gut health

Leaky Brain Syndrome

brain.jpg

Are you been experiencing memory problems, trouble concentrating, brain fog, or constant anxiety? We talk a lot about leaky gut and the complications that result from this condition. However, a similar problem can happen in the brain. There is a clear connection between your brain and digestive system. 

Blood-brain barrier leakage means that the brain has lost its protective means, the stability of brain cells is disrupted and the environment in which nerve cells interact becomes ill-conditioned. These mechanisms could eventually lead to dysfunction in the brain.”

— Dr. Walter H. Backes, Maastricht University Medical Centre

What is Leaky Brain Syndrome?

Your brain houses your memories, your communication and language skills, and your ability to move your body. It also controls automatic functions such as breathing, body temperature, and heartbeat. Your brain is one of the most vital parts of the body, performing important functions, and it needs serious protection.

Despite the brain’s incredible superpowers, there are instances when the brain, as well as the Blood Brain Barrier—or BBB—can be compromised. Leaky brain happens when the protective BBB is breached and naturally occurring substances cross through the walls of the vessels to the brain.

What are the Symptoms of Leaky Brain Syndrome?

The following are common signs of Leaky Brain Syndrome:

  • Headaches

A headache is one of the common signs of a leaky brain. The headaches are unexpected and severe. Studies also revealed that pain associated with these headaches is more intense especially when a person is standing. 

  • Cognitive Decline

This includes memory loss and can happen for various reasons, such as from blood brain barrier dysfunction. Studies have revealed that this dysfunction can contribute to the cognitive decline that is often observed in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

  • Chronic Fatigue

Leaky brain syndrome can lead to tiredness that does not go away even with rest or sleep. It has been discovered that the change in BBB’s permeability may resemble the continuing symptoms and signs of chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Depression

The breakdown in BBB is often observed in patients with serious psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression.

Causes of Leaky Brain Syndrome:

  • Systemic inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Chronic psychological stress
  • Infections
  • Head trauma
  • Poor diet and food additives
  • Disrupted circadian rhythm
  • Intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome)
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Environmental toxins and heavy metal

If you are suffering from leaky gut, you are more prone to leaky brain syndrome. Things such as gluten and other known food allergies that damage the villi of the small intestine may eventually damage the blood brain barrier, too. Drug and alcohol abuse also poses risks to BBB permeability.

Infections, environmental toxins, and stress also take their toll on the blood brain barrier. There is a substance in the body known as Zonulin that determines the brain and the gut's permeability. Studies revealed that consuming gluten tend to increase Zonulin levels within the body, resulting in elevated permeability on both barriers. This is also common for individuals with gluten sensitivities to develop both leaky brain and leaky gut. 

A healthy, properly-functioning blood-brain barrier is critical for optimal brain and mental health. In order to effectively treat leaky brain, it is important that any issues concerning the gut are addressed due to the connection between the brain and the gut. Gluten must be eliminated from your diet since this increases the permeability of tight junctions, resulting in a broken down BBB.  Food sensitivities are often linked to the inflammation.

Many individuals suffer from leaky brain syndrome.  If you are at risk for developing this, you need to protect your brain. You should embrace a healthy lifestyle and engage in activities that promote ideal mental health. If you have been diagnosed with leaky brain syndrome, however, there are many effective treatments today that you can consider. 

HEAL YOUR GUT Programme

You can start making healthful changes to your diet and lifestyle straight away. Add more vegetables that contain Sulforaphane to your plate. Sulforaphane is a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts or cabbages. Some studies have shown that Sulforaphane can prevent breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, reduce permeability of the blood-brain barrier, and improve cognitive function after stroke and traumatic brain injuries.

Add more natural anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Add resveratrol to your diet, which is a beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in grapes and raspberries. Pterostilbene is a compound found in blueberries and is very similar to resveratrol, and it has also been shown to protect the blood-brain barrier by reducing oxidative stress. Choose curcumin from turmeric, probiotic (fermented plant-based) foods, healthful plant-based fats like omega 3 fatty acids (which your body cannot produce itself), from hemp, flax, sunflower and chia seeds, plus walnuts.

Make sure that you're getting sufficient Vitamin D, B Vitamins (B12, B6, and B9), magnesium (spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado and bananas, plus epsom salts baths), also reducing stress and getting enough sleep.

Toss out inflammatory foods, like white flour, sugar and other processed carbs can damage both brain and gut. Avoid alcohol, and acetaldehyde – a byproduct of alcohol metabolism – can also contribute to leaky brain.

Also reduce your exposure to any environmental moulds and EMF's (electromagnetic fields) where possible.

I have no doubt in my mind that, at the present time, the greatest polluting element in the Earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields.” - Dr. Robert Becker, Nobel Prize nominee

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Resource and Research:
Book: Why Isn't My Brain Working, by Dr. Datis Kharrazian

https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/leaky-gut-leaky-brain-gluten-is-an-equal-opportunity-destroyer/

American Chemical Society. "Mercury Can Jump Barrier That Keeps Toxins Out Of Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990909080318.htm>.

Immunol Res. 2016;2016:4576012. Epub 2016 Sep 21. Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption Induced by Chronic Sleep Loss: Low-Grade Inflammation May Be the Link. Hurtado-Alvarado G1, et.al. PMID: 27738642 PMCID:  PMC5050358 DOI:10.1155/2016/4576012

PLoS One. 2016; 11(5): e0154427. Published online 2016 May 6. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0154427
PMCID: PMC4859489 Melatonin Preserves Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity and Permeability via Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Inhibition Himakarnika Alluri, Rickesha L. Wilson, et al

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Resveratrol appears to restore blood-brain barrier integrity in Alzheimer's disease ScienceDaily 27 July 2016.

Want to know more?

Living Food = Vibrant You - Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register here.

© WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now atwww.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.  

 

Love Your Gut - Digestive Health with Raw Food!

For me, it’s been a long journey with my digestive health! Swopping to a raw, plant-based, whole food diet and lifestyle, has definitely been my best decision and has certainly changed my life and improved my health immensely. 

There have been times in the past when I experienced desperation from the physical pain that goes with what was then diagnosed as stomach ulcers and colitis, which recurred at different stages in my life. This tended to happen most often when I was extremely stressed, not taking care of myself, not eating healthily or staying hydrated, not sleeping well and not exercising, which proved to be a very harmful combination for me. To top it all, I later developed elevated blood pressure too, but I’ll leave that bit for another time, but know that it’s all related.

On this journey to a healthy digestion, I have tested several different types of treatment, starting with pharmaceutical medication prescribed by my doctor, and later on to a one-month juice fast with guidance from a professional natural health practitioner. Interestingly, these protocols have all worked in terms of relieving the symptoms, but it was from the point that I began to change my entire lifestyle that those debilitating symptoms never returned, as they had done previously when I relied on pharma medications. 

For me this means that what has been highlighted, is that when I overload my body with certain types and combinations of de-natured cooked food and don't take care of my entire health, eventually my body can’t preform the required digestive process thats needed. My body then becomes bunged up with hard to digest, or indigestible content and if that undigested waste material gets backed up, I become bloated, constipated (not going to the loo after each meal), and it begins to stagnate within me because it’s trapped inside, which is gross!

If waste material is stuck inside your body, it is also being absorbed into your blood stream, causing inflammation within you, while starving your organs and cells of the vital nutrients needed for a their healthy functional flow. I’m sure that you’ll understand that this is a situation that can be ripe for disaster, an internal environment in which disease can be cultivated and even take hold if nothing is done to undo this situation. 

Most people would rather not think about that part of your body’s function, I know I didn’t want to at one point. However, you need to know that a healthy digestive process is vital for your good health. Over time, ustilsing an holistic approach to my digestive health has enabled me to develop and deepen my awareness of what works well for my gut wellness. It has also helped me to address any disharmony caused between focusing solely on my physical needs, by not also considering how my emotional and physical health are also an integral part of the equation. Taking care of all of you creates a better sense of balance and promotes the holistic healing principle of 'looking after the person and not the illness'.

A few helpful facts you need to know -

  • For every foot of colon in your body (it is as long as we are tall), you can store
    approximately 5-10 lbs. of feces
  • a healthy person will have 2-3 bowel movements per day
  • the degree to which your colon is clean is the degree to which your blood stream
    is clean
  • your ascending colon controls the aging process in your body.
  • Therefore keeping your colon stimulated with nutrient rich, easily digested food is
    key to good health.

Stress has a direct impact on digestive health also, it can slow down your digestive process, along with any stress caused from eating unhealthy foods. In my time at HHI I learnt that the physical conditions usually associated with stress include obesity, insomnia, heart disease, chronic pain, cancers and autoimmune diseases, which in turn are also affected by your digestive health, since how clean or unclean your blood is, it feeds every part of your body’s functioning capacity! A healthy gut bolsters the body’s immune system and the body’s innate ability to resist disease.

You Can Support Your Gut Health by -

  • Mindful living
  • Opt for clean and green cleansing raw plant-based foods, herbs and spices
    that support gut health and aid digestion
  • Completely chew your food before swallowing (chew each bite approx 37 times)!
  • Have your meals in a calm and relaxed manner and environment - be present
  • Add digestive nutritional supplements
  • Adopt food combining methods
  • Activate your nuts & seeds
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Start Juicing & having healthy smoothies
  • Create a routine of daily detox activities
  • Introduce stress reduction strategies to reduce fear and lifestyle anxieties
  • Fast for one day a week
  • Incorporate colon cleansing protocols (enemas, colon hydrotherapy) in your overall digestive health plan.
  • Spend time moving your body in nature

Incorporating these healthy digestion tools into your healthy lifestyle is easy when you know how. They are not transferable, meaning that you can't choose to adopt in some of them and ignore the others...you need to do them all over time, at a steady pace and get support with the ones that feel is a bit more challenging. It's best to leave behind any sense of pursuing superior health, a better body, and longevity, as this focus and hamper your process and progress. Be easy with it and whatever you do, don't stress about it either.

My healthy gut regime includes using food-grade essential oils, yogic gut exercises (Satyananda), weekly fasting, organic raw whole foods, coconut water, probiotics, digestive enzymes, green juices, dancing and walking, meditation and reflection, relaxation...to name a few. 

Whenever you decide to get started, that will be the right time (but get started as soon as you can). Remember the lifestyle combination that works best for you, is totally unique. Your attitude and perspective are paramount to your achieving optimal eating, as is the atmosphere you create within which you engage with these tools for healthy living. Your health is always in the here and now, not somewhere down the road, so pay attention your health needs, make smart choices and work on cultivating healthy habits.

Be aware that all Sistahintheraw programmes include a connected mind-body-spirit approach, to a healthy plant-based, raw food lifestyle; with clean, cleansing, nutrient-rich recipes, plus accompanying practical guidance and mind-set tools. You can check them out here:

Cautions:
Colon hydrotherapy may not be suitable for people with certain conditions. Please check with doctor or health care practitioner.

Try out the raw food for a healthy gut programme over three days. Take a look here.

Want to know more?

Resource and Research:
http://hippocratesinst.org/ten-holistic-tips-life-long-healthy-gut
http://hippocratesinst.org/it-takes-guts
http://hippocratesinst.org/hippocrates-four-core-nutrients-to-support-optimal-health
http://nutritionstudies.org/time-chew-digestive-system-starts-mouth/

Living Food = Vibrant You - Create healthier habits, try out one of my online wellness programmes, register here

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Anita McKenzie, is a Raw Soul Food and Holistic Health Lifestyle Mentor, she is founder of the brand "Sistahintheraw" and "Raw Soul Food" and a leading authority on Raw Food Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make healthier choices, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Sistahintheraw now atwww.sistahintheraw.com

Medical Disclaimer
Sistahintheraw.com provides information on this website as an educational service. This website does not provide medical advice. The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. The products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications and medical conditions.