Try it to know. Open your mind to try.
Constipation is always a sign of deficient intestinal flora. Normal gut flora is very involved in normal stool formation and elimination. Healthy evacuation should take place once or twice a day. If this is not the case, action must be taken to restore normal digestion. It is a symptom that many MS patients suffer from.
The Persian physician Ibn Sina Avicenna wrote about the importance of regular enemas in the 11th Century as part of treatment for serious health conditions. They are highly advocated for the treatment of conditions such as autoimmune disease and cancer. This rings true to me, having done several liver flushes involving enemas and colonic irrigations; as a result of the latter and diet changes, constipation is no longer a problem for me.
Persistent constipation is dangerous and it is important to resolve this problem. It leads to all sorts of digestive disorders including bowel cancer and poisons the whole body because of the toxins which remain in it. Many specialists recommend enemas daily, before bed followed by a warm bath with Epsom salt, seaweed powder, cider vinegar, bicarbonate of soda or sea salt. Rubbing cold pressed olive oil into the abdominal area after the bath is said to be a good idea also to relieve constipation, the skin will absorb it well enough. Enemas are an immediate solution but the way to fix constipation long-term is through diet and probiotics.
Laxatives are not recommended for people with digestive problems, even if they are herbal. Following the MS diet will relieve constipation, but it is also important to deal with the cause: gut dysbiosis. If you are constipated, drinking more water throughout the day and eating more vegetables will definitely help.
It is well-known that probiotics are very effective in the treatment of many digestive disorders. They can really help people with IBS, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis to name a few; when used in conjunction with a diet to heal the gut.
Probiotics are also helpful to people with allergies, who would also benefit from healing a leaky gut. Auto-immune conditions like MS often start off with digestive problems such as the ones mentioned above, and would be greatly helped by taking probiotics and following a diet to heal a leaky gut.
A good probiotic is one containing many different species of beneficial bacteria, as many as possible really; to resemble the ones the human gut should have. As different types of these good bacteria have different strengths and weaknesses, it is important to have a mixture to get the most out of them. Also aim for a mixture of strains from different groups rather than just one. Dr Campbell suggests a combination such as lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and soil bacteria rather than strains of lactobacilli alone. Look for a high concentration of bacteria per gram – so a minimum of 8 billion bacterial cells for every gram. Strength and bacterial composition of probiotics should be tested for by their manufacturer and results should be published. Let’s have a look at the different bacteria and what they do for us:
Lactobacilli produce lactic acid. They are found in many areas of the body but mostly in the stomach and intestines (of a healthy person) and help with the renewal process of cells in the gut, in this way they keep the gut lining healthy and stop it from leaking. They are the main protectors of the areas in which they are found.
Bifidobacteria found in big numbers in the human bowel, lower intestines, genital area and vagina. These are the most numerous bacteria in the gut of healthy babies. They provide nourishment for the body by synthesising amino acids, proteins, many B vitamins as well as aiding the body to absorb iron and vitamin D. They also engage the immune system to protect the gut from pathogens.
Saccharomyces boulardii was discovered by H.Boulard who saw that in China diarrhoea was treated with an extract from lychee. It is also now seen as useful in the treatment of Candida.
Escherichia coli/ E.coli are found in the lower parts of the intestines and bowel when they are found elsewhere there is a problem with the ecology of the gut. These bacteria have numerous roles including the digestion of lactose, the production of vitamins and amino acids, working against pathogenic microbes and insuring their presence is the best way to defend the body against pathogenic bacteria of the same family, as Alfred Nissle discovered in 1917 when investigating why some soldiers did not get typhoid fever during World War One when so many did.
Enterococcus faecium/ Streptococcus faecalis produce hydrogen peroxide in the bowel to lower the pH in order to control pathogens. They also ferment carbohydrates and break down proteins. Like Saccharomyces boulardii they are useful in treating diarrhoea.
Bacillus subtilis/ soil bacteria was found to protect from dysentery and typhoid. It is resistant to most antibiotics, stomach acid as well as temperature changes. It also has strong immune-stimulating properties and is very helpful for allergies and autoimmune disorders. These microbes do not remain in the gut, they pass through it and do work on their way. Because we no longer drink dirty water containing soil we are in need of these bacteria, they probably keep the gut clean, as they are used elsewhere to break down rotting matter. According to Dr Campbell, probiotics using this bacteria are the most effective ones available.
When you start taking a probiotic of good strength, you will have symptoms caused by the toxins released from pathogenic bacteria as they are destroyed. These will be characteristic of your illness and are temporary. That is why it is sensible to start slowly, until the symptoms are felt, that dose will be correct for you, do not increase further once you get there. The dosage should be taken for at least six months, so that normal gut flora can re-establish itself. It is important to cut out processed carbohydrates and sugar at this time so that your intestinal flora can be repaired, otherwise you will continue to feed the pathogenic bacteria. Once you have taken the probiotic for six months, you can reduce it to a maintenance level and take at this dose for a few years. You need to reduce the dosage slowly, just as you increased it. It is important to keep taking a maintenance dose because we do not get the bacteria we used to through water and food now that we live in a ‘civilised’ society. It is probably necessary to keep taking the probiotic indefinitely if you have MS or another GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) condition. Most probiotic supplements do not settle on the gut wall, that is why we must continue to take them. Birth is the only real chance in life we have to populate our gut with healthy intestinal flora. Once this chance has passed, probiotics are the only option.
General guidelines suggest adults should take 15-20 billion bacterial cells of probiotic daily. The figures are much lower for children – consult a qualified practitioner for help with doses for children and babies. The stomach acidity of GAPS people is usually low and so cannot destroy the good bacteria taken, as some people worry it might. It is sensible not to take any risks though, and to take your probiotic powder with food, when stomach acid is attached to particles of food. Even bacteria which does not survive the stomach acid will be helpful to you because even when dead their cell walls contain substances which stimulate an immune response. They also remove toxins from the body by absorbing them. It is best to get a powder, as capsules are difficult to digest for those with digestive disorders, and often just pass through the system and become a burden for the liver like other supplements. Even people without severe digestive problems will benefit from supplementing their diet with probiotics.
The good news is that we can make our own probiotic relatively cheaply (cheaper than commercially available ones anyway!). For thousands of years people have been eating fermented foods to provide the body with probiotic bacteria. The process of fermenting food not only makes it very tasty; it also makes it more nutritious whilst also acting as a way to preserve it. This is what people did before refrigerators were invented.
Fermented foods are a natural probiotic you can make cheaply at home, and are also a good way to store vegetables for a long period of time. Click here for how to ferment foods and get started with your home-made probiotic today! Dr Natasha Campbell recommends using home-made probiotics as your maintainance dose of probiotic once your therapeutic dosage time of at least six months has come to an end.
GFCF (Gluten Free Casein Free) Diet
Wheat and gluten (protein found in grains)- this includes barley, oats, rye,spelt. Gluten-free wheat products are also to be avoided if not organic.
Processed carbohydrates containing gluten (Children with Autism need to follow a more structured elimination of food types, read Gut and Psychology Syndrome for more information).
All starch and complex carbohydrates must be removed – carbohydrates especially starch and refined sugars feed pathogens in the gut as well as elsewhere in the body. Removing these foods restricts the activity of these pathogens. This means no grains or starchy vegetables. Even healthy people have trouble digesting starch, so it often goes undigested, providing food for bad bacteria, so that they may thrive and fill the gut with the toxins they produce; which then leak into the blood. The reason we crave these processed carbohydrates is that we have abnormal gut flora, which needs them to survive. Click here for a list of non-starchy vegetables which you can still eat whilst on this diet.
Only eat ripe fruit – fruit especially when unripe contains sucrose – a double sugar, which cannot be absorbed without the enterocytes splitting them up into monosugars; something they are unable to do when gut flora is abnormal. Instead it will become food for pathogenic bacteria.
Once the gut has been healed, it should be OK to go back to wheat and gluten in moderation. If you have MS dairy should be avoided as a general rule anyway.
Do not worry about cutting out fibre from carbohydrates; fruit and vegetables provide a much better source of fibre that is less harmful to an impaired digestive system.
It is also sensible to follow the anti-Candida diet and the GAPS diet to heal your gut and stop any further problems from developing in your digestive system; the GFCF diet alone will not fix everything on its own.
This diet is based on what Dr Natacha Campbell suggests is needed to clean up the digestive system so it can heal and become a source of nourishment instead of one of toxicity. I have altered it to cut out the high saturated fat content, as people with MS need to be careful with saturated fats. If you are not sure if you have a leaky gut or not, click here.
The GAPS Diet for people with MS
Preparation for the Diet
Take a probiotic so that there is good bacteria present and the healing may commence! Use a trustworthy brand such as Biocare or True Foods (Higher Nature). Take before eating – and once you have brushed your teeth, at night before sleeping if you suffer from ear infections. (This will reestablish good bacteria in the ear, nose and throat areas, to fight off infection.)
Avoid foods containing Acrylamides always, not just whilst on this diet.
The GAPS Diet
Once you have gotten rid of any Candida as well as gluten and casein, you can start the introduction to the GAPS diet which will provide a rapid fix for a leaky gut. I have just started a Kidney Flush so I am off animal proteins for 20 days, and I am in the middle of liver flushing which involves avoiding animal protein for a week each month but once I have completed this, I plan to follow the GAPS diet in order to heal my gut! I have started the anti-candida and GFCF diet in the meantime.
As aforementioned, the full GAPS diet is tricky for people with MS due to its high concentration of saturated fats, but the introduction diet, meant to heal the gut is fine and recommended by Dr Campbell for anyone with serious digestive symptoms. These symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, reflux, severe constipation, etc. These symptoms should soon clear allowing the healing process to begin in the digestive system. The purpose of the Introduction Diet is to heal and seal the gut lining quickly.
The Introduction diet is also a good idea for people with food allergies and intolerances, who are more than likely to have a leaky gut. Allergy testing is difficult if you have a leaky gut, as with a damaged gut wall a person is not able to digest their food correctly. This means that partially digested food is forever being absorbed that way, causing allergic reactions. You might find you are allergic to everything! Before following the diet, for foods you think you have a real allergy to; there is a sensitivity test you can do. This involves putting a drop of the food (mix with water and mash if it is solid) on the inside of the wrist. It is best to do this before bed, allowing it to dry first; so that in the morning you can see if you’ve had an allergic reaction to it. If the area is itchy or red, it is a good idea to avoid that food for several weeks. It is important to test the foods as you would eat them – so cook them or use them raw accordingly. once the gut is healed, mal-absorbed food and toxins will no longer be able to cross the gut wall into the blood, so these allergic reactions will no longer occur.
Stick to the foods listed. If on the introduction of new foods you suffer from abdominal pain, diarrhea or any other digestive symptoms which were improving in the previous stage, go back a stage.
The GAPs diet controls pathogens and heals the gut, so that partly digested food stops crossing into the blood – stopping allergies and lowering toxicity, giving the brain a chance to work normally. At the same time the nutritional content of the diet is high, remedying the existing deficiencies. Fruit and vegetables are easy carbohydrates to digest, and so should replace other carbohydrates while you are on the gaps diet.
The easiest proteins to digest are eggs, fish and meat, so these should be eaten to give the digestive system as little work to do as possible while we are fixing it. Boiling, stewing and poaching will make these easier to digest, avoid frying, roasting and grilling at first.
Baking and fruit should be avoided for the first few weeks, introduce fermented foods gradually.
Stage One of the GAPS diet:
Drink a warm cup of still mineral or filtered water first thing in the morning, followed by a probiotic.
If you are constipated, introduce sauerkraut or fermented vegetables immediately to the diet.
Have home-made meat or fish stock everyday, this will provide building blocks for rapidly growing cells lining the gut, and sooth inflammation in the area. Chicken stock in is particularly gentle on the stomach and so is a good starting option. Meats which have been cooked in water are much easier to digest if the digestive system is sensitive.
Keep drinking warm meat stock with and between meals -do not use a microwave to warm it up as this denatures food. The fat in the stock and on the bones is important to eat as they aid the healing process, but obviously people with MS need to make sure they do not consume too much saturated fat. Click here for a good guide to saturated fat per oz of fish, meat and poultry. Remember that saturated fat needs to strictly limited to a maximum of 15g a day, click here for more information on the importance of balancing your fats. Add probiotic food into each cup such as sauerkraut.
Homemade soup can be made using your stock and well cooked vegetables – steaming works well – use non-starchy vegetables but avoid fibrous ones such as celery and cabbage. Remove fibrous parts of vegetables like marrow, pumpkin and squash seeds and skin, the stalks from broccoli and cauliflower, as well as any fibrous-looking parts. Once the vegetables are soft, add 1 to 2 tbsp of chopped garlic, bring to the boil and then blend or have it as it is. According to the GAPS diet this soup can be eaten with bone marrow and meats/fish however those of us with MS need to be careful not to eat more than 15g of saturated fat a day, so make sure you use the saturated fat guidelines to insure you do not over-do it!
Probiotic foods must be introduced right from the start. Introduce them gradually from 1-2 tsps a day of sauerkraut juice or fermented vegetables for five days then 3-4 tsps for the next five days, until you are adding a few tsps to each cup of stock and soup. The fermented vegetable juice is to help restore normal stomach acid. Do not add probiotic foods to food which is too hot so as to not destroy the probiotic bacteria.
For chronic severe constipation, introduce juices of sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, increasing the amount every day. Dr Campbell suggests introducing kefir, sour cream yoghurt and whey at this stage, but people with MS need to think about this because of the saturated fat content of these foods and the level of saturated fat they will also be consuming from meat broths. If you want more information about these dairy products, read Dr Campbell’s book.
Natural ginger, mint and camomile tea with a little honey between meals is helpful (not from commercially available tea bags, make these freshly, chop some ginger and boil to make tea etc.
Remember that detoxifying can cause symptoms itself, while toxins are floating in the blood, before elimination. This is temporary and as the body detoxes, this uncomfortable reaction will die down. I have already started following the anti-candida diet and GFCF diet with no negative effects, but I have been on the MS diet for years, and have already done 5 liver flushes, so I have already done a great deal of detoxing. If this is not the case for you, it can be a good idea to have a homeopath or nutritionist oversee your dietary changes, and help you deal with any detox symptoms that may occur.
Take the soups with bone marrow, boiled meat or fish and other soft tissues off the bones (obviously, counting the saturated fat content of meals)
Keep drinking meat stocks and ginger tea
add raw organic egg yolk to the soup (1 a day/4 a week)
Keep increasing the amount of sauerkraut juice
introduce fermented fish or Swedish gravalax start with a small piece per day, and increase gradually.
continue with previous foods
add ripe avocado, mash into soups 1-3 tsps/day gradually increasing
eggs can now be introduced (remember that they are high in saturated fat and so no more tha 1/day, 4/week should be eaten.
introduce sauerkraut and fermented vegetables, start small gradually increasing to 1-4 tsps in every meal.
continue with previous foods
add roasted/grilled meats gradually (not bbq or fried) No burnt or overly brown bits though. Eat meat with cooked vegetables/ fermented veg/sauerkraut.
add cold pressed olive oil to meals – few drops, to 1 or 2tbs
Introduce freshly pressed juice – begin with a few spoons of carrot juice. Use clear, well filtered juice. Consume slowly, ‘chewing’ each mouthful. If well tolerated, increase to a cup a day. When this is fine, add celery, cabbage, lettuce and fresh mint leaves. Drink juice on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, or mid afternoon.
Crackers can be made with seeds and vegetables (only seeds will be too high in saturated fat)
If all has been tolerated:
Try adding cooked apple as puree.
Raw vegetables can now be added, start with softer parts of lettuce, and peeled cucumber.Gradually increase if well tolerated. Other raw veg can then be introduced, tomato (unless nightshade sensitivity -after completing the introduction diet you may find you are no longer sensitive to these), carrots, onion, cabbage etc, concentrate on chewing the vegetables well – as long as evacuation continues to be fine, you are ready for this step, if not – backtrack…If you suffer from diarrhea, all vegetables used need to be peeled, de-seeded and cooked until it has cleared, so you need to take your time with each step and not move on too quickly.
Start adding fruit to vegetable juice if it is well tolerated – apples, mangoes, pineapple but no citrus fruit yet. If diarrhoea is present, continue to avoid fruit and then try again with cooked apples once it has settled. When you no longer have a problem, introduce raw fruit but not with meaty meals as they can impair the digestion of meat. However lemons, avocado and sour apples do work well with meat.
If all has been tolerated well, introduce raw peeled ripe apple. Slowly introduce other raw fruit and more honey. Always use ripe fruit as unripe fruit is full of starch. If diarrhoea is present, continue to avoid fruit and then try again with cooked apples once it has settled. Berries are good for the GAPS Diet as they are very good for detoxing full of vitamins and minerals but not if you have diarrhoea. If this is the case avoid berries like all other fruit and then slowly introduced them cooked before you try them raw. When you no longer have a problem, introduce raw fruit but not with meaty meals as they can impair the digestion of meat. However lemons, avocado and sour apples do work well with meat.
Slowly introduce bread
It can take just a few weeks or up to a year to finish the introductory stages of the diet. Monitor stool changes, and beware of abdominal pain; you can not be experiencing abdominal pain and still move to the next stage. There are also certain foods that will cause it: I find that bananas give me abdominal pain; pay attention to your body, keep a diary of its reactions and learn what yours in particular is sensitive to. If you experience diarrhoea, wait for it to clear before moving to another stage. Introduce foods later if your body is not ready for them. Continue to take the soups and meat stock at least once a day after the introductory diet is finished. Because we are removing fiber from the diet, you may experience constipation – enemas and colonic irrigation can help to manage this, but personally I have found that eating more vegetables in soups for instance works well to combat this. Juicing is also very effective.
The Full GAPS Diet
– Drink a glass of warm water first thing, followed by one with lemon in it or a tsp of apple cider vinegar.
– drink a fresh fruit/vegetable juice to aid the body with its morning detoxing activities. Click here for some juicing recipe ideas
The water and juices will aid the body to detox in the morning, fresh fruit can also help.
According to Dr Campbell it is best to have breakfast at 10am once the detoxing is finished. She explains that this is why some people feel sick earlier in the morning and are not ready for breakfast. I think this is a personal thing and also needs to work around your day (!) I am more convinced by Andreas Mortiz and traditional Chinese medicine which advises you to have breakfast before 8 so that you have enough bile to digest it, and similarly lunch at 12… you need to leave enough time between meals for digestion and for the body to do other things.
– Take probiotic foods with every meal
– Eat eggs with the yolk uncooked but the white cooked (remember not to eat more than 4/week (with no more than 1 a day) because of their saturated fat content)
– If diarrhoea is present (it shouldn’t be at this stage – you may have sped through the introductory diet to quickly) you need to eat cooked vegetables as opposed to raw, and not yet be eating seeds- meat/fish stock can help
– Eat avocado with meat, fish or shellfish,
– Eat lots of home-made soups
– Continue to drink fresh herbal teas
– Follow the MS Diet rules
– avoid the following:
starch/gluten: grains and derivatives wheat, rye, rice, oats, corn, maize, sorghum, barley, buckwheat, millet, spelt, triticale, bulgur, tapioca, quinoa, couscous
starch vegetables and derivatives: potatoes, yams, sweet potato, parsnip, Jerusalem artichoke, cassava, arrowroot and taro.
Sugar and anything with sugar in it
Avoid lactose and anything containing it: yoghurt (not home-made), buttermilk, sour cream, processed foods with added lactose
This GAPS diet must be followed for at least 1 and a half to 2 years to insure the gut is healed. Some people will need longer, it depends how long their gut has been damaged for and how severely as well as how old they are; kids heal faster. Once you have had at least 6 months normal digestion, start re-introducing gluten-free grains. Always begin with small amounts and pay attention to your body’s reaction over 2 to 3 days after a small portion of the food being re-introduced. You can try gluten-free grains such as buckwheat, millet and quinoa, first prepare them by fermenting them beforehand. thereafter the MS diet should still be followed. You can start re-introducing new potatoes and fermented grains with good quality wheat, rye flour or sourdough.
I’ve been reading an extremely interesting book – Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell. Although I do not think her suggested diet to repair a leaky gut is adequate for people with MS due to its high saturated fat content (see here for more info on why saturated fats are dangerous for people with MS) the detailed explanation she provides of how intestinal disorders lead to many illnesses ranging from autism to schizophrenia and autoimmune diseases is very interesting and well worth a read for anyone who has any type of digestive issue.
We are all aware that intestinal flora is important. Dr Campbell’s book highlights the importance of the balance between beneficial flora and opportunistic flora in the gut. In a healthy person, the microbes that make up the latter are kept under tight control by the presence of beneficial flora. The beneficial bacteria are of extreme importance. They protect the gut wall from invaders, parasites, toxins and undigested food. It produces organic acid, reducing the pH of the gut; making it uncomfortable for pathogenic microbes. They are able to absorb many carcinogenic substances so that they become inactive. They also suppress hyperplastic processes in the gut which Dr Campbell explains are the basis of all cancer formation.
In healthy individuals there is a thick band of good bacteria attached to the mucosa of the gut protecting it from invaders. Without this well-functioning gut flora pathogens can reach the gut wall and even penetrate its cells. So with an unhealthy balance of good and bad bacteria, infections from vaccines or parasites are left to really damage the gut lining. Eventually the gut wall is breached by bits of undigested food which cross the blood brain barrier and cause numerous allergies. Wheat and milk proteins are particularly difficult to digest with a compromised gut because of the steps involved in their digestion. For more information about wheat and milk intolerances click here. This supports the theory that MS is brought on by milk proteins – undigested and leaking into the blood stream, some of them have been shown to mimic part of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, the part of myelin thought to start the autoimmune reaction in MS. The immune cells of people with MS have been shown to attack some of these cow milk proteins. Tests which involve injecting them into animals has caused lesions to appear in their central nervous systems.
When the beneficial bacteria are damaged, not only is the gut left defenceless against invaders, which are free to cause disease; but it also becomes malnourished. Normal gut flora provide ample nourishment for the cells lining the digestive tract. The good bacteria that live on the gut epithelium (which live on the villi on the surface of the intestines) digest the food which arrives turning it into nourishment for the gut lining. In the absence of this normal gut flora, the digestive wall is damaged through mal-nourishment as well as the presence of bad bacteria. The villi degenerate and are no longer able to digest and absorb food correctly. The unhealthy and malnourished enterocytes can no longer do their work – their surface, the brush border, produces disaccharides (enzymes which break down double sugars so that they can be absorbed). As they can no longer produce these enzymes, double sugars such as sucrose, lactose and starch products will not be absorbed, nor will starch. Instead they hang around the gut and feed pathogenic bacteria like the fungus Candida as well as other fungi, all of which grows and poisons the whole body. To fix this, we need to remove these double sugars from our diet to kill of pathogenic bacteria and give the villi the time they need to get rid of sick enterocytes and build new and healthy ones. To do this follow the Anti-Candida Diet and GFCG Diet.
Without beneficial flora, other foods also cannot be digested at all; dietary fiber for example. Fiber is something which beneficial bacteria feed on in the gut. They use it to absorb toxins as well as a whole range of other important jobs, but when the intestinal flora is not working properly, this fiber becomes dangerous. It acts as a habitat for bad bacteria, worsening inflammation in the gut wall. So fiber is good for us, but only when we have a healthy gut. This is why the patients of gastroenterologists are put on a diet low in fibre.
All of this further impairs the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Moreover, a damaged gut is unable to digest most supplements correctly, so it is often difficult to remedy vitamin deficiencies, as the body is unable to absorb them from either food or supplements. The immune system cannot work without constant nourishment, this is impossible with abnormal gut flora.
Eventually all of this leads to MS, Autism, Schizophrenia, Dementia and much more. Dr Kazudzo Nishi, a Japanese professor estimated that 1/10 of psychiatric conditions is caused by self-intoxication originating from the bowel for example.
But let’s not dwell on what is past; what can we do to fix a leaky gut? Well, If you do not have MS or difficulty digesting fats, I would read Natasha Campbell’s book and follow the diet she suggests. If you do have MS, I suggest you click here in order to learn how to clean up the digestive system so it can heal and become a source of nourishment instead of one of toxicity.
Why are so many people intolerant to milk and wheat?
It is all dependent on bacteria in the gut.
The digestion of milk and wheat proteins is quite complicated in comparison with other food, it involves two stages.
1) Digestive juices in the stomach help to split wheat and milk proteins into peptides (partially broken down proteins).
In a person with a healthy gut all of this works fine. If the integrity of the gut has been compromised however, the enterocytes are in such a poor state that the second stage does not take place. Because of this, the morphine-like structures of some of the peptides (casomorphines and gluteomorphines or gliadinomorphines) are absorbed into the bloodstream without first being broken down. They then interfere with immune system and brain function. For peptidases to do their work correctly, they need stomach acid, but again, due to abnormal flora, GAPS people usually have very low stomach acidity. They are also suppressed by the sheer number of incoming dietary peptides (by the time they reach the gut they should have already been broken down). As a result, peptidases are unable to function as normal; breaking down hormones and neurotransmitters once they have done their work. The body becomes overloaded with the debris of peptides, causing damage and even psychological symptoms.
Is it any wonder that people with MS are so toxic? The same goes for other GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) patients. Most of this toxicity comes from the digestive system which is unable to evacuate toxins or even break them down correctly. (For more information on GAPS, where it comes from and how to deal with it read Dr Natacha Campbell’s book.)
Research has shown that people with auto-immune conditions such as MS have high levels of casomorphines and gluteomorphines in their bodies. (This is also true of patients with ADHD, Autism, Depression, psychosis and Schizophrenia – for more details on how poor digestion is related these conditions, read Gut and Psychology Syndrome.) People who suffer from autoimmune diseases, alcoholism, depression and schizophrenia have damaged enterocytes because they are missing the bacteria needed to help them function correctly. This results in pathogenic bacteria damaging the gut wall, letting through poorly digested proteins such as casomorphin and gliadomorphin, which as abovementioned are impossible to digest; cross into the blood and are taken to the brain.
In order to digest lactose (milk sugar) we need E.coli, among other good bacteria in the gut. E.coli appear in the gut of healthy babies in the first few days after birth and remain there for life as long as they are not destroyed by antibiotics and other environmental factors. The absence of good bacteria leaves the enterocytes unable to digest lactose or starch. Instead they stay in the gut feeding pathogenic bacteria like Candida as well as adding to the overload of toxins, further damaging the gut wall and poisoning the body. Milk products which are fermented well are generally lactose-free because the fermenting bacteria will feed on the lactose. So well fermented yoghurt, soured cream, kefir and natural cheese are easier for the human gut to digest, and soothing to the gut lining, helping with healing and providing the body with B, biotin, k2 and other vitamins. People with MS need to be careful about dairy anyway because of its high saturated fat content.
However, milk also contains the protein casein. Research has shown that in an unhealthy digestive system, beta caseins (one form of casein) turns into casomorphin-7 and is taken up by 32 areas of the brain. These brain areas are in many cases in charge of communication, hearing and vision. In order to be harmless, milk needs to be fermented at home – you cannot trust commercially available fermented milk products, the fermentation process in these is never long enough. Further to this, these products are often then pasteurized; killing probiotic microbes and changing the protein and fat structures, removing nutrients in the process.
Another problem with milk is that it is very easy for us to develop allergies to it because of the range of antigens (immunoglobulins) in it. If a breastfeeding mother consumes dairy it is possible to the child to be sensitive to the antigens she passes on through her milk.
When mucous membranes are attacked by pathogenic bacteria produce a lot of mucous to protect themselves. Large amounts of mucous get in the way of digestion, coating food particles; stopping digestive enzymes and bile from reaching them, resulting in lots of undigested food, particularly fats. This can be seen in greasy stools and leads to deficiencies in vitamins A, D, E and K. When starch and double sugars are avoided for long time, mucous production becomes normal, improving the absorption of fats.
The state of a baby’s gut also depends on whether they are being breast-fed, and receiving all the good bacteria they need from their mother’s breast milk, and as a result it also depends on the state of the mother’s gut. This problem can be avoided by following a diet to heal the leaky gut.
This diet is nothing new, digestive disorders were treated with it in the 20th century! Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) has been used many times to cure Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Celiac Disease. It was found that patients of these disorders react well to dietary proteins and fats. The trouble foods were complex carbohydrates from grains and starchy vegetables as well as lactose and sugars. The problem with Celiac Disease is that it has been turned in the medical world into a gluten intolerance. Many people diagnosed with Celiac Disease find that the gluten-free diet does not work for them; this is because it is not just gluten that needs to be avoided. They should really be advised to follow a SCD diet or better still, a GFCG one, so that they stop reacting to milk and wheat proteins, among other substances that leak into their blood, as well as the GAPS diet to fix their leaky gut.
If your gut wall is not working correctly, it is best to avoid wheat and milk (as well as their derivatives), to stop feeding pathogenic bacteria in order to allow enterocytes to recover, until the gut flora is restored.