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Is your leaky gut really an infection? It may be!
So, if you’ve read my story you know that I’ve been on quite the healing adventure for quite a while! And although I’ve been eating really well over the last several years, I have still been having some digestive issues….particularly when stress is at its highest. I’ve managed to get off of all PPI medication for the severe reflux that I suffered with for so long, but even though it was not nearly as severe, I have still struggled with it to a certain extent.
And in the past year, I’ve begun to have some mood issues too, and have even supplemented with the right amino acids to support my mood. I knew that I was dealing with a leaky gut and had moved away from eating any gluten which really caused me to have reflux. I did an elimination diet to see which foods were problematic and removed them from my diet.
And in spite of that, I still was not feeling quite like I knew I should be. I was seeing my reflux increase, having mild stomach pains, an increase in anxiety and depression, and occasional heart palpitations. I had them checked out by more than one doctor and was told that I was just fine.
Something was wrong
Uh, I knew that I was not “just fine”. There was something wrong, I just didn’t know what. Then last month I dealt with a stressful situation that brought my symptoms to a head. I had to face putting down one of my sweet dogs. This dog was very special to me and she declined very quickly leading to a long weekend of watching her struggle. It was heartbreaking to see and even more heartbreaking to say goodbye. I didn’t really sleep much that weekend because I didn’t want her to be alone if she passed. And I wanted to try to make her as comfortable as possible. So I stayed awake just giving her love.
That weekend was really stressful for me. I thought that I was dealing with the stress well, grieving just fine, and was beginning to function just fine. Until Monday night when I had a major….and I mean MAJOR panic attack. I was short of breath, had heart palpitations, felt pins and needles in my arms, and felt like I was going to die! It was downright scary!
Supplements didn’t work
I tried the usual supplements that would easily help to calm my symptoms, but absolutely nothing worked!
I tried to distract myself by researching for my blog, and one of the articles that I was researching was about leaky gut. One topic that continued to come up was h pylori infection.
Helicobacter pylorus is a common infection of the digestive tract. It is thought to be passed from infected food and drinking water and can be passed from an infected person through saliva. It is common for people to live with this infection for decades with or without symptoms and often is passed from a mother to her young children. As many as 50% of the population is infected with this bacteria, although only 20% of those infected ever show symptoms. H pylori burrow into the gastric mucosa of the stomach and intestines where it can actually cause a leaky gut.
Symptoms of an h pylori infection include:
- feeling full after eating a small amount
- brain fog
- nutrient deficiencies
- anxiety/panic attacks
- heart palpitations
- chest pain/tightness
- Stomach cancer
- back pain
- stomach pain
- food allergies/intolerances
- sensitivities to medications
These are only some of the major symptoms that people endure. Although the medical establishment believes that h pylori infect the stomach and digestive tract, it can infect any organ in the body.
The more I learned about h pylori, and read first-hand accounts of those who have dealt with this infection, I had a real “aha” moment. Looking back at my history I suspected that I may have been suffering from this infection for decades.
I began having stomach issues as a child and remember being tested for ulcers. The reflux started when I was a teenager. I also had mood issues and experience panic attacks throughout college.
My mother suffered from reflux, gastritis, and ulcers and my younger sister also had problems with ulcers and reflux. My sister and mother both have several food allergies and are both hypersensitive to medications. Hmm, sense a pattern here?
My suspicions were confirmed and now I am treating the infection. Stay tuned for part two of this series to find out what you can do if you suspect that you may have an h pylori infection and the treatment options that are available to help you to be infection free!