What Can We Do About Leaky Gut
Research into intestinal hyperpermeability is in the early years, and most of what is known is speculated from animal studies. There is evidence emerging to suggest that preventing intestinal hyperpermeability involves doing the same things that promote good health overall eating a diet full of healthy foods and exercising . Take a look here if you would like to find out more about how exercise improves your gut health.
Although leaky gut syndrome is not an official medical diagnosis, there are actions you implement to improve your gut health and decrease your chances of having the consequences of intestinal hyperpermeability.
The main aim of the interventions is to increase the number of beneficial bacteria.
Saturated Fats Healing The Inflamed Intestines
The bone broth was one of the most healing foods I found to help seal the holes of my leaky gut/intestines and irritated bowels.
Bone broth is mostly a liquid brew of bioavailable minerals, vitamins, fats and protein. These compounds that are in the bones, marrow and flesh are extracted when cooking the soup for a 24 hour period.
The soup has a thick consistency almost like motor oil. My theory is that the saturated fats, minerals and vitamins extracted from the bones sealed up the leaking holes in my intestines and stopped the irritation from the damage I did with a high oxalate diet.
The saturated fats were very soothing to my inflamed intestinal tract with the high fat content protecting the tiny sores in my intestinal tract.
The bone broth healed my gut in several weeks, eating a bowl every night for 30 days relieving me from the years of intestinal pain and suffering I had on a daily basis.
Healing The Gut Experiment
After many years of intestinal upset I was eager to experiment and try some drastic but logical measures.
This experiment involved removing all irritants from my diet such as nuts, seeds, spices, vegetables, grains, greens, potatoes and rice for a test period of 60 to 180 days, to see if I can remove the chronic intestinal stress I had been having for several years and seemed to be getting worse as time went on.
This healing the gut experiment was a total success for me in many ways .
I wanted to see if I could heal my gut, intestines and digestion from all of the damage and assaults I had given to myself for the past 15 years, eating primarily raw veggies, lots of oxalate rich kale and spinach, a variety of nuts and seeds like chia and pumpkin seeds that can be highly irritative, potatoes and yams, squash, quinoa and black rice, lots of organic superfoods algaes, sea veggies, cacao products, lots of coconut oil, vegetable seed oils with plenty of herbs and spices.
Many of the raw plants we eat on a daily basis can be very toxic and can cause moderate to severe intestinal inflammation if eaten in large quantities, or consistently all of the time, such as a vegan diet.
Cooking the plants or processing them does help reduce some of the plant poisons that are in most of the raw plants.
Our immune and nervous systems can also be attacked by these defense plant compounds in a variety of ways.
Some plants we eat can actually do more harm than good, if eaten in larger amounts.
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Are There Dietary Changes That Could Help With Leaky Gut
Again, leaky gut is not a disease in itself. Any dietary treatment of leaky gut would focus on the underlying cause of leaky gut. In the case of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, avoiding all foods with gluten can help heal your gut lining and improve your symptoms.
Since leaky gut is associated with an unbalanced gut microbiome changing your diet may help to balance your gut microbiome. Again, whether this directly affects the disease associated with leaky gut is not fully understood.
Diets high in sugar, saturated fats, and animal proteins can lead to the growth of more unhealthy bacteria in your gut. Diets like the Mediterranean diet can help restore the balance of good bacteria. Bacteria in the gut also take fiber and prebiotics and convert them to short-chain fatty acids, which help protect the gut lining. Probiotics have also helped restore the gut lining.
Any time you have any unusual symptom in your body, it is important to see a qualified healthcare provider right away.
How To Reintroduce Foods The Smart Way
- Order of foods Start with the least potentially reactive foods, eg in week 1 maybe start by adding some soaked and pressure cooked legumes back into your diet.
- Time for each food Wait 2-3 days after eating a new food, until you reintroduce the next food. Thats important, because some foods can take a day or two for any ill effects to be felt. So this means you will typically add just 2 foods back into your diet each week.
- Track with a diary Use a food diary to keep track of what foods youve added back in and how youve felt the hour after eating it, the next day and the day after. ie a food and symptoms tracking journal.
- Review with a health professional Once youve reintroduced everything, take your journal to your doctor or other health professional, and work out which foods can be permanently allowed back into your diet, which ones can be allowed now and then and which ones really shouldnt ever be a part of your diet.
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Is Leaky Gut A Cause Or Symptom Of Disease
There is still a lot that science and doctors need to learn and understand about leaky gut. This includes whether leaky gut is the cause or symptom of certain diseases. While there is still much research to be done, there is some evidence that leaky gut is at least a precursor, if not a cause, to certain diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes.
There is also evidence of the importance of gut health for maintaining health in other areas of the body besides the digestive tract. When the balance of bacteria in the gut is disrupted, it can lead to increased intestinal permeability which can release substances into the bloodstream which travel throughout the body. Again, the specific cause is not known, but some risk factors like autoimmune disorders, stress, poor nutrition, and excess consumption of alcohol have been identified.
Another fascinating area of research is the connection between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. This is called the gut-brain axis. While much more research still needs to take place, some research indicates that leaky gut may contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. This has the potential to create a new understanding of mental health issues, and revolutionary approaches to treatment.
This Is How You Can Heal Leaky Gut With Diet & The Foods You Should Avoid
The terms “leaky gut” and “leaky gut syndrome” are being used a lot more lately by integrative and functional nutrition experts, especially when speaking to patients who suffer from painful digestive conditions like IBS or celiac disease. While leaky gut is not yet a widely recognized medical condition, more research is starting to emerge to support the idea that you can heal and ease your digestive woes by changing your diet and lifestyle. Here, learn more about leaky gut, its potential causes, and what foods may help your healing process.
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What Causes Enhanced Intestinal Permeability
Our gut plays host to over 500 species of microbes that make up our microbiome, most are good some are harmful. These bacteria help do everything from aiding digestion and providing us with vitamins and nutrients, to boosting our immune system, and creating 95% of the serotonin . So as you can imagine, without the right gut bacteria, our immune systems may crash, along with our sense of happiness and a whole host of other things can start to go wrong.
Simply put, your gut microbial ecosystem must be healthy for you to be healthy. When your gut bacteria are out of balance when you have too many pathogenic bacteria and not enough healthy bacteria you get sick.Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
The good bacteria in our gut microbiome are also the gatekeepers to the intestinal lining, ensuring that nothing bad gets through. But when the good microbes become depleted, or under attack by too many harmful microbes, they cant defend the gut lining, and enhanced intestinal permeability starts to occur.
There are many other things that can lead to enhanced intestinal permeability. Here is a list of the major known factors. Some of these factors affect all people, some only affect people with a predisposition to that factor. This is not a complete list as different factors can affect different people, but most people with Leaky Gut will react to these factors.
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!
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Slowly Introduce Veggies And A Probiotic
I think we all understand by now the foods we SHOULD be eating:
- Dark leafy greens
So, the goal should be to get in as many of these foods as possible and minimize all the rest.
In my case, high-fiber foods would trigger my IBS. And once it was set off, it would need at least 3 days to come down .
So, I slow-rolled the process.
Every day, I would slowly introduce a little more greens into my diet along with a probiotic.
I started with just a few greens every day and then progressed into taking a daily probiotic.
Because when repopulating the good bacteria in your gut, you need food that bacteria can survive off of leafy greens especially.
During this process, I would track how much I ate and how my gut felt. If I could feel any discomfort in my gut whatsoever, I would dial things back.
I just made sure I remained steady at my current intake or very, very gradually increased.
Over time, here are the goals that I wanted to achieve:
- Two doses of probiotics a day
- A massive serving of greens at every meal
- Regularity in the bowels
- No gut problems or discomfort
I had to be very careful not to go too fast, or I would be sent back to ground zero.
Cut Out All Processed Foods Sugars And Inflammatory Foods For At Least 1 Month
There is a lot of debate out there about FODMAPS, carbohydrates, etc. It can make your head explode if you read too many articles with so much contradicting evidence.
The problem is, if you read too much, you start to second guess every little thing you eat and become completely neurotic in the process.
I decided to approach it differently.
Cut out the most obvious offenders and relax about all the rest.
The most obvious culprits of poor gut health are:
Yes, we can get into a debate about grains, phytates, and other minutiae, but why not just eliminate the most obvious offenders and see if you get better?
That made a lot more sense to me that using some theoretical diet based on a lot of scientific stretching.
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Toxic Plant Compounds Can Cause Intestinal Stress And Inflammation
Many plant foods contain very strong natural toxic compounds called phytoalexins which are the plants defense chemical compounds produced in the plant internally and naturally to protect them against parasites, fungi, bacterias and from other animals from eating them too.
The toxic phytoalexins that are in most plants, if eaten consistently or in large amounts can cause the gut to become very inflamed and irritated, and over time start the process of a variety of intestinal symptoms, syndromes and possibly debilitating diseases.
Other Tips For Gut Health
In addition to following the eating plan described above, its beneficial to avoid exposure to potential toxins found in to tap water, alcohol, cigarettes, pesticides, NSAID pain-killer medications and antibiotics, all of which can stress the gut. However, always consult with your physician if he or she has prescribed these for you.
Another tip is to consider following an elimination diet at first. Some foods seem to be in a gray area when it comes to worsening or promoting digestive health. For example, some people do better with certain protein foods than others do.
You may be wondering, are eggs bad for leaky gut? What about beans and legumes?
You may choose to eliminate eggs and legumes at first and then to try reintroducing them after several weeks. This can help you uncover whether they are problematic for you or not.
In place of eggs and legumes, try meat, poultry, fish and collagen protein or bone broth protein powder instead.
Reducing intake of FODMAP foods is also recommended as part of an elimination diet, since FODMAP carbohydrates can worsen digestive issues like bloating and gas.
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How Does Leaky Gut Occur
The walls of our intestines are built to allow water and nutrients to pass through to our bloodstream. However, at the same time, bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream, where they can be harmful. It is also worth noting that even though people usually talk about guts or intestines in general terms when discussing leaky gut syndrome, the loosening of our guts lining largely happens in the small intestine.
Heres What To Do If Youre Experiencing Symptoms
Any new or troubling gastrointestinal symptoms warrant a chat with your doctor and possibly a specialist, like a gastroenterologist. “It is imperative that people who present with symptoms associated with leaky gut work with a medical practitioner who can initially evaluate them for other serious diagnoses that may present with similar symptoms,” Dr. Schnoll-Sussman says. But it’s unlikely that you’ll walk away with a diagnosis of leaky gut syndrome or increased intestinal permeability.
When a patient comes to her asking about leaky gut syndrome, Dr. Singh says, “I dont get fixated on the diagnosis. The first thing I do is listen.” Your doctor or gastroenterologist will likely then ask you about your symptoms and your family history of gut illnesses. From there, they may order diagnostic tests . If an allergy is suspected, your doctor may send you to an allergist for more specialized treatment, Dr. Kirby says. Or your doctor may ask you to keep track of your symptoms and what you eat in a food diary to look for patterns and may have you try eliminating certain foods for a period to see if that helps, Dr. Singhs says.
Ultimately, whatever is causing your issues, you deserve to have real answersand real relief.
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How Is Leaky Gut Diagnosed
Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, is common. Its hard to know exactly how many people have it because few doctors test for it. Parsley Health doctors usually diagnose leaky gut through a combination of specific specialty testing such as comprehensive stool cultures and detailed assessment of your symptoms and medical history. If you are diagnosed with intestinal permeability, the good news is, there are ways to heal a leaky gut.
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Diluting Your Stomach Acid
Proteins and fats are much more dense and harder to break down than less dense foods like lettuce, rice, potatoes, fruit. veggies etc.
So, mixing dense food with less dense foods will dilute the gut of acid because of the fiber and carbohydrates, and this is the beginning of bad digestion and intestinal problems.
I have found that most people have an insufficient amount of HCL production in their stomachs, probably for this very reason.
I never mix fruit or sugars with my protein and fat meals. This is so I can get complete digestion without changing the low acidity of my stomach.
Proteins and fats need a pH of 1.5-2 to breakdown the food efficiently getting the food ready for microbial digestion in the intestines.
Mixing carbohydrates, like potatoes, lettuce or greens, rice, liquids consumed while eating or after dinner all of these will dilute the stomach acid to become much weaker, thus will not break down the dense protein and fats in the animal products efficiently.
I do not consume liquids with my meal, or 90 minutes after my meal either to keep the acid strong.
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