“I’ve been strongly debating becoming a vegetarian because so many foods disagree with me. After suffering for a long time, I decided to have a doctor do a complete analysis. The doctor wanted to know what could be behind all this. The list of food allergies he discovered was incredibly long, including most heavy meats.”

Jeanne Saucier, a physically fit, 47-year-old mother of six, does not have the appearance of someone barely on the good side of physical brokenness. In fact, she is a physical therapist. Yet, her narrative is anything but tidy and healthful.

“My problem was that we had a close relative who had access to all kinds of pills and medications. At the first sign of a sniffle or drip, I was fed an array of antibiotics. Of course, antibiotics kill our friendly bacteria living within our digestive system and convert bad bacteria into superbacteria. Instead of having friendly bacteria facilitate our digestion, bad bacteria disrupt the whole system, causing ‘Leaky Gut’ by creating tiny weaknesses in our small intestine, through which toxins and undigested trash escape into our bloodstream, damaging our immune system.”

I gasped, “Leaky gut? What on earth is that?” This question drove me straight online to find out all about Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS), a digestive disorder. Because most mainstream doctors don’t know about it, Leaky Gut is the least known and least diagnosed of all major illnesses, and it is the root of countless other sicknesses and disorders. Frankly, it’s amazing that Leaky Gut is the point of entry and enabler of chronic diseases like ADD, fibromyalgia, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, allergies, asthma, lupus, osteoporosis, psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, dementia and depression.

While our gut is designed to absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients to nourish the rest of our body and give us energy, the reverse happens when tiny holes in Leaky Gut allows bad bacteria and toxins to escape into the blood system. All these should have been neutralized and killed by immune system soldier cells inside the small intestines where 90 percent of our immune cells reside.

But what are the symptoms of this truly dread disease? The symptoms can be as slight as a lot of post-dinner belching, an oops-style passing of gas, acne flare-ups, unusual fatigue, frequent heartburn and acid reflux, stomach or joint ache, stomach cramps, sinus pollen allergy. Other symptoms are bloating after you eat, food allergies, constipation/diarrhea, nausea, difficulty losing weight. Compounding painful digestive stress, Leaky Gut also causes widespread inflammation that can lead to your immune system’s attacking the body itself (autoimmune disease).

Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., a board-certified family physician, is one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He wrote “Heal Your Leaky Gut” that tells all about the disorder and about the natural way to heal it without drugs or medicines. Naturally, avoiding the wrong foods and consuming the right ones is key.

His book is offered free to those who apply to receive it. This works if you can withstand the onslaught of tele-salesmen surely to follow in free books’ wake. You have to cancel them out individually by phone. Such was my ordeal with a free book.

Given her leaky gut condition, it was no coincidence that Jeanne’s doctor found a strong correlation between certain foods and her intestinal situation. For instance, beef hangs around the digestive system for 72 hours, during which time the ambient 98-degree temperature causes the beef to putrefy and produce ammonia that cuts its way into the inner tissue of the intestines. This is not only a pre-cancerous condition, but a gateway to a number of diseases.

Some important caveats are in order. For instance, beware of the frequency and the quantity of antibiotics that you ingest, for you may be opening the door to Leaky Gut Syndrome. It should be further adverted to that the needless and harmful varieties and quantities of antibiotics routinely consumed is mindless and unconscionable in medical practice. Quite often, a drug does not heal a disease, but only quiets a symptom momentarily. It conjures up the now-familiar deathly specter of too much coziness between the huge pharmaceutical companies and some medical doctors, whose aim is not to heal a patient but to maintain the status quo.

Putting the stealth character of Leaky Gut together with physicians’ general ignorance of the malady, plus the many chronic diseases taking their root in Leaky Gut, it is painfully apparent that multimillions of puzzled people like Jeanne Saucier are either not being treated at all or have been diagnosed badly through ignorance.

If most medical doctors are foundering clumsily, how must their patients feel?

Rev. Jerome LeDoux, SVD

“God is love, and all who abide in love abide in God and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)