, vitamin K and aid in the absorption of nutrients from partially digested food.

Causes of leaky gut have been attributed to low stomach acid. This condition lets a high percentage of undigested food and bacteria into the intestine. For the person suffering from chronic fatigue syndrom this bombardment into the intestines only adds to their condition of lethargy, poor memory, muscle and tendon ache, constipation or diarrhea, and sluggish metabolism.

Proper diet can help offset the symptoms of leaky gut. Peppermint, ginger, herbal tea, rosemary and fennel aid in digestion . Foods that raise the level of stomach acid will help alter the food in the stomach before it reaches the intestine. Introducing pre biotic foods into the diet will help increase the strength of good bacteria. Pre biotics are foods that contain non-digestible fibre that promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Artichokes, onions, garlic, oats, leaks, bananas, and soybeans are examples of pre biotic foods.  An increase of fiber will also help in digestion and move toxins through the intestines before they can leak into the blood stream.  While increasing purified water is suggested for patients with chronic fatigue and leaky gut water should be introduced after the meal. The reason for this is that water dilutes stomach acid and if an individual already suffers from low stomach acid adding water will lower the acid level further. Individuals should drink 12-16 glasses of water daily between meals as this aids in the reduction of constipation and helps clean the bowel

Foods to avoid are sugar and white flour products. These foods prevent the growth of good bacteria and encourage the presence of bad bacteria in the stomach and intestines.

Intake of protein should be monitored until the stomach acid level has increased. If protein sits too long in the stomach undigested it will cause the growth of bad bacteria and could putrefy and make the individual physically ill. Individuals with chronic muscle fatigue need a high level of absorption of protein to bolster their cells and reduce inflammation. If the protein is left undigested in the stomach this will only add to the leaky gut and discomfort for the individual.

Leaky gut is directly affected by stress. If an individual experiences high levels of stress without periods of relaxation stomach acid levels decline. This results in the intestines inability to filter out bad bacteria and toxins. The individual will become chronically fatigued and unable to fight off further stress.

Gentle exercises such as yoga, Pilates, stretching, meditation or whatever activity encourages an individual to move gently and increase their breathing will aid in reducing the effects of leaky gut.

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