What is Leaky Bowel Syndrome? (Part 2- Treatment)
Next, I’d like to explain how I approach Leaky Bowel Syndrome when treating patients. The first aspect of improving an animal’s intestinal environment involves making dietary changes. Every pet has a different level of reactivity to food borne allergens, so finding out your pet’s specific food allergies may require some watchful experimentation.
The idea is to eliminate potential allergens by using a limited ingredient food, or using some other diet that would create less immunologic stimulation, such as a hydrolized prescription diet. Unfortunately, while dry or canned pet food may be most convenient, the processing of nutrients from the natural source to the dry or canned form can greatly increase their allergic reactivity. With this in mind, it may be helpful for some pets to be fed homemade or raw formulas.
The second component of treating Leaky Bowel Syndrome is promoting the right environment inside the intestinal tract. This is accomplished by supplementing a pet’s meals with a source of pre-biotics—the basic energy/fuel for the normal intestinal bacteria. (These are also called probiotics.) Additionally, the use of certain digestive enzymes—such as bromelain or papain—will aid in making the whole digestive process a lot easier, consequently decreasing a pet’s intestinal inflammation, and discomfort.
The third component is adding nutrients or supplements that may provide some restorative properties to the intestinal lining. Specifically, L-Glutamine, Licorice Root, and Slippery Elm Bark are some of the supplements that have been shown to encourage intestinal lining repair. Over the last few years there has been extensive research and development on this topic, and there are a few specific supplement formulas that can simplify the management of the problem.