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What is Leaky Gut?

What is Leaky Gut?

By: Dr. Anne Truong
November 25, 2019
 

Have you ever heard the term leaky gut? Have you ever wondered if you have leaky gut syndrome? 

If you struggle with any kind of digestive issues, symptoms of dysbiosis (an imbalance in gut flora), or candida (intestinal bacteria) overgrowth you may have one of the many conditions that are associated with leaky gut.

Leaky gut is so common that if you eat a standard American diet, there is a high likelihood that you have some intestinal damage.

The term ‘leaky gut’ is actually relatively new.  Your grandparents probably didn’t have to worry about leaky gut syndrome. The reason for this is because the things that are disturbing our innards are related largely to changes in our diets, lifestyles, food allergies, and chronic illnesses. Past generations didn’t eat the processed foods we consume and they didn’t live the hectic lifestyles we do now.

Leaky gut also known as intestinal permeability, affects the lining of the small intestine. The tissues become damaged, causing a variety of things like undigested food particles, waste products, and bacteria to “leak” through the intestines and absorb into the bloodstream. These foreign substances are considered toxic and when they enter the blood they can cause an autoimmune response in the body. Conditions resulting from this include inflammatory and allergic reactions such as migraines, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), chronic fatigue, food allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

In addition, when you suffer from leaky gut, the damaged cells in your intestines can’t produce the enzymes you need for proper digestion and your body cannot absorb essential nutrients. This can lead to a hormone imbalance and a weakened immune system.

There are several steps you can take to heal your leaky gut syndrome relatively quickly and safely. They are simple lifestyle changes you can incorporate even without a medical diagnosis. Hopefully, they will put you on the path to feeling better now!

    --Gluten, sugar, and dairy can be gut toxins. Try eliminating these foods from your diet.

    --If you are taking an antibiotic for an illness make sure to also take a probiotic not only during the time you are taking the medication but for a month afterward. Your body needs time to re-grow the good flora and bacteria your intestines need.

    --Try digestive enzymes which will assist in ramping up stomach acid production. Natural choices include pineapple, papaya, mango, honey, bananas, and avocados.

    --Glutamine is a favorite nutrient in curing leaky gut syndrome. It helps increase enterocytes and colonocytes. Foods high in glutamine come primarily from animal sources including bone broth, grass-fed beef, chicken, and eggs.

    --Mediterranean diets are super healthy and typically 1/4 of the food you consume with this diet is raw. Include Celtic sea salt (actually a mineral supplement) as your salt condiment (as opposed to table salt) which can help rebuild stomach acid production.

Whether your gut issues are major or minor, incorporating these tips into your life will not only make your belly feel better but will also make the rest of your body feel better. It is unfortunate that so many of our food options are riddled with so much bad stuff.  It’s up to you to make better choices when deciding what to fuel your body with and make the decision cut out the unhealthy factors and instead boost your health with supportive food, nutrients, and supplements.