Leaky Gut Syndrome did not exist in the 1970s
I truly wish that I was a time traveler because the knowledge I have now about Leaky Gut Syndrome could have saved me so much incredible pain. For example, the following scenario was typical for me.
Oh no, I thought. Not now, and not here. I lay in the back of the car, curled up in a ball. The pain in my lower stomach was excruciating. We were on our way to an important meeting for our company. I was making a critical presentation to a potential group of investors.
The person driving the car was looking into the rearview mirror with a mortified expression. “Are you going to be okay?” he asked. Between gasps, I asked if he had any Pepto Bismol or Tums. “What pain medicine do you have in the car or your luggage?” I added, desperate for some relief. Since I’d been a teen in the 70s, I’d had strange stomach issues and a variety of irritating health problems. But doctors didn’t talk to me about Leaky Gut Syndrome. Instead, they always shuffled me out the door with another prescription — and even sometimes a sugar-filled lollipop.
Colonoscopies without anesthesia
Those scenarios started when I was a teenager and plagued me for the next 45 years of my life. Doctors first diagnosed me with colitis, then Crohn’s disease, but I honestly had no clue why I was having these flare-ups. On a scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most pain possible), I would have rated these episodes as 10 plus.
Forty years ago, at 20 years old, I had my first colonoscopy by my general practice doctor. Based on my painful symptoms, he felt he needed to explore. The camera was on a straight rod and not flexible if you can imagine what that means. Not only was it awful, but it was also inconclusive. It wasn’t until years later that my doctor sent me to the specialist who diagnosed me with colitis.
Poor nutrition was never discussed
From 1973 to 2018, of the many doctors who worked with me on my esophagus, stomach, and colon issues, no one ever discussed my food and beverage intake, or what the vast number of prescriptions and over-the-counter pain meds was doing to my gut. Because I traveled most of my working career, one doctor said he felt that stress was causing my painful symptoms.
In 2005, I saw a gastroenterologist to have a scope done of my esophagus and upper stomach. They wanted to see if I had an ulcer and/or explore to see if the muscles were not working correctly, allowing acid reflux to burn my throat. Once again, not one doctor ever sat me down and talked about what I was eating.
Each time they suggested an over-the-counter medication or wrote out a prescription. So I would take the medication — and still suffer incredible pain.
Cancer diagnosis in April 2015
Bladder cancer is usually found late in the game, but fortunately, I had a symptom that compelled me to visit Instacare. Hearing the urologist announce that he found three tumors embedded in my bladder wall left me in shock. He scheduled me for surgery the next day, explaining I would need to have a catheter for a week, allowing the bladder to stay deflated so the incisions could heal. Not once was there a discussion about my diet being one of the causes.
Why is that? I have asked myself again and again over these many years. I’ve since learned that doctors don’t have much time to study nutrition in medical school. From my experience, doctors who specialized in that area were called holistic doctors and, at that time, lacked any real credibility.
2018 was the first time I heard the term Leaky Gut Syndrome
Would you be surprised if I said I did not hear about leaky gut from any of my doctors? At that time, I had a general practice doctor, neurologist, oncologist/urologist, and a doctor that specializes in chronic pain. All things considered, how many times do you think they discussed my diet — and that it could likely be a cause of my symptoms? You can see a definite pattern here… as the answer, once again, is never!
I accidentally stumbled upon this subject one day as I was researching on the internet. I was typing in my symptoms, and obscure links about a syndrome called leaky gut started appearing. After close to an hour of reading, it was very clear that there was a limited number of doctors who believed in it.
Doctors on the fringe, who had gone onto further education known as functional medicine, were taking this syndrome seriously. It was clear that other doctors did not have enough time to spend one-on-one with patients to accurately assess what was being ingested in the body and causing negative symptoms (or what I call intense pain).
My leaky gut journey
What is interesting about researching online is how ads start popping up after you search for a specific subject. A prominent international doctor’s YouTube videos started popping up in my feed. This doctor had changed his practice to restorative medicine. Fortunately, this doctor set me on the path to do a serious dive into my potential Leaky Gut Syndrome.
I was experiencing gas, bloating, heartburn, and indigestion regularly. Those conditions caused serious pain for me. I had been diagnosed with prediabetes, along with colitis and Crohn’s disease. Fortunately, I was never diagnosed with (IBS) Irritable Bowel Syndrome, another leaky gut symptom.
The information I learned about bowel movements was surprising. I typically had a bowel movement every three days (which I thought was normal), and each one was a traumatic experience. When I was asked to rate my bowel movements on the Bristol Stool Scale. I was a number 1 (healthy bowel movements should be a 4). Your bowels tell an interesting story. Check it out on WebMD to rate yourself: What Kind of Poop Do I Have?
You’re invited to join me on this journey
Over the last three years, I have become a testimonial to dramatically improved health. Leaky Gut Syndrome is for real, even though many doctors still aren’t talking much about it. What is truly sad is that it takes the medical community an average of 17 years to adopt new theories and protocols. I will be writing a multi-part blog series about how I have been healing my leaky gut. Most people who know my painful health history are in awe of what I have accomplished.
In summary, Leaky Gut Syndrome is still not widely accepted. I had to become a scientist, and my wife went back to school to become a Functional Nutritionist Counselor. We have worked together to help me achieve my optimal health based on my personal DNA. At More Than Healthy, it is our goal to coach you to better health by helping you to heal your gut issues. Please be aware that our recommendations should never take the place of your doctor’s protocol. However, treating the true cause of this kind of pain and discomfort is life-changing.