Lifestyle Habits For A Leaky Gut
Altering your dietary intake should be the first step after visiting a doctor. To further support your gut, consider the following:
Add a probiotic supplement: Good gut bacteria, which are crucial in supporting a healthy microbiome, can become depleted or disrupted by a number of things, and fermented foods may not deliver the amount you need. So, taking a highly concentrated probiotic daily may provide additional support.*
What Are Nightshades And How Can They Affect Your Gut
Nightshades like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants have a bad reputation. Even the name “nightshade” sounds ominous. For some people, nightshades have been known to cause digestive issues and even aches and pains. Before you cut these healthy foods out of your diet, here is some information about nightshades and how they can affect your gut.
Suggested Treatments Range From Bogus To Dangerous
The Myth: Many solutions that leaky gut syndrome proponents recommend are based in fad diets, which declare that normal foods cause serious problems in most people. For instance, proponents of leaky gut syndrome recommend that patients avoid any foods with high sugar content , claiming that the excess sugar causes an overgrowth of a certain strain of yeast in the GI tract that is responsible for the damage to the intestinal wall. In addition, they say that sensitivities to gluten or lactose damage the intestine, and they recommend avoiding all dairy products and anything containing gluten.
Debunked: Fruit will not cause yeast to attack your intestines. While a small percentage of the population have symptoms related to gluten and lactose intake, these foods cause no problems for most individuals. Following these practitioners instructions is more likely to lead to nutritional deficiencies rather than reduced symptoms.
Another issue in this field is that many people in the popular media who support this unverified condition try to sell special products as a treatment for leaky gut syndrome. They offer unproven treatments for a condition that has no medical basis. Additionally, since many of these supplements havent been well researched, taking them could cost you a lot of money, do little to reduce your symptoms, and could even be dangerous.
Also Check: Are Pickles Good For Acid Reflux
What Causes A Leaky Gut
So, what causes increased intestinal permeability? A 2013 study points toward zonulin, a human protein that researchers described as “the only known…modulator of intercellular described so far.” When zonulin is released, the tight junctions of the intestines can break apart.
According to research, bacteria and gluten have been shown to trigger the release of zonulin in the small intestine. This is why many functional nutrition experts suggest dietary changes, like a gluten-free diet, to help manage the symptoms.
Other factors that maycontribute to a leaky gut include medications, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , antibiotics, stress, and environmental factors. However, there’s still no definite cause of leaky gut.
Foods To Avoid For Leaky Gut
There are two main categories of foods to avoid if youare working to heal leaky gut:
- Processed, artificial, or inflammatory foods, and
- Any food that you have a reaction to.
Here is a list of foods that are often inflammatory for the intestinallining, and should be removed, no matter what diet you are using to healyour gutlining:
Gluten and Wheat-Based Products: One of the main foods to avoid while healing leaky gut is gluten grains. Gluten has been shown to increase zonulin in the intestines of celiac disease patients , and has been shown to increase zonulin in cell lines of celiac and non-celiac people . This includes foods such as wheat bread, pasta, tortillas, crackers, and cereals, and the grains wheat, spelt, rye, barley, and kamut.
Sugar:Sweeteners, including sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and alcohol, areinflammatory. They also feed the bad bacteria that may be causing your leaky gut.
Processed and SnackFoods: Snack foods often contain gluten, sugar, inflammatory oils, andother additives. Includes chips, cakes, cookies, pretzels, etc.
Thesugar infoods such as candy, cake,cookies, and treats feeds bad bacteria and may increase leaky gut.
ArtificialSweeteners: Sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin,which are included in diet sodas and other products, may cause intestinalpermeability and negatively affect the gut microbiome.
Industrial Seed Oils:Oils such as canola, corn, cottonseed, soy, and safflower may increaseinflammation.
Recommended Reading: Align Digestive Care
Lectins And The Immune System
When lectins pass into our bloodstream, we often produce antibodies to them. Antibodies recognize foreign substances like bacteria and viruses, and mount an inflammatory immune system response to protect us.
Almost everyone has antibodies to some dietary lectins. This means that when lectins enter our bloodstream, they can stimulate an immune system response.
Some foodsespecially if improperly preparedcan trigger a very obvious immune response. This can cause inflammation of the digestive tract, possibly leading to nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
One example of this is lectin poisoning by raw or undercooked soaked kidney beans, which have a very high lectin content. 5
Refined Carbohydrates Harm Your Gut Health In Several Ways
Ah, carbs. Any pasta-, bagel-, or bread-loving individual knows they are hard to limit. Of course, there are “good” and “bad” carbohydrates . Those full of fiber are put to work in our systems those that are refined are essentially processed and actually mitigate the good work of the fiber we consume.
“Refined carbohydrates like those found in sugar-laden foods such as pastries and convenience foods can trigger a state of inflammation in several ways,” Trista Best, registered dietitian and consultant with Balance One Supplements, told Health Digest. ” cause a quick rise and fall in blood glucose which leads to mood and hormonal imbalance.” You’ll also find that these carbs leave you hungrier than healthy carbs.
Best further explained, “What we eat can either improve or harm our health in large and small ways, especially as it relates to gut health. This is particularly true for those foods we are seemingly addicted to, like processed convenience foods made from refined carbs.”
Don’t Miss: Lettuce Causing Stomach Pains
Other Ways To Improve Leaky Gut
In addition to diet, there are other easy ways to improve your leaky gut. Include the following into your routine support a healthy gut:
- Manage stress
- Sleep for 7-9 hours per night
- Chew your food well
- Include supplements, such as the amino acid L-glutamine, probiotic supplements, and vitamin D
- Use alternatives to or avoid NSAIDs
- Use alternatives to birth control pills
Leaky Gut Syndrome: Everything You Need To Know
The term leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, has gained a lot of attention in recent years. This is a condition in which gaps in your intestinal walls start to loosen. Consequently, larger substances such as bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles are allowed pass across the intestinal walls into your bloodstream.
Studies have shown that a leaky gut may be connected to several chronic and autoimmune diseases like celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.
In this article, we break down everything you need to know about leaky gut syndrome
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that affects your digestive system. The digestive system consists of many organs that break down food and remove waste products. It also acts as a barrier between your gut and bloodstream to prevent harmful substances from entering your body.
With leaky gut syndrome, these tight junctions loosen, and potentially allow harmful substances like bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream.
This has been known to trigger widespread inflammation and stimulate an immune reaction. However, there is little evidence so far that proves leaky gut syndrome to be a serious problem. It’s also not recognized as a medical diagnosis by mainstream physicians.
What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Here’s a video that explains this process
The exact cause of leaky gut syndrome has not yet been discovered.
Foods to Eat
Foods to Avoid
Also Check: Heartburn Birth Control
The Two Foods That Cause Leaky Gut
There are four main culprits that can lead to leaky gut. Infections, such as SIBO and Candida overgrowth, can cause damage to your gut cell walls. Chronic stress and environmental toxins can also play a role. However, the biggest culprit in leaky gut is what we eat, particularly what I call the inflammatory and toxic foods
Alcohol Can Damage The Lining Of Your Gut
Alcohol isn’t a food, we know. However, alcohol is a part of many people’s diets and so potentially damaging to your gut if consumed to excess, we’d be remiss to leave it off this list.
A 2017 study published in Alcohol Research showed that large amounts of alcohol can overwhelm and damage both the gastrointestinal track and the liver. By damaging the lining of the gut, alcohol causes inflammation. An inflamed intestinal lining stops the gut from efficiently absorbing needed nutrients. And instead, they pass right through and leave the body as waste.
Alcohol also disturbs microbiota the community of micro-organisms living in our guts that are key to many aspects of our health, including our immune and metabolic functioning. Furthermore, “Alcohol causes an increase in bacterial toxins called lipopolysaccharides, or LPS,” Alicia Galvin, registered dietitian, told Health Digest. “These are very inflammatory molecules and can further damage GI tissue.” Everything in moderation, right? Your gut depends on it.
You May Like: Where Can You Buy Align Probiotic
Do Lectins Cause Leaky Gut
Lectins are a family of proteins found in almost all foods, especially legumes and grains. Some people claim that lectins cause increased gut permeability and drive autoimmune diseases. While its true that certain lectins are toxic and cause harm when consumed in excess, theyre easy to get rid of through cooking.
I Think I Might Be Sensitive To Food Toxins What Should I Do
Begin with our free ebook. Food toxins can cause serious long-term health problems.
And Gluten is just one thing that could be causing your symptoms. There are more than twenty FOOD TOXINS and they act together in different combinations to damage cells and provoke the immune system. Learn more with Free ebook
You May Like: Ultram And Constipation
Why You Should Avoid Lectins
Lectins are sometimes dangerous because of how they bind to carbohydrates like sugar. You should avoid certain types of lectins due to a risk of:
Certain types of lectins can prevent your body from absorbing other substances that have nutritional value. This can eventually lead to serious problems such as malnutrition.
Some sources of lectins are considered seriously poisonous. Castor beans, for example, contain a potent lectin poison called ricin.
Damage to the Digestive System
Certain types of lectin may bind with the walls of your digestive system which can lead to serious problems. Eating one particular lectin, phytohemagglutinin, can lead to severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Potential Risk of Auto-immune Response
Some proponents of lectin-free diets claim that lectins can cause symptoms of auto-immune disorders. However, studies are still being done to confirm or deny this idea. Currently, there is no scientific consensus backing up the idea that lectins are connected to any health conditions outside of acute lectin poisoning.
Are Nightshade Vegetables Inflammatory Or Not Here’s The Deal
If youre following the latest dietary trends, youve likely heard about star athlete Tom Bradys ultra-restrictive diet and his avoidance of nightshades, especially tomatoes, which according to his personal chef are believed to cause inflammation.
Anecdotal evidence, including Bradys book the TB12 Method, has led many to cut nightshades out of their diet, especially those with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
With all of the information thats been floating around, its no wonder that many people are questioning if nightshades are healthy. However, scientific evidence of a link between nightshades and inflammation is lacking. So, lets dig deeper and debunk some common misconceptions about nightshades.
Also Check: Align Probiotic Supplement Reviews
Do Nightshades Worsen Functional Digestive Symptoms
are those that cause symptoms without a clear medical cause.
Theyre not immediately dangerous but can significantly affect quality of life.
Examples include irritable bowel syndrome , bloating and heartburn.
Specific foods are known to trigger functional digestive symptoms. Elimination diets, like the low FODMAP diet, have shown great promise in relieving discomfort.
Nightshades are commonly reported to worsen IBS symptoms, but it would only be certain varieties, and only because of FODMAPs. Regular potatoes and tomatoes, for example, would have little impact.
Additionally, many reported nightshade chemicals do not always make IBS symptoms worse. Capsaicin has actually shown potential to dull pain receptors in the gut, improving pain symptoms.
In one small study, IBS patients who received red pepper powder in capsule form showed significant improvements in abdominal pain and bloating after 6 weeks of treatment .
But several of the volunteers either dropped out of the study or needed to adjust the dose due to abdominal pain. This suggests that not all with IBS tolerate red pepper powder, or that the dose should be individualized.
In other studies, capsaicin had very little effect either positive or negative .
These research conflicts suggest that diet should be individualized. Some with functional digestive symptoms may be sensitive to nightshades, while others may tolerate them well.
The 2 Surprising Causes Of Leaky Gut
Amy Myers, MD
Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.
Leaky gut syndrome affects millions of people around the world, and many dont even know they have it. Thats because the causes of leaky gut syndrome are in places you might not expect, such as foods you believe to be healthy.
The good news is, by making simple changes to your diet and using my No. 1 tool to maintain a healthy gut lining, you can prevent and reverse leaky gut syndrome and lower your risk for developing autoimmune disease and other issues.
I am about to tell you what steps to take to heal your gut and reveal two foods you may not think can cause leaky gut!
Don’t Miss: Can Tramadol Cause Heartburn
S To Repair Your Leaky Gut
Your best action is to follow the 4R approach that I used successfully with thousands of patients in my clinic.
1. Remove. Remove all inflammatory and toxic foods, including sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Youll also want to eliminate any gut infections you have, whether caused by Candida overgrowth, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth , or parasites.
2. Replace. Replace whats missing. Adding digestive enzymes to your regimen will help support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as assist your bodys intestinal repair and inflammation responses. Low stomach acid leads to a whole host of digestive issues that cause inflammation, swelling, and fluid retention in the stomach and digestive tract, so I recommend supplementing with HCL, which can help support a balanced pH in your gut.
3. Reinoculate. Restore the beneficial bacteria in your gut with high-quality, high-potency probiotics to re-establish a healthy microbiome. I recommend 100 billion CFUs while dealing with a leaky gut, and 30 billion CFUs as a maintenance dose.
4. Repair. Provide your gut with the essential nutrients it needs to repair itself. My most comprehensive weapon against leaky gut is Leaky Gut Revive® powder, which contains powerful gut-repairing ingredients l-glutamine, larch arabinogalactan, aloe, licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow root.
Foods To Use With Caution For Leaky Gut:
Most people do quite well simply removing inflammatory andartificial foods and eating a variety of real foods. But sometimes, theirsymptoms continue despite these changes.
Four categories of foods that you may need to evaluate ifyou arent feeling better with your new diet are grains, dairy products, FODMAPfoods, and nightshades.
Many people have an immune system response to grains, whether they are gluten-free or not. These include wheat, rice, oats, corn, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, and more. In some cases this is due to plant lectins, which are plant defense compounds.
Lectins can cause an immune response. If your health issues trend toward joint pain, brain fog, chronic fatigue, or autoimmune diseases, consider removing all grains for a few weeks to see how you feel.
Many people dont tolerate dairy well, either due to lactoseintolerance or an immune reaction. Use caution with dairy products like milk,cream, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, and half and half. Some people who reactto dairy can tolerate ghee, or clarified butter. Dairy is one of the mostcommon foodsensitivities, so consider removing dairy to assess how your bodyresponds.
Nightshade vegetables, which include tomatoes, peppers,eggplant, potatoes, and okra, cause joint pain and immune reactivity for somepeople. If you have a lot of joint pain, consider removing nightshadesfor a period of time to see how you feel.
Recommended Reading: Align Probiotic Capsules
Diet For Leaky Gut Syndrome
Foods to Avoid
There are many foods and substances that can cause inflammation and contribute to the development of a leaky gut, including:
- Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta
- Glutinous grains, like barley, rye, and oats
- White sugar found in candy, baked goods, or cereal
- Dairy products, including milk, ice cream, and some cheeses
- Vegetable oils including soybean and canola
What Causes Leaky Gut
The exact cause of leaky gut is a mystery.
However, increased intestinal permeability is well known and occurs alongside several chronic diseases, including celiac disease and type 1 diabetes .
Zonulin is a protein that regulates tight junctions. Research has shown that higher levels of this protein may loosen tight junctions and increase intestinal permeability (
Furthermore, low levels of healthy gut bacteria may have the same effect. This is called gut dysbiosis .
The exact cause of leaky gut remains a mystery, but certain proteins like zonulin and markers of inflammation provide some clues. Other potential causes include long-term NSAID use and an imbalance of gut bacteria known as gut dysbiosis.
As leaky gut syndrome isnt an official medical diagnosis, there is no recommended treatment.
Yet, you can do plenty of things to improve your general digestive health.
One is to eat a diet rich in foods that aid the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. An unhealthy collection of gut bacteria has been linked to poor health outcomes, including chronic inflammation, cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes .
The following foods are great options for improving your digestive health:
A diet that promotes digestive health should focus on fibrous vegetables, fruits, fermented vegetables, cultured dairy products, healthy fats, and lean, unprocessed meats.
Recommended Reading: How Long Can Ibs Flare Ups Last