Why Is Leaky Gut Bad
Because toxic bacteria and food particles “leak” into your bloodstream, triggering inflammation can lead to allergies, autoimmune disease, depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer, inflammation can also affect the brain and nervous system, causing anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings.
How Does Having Leaky Gut Syndrome Affect One’s Day To Day Life
Leaky Gut Syndrome may be uncomfortable and can negatively affect your quality of life. It can affect your digestion, mental health, immune system, weight and more.It can lead to autoimmune conditions which may cause many problems for you and your family. It can affect your relationship due to anxiety, depression or a low sex drive.
Hope For Leaky Gut Syndrome
Because we at Gain Wellness Center use a functional medicine approach when it comes to healing you, we go in-depth and work to discover the deeper, underlying causes of conditions like leaky gut syndrome. We take leaky gut seriously, even though traditional mainstream medicine has yet to do so.
Bottom line? We want you to get better and dont quibble about whether a condition like LGS exists. When we hear any patient describe the discomforts consistent with leaky gut, we have an arsenal of treatments to employ, and lifestyle recommendations for you.
When you visit us and receive a free wellness evaluation, we talk to you about what you eat, how much you move, how you manage your stress, your hormonal health, and detoxification strategies. This way, we can get to the root of your problem, particularly if you have leaky gut syndrome.
If youre suffering from any of these LGS symptoms, dont hesitate to call the Gain Wellness Center or book an initial consultation online.
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How To Look After Your Gut Health
Whilst diet does play a big part in avoiding leaky gut syndrome and improving overall digestive health, there are other ways to have a healthy gut.
This includes getting enough exercise each day, which can help with the other two ways of helping the gut: having up to 8 hours of sleep every night, and reducing stress.
If you smoke, then you will find that quitting will help the gut, as will not taking antibiotics that you do not need. Both these things will disrupt the healthy bacteria that lives within the gut.
What Causes Leaky Gut
A poor diet is one of the leading factors of leaky gut syndrome. Processed foods contain many ingredients that can lead to leaky gut. In fact, gluten is the number one cause. Gluten causes the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart the tight junctions in your intestinal lining.
Other inflammatory foods or toxic foods are causes as well.
Infections, toxins, and stress are the other three important factors that can cause leaky gut symptoms. The most common infectious causes are Candida overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Toxins come in the form of medications including NSAIDS , steroids, antibiotics, and acid-reducing medications.
Environmental toxins including mercury, pesticides, and BPA from plastics are also causal agents. Finally, stress can also be a cause.
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Leaky Gut Syndrome May Cause Depression
Our intestines play an important role. They not only digest food but also extract nutrients from it. Bowels are a protective barrier between internal organs and the outside world but they have one weak spot. The intestinal mucosa consists of a thin layer of epithelial cells that are interconnected by special proteins.
These proteins dont let toxins, undigested food particles, viruses, and other foreign bodies that enter the intestines with food get into the bloodstream. If a person has a strong immune system, bowels will protect the body from danger.
But intestinal epithelium is very sensitive and if its damaged, microscopic holes appear on it. This allows dangerous substances and viruses to enter the bloodstream and then into organs and tissues.
If Bored Only Eat Super Tasty Gut
Most people fall off the leaky gut diet and into a donut/pizza/bread-filled abyss, because they find the flavors bland.
And hey, Im not suggesting for a minute that chicken and broccoli tastes as good as a pepperoni pizza, but
if you stick to paleo-esque meals with big flavors, youll find it easy to stick to a clean diet.
For example, when Im craving pasta, especially a nice bowl of rigatoni with rich lamb shank ragu, I simply cook my pasta sauce as normal, but then instead of using spaghetti with it, I will shred 2 courgettes into thin strips and then pan fry them till they have some color.
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Leaky Gut & The Immune System
Your immune system is constantly on guard protecting you from all sorts of intruders and pathogens. It also has an incredibly important role to find and eliminate cells which have become mutated and cancerous.
When the gut is leaky two things happen. First, the immune system is now continually being triggered to react to the array of pathogens and toxins entering the bloodstream possibly being distracted away from the clump of cancerous cells that are beginning to grow and multiply in another area of your body.
Also, the toxins that make their way through the body could be entering cells, causing mutations, and ultimately contributing to the development of cancer. You see the problem!
The immune system becomes stressed and overworked. Although your body can handle this extra load from time to time, when its a constant state of affairs, systems begin to break down.
Over time the immune system becomes less effective, the body becomes more toxic and inflamed, and the stage is set for cancer to thrive.
How Is Adrenal Fatigue Connected To A Leaky Gut
The digestive system and gut microbiome can be considered a third brain for the human body. If the gut has a balanced and healthy microbiome, the body is less likely to experience health ailments caused by inflammation, stress, hypertension, and poor immune function.
Stress has a significant impact on the healthy, normal function of the adrenal gland and digestive system. If the gut is stressed because of a poor diet, lifestyle choices, occupational hazards, or life events, the adrenal glands can overproduce cortisol and adrenaline, exacerbating adverse conditions.
Both the gut and adrenal glands are essential to influence the regulation of the immune system, stress response, and overall health. When these vital systems are fatigued or underperforming, one may develop depression, difficulty sleeping, low energy levels, and other problems.
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My Broken Ankle Analogy
Broken ankle- rest and elevation before physical rehabilitation.
Leaky gut- eat a cleaner, softer, nourishing diet to lessen inflammation and promote healing.
Normally, daily exercise is essential for optimal health, and it is encouraged. However, if you have suffered from an injury, such as a fractured ankle, the immediate treatment would be different. You may need to rest, elevate, not put any pressure on it. The priority is to ensure healing first.
With leaky gut, our diet is more restricted because we are removing any potentially harmful agents and allowing healing to take place first before re-introducing back some of the good foods . This is time to heal and relearn what foods are well tolerated.
The best diet for you is the one that makes you feel the best. Keeping a daily food journal/notebook and documenting the food consumed, time of day and how you feel is important. Keep in mind that digestion can take 1-2 days. See more under removal phase diet heading.
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Common And Not So Common Causes Of Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is often ignored, or not well understood by modern medical practitioners. Known by some doctors as increased intestinal permeability, , the condition begins in the small intestine, where nutrients from food are absorbed by microscopic pores that makeup the intestinal lining. These pores regulate what enters the bloodstream, however, leaky gut refers to the gaps in intestinal lining when the pores widen and food particles and toxins that should remain in the small intestine enter the bloodstream through the openings. Once these materials are in the bloodstream, the immune system identifies them as invaders, and attacks them, along with healthy cells. This latter occurrence is how autoimmune diseases and allergies are hypothesized to develop.
Leaky gut causes are not absolute, however there are a few major culprits:
Stress: Chronic stress affects gut health. The Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology a report in 2011 that reviewed how brain-gut interactions are altered by stress, including an increase in intestinal permeability.
Constipation: When chronically backed up, toxins in stools can irritate intestinal lining, leading to inflammation and pores opening up.
Poor flora: Known as intestinal flora beneficial bacteria and probiotics, these good bacteria maintain a healthy digestive system . When harmful bacteria dominate the small intestines, this causes inflammation and irritation in the lining, which causes the pores to widen.
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Leaky Gut Fix #: Rebalance Your Gut Flora
The first two steps mentioned above will likely help to reduce gut permeability. However, to ensure that this solution is sustained, you will have to invest time and effort into maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora.
This can be done in numerous ways. The healthy protein and vegetable-rich diet mentioned above is a good first step. But, you can and should do more. Instead of simply taking probiotics when you are on antibiotics, you should add in a daily, high-quality probiotic. Plus, in addition to probiotics, another great addition is fermented foods. There are a host of them to choose from, including sauerkraut and kimchi.
Supplements For Leaky Gut
Querectin- is a natural antihistamine and flavonoid. This is a great supplement. Quercetin is a natural mast cell stabilizer meaning it stabilizes those mast cells from realizing histamine. Histamine causes inflammation in your gut. Obviously calming those little mast cells down can help with inflammation in the gut.
DGL- Is licorice root that has been deglycyrrhizinated. It doesnt affect blood pressure or kidney function. In addition to DGL being an adaptogen herb it is antiviral and antibacterial. It is an antioxidant and is anti-fungal. Also, DGL helps heal stomach ulcers and contain flavonoids that promote digestive tract cell growth.
L-Glutamine-is an essential amino acid. L-glutamine repairs intestinal lining and closes tight junctions. Additionally L-Glutamine modulates inflammation n the gut. I personally feel L-Glutamine is one of the best supplements for how to heal leaky gut.
Probiotics Pay attention to CFUs. Scientists and doctors recommend a range of 10-12 different strains of bacteria. Always remember to start slow. Probiotics reduce symptoms of leaky gut . Probiotics repopulate the gut but also improve intestinal barrier function .
Collagen peptides- are rich in proline and glycine. These peptides improve digestion and help heal wounds. Also collagen peptides improve intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction .
Aloe Vera- is a know soother to skin but also is healing for the digestive tract .
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What Foods Cause Leaky Gut
If youre suffering from leaky gut, one of the most effective changes you can make to mitigate your symptoms and even heal the underlying causes is what else
And your gut is intensely impacted by your dietary choices. Making good moves in this game are wins for the gut. On the flip side, poor nutrition and eating the wrong foods can trigger your leaky gut symptoms and make the problem worse.
Food can heal. But it can also destroy.
Well explore both sides of the coin when it comes to the best diet for leaky gut. The good news is that you will still be able to enjoy food. I promise.
And the foods that cause leaky gut or make it worse? Most of that stuff isnt too good for you anyway, so you can set yourself up to make major gains in your overall health. Its not necessarily easy, but definitely a win-win in the long term.
For now, well explore the foods that cause leaky gut or trigger symptoms. If you think you have leaky gut, foods to avoid will be covered in this article.
What Can Be Done To Help With This Condition
Lifestyle ChangesAdopt these lifestyle changes to heal your leaky gut and improve digestion: 6
- Exercise Regularly
Changes made in your diet can relieve symptoms and fix your leaky gut.Here are some positive dietary additions to improve your digestive health:
- Vegetables such as carrots, kale, cabbage, mushrooms, beetroot, broccoli, zucchini, potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
- Fermented foods such as tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso
- Fruits such as grapes, papaya, bananas, passionfruit, blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, lemon, mandarin and raspberries
- Seeds such as sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and more
- Gluten-free grains such as brown and white rice, gluten-free oats, sorghum, buckwheat, etc.
- Healthy fats such as avocado oil, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
- Fish such as tuna, salmon, herring and other fishes rich in omega-3
- Meats such as lean cuts of chicken, beef, lamb, turkey and eggs
- Fermented or cultured dairy products such as kefir, yogurt, Greek yogurt and traditional buttermilk
- Beverages including teas, coconut milk, nut milk, water, and kombucha
- Nuts including peanuts, almonds, and nut-based products
Avoid these foods as much as you can to heal your leaky gut:
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About the Author: I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change peoples lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Regular communication with different doctors, including gastroenterologists from Manhattan Gastroenterology, helps me provide people with the latest medical news and essential information. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.
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Which Oils To Use For Leaky Gut Instead
Best of all, you can easily replace the bad fats with quality fats, including fats that are just as suited to cooking.
For example, coconut oil, ghee and lard hold a very high smoke point .
Whilst you can use the other healthy fats listed in the graphic to the right, eg extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil etc, for cold dishes or to finish on top of heated dishes.
In many ways, your lovely plate of veggies and meat/fish, is really just a delivery vehicle for these healthy fats. So apply your EVOO liberally to a finished dish!
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What Are The Symptoms Of Leaky Gut
There are many symptoms of having a leaky gut which can make being diagnosed rather difficult.
Because LGS is connected to a number of health conditions, the symptoms can vary, and testing needs to be done to eliminate other factors.
Here are some of the symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome:
- Headaches and migraines
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
Consider Eating Smaller Meals And Matching Food Groups Better
When trying to repair your leaky gut, attention to detail matters. Thats why even the more trivial ideas are worth trying out.
So with this idea Im basically suggesting
- Eat 4-5 small meals a day, as opposed to 3 big ones. A day of eating would then look something like: green hulk shake , snack , small lunch , afternoon snack and dinner .
- Combine food groups smartly. This is pretty easy when youre eating a leaky gut diet. i.e. the foods that are hard to combine are pretty much out. But just in case you are eating fruits , make sure they are eaten as much as possible by themselves or at least away from heavy protein meals.
Now with all of that said, it is worth noting that I am not completely sold on eating smaller meals and more often.
Thats because I do like the thinking behind 2-3 meals a day only, since this gives the digestive system plenty of time for breaks.
So like with all ideas on this list, it really comes down to personal experimentation and seeing what works best for your digestive system.
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Leaky Gut Fix #: Nourish And Repair The Gut
Fixing leaky gut syndrome is not just a matter of getting rid of irritants, we also must use good quality foods and supplements to help heal and seal the gut lining. It is also important that your diet is filled with healthy nutrients that come from whole foods. Sometimes targeted supplementation may be necessary depending on the testing.
What To Include In Your Leaky Gut Diet
Aim for your diet to be rich in a wide range of colorful vegetables , whole grains rich in fiber , colorful fruits, and good quality, organic or grass-fed protein sources. A high fiber diet can help with gut motility, and constipation itself can be irritating to the gut. In addition, supplements can also be beneficial on the road to recovery. One of the most beneficial supplements is L-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid in the human body. It helps with tissue repair and has been shown to help heal and seal the gut lining in the case of leaky gut so, is a great addition to a leaky gut diet. Other nutraceuticals such as glutathione, also known as the master antioxidant have been shown to help repair the gut lining, as well.