Reducing inflammation of the gut walls caused by gluten with the aid of natural healing aids (and a Gluten Free diet)

Reducing inflammation of the gut walls caused by gluten with the aid of natural healing aids (and a Gluten Free diet)

When newly diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity or when accidental ingestion of gluten has taken place, then very often the gut wall of the small intestine will become inflamed. The small intestine is quite complex as it comprises of four compartments within the duodenum itself: these are called superior, descending, horizontal, and ascending. Tacked onto the duodenum are the second and third parts of the small intestine: the jejunum and ileum.

The villi of the small intestine run the entire length of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum and although the villi increase in number further down the small intestine, damage may occur in any portion.

There are suggestions that natural supplements may be of help in the healing process. The main one that is currently being praised as the best option for coeliacs to promote healing throughout the length of the small intestine is deglycyrrhised liquorice. Deglycyrrhised liquorice is used as unlike standard liquorice it does not cause hypertension (high blood pressure) also other standard liquorice may accelerate excretion of potassium whilst causing retention of sodium. Little note of warning: if wishing to try out deglycyrrhised liquorice, look for natural versions without added artificial sugars some of which either may be grown using wheat, others may cause irritation or diarrhoea. The best will contain few ingredients so when checking the ingredients list look for something similar to the following:

Standardised Deglycyrrhised Liquorice Root Powdered Extract; Raw Liquorice Root Powder;

PhytO2X ä (powdered blend of beta-carotene preparation and ascorbic acid).

A further herb that helps to heal the intestines and is particularly useful if leaky gut syndrome is suspected is Cat's Claw "Uncaria Tomentosa." Cat's Claw will cleanse the entire system of deep seated infection throughout the entire length of the bowel and promote healing. It has a good track record as it has been used for thousands of years. This is also the herb that is recognised as a strengthener of the immune system.

Mastic Gum, which comes from the Mastic Tree of Greece - Pistacia lentiscus is another good option for coeliacs and gluten intolerants. This has also been a useful healing and digestive problems as well as a soothing medicine for centuries. It coats the lining of the stomach and intestine with a natural resin that both promotes healing and acts as an anti-biotic as it has the ability to kill off bad bacteria including Helicobacter pylori. Initially, it is usually taken for thirty days without interval - for many people this is sufficient but there are some who remain taking the gum in smaller doses over a longer period of time. It is also know for its ability to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and to kill off oral bacteria in the mouth especially those known for the incidence of gingivitis.

Aloe Vera is also a safe and healing plant and although many coeliacs find its use helpful as to promote healing in the lining of the throat, oesophagus, stomach and intestines others find it may loosen the bowel and in some instances cause diarrhoea. So this is perhaps best considered by those who may normally have a propensity towards constipation.

There are two further options that a coeliac or gluten intolerant may wish to consider to improve health and these are:

L-Glutamine - this is thought to improve the gut barrier function helping it to return back to normal.

N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine (NAG) - is mainly chosen as an extra aid by people that have osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The majority of supplements for NAG are made from marine life and so should be avoided for people with shellfish allergy!

Small additional note: when using natural healing aids it is always wise to follow the instructions and guidelines on the packet or bottle.

10 Replies

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  • That's very helpful and informative, thanks Lynxcat. I have been taking Slippery Elm but it is probably the most vile-tasting thing I have ever had to endure!

  • That's great info - thanks, I will try a few of those.

    I've have used Aloe Vera Juice (from Nutrigold) it again tastes vile but certainly seems to soothe the tummy if it is going through a bad patch & I used it daily for 6 months, first thing in the morning after coming off gluten! Now I just use it now & again if I have an upset or have been gluttened accidentally. I've also tried a few different Aloe Vera tablets as they are easier to store & transport,especially if you are away for a few days, but they didn't have the same effect on me as the actual juice. They taste better tho, but as usual, anything that is really good for you never seems to be tasty!

  • Thanks for this info Lynxcat. I have followed a gluten free diet for about about 6 years now as I found that it was the only way of controlling constant diarrhoea and gripping stomach pains. My blood tests for CD came back clear, but it was suggested that I needed to eat

    gluten before the tests were taken. In which case I would not have been able to make it to the hospital. I was told that I have Diverticular Disease about 8 years ago and two months ago that I am Lactose intolerant. This has proved to be very challenging in regards to food, as some of my gluten free foods have dairy in them which now limits my options even more. At home it is not a problem, but going out, either to a restaurant or shopping in London (I live in Essex), or visiting friends and family is really difficult. I am also concerned that I am not getting enough vitamins as my options are limited. I have tried supplements (which I have discussed with my pharmacist before purchasing) but they all give me diarrhoea. I am worried at the moment as I am losing weight again. I lost 2 stone 8 years ago and was on a drip for 2 weeks in hospital, this is when DD was diagnosed. I will be contacting UCLH in the new year to see what help they can give me, but I was wondering if there is anyone who uses this blog with gf and lactose intolerance who can offer some suggestions. I am a very active person in my mid 60's with two grandchildren aged 2 and 4mths, but if I don't eat regularly I start to feel faint as I have low BP. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Hi allergies

    I also have DD, low BP, lactose intolerance, also problems with yeast, xantham gum. I try not to eat any 'free from' foods as they tend to have too much sugar in them and do not eat bread. I do eat lots of different veg, protein, some quinoa and buckwheat, and do not need supplements. My diet is full fat and low carb. I eat butter and cook with lard, a recent cholesterol test showed a lower than average level for my age. I can eat ordinary plain yogurt and cream because they are lower in lactose than milk. Going back to eating full fat seems to have eased my DD.

    I have adapted the paleo diet to suit me, perhaps it would work for you?

  • Thanks Penel for this response.

    I really do feel at the moment I can't get it right with food that is good for me but that does not harm me. You say that you eat lots of different veg, would you mind telling me what you can cope with, seeing as you have DD.. Onion, Garlic, Cabbage, Broccoli and most root veg are difficult for me to sustain. I could quite easily have been a vegetarian before DD.

    I have not heard of the paleo diet so I will look into this. I would also agree that the 'free from' foods and soya are difficult for me. I have never been a bread eater before, but will eat some at home. I need to find something that I can eat when I am out. Since cutting out dairy I get burning pains in my stomach when I am hungry. On the plus side I am not always dashing to the loo, but yogurt and cream I can't sustain.

    Happy new year

  • Hi allergies

    Going back to UCLH sounds like a good idea. Perhaps keeping a food diary would be a good idea too? You mention burning pains when you are hungry ... Would eating more often help stop this?

    I found that my body reacted differently to soluble and insoluble fibre, coping better with the soluble. A low fibre / low residue diet may work for you. Have you had any advice on eating with DD? I had no advice and had to experiment on myself. You may need to eat a very restricted diet for a while and not worry about vitamins too much.

    Have a look on here for FODMAPS diet to see if it might help.

    I took probiotics to help with gut healing.

    Sorry I can't post any links at the moment.

    I hope you can get sorted out soon and that you can have a healthy and happy new year.u

  • Thanks Penel for this response.

    I really do feel at the moment I can't get it right with food that is good for me but that does not harm me. You say that you eat lots of different veg, would you mind telling me what you can cope with, seeing as you have DD.. Onion, Garlic, Cabbage, Broccoli and most root veg are difficult for me to sustain. I could quite easily have been a vegetarian before DD.

    I have not heard of the paleo diet so I will look into this. I would also agree that the 'free from' foods and soya are difficult for me. I have never been a bread eater before, but will eat some at home. I need to find something that I can eat when I am out. Since cutting out dairy I get burning pains in my stomach when I am hungry. On the plus side I am not always dashing to the loo, but yogurt and cream I can't sustain.

    Happy new year

  • Hi Lynxcat

    Natural probiotics can also have a beneficial effect on the gut.

    glutenfreeworks.com/blog/20...

  • Hi Penel, I used to think that capsules of 5 billion pro-biotic bacteria was quite a lot in one single pill until I found one with 20 billion. The one thing that I haven't as yet seen is the desired quantity to replenish the gut .. etc .. so if by chance you see some information on this when you're reading up on things please do publish it. I too, will also publish, if I come across it.

    I came across immune support coffee today .. have you ever heard of that? Apparently they put mushroom with the coffee - not sure exactly what it is supposed to achieve! The other unusual item was pro-biotic almonds!!

  • I'm adding this link as it may be of interest to some:

    glutenfreeworks.com/gluten-...

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