If you’re someone who’s not getting better on a gluten-free diet, or you’ve tried going gluten-free in the past… you’re not alone!
In fact, gluten-free diets make me so ANGRY! (Watch this video to see me get fired up.)
That’s why I was excited to be a part of the Women’s Gluten-Free Health Summit alongside our friend Jennifer Fugo.
She invited 23 of the most well-respected experts in the fields of gluten sensitivity, autoimmunity, mental health, cooking and motivation to get answers to your burning questions. No topic is off limits…
What I like about her is she demanded the speakers forget the “doctor speak” and science jargon that might make your head spin. All of the conversations are framed around making sure anyone understands them as well as the major ramifications of living gluten-free that you might not hear about very often.
You can click here to register and watch my full talk for free, but because I’m so passionate about this topic I wanted to share some of the highlights from the content I shared with Jennifer.
These are some of the most important points I wish I would have known years ago when I was told a “Gluten-Free Diet is all I needed to eat to get healthy.”
I’m Gluten-Free! Why Am I Still Sick!?
It’s a good question. If the gluten-free diet is not working for you; if you’re still having energy problems; if you’re still having hormonal issues; if you’re still having skin issues, depression, anxiety, digestive problems; if you’re still struggling with these things even though you’re eating gluten-free, you may need to look closer at your gut.
There are really three steps to solving this leaky gut epidemic. Number one is remove the leaky gut triggers like: GMO’s, NSAIDs and chronic antibiotic use to name a few. Number two is to rebuild your gut with real food, supplements and lifestyle changes. Number three is to go after those root causes that could be making your gut leaky in the first place.
If you’re talking about what kind of a diet is going to help your leaky gut, it doesn’t really have a name. It’s not Weston A. Price, it’s not GAPS, it’s not the SCD, it’s not gluten-free, it’s not paleo. It’s the Jordan diet. It’s the Steve Diet. It’s the YOU diet. It’s really going to be customized for you and what you can tolerate and what you’re reacting to right now. One of the most important things is to rebuild your gut eating a diet that works for you. That may be why just going “gluten-free” isn’t enough.
Your Gut is a Brainy Mamma
They say that the gut is the mother of the body because it feeds everything from our brain to our skin – the same way that a mother feeds a child. It’s also called the second brain because of how similar the brain and the gut are. 95% of your body’s serotonin (a brain chemical we commonly think about) is actually housed in the gut, not the brain. It’s also called the first line of defense because 70% to 80% of the body’s immune cells are in the gut.
These immune cells live just on the other side of the intestinal barrier. If the quality of your gut tissue is compromised – say it’s leaking – then you’re exposing your immune system to things it shouldn’t necessarily come in contact with.
Your Immune System Is an Army That You Don’t Want to Piss Off
The gut-immune connection is strong. When foreign particles leak into your body, your immune system will mount a full defense attack against those things. Remember, the inside of your gut is actually the outside of your body. Your gut lining protects the rest of you from bad things you may ingest and keeps stuff where it should be – like food proteins. So, let’s say you’ve been eating dairy and start to find you can’t tolerate it; it may be that you have the intolerance because your gut is letting those particles leak to places where they shouldn’t be. So, it’s not so much that you have a dairy intolerance as it is you have a leaky gut. And if you have leaky gut it means stuff is getting into your body where it shouldn’t be. When this happens the body mounts a response to it. It gets mad!
Now, leaky gut manifests its symptoms in various ways. Often it’s associated with IBS or Crohn’s, but 30% of people with leaky gut do not have GI symptoms. That’s an important thing to know: If GI symptoms are not your main issue that doesn’t mean you don’t have leaky gut. It’s a tricky problem. The way symptoms show up really depends on where the bad stuff leaks into your body and how your immune system responds to it. Everyone is unique in this respect. Toxins can wreak havoc anywhere and may make the immune system angry. Everybody is a little bit different and everybody’s experience is different.
I Am NOT STRESSED!!!
When we talk about chronic stress, we often hear things like ‘emotional stress’ – a crappy job or a difficult situation in your marriage or the loss of a loved one, the frustrations we go through with being parents and the things that our kids bring to the table. We talk a lot about those stressors, but physical stress is just as powerful.
Stress can very easily cause leaky gut on its own, but what most people don’t realize is that overtraining physically is an incredible stressor on the body. A lot of people stress their body into leaky gut through marathons, Ironman racing/training, training for crossfit competitions and P90X. So, if you’re still sick and you’re doing crossfit, P90X, and those types of things, you’ve got to stop. You’ve got to remove that trigger right now, and you can make that change right away. What’s the point to pushing yourself if you’re going right over the edge into a bottomless pit?
So, How Can You Find Out What’s Making YOU Sick?
Oftentimes, practitioners will order food allergy, or food intolerance tests. You’ll get a comprehensive panel showing all the foods you “react” to. It sounds great – just get some blood or saliva taken and find out all the foods you need to avoid to heal and feel better! But oftentimes people just come away with a whole list of foods they eat every day – foods they love. What gives?
IgG tests tell you your exposure to foods, not necessarily your allergies or intolerances to foods. IgG is an immunoglobulin (an antibody), which is part of the immune system. If you have IgGs that react with certain food substances it means you’ve come in contact with that substance. It doesn’t necessarily tell us how the substance is affecting your body. Some reasearch is even saying these IgG tests may mark for food tolerance not intolerance. Others are pointing out that food allergy tests aren’t backed up by actual research. So, if you’ve had one of these tests done and have eliminated chicken, eggs, salmon, garlic, red onion, broccoli, spinach, and who knows what else – it may not be necessary.
My Full Women’s Gluten-Free Health Summit Talk FREE
If you want to catch my full talk for FREE as part of the Women’s Gluten Free Health Summit, you can register here:
It’s called Could Leaky Gut Be The Reason You’re Still Sick? and I explain some of the most common triggers (beyond gluten) that you can remove right away to begin healing your gut and start feeling better.
I’ll also be joined by 23 health experts on health, autoimmunity, gluten sensitivity and cooking… plus, they’ll show you how to actually understand and integrate it into your busy life!
Hope to see you there 🙂
P.S. – My Women’s Gluten Free Health Summit talk about removing triggers that could be damaging your gut is free and I hope you get a chance to watch it before the Summit is over. You can register to watch all of the presentations here.