Emma and the Leaky Gut

While this may sound like a new Judy Blume novel, it’s really just my latest batch of experiments.

In August, when I met with my Case Manager, I was a bit weepy about the verdict of my pulmonologist (Obesity is the root cause of everything), trying and getting sick on a ketogenic diet, and the increasing pain in my knee.  Depression had trundled out the “Hopeless” cart, and I had climbed in.

My Case Manager is a lovely, up-beat, supportive darling, so when she suggested I see a hospital dietitian I felt instant betrayal.  Visions of scales and tape measures goose-stepped through my brain.  But, she asked me to think of this dietitian as someone I might add to my small support system—someone I could talk to and have on my side.  Framed that way, I agreed to meet with her.

In the meantime, I had been visiting my chiropractor for my knee and recurring TMJ.  Over the summer, she heard all about Dr. Obesity, my binge eating disorder, and all my other mental and physical woes.  For good measure, I came down with bronchitis a few weeks ago.  Along with prescribing additional protein powder to my morning shake while I’m sick, she also wondered if I might not have a Leaky Gut.

Basically, this syndrome is caused by a loosey-goosey gut allowing too much junk to pass into the blood stream, setting off an immune response that never shuts down.  Chronic inflammation of the gut follows.  Treatment involves getting rid of foods that irritate the gut and adding foods that soothe and heal it.  Dr. Ash has a quick take on Leaky Gut here.

Being sick with bronchitis turned out to be the perfect time to implement these changes.  Since I’m already lactose intolerant and get a gut ache eating bread, going dairy and gluten free was a no-brainer.  I can add bone broth to my gluten-free chicken noodle soup, eat a little kefir as a snack, and alternate my Breathe Easy tea with a variety of kombucha teas.  And my gut has stopped aching all the time.

I started to wonder:  What if obesity isn’t just a cause, but also a symptom?  What if Binge Eating Disorder isn’t just a mental illness, but also has a physical component?

These are the questions I took with me to the dietitian.

Emma is a sweet, young, cheerful professional, but had no answers.  She had heard of Leaky Gut, but knew nothing about it.  She knew about Binge Eating Disorder, but knew nothing about that either.  However, she was absolutely willing to learn.  She took all the information I brought with me and made copies for herself.  Our weekly sessions focus on what I want and my goals, not weight loss.  She is, as my Case Manager predicted, a wonderful addition to my support team.

My bad knee and intermittent TMJ turned out to be arthritis, no big surprise since my dad was a Bionic Man of joint replacements and—you know—that obesity thing making everything worse.  Whenever I think of arthritis, Mammie from Gone With The Wind pops into my head.

Arthritis waits in its web, swooping in after an injury.  An opportunistic little shithead.

Oh, well I’ll think about that tomorrow.  I have sauerkraut and wild salmon to eat now.  And tomorrow is another day.

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Littlesundog
    Oct 14, 2017 @ 10:11:41

    Ha ha! I love that card you’ve created! When a few of my friends say, “Oh, it’s genetic you know – the weight, of course, my parents were heavyset and my grandparents too.” I keep my mouth shut. I want to say, “Yes, I see how your parents eat – lots of fast food and restaurant eating, convenience boxed and other processed foods.” It’s genetic, alright. It’s often a learned way of life. Bravo to you for being open to change and trying different foods to understand what works and why. It’s a brave thing to confront the spider, get yer broom out and send that little varmint away!


    • Sandy Sue
      Oct 14, 2017 @ 10:53:40

      I’ve been watching a bunch of TED talks & You Tube bits on obesity, the American Diet, and how we’ve basically screwed ourselves. I don’t know how much I can turn that around now that I’m 60 (gods!), but Every little bit has to help.


  2. Val Boyko
    Oct 14, 2017 @ 11:15:19

    Having a support team and taking small steps works! I’m right with you Sandy Sue 💛


  3. petrujviljoen
    Oct 14, 2017 @ 11:59:59

    I seem to have hassles with the gut as well. I’ve been told to eat more yoghurt which is what I’ll do for a while. Stress is directly related to what the gut does or does not do I realised over time.


    • Sandy Sue
      Oct 14, 2017 @ 12:11:42

      I really recommend you be your own Functional Health Doctor. Eating yogurt says to me that your intestinal flora is compromised. You might research that. And start noticing how your gut reacts to different foods. Best of health to you!


  4. Elaine GREEN
    Oct 14, 2017 @ 13:53:04

    hi…. always happy to find you in my email…. and, in particular, enjoyed the ‘energies’ that you are exuding… a combination of accomplishment and dedication….. BRAVO, Sandy….. and, as always, the ‘photos’ are hilarious!!! love, me


  5. debiriley
    Oct 14, 2017 @ 19:30:17

    Sandy Sue, you’re on the right track with gut health! And seeing small improvements, month by month IS progress!!!
    breaks my heart when others get the 2 second label.
    because… it is possible. there could be a gut autoimmune problem at the ROOT of the medical issues, going undiagnosed. For years, unknowingly this was me. grossly overweight, ill 24-7. Hearing the same thing. lose weight. go to the gym. I tried. I did. And one day, someone listened. It took time, but with gut care and proper medications, I’m better now. back to high school weight…. not, that that is my main goal, no… feeling better is! sometimes we have to ignore those who don’t listen. who won’t take the time. and find someone who Does! seriously, all my best ❤


  6. David Kanigan
    Oct 15, 2017 @ 09:21:27

    Saukerkraut and Salmon – cure for your bad knee…let’s hope it works.


  7. Bipolar1Blog
    Oct 18, 2017 @ 13:15:18

    Good luck with your weight management. It’s great to start by eliminating foods that irritate your gut. I have food allergies as well and am always on an elimination diet. Good Luck again.


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