Leaky Gut The Hype About Hyperpermeability
You may have heard the term Leaky gut being batted around, but what does it actually mean? Is it really a thing?
Yes it is a thing! Leaky gut is the colloquial term used to describe the increased permeability of the gut wall, or intestinal hyperpermeability’.
One of the most important functions of our gut is its essential role as a barrier to the environment. This structural barrier encompasses an epithelial layer, and a mucus layer which our intestinal microflora adhere to. The top layer contains tight junctions, which regulate the movement of water and other small molecules in and out of our digestive tract, opening and closing when required. 1 However, certain factors can also unfavourably open, and disrupt these tight junctions, such as infections and inflammation, as well as foods, such as those containing gluten.
How do you know if you have leaky gut? Without testing , it is difficult to know for sure, but there are certain symptoms and conditions that are associated with it. Because the functioning of this barrier is vast, and involves regulating our metabolism, immunity, digestion, absorption, nervous and endocrine function,2 disturbance to this barrier has been linked to many health conditions, such as allergies3, autism and autoimmunity4, to name a few. You may also suffer with diarrhoea or constipation, frequent headaches, food intolerances, skin rashes or other skin-related problems, recurrent infections or problems with memory and concentration.
Have The Right Combinations Of Medicines:
In addition to your healthy diet, you should have the right combination of medication and supplements. Various anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and supplements like probiotics, calcium, vitamin D, and iron may help with leaky gut. It would help if you also had a healthy combination of zinc, l-glutamine, collagen peptides, and probiotics. Zinc is an important element in the metabolism processes, and it is known mainly for its ability to boost and support the immune system. It plays a role in modifying the tight junctions of the linings in the intestine and helping to limit gut permeability.
L-glutamine is an essential amino acid, which also helps repair the intestinal lining in the digestive tract. It can be taken orally as a supplement in small doses to help intestinal permeability, especially after a strenuous exercise. Collagen peptides are available in almost every tissue in the body in the form of protein. They also play an important role in the health of the gut, as they can prevent further breakdown of the intestinal lining. Collagen peptides also have anti-inflammatory properties needed in the gut. We have already mentioned the importance of probiotics. They are well-known for their therapeutic use when it comes to the treatment and management of gastrointestinal issues. Probiotics help improve the guts microbiome, which can positively affect the entire digestive system.
What Are The Signs Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut is the spillage of toxins into the blood. This spillage can comes from candida overgrowth in the body. So, the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome can be associated as the symptoms of yeast overgrowth. These include skin infections, digestive issues like bloating, chronic fatigue, headaches, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances. Other symptoms may include thyroid conditions, joint pain and arthritis, and ADD or ADHD. If youre experiencing any combination of these, it may be time to look into your leaky gut diet.
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Collagen Helps Balance Stomach Acid
Did you know that we have an epidemic of low stomach acid, also called Hypochlorhydria, in the world today?
This is an issue that is talked about very little but can have vast consequences for your health. Stomach acid imbalance is linked to autoimmune disorders, hypothyroidism, the use of antacids and proton pump inhibitors, bad bacterial overgrowth , traditional cancer treatments including radiation therapy, gastric bypass surgery, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, stress and the list goes on .
The issues above are relevant to just about everyone on the planet right now! Stomach acid helps your food to break down nutrients from the food you consume to be distributed where they need to go. You do the math: since most everyone has some kind of imbalance that can lead to low stomach acid, just about everyone has nutrient absorption issues as well.
Fortunately, specific lifestyle changes, as well as targeted supplementation, has been shown to help restore just the right amount of stomach acid to your system.
Collagen supplementation can play a key part in this. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that the amino acid glycine found in large abundance in collagen helped to boost gastric juices. A German study conducted in 2017 generated similar findings .
The Skin Benefits: Why I Decided To Stick With Collagen Supplements
After a few weeks, I began to get compliments on my skin. While it was never bad, I struggle with large pores , uneven texture, and ruddiness. After three weeks, my skin looked smoother than it has since elementary school. I started wearing less foundation and began smiling at myself in mirrors more. Also, my nails grew fast. This side effect was less than welcome for me but could be a boon for some people. And I found myself getting fewer anxiety-induced stomachaches and generally enjoying better digestion. After a month, I was a convert.
As an editor at a wellness website, I have tried a lot of different trends, and very few stick. Collagen has, and I think it’s for two reasons: 1) I found a way to incorporate it into my existing routine, and 2) it ticks a lot of boxes. It serves the function of a protein powder, flavor enhancer, gut-healer, and skin-booster all in one. And if the only downside is having to cut my nails a bit more often? I can live with that.
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Cut Out Toxic Foods From Your Diet
Gluten, dairy, sugar, processed foods, pesticide-treated foods , and alcohol, are some of the most common foods that mount an assault on the sensitive cells lining your gut. If you want to heal leaky gut syndrome, we recommend cutting out these foods for at least three months and avoiding them in excess thereafter.
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome
The intestinal lining determines what substances can enter the bloodstream from the digestive tract. In a healthy gut, the intestines are resistant to harmful substances.
In someone with increased intestinal permeability, those harmful substances may begin to leak through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. This increased intestinal permeability is known as leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome has been associated with several chronic conditions, including:
- food sensitivities
- autoimmune conditions
- mental health conditions
If you have leaky gut syndrome, there are many supplements as well as other options that may help you feel better.
The supplements below have all shown promising research in the treatment of leaky gut syndrome.
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Leaky Gut: The Widespread Effects On The Body
The effects of leaky gut are widespread throughout the body, and affect not only the gastrointestinal tract, but can create an immune response that affects the skeletal system, the brain via the enteric nervous system, the pancreas, kidneys, and the liver. Intestinal permeability can also lead to a compromised immune system, inflammation, joint and arthritic pain, skin issues like eczema and acne, mediated by immune sensitivity reactions in the joints and in the skin. The immediate symptoms of leaky gut may begin in the gut, resulting from a lack of digestive enzymes in the damaged villi and leading to malabsorption, malnutrition, bloating, gas, indigestion, abdominal pain and IBS, while the impact of zonulin on opening up the tight junctions in the epithelial wall can lead to the development of food sensitivities and allergies as foreign particles get into the bloodstream. This can also induce dysbiosis, upsetting the balance of the microbiota. A leaky gut can not only cause leaky skin, but also a leaky brain via the enteric nervous system and the vagus nerve, causing issues like depression, brain fog, anxiety, poor memory, and chronic fatigue.
Used with permission of Dr. Axe
Collagen Provides Structure And Support For Your Gastrointestinal System
Collagen is an essential supplement for the support, structure, and regulation of the production of body tissues. This includes organs in our digestive system. You see, all of our digestive organs are impacted by leaky gut. Once our intestines are compromised, our other organs need to pick up some of the extra stress we are putting on our bodies.
So, just as new smooth muscle cells get to work to heal and repair the intestinal lining, the amino acids also help to keep our other organs healthy.
Collagen may help heal leaky gut symptoms themselves, but it also can provide the necessary support our entire digestive system needs when in distress. The added support gives our body the time and resources we need to straighten things out and get back on track.
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Eat More Healthy Fats
N-butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, helps feed the cells that line the gut and help them heal. Your gut bacteria can produce more n-butyrate if you feed them soluble fibers in fruits and vegetables. You also can get n-butyrate in the form of Ghee, which is clarified butter. Another source of healthy fat is coconut oil, which contains medium-chain fatty acids that are good for the gut!
When To See A Doctor
It is always important to visit your doctor anytime you notice a change in your digestive system after consuming fatty and gluten-based foods. Most people ignore such mild symptoms, as they mostly disappear within hours or a couple of days. However, it is essential to immediately contact your doctor, even when experiencing mild symptoms, especially when those symptoms keep recurring. However, as we have already mentioned, symptoms can also become very severe. Therefore, when you start experiencing signs like bloody stools or abdominal pains that last for several days, then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will conduct the necessary examinations to confirm your condition before starting the appropriate treatment.
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Collagen Could Prevent Intestinal Inflammation
Similar to the ability to repair, collagens complex array of amino acid contents can help prevent intestinal inflammation as well. Glutamine is the star amino acid in collagens ability to fight leaky gut-causing inflammation. It targets the inflammation associated with the opening of tight junctions due to oxidative stress in the intestine.
It has also been suggested that glutamine helps you to curb cravings for things like sugar and alcohol.
If you paid attention to the list above, you already know that both of these are triggers for leaky gut symptoms.
Cut Back On Gluten To Avoid Hurting The Gut Lining
What is gluten? It is a type of protein found in some grains such as rye and wheat. It makes the bread chewy and allows the dough to rise.
The proteins that comprise gluten are glutenin and gliadin which some people are sensitive to. Gluten can also be a trigger for people with celiac disease, which is an autoimmune condition.
What is Celiac Disease? It is a disease characterized by a persons predisposition to be sensitive to gluten. Consumption of it can trigger an immune response that can damage the intestines.
You dont need to have celiac disease to avoid gluten, however. If you dont feel good after eating bread, for example, perhaps youre sensitive to the proteins.
The more the body exposes itself to gluten, the more it irritates the lining of the intestines and the immune system acts out. It may then affect the strength of the intestinal wall, which leads to a leaky gut.
When shopping, look for gluten-free food items. Dine in restaurants that can also give you this option.
If you love to cook, its not enough for you to use gluten-free products. Ensure theres no trace of gluten in the kitchenware you use.
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Signs Your Leaky Gut Is Healing
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®.
If youre reading this, there is a good chance you have been following one of my programs because you have an autoimmune disease, thyroid condition, or other chronic illness. Whether its Hashimotos, Graves, lupus, Crohns, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other condition, healing your gut is always the first step to reversing chronic illness and achieving optimal health.
If your gut health is compromised, it can lead to many issues throughout your body such as seasonal allergies, hormonal imbalances, mood imbalances, or even autoimmune disease.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 1/4 of us suffer from digestive issues: gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. In functional medicine, we believe that these symptoms are often a result of a leaky gut.
You can also check out my video on the signs leaky gut is healing below:
How The Leaky Gut Breakthrough Kit Can Help
If youre still working on restoring your gut health or experience a setback, be sure to follow my Leaky Gut Breakthrough® Programand add in the supplements from my Leaky Gut Breakthrough® Kit. The Leaky Gut Breakthrough® Kit contains the four powerful nutritional supplements I recommend for optimal gut barrier and immune function.
- Leaky Gut Revive® is a powerful combination of important amino acids and botanicals that help promote your bodys intestinal tissue repair mechanisms, repair damage caused by inflammation, restore your guts healthy mucosal membrane, and maintain a healthy gut barrier.
- The Myers Way® Collagen Protein contains key amino acids needed for tissue repair and helps maintain a healthy intestinal barrier, as well as supports healthy bones and joints! Its sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, and is 100% non-GMO and kosher.
- My Complete Enzymes formula supports optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as assists the bodys intestinal repair and inflammation response mechanisms.
- Finally, my Probiotic Capsules 100 Billion is a potent, fourteen-strain probiotic totaling 100 billion CFUs per capsule for maximum digestive health and immune support.
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Collagen And Intestinal Walls
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It’s what’s known as a triple-helix protein, which makes it very strong and also flexible.
To clarify, collagen protein is made up of amino acids which are synthesized by vitamin C, zinc and copper.
You’ll find collagen protein in connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments and skin.
Not only that, but you’ll also find it in your corneas, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, gut, intervertebral discs and the dentin in your teeth.
What happens is that new collagen production begins to slow down in your 20s that can cause a weakening of joints, bones, tendons and intestines.
Not only that, but there are collagen killers you’ll want to know about:
- Poor diet
- Too much sun
Consequently, the lack of collagen protein in your intestines can cause the walls to weaken, possibly leading to larger openings and then, unfortunately, a leaky gut.
What Is The Best Way To Take Collagen
It is better to consult an expert or a doctor before consuming collagen to help you with the right quantity and the best time to use it.
Collagen contains Glutamine, Glycine, and Proline which are useful to the intestinal tract and the stomach. You can add Collagen gut in the following ways:
You can try these drinks and meals to consume the best collagen supplements protein powder with:
1) Shake or smoothie
2) Soups, stews, or bone broth
3) Tea and coffee
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Create A Diet You Can Follow:
You should create a healthy diet based on the recommended foods while staying away from the kinds of foods you need to avoid. Start by creating a healthy menu with the sole purpose of improving your digestive health. Your diet should focus on incorporating the kinds of food that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria while getting rid of foods that are notorious for triggering uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
A healthy gut diet should be rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, as they are a great source of healthy gut bacteria. It is also essential to ensure that your diet is always gluten-free while adjusting or making modifications to accommodate particular food allergies, special dietary needs, and other underlying conditions. Some of the changes you make to your diet may only be temporary, aimed at addressing increased nutritional needs, for example, during pregnancy or allowing your body to heal after a surgery or illness. However, if you need to make drastic long-term changes to your diet, it is important to first speak with your doctor or nutritionist. Doing this will help ensure that your diet does not end up depriving your body of certain essential nutrients it needs. Your leaky gut diet can be very nutritious and satisfying as long as it is not too restrictive. If you end up cutting out entire food groups from your diet, you may find your body deficient in essential nutrients as well as motivation.