Highlights from Jonathan Otto's interview with Dr. Rodger Murphree, for the Depression & Anxiety Series. Dr. Murphree discusses leaky gut, general gut health, and the impact of gluten.
Dr. Rodger Murphree - Part 2
Dr. Murphree: Mm-hmm . Well, I’ve been talking about leaky gut for 15 years and now it finally seems like the 100th monkey has been reached, thank goodness. Because leaky gut is a very real problem and when you have leaky gut, we think about our digestive system and elimination system, we think about it being part of our bodies, and it is, and it isn’t. It’s kind of like the plumbing in our house. When you go to use the bathroom, and you do your business, and you flush the toilet, you don’t want to see it again, right? It goes through the pipes, it exits, and it goes somewhere, wherever it goes. We don’t want to talk about that.
But it leaves the house, and it’s gone. Same thing with the plumbing, our digestive system in our bodies. We eat, I’m sure you eat nutritious healthy food. It goes down the esophagus, it goes to the stomach, goes in the small intestine. The good stuff is absorbed. You get the nutrients out of it and the toxins and the waste products are voided out and we never see it again. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
But when you get a thing called leaky gut, what happens is this plumbing gets little gaps in between the cells. Now, you may not know this but your stomach lining is one cell deep, is very thin. And things that can cause leaky gut and cause gaps in the cells, these little break ... these little patches here, think about a hose that you’re squirting your flower with the water. And if you were to take an ice pick and start going through up and down the hose and making puncture things in here, the water starts to spew out. That’s what we see if you can get a visual of that with leaky gut.
So now, this food that’s supposed to be digested and come into the small interesting and into the large intestine, the good nutritious part of that is supposed to be reabsorbed and the bad stuff is supposed to go out. When you have leaky gut, though, you’re literally mixing poo-poo, poop with your bloodstream. Sounds kind of gross, it is kind of gross. And this sets up this incredibly toxic environment that triggers reactions from the body because normally, when you’re digesting your food, your body knows what to do with this foodstuff that’s been broken down in these little bitty particles and it goes through the pipes. But if you’ve got leaky gut, some of this foodstuff leaks across and gets into the body, some of this waste material and the body overreacts. It releases bradykinin, histamines, leukotrienes, these inflammatory chemicals that set up these allergic reactions.
Now, leaky gut and allergic reactions are the great musketeers. They can basically cause just about anything whether that’s anxiety, depression, pain. They can cause fatigue, they can cause irritable bowel syndrome, they can cause all sorts of havoc in the body.
One of the things that we see that impacts anxiety is elevated histamine levels and we know that folks that have elevated histamine levels, they have a tendency to be more anxious. So if you’ve got leaky gut and your body’s generating histamine as an allergic reaction, that sets up this whole cascade about chemical reactions that can trigger anxiety, it can make you more susceptible to that.
What causes leaky gut? Nonsteroidal anti-inflammators, certain pain medications, certain antidepressants, yeast overgrowth, antibiotics. Now yeast overgrowth, everybody’s got yeast, everybody’s got yeast in your intestinal tract, this fungus. And normally, that yeast is kept in check by good bacteria. So there’s more good bacteria in our intestinal tract than bad bacteria and it keeps it in check. But when we take antibiotics, antibiotics kill the good and the bad bacteria which then can set up yeast overgrowth. Then once the yeast starts to overgrow the intestinal tract, like octopus, it sends out these tentacles that attach to the cellular wall and that can punch holes in the wall and create this environment called leaky gut.
I venture that everyone watching this has at least six foods that they’re allergic to, probably more than that. And it’s probably the same foods that you eat on a daily basis. And again, food allergies are the great musketeer. They can cause any symptom, whether that’s brain fog, anxiety, depression, pain, you name it. It can cause any of these things. And people are eating foods day in day out that are creating these reactions and don’t even know it. And people [inaudible ] gluten, that’s a biggy right now, right? Gluten is a biggy. Not everyone is allergic to it and you don’t have to be allergic to it. You could just be sensitive to the gluten.
So I encourage to get tested to see if you have a gluten intolerance. I encourage you to get a food allergy test. I recommend an ALCAT test or an ELISA test. But listen, you don’t have to get a food allergy test to know if these foods are giving you a problem. You can do an elimination diet. In an elimination diet, what you want to do is go off what I find are the chief culprits which are all wheat, gluten, you want to go off citrus products, you want to go off soy, dairy, eggs. And people say, “Oh, no, what am I going to eat?” But you go off of these things and nightshades. Now, nightshades typically, what they give you a problem, they have solenoids in it, certain chemicals that can attack your joints and they can create osteoarthritis or even rheumatoid arthritis-like pain.
But the wheat and the spelt and the milk, the gluten, the dairy, the citrus, soy, these things, if you take them out of your diet for one month and then you’ll slowly put them back in one at a time. Now, wait three days because the food allergies or food sensitivity may take three days before you have a reaction. Wait three days, 72 hours and then challenge something else. Every time you challenge something, be on the lookout, do you have a reaction to it. Does it make you feel foggy headed? Does it make you feel more anxious? Does it make you feel more depressed? I venture that you’re going to find that some of these foods, when you take them out of your diet and then you re-challenge them, they’re going to aggravate your symptoms no matter whatever symptoms those are, whether that’s high blood pressure, or anxiety, depression. And so I encourage you, that’s something that you can do and by doing so, you’ll uncover some of the foods actually creating some of your symptoms.