Replace Your Morning Cup O Joe With Some Herbal Teas
This need not be forever, but it should definitely be your approach for the next 1-3 months whilst you are recovering from leaky gut.
You see coffee, including decaf, is not good for your intestinal lining79. .
You can read my in-depth article here on coffee and leaky gut, but the exec summary version is that coffee irritates the gut , causes inflammation , gets confused by our bodies as gluten 80 and the caffeine itself spurs on adrenal fatigue.
Leaky Gut Syndrome: 7 Signs You May Have It
May 8, 2018
If youve been around the natural health world very long, youve probably heard of a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. It sounds pretty gross, but its an important enough problem to consider. There are several leaky gut symptoms to be aware of, which is particularly important since leaky gut is associated with dozens of related conditions and diseases.
As more Americans are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalance, it appears that the prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions. The medical profession is just now agreeing this condition may even exist, which is especially shocking to me because intestinal permeability has been discussed in the medical literature for over 100 years!
Why should leaky gut syndrome concern you? Recently leaky gut has been called a danger signal for autoimmune disease. If youre wondering if you may be experiencing leaky gut, the first thing to do is access your symptoms. Keep in mind that its very common for people on a Standard American Diet to struggle with poor gut function and high levels of inflammation but just because digestive issues and autoimmune conditions are common doesnt make them normal!
So Why On Earth Do I Like Putting Stools In Tubes So Much
Well, just like we get blood tests to see if there is something wrong with us, I like to get stool tests to see if there is something wrong with my gut health8.
You see, the poor scientists analyzing my stool sample will perform microbiome testing to determine whats going on inside the jungle of my gut.
Stool contains a lot of bacteria, and it provides a great reflection of whats going on in the gut.
So, scientists can use my stool to look for bacteria , viruses, bacteriophages, fungi, yeast, parasites and all sorts of other goodies that may be contributing to or associated with my intestinal permeability, aka leaky gut, with a particular focus on finding what potentially harmful organisms are present or otherwise out of balance9.
And just as importantly, they will analyze what nutrients and toxins these organisms are producing from the foods I eat.
This is the sort of information my doctor and I can then use to take action to fix my gut health or otherwise optimize it.
Don’t Miss: Prenatal Vitamin Diarrhea
Leaky Gut: Foods To Avoid
Be prepared to personalize your list of foods to avoid. Different particles will enter the bloodstream with intestinal permeability, and so the immune system has unique codes that attack dangerous intruders. I was diagnosed with an allergy to corn, which comes with all kinds of hidden names and ingredient derivatives: Ascorbic acid, maltodextrin, mannitol, modified food starch, natural flavoring polenta, and much, much more. If you have food allergies, be sure to look into their hidden names as well, and keep a list if shopping for snacks, bars, or any sort of prepackaged foods.
What to Test Out:
The first step in healing leaky gut and determining your personal okay to eat and avoid list is to remove ingredients individually for two weeks, and add them back into the diet to see how your body responds. Start with the most common allergens by removing them individually, adding them back in, and then removing the next one.
Sugar is to be avoided in general, with the exception of natural sugars found in fruits and other wholesome products. If you find that you can tolerate dairy, or even gluten, eat them sparingly in your diet, and be aware of portion sizes.
Other Foods to Avoid Initially:
Caffeine adds stress to the body, while alcohol prevents proper nutrient absorption, and can feed candida. Chocolate and soda are two products often overlooked for caffeine, however they should initially be avoided as well.
What to Constantly Avoid:
Putting A Stop To Leaky Gut
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
Leaky gut gets blamed for everything from everyday stomach issues to pain to anxiety, yet it is one of the most mysterious ailments to diagnose and treat.
Part of the reason for this medical mystery is because the gut is such a vast and complex system. Science continues to find new ways that the gut can influence everything from heart health to keeping our brains young, says Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. There is much we know about leaky gut in terms of how it affects peoples health, but there is still so much that is unknown.
You May Like: Are Bananas Gassy
Heres How Digestive Enzymes Can Help
Firstly, they work alongside our bodys own natural enzymes to take the food we eat and break it down into individual nutrients that our body can then actually absorb27.
Example of nutrients in foods would be things like amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. All the fuel our body loves!
This role is super important for those of us with leaky gut, because our damaged gut lining is potentially not absorbing nutrients properly, and yet needs the nutrients to repair itself. i.e. digestive enzymes can help us get out of the vicious cycle.
Secondly, by helping us break down food better, digestive enzymes also ensure less large food molecules make their way through our gut. This is a big win since it means less irritation of the gut lining, as well as fewer large food molecules making their way through our gut barrier and into the bloodstream .
You can find an in-depth explanation of all of this in my article on digestive enzymes and leaky gut.
Say Goodbye To Sugar In All Forms
Whilst refined white sugar found in popular foods/drinks like soft drink, ice cream, sauces etc is obviously bad, when you have leaky gut so are the more innocent sounding sugars like brown sugar, raw sugar etc.
Simply put, avoid all blatantly sugary products like sodas, sweets, desserts, etc, and also avoid the less obvious ones like sauces, low fat products.
Recommended Reading: How Much Bone Broth To Drink For Leaky Gut
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome Or Intestinal Permeability
A. We understand why many medical doctors cringe at the term leaky gut syndrome. It does not sound very scientific. But if you put intestinal permeability into a search of PubMed , you will discover thousands of references.
A review article in the highly respected journal, BMC Gastroenterology , is titled Intestinal permeability a new target for disease prevention and therapy. This international panel of experts notes in classic medicalese:
Why do we need a gut barrier? The intestinal barrier covers a surface of about 400 m2 and requires approximately 40% of the bodys energy expenditure. It prevents against loss of water and electrolytes and entry of antigens and microorganisms into the body while allowing exchange of molecules between host and environment and absorption of nutrients in the dietExperimental data showed that disruption of the peaceful co-existence with intestinal symbionts at early life, and possibly even later in life, results in severe immunodeficiency and risk of disease. Such findings support the hypothesis that the breakdown of intestinal barrier control mechanisms means danger and possibly disease.
The authors point out that:
intestinal barrier dysfunction has been found to play a pathogenic role not only in IBD , but also in IBS . Most importantly, there is evidence now that increased intestinal permeability is related to low-grade inflammation, visceral hypersensitivity and pain in IBS.
The panel concludes its overview:
But There Are 2 Big Problems With Fish Oil For Us Leaky Gutters
To solve these 2 problems you need to find a molecularly distilled fish oil AND one that uses enteric coated capsules . Together that means less toxins and less reflux.
My research team and I make Smart Omega fish oil to satisfy both these points.
Best of all, we push ourselves much further in terms of distillation to the point that our formula is triple strength and meets the strictest purity standards in the US as set out in Californias Prop 65.
Thats why I use it every day and experience no fishy burps. Perfect!
Read Also: Probiotics For Microscopic Colitis
Best Supplements For Leaky Gut
There is a lot of really promising research looking at the best supplements for leaky gut, but its important to remember that supplements do not negate the need to address things like dysbiosis, diet, and stress.
You can take a million supplements for leaky gut, but if youre not addressing those main causes of intestinal permeability, supplements really wont get you very far. As much as I would love to tell you otherwise, there is no magic pill.
Supplements are used to supplement an existing treatment plan they can help speed up the process of healing or make it easier, but they themselves wont cause any lasting change on their own.
What Is The Breath Test For Leaky Gut
At present, theres no way to test for leaky gut through a breath sample.
You can take a hydrogen and methane breath test to investigate small intestine bacterial overgrowth . Butalthough SIBO can contribute to leaky guta positive SIBO breath test is not enough to confirm leaky gut. You can learn more about SIBO by reading SIBO Test All Your Questions Answered .
As well as a blood test, you can test for leaky gut through looking at zonulin in a stool sample . You can also take a urine test for leaky gut.
Don’t Miss: Do Bananas Help With Bloating
When Should You Be Tested For Leaky Gut
Certain symptoms and conditions can give you clues that its worth testing for leaky gut.
Leaky gut is a symptom rather than a condition. But, confusingly, its a symptom that can contribute to other conditions. These can be within the digestive system, including:
· Type-1 diabetes23
Just to be clear: we dont know whether leaky gut is driving these conditions or if its the other way aroundbut research suggests theyre connected. If you experience any of the above, its worth testing to see if leaky gut is related to your symptoms.
Why Coconut Products Can Actually Be Good For Gut Health
The science has jumped ahead as we now know that the caprylic acid / medium chain fatty acids in coconut products are rich in antimicrobial properties89 that work fantastically well to decrease levels of bad yeast and bacteria in the gut .
I should note that you can also get isolated caprylic acid90 , which might be more helpful if you are tackling something like candida / yeast overgrowth head on.
Don’t Miss: Why Does Lettuce Give Me Diarrhea
Finally All My Best Ideas For Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome In One Place
The #1 thing I hear people with leaky gut ask for, is an all-in-one list of simple ways they can heal their gut fast.
And I get it.
After all, when I suffered from leaky gut I found myself drowning in a sea of 100s of different research papers, reports and books. Jumping from one report to the next was time consuming and trying to tie it all together took months.
Well, thats why I created this list of the best ideas for healing leaky gut.
The ideas on this page have the potential to get you feeling so much better in just days , and they can save you 100s of hours of research.
But admittedly, there are a LOT of ideas listed below. And I know life is busy. So I dont expect you to read through the full list right now or start implementing all the ideas today.
A Hint Of Truth Intestinal Permeability
In some individuals, for a variety of reasons, the physical structure of their intestines is compromised. The tight junctions, which control what materials the intestine absorbs, dont work properly, allowing larger substances to cross over into the bloodstream. This is known as intestinal permeability.
Physicians sometimes find increased intestinal permeability in those who have Crohns disease, celiac disease, in individuals receiving chemotherapy, and those who have a high intake of bowel-damaging substances such as aspirin and alcohol. However, intestinal permeability is a symptom of these ailments, not a cause it does not lead to anything more than inflammation of the bowel walls, and it is not leaky gut syndrome. Furthermore, research shows that increased intestinal permeability sometimes has beneficial effects, such as improving water and nutrient absorption as well as activating the immune system.1
The Myth: According to the proponents of leaky gut syndrome, bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream through these defective tight junctions and wreak havoc throughout the body, causing bloating, gas, cramps, inflammatory bowel disease , as well as fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, moodiness, irritability, sleeplessness, autism, and skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
You May Like: Does Peanut Butter Cause Heartburn
Supplements That Will Help Fix A Leaky Gut:
-Max GI by Maximized Living
If you have symptoms that wont go away no matter what supplement you take, what diet you try, what new medication your doctor puts you on, there is a great chance you have a leaky gut.
Reach out if you need help diagnosing or repairing Leaky Gut Syndrome. I am here to help.
Have an amazing day!!
What The Medical Community Has To Say About Leaky Gut Syndrome
Do most conventional doctors support the idea that leaky gut is real?
WebMD refers to leaky gut as something of a medical mystery. This isnt surprising, since its not a diagnosis that most doctors have been taught in medical school. From an MDs standpoint, its a very gray area, says gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic. In his opinion, Physicians dont know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ.
To make matters worse, government agencies have also contributed to the confusion. According to the United Kingdoms National Health Service , There is currently little evidence to support the theory that a porous bowel is the direct cause of any significant, widespread problems.
Yet, not everyone agrees. A roundtable review quotes the researchers at seven different European universities in 2014 agreeing upon the following:
Alteration of the gut barrier seems to have multiple consequences facilitating the onset of a variety of diseases depending on other hits and on genetic or epigenetic constellations, respectively. The growing significance of the gut barrier and bacterial translocation raises the questions of how we can improve gut barrier functions and gut microbiota.
So while its encouraging that science is coming around to leaky gut syndrome being a real problem, we are by no means at a point where there are standard diagnostic tools for testing and treating leaky gut.
Don’t Miss: Does Almond Milk Cause Bloating
If A Functional Doctor Diagnoses It Also Fight Other Conditions Related To Leaky Gut
Very few people just suffer from leaky gut.
Thats because intestinal hyperpermeability often causes further conditions or is caused or exacerbated/maintained by other conditions 105.
So you should be working very carefully with your doctor, or other health professional, to hunt out related conditions and then fight them head on as well.
Organic Acid Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies Tests
Why Its Important:
One of the common warning signs of leaky gut is nutrient malabsorption or vitamin/mineral deficiencies. This occurs because of damage to the guts microvilli. When microvilli stop working properly, its possible for large particles to pass through the gut lining that shouldnt and for some small molecules to be blocked that are actually meant to pass through and provide nutrients.
Another downside of blocked or malabsorbed nutrients is that they cant help with detoxification of antigens that the immune system produces at high levels in response to leaky gut.
An organic acid test looks for vitamin and mineral deficiencies amino acid deficiencies information in regard to protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and antioxidant and bacteria levels.
How does it work? Organic acids are produced during central energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown or intestinal microbial activity. When they accumulate to high levels, they can be detected in urine and signal a nutrient deficiency, problem producing digestive enzymes, yeast growth or toxic buildup.
How This Leaky Gut Test is Done:
This leaky gut test is a simple kit that you can perform at home, so a doctor visit isnt necessary. Youre mailed a kit to collect your urine sample and then mail it back to a lab where tests are performed. More information on organic acid tests can be found here.
Read Next: How Your Digestive System Works
Also Check: Do Bananas Help With Bloating
In Terms Of Practically Implementing This Idea
well, it should not be too hard to do if you simply stick to the leaky gut diet above. And thats because everything in the leaky gut diet I recommend is whole food based.
The real struggle comes down to avoiding eating out too much. From grabbing lunch at your local food court to ordering Uber Eats, these time saving ideas have to be canned for now. After all, the food industry is driven by processed and preservative-packed foods.