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.
What About Microbiome Testing For Leaky Gut
Although it is not specifically looking at intestinal permeability, it is taking a birds eye view at the state of your gut health and can possibly pinpoint underlying causes of leaky gut as well as hidden food intolerances that are potentially sustaining leaky gut.
Like the above tests, this can be expensive.
But if you want to get an interesting look at the state of your gut health, then consider a microbiome service like Viome they ship the testing kit to you, so the whole test can be done in the privacy of your own home.
Viome is my favorite microbiome company, since they are able to not only pinpoint imbalances, but also give you plain English advice on which foods to eat and which to avoid based on your unique gut bacterial balance.
Abstain From All Alcohol For 30 Days And Say Goodbye To Beer Forever
Your gut is not a huge fan of alcohol. And that shouldnt be a surprise given alcohol itself is the natural result of yeast overgrowth and sugar37!
I go through a detailed explanation here in my article on alcohol and leaky gut syndrome, where I explain how alcohol messes with your digestion , reduces your ability to control inflammation39 , and it makes the openings in your gut lining larger .
Oh yeah, and alcohol is fantastic at depleting your levels of mucosal-supporting zinc too42!
These effects are magnified if you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, which is so often the case when people go for after work or pre-dinner drinks.
So heres my guide to alcohol and leaky gut
Why Collagen Protein May Be Even Better Than Bone Broth
The most absorbable & tasteless form of collagen is hydrolyzed collagen protein powder like this one .
It has no beefy taste, is really easy to take any time of day, and best of all, since it is pure collagen, you can get a huge serving of helpful amino acids for intestinal support. Super convenient!
So try collagen peptides today and get ready to send your body all the collagen goodness of bone broth, but in a much easier and more absorbable way.
Eat Prebiotic Foods To Fuel The Good Bacteria In Your Gut
Prebiotics are types of fiber that are indigestible , but digestible by the bacteria in our colon/large intestine. They just love to break it down and ferment it. In other words, prebiotics are the fuel they need to grow strong98.
And when our good bacteria is strong they can help us digest food better, support mood, improve immune system function, fend off bad bacteria, and of course, help with bowel movements and intestinal wall strength.
Since prebiotics feed the probiotics/good bacteria in our digestive system, we can think of them as actually being equal to probiotics in terms of importance. In fact, theyre a team!
But before you go crazy eating all types of prebiotic-rich foods, it is important to know that during the very early stages of fixing your gut health, you should be careful to avoid prebiotics that are high in FODMAPs, which I explain in my FODMAPs & leaky gut article.
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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.
What Is A Leaky Gut Diet
To sum up, a leaky gut diet consists of leaky gut foods to avoid and foods that are beneficial to overall digestive health. While there is no leaky gut cure as such, there are ways we can improve digestive health. Generally, a leaky gut diet is a meal plan that focuses on helping to ease or prevent the symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome. Therefore, the said leaky gut symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain
- brain fog
- poor immunity
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Toxins In Beauty Products That Cause A Leaky Gut
I just was recently reading a study from the environmental working group. They looked at 12 different beauty products and these products had over 168 different toxins in them and thats just in the beauty products.
What were seeing today in terms of these unexplainable types of illnesses is lack of sleep is causing, stress. Our body repairs itself during sleep, if were not getting adequate sleep which is pretty common in our society, theyre not going to be repairing the way that they should. Theres something called the, glymphatic system, most people have heard of the, lymphatic system.
The, glymphatic system, is really an accumulation of different vessels that help cleanse our central nervous system. Our brain is active at nighttime when were sleeping. It cleanses out the impurities in our body, so if were not getting adequate sleep that can impact that connection between the brain and the, gut.
The, urine toxic metal test, can detect these toxins but as far as the, leaky gut, there really is no specific test for that.
There are over 1600 medical studies they refer to it as intestinal permeability, were calling it, leaky gut, its the same thing.
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Avoid Excessive Cardio Or Heavy Weight Lifting Leave That For Arny
If youre slogging through 3 or more intense exercise sessions a week like a Arnold Schwarzenegger-Richard Simmons crazed lovechild, you could easily prevent your gut from healing fast or even fully119.
Its kind of counterintuitive, but if youre a bit of a fitness fanatic, then less exercise could actually be better for your health!
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Starve The Candida Of The Foods It Loves Especially Sugar
Sugar is without doubt candidas go-to fuel source. And just like we wouldnt feed a deranged Popeye more spinach, we shouldnt feed our candida spoonfuls of sugar.
Obviously you want to avoid eating the main culprits. i.e. simple sugars like soda drinks, fruit juices, sweets, desserts and even fruit.
But you also want to stop consuming all refined carbs , processed foods, alcohol, low-fat products , condiments and any foods with yeast.
Meanwhile, if you can also stick to the leaky gut diet weve talked about above, you will give your gut the best chance of healing and thus fighting back against candida.
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.
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Poor Diet And Inflammatoryfoods
Sugar, alcohol, and some processed foods generally increaseinflammation and intestinal damage, or may feed existing dysbiosis,which can lead to increased gut damage and leaky gut. And though these foods areoften inflammatory, any food that you have a food sensitivity or food allergyto can continue to encourage leaky gut.
Gluten and gliadin, the proteins in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut have been shown to increase zonulin in celiac and non-celiac people alike [43
Consider A Megadose Of L
First of all, its worth explaining that L-Glutamine is just an amino acid . And in fact, it is the most abundant amino acid naturally found in our blood!14
But heres the cool thing about it
you see, just like protein powder feeds your muscles so they can repair and grow stronger, L-Glutamine can fuel your gut lining15 so it too can repair damaged cells and come back healthier.
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The 3 Things To Look For In A Great Digestive Enzyme Supplement
Why I Love Fish Oils Omega
For starters, omega 3s are an anti-inflammation powerhouse116 , and unsurprisingly this has been shown to extend to supporting intestinal inflammation.
In addition, studies are now showing these essential fatty acids can support gut bacteria through an increase in butyrate-producing bacteria .
And even help reverse gastrointestinal mucosal injury .
Most importantly for us though, is the earlier PLOS One study showing how the fatty acids in fish oil can support optimal intestinal permeability as they improve tight junction function which means better control of the openings in your gut lining.
So adding it to a leaky gut supplement protocol makes sense.
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Learn Strategies To Deal With Stress And Take Steps To Minimize Sources Of It
Most of us have had at least one experience where we can directly draw a cause and effect between digestive issues and stress in our lives. Your digestive tract and nervous system are intimately related. Minimizing stress will help the lining of your digestive tract stay healthy and leak-free. Remove sources of stress when you can but also take steps to help your body process it. It is good to have multiple stress-release activities on board. Regular exercise is great, but I rarely find this to be enough for most of my patients. I am a big fan of therapeutic journaling and EFT Tapping to help the body release stress.
Reframing is essential to having less to journal about, tap about, and exercise off! By practicing breathing into your belly and making your out-breath longer than you in-breath will help shift you from a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state.
Gut Health: How To Prevent A Leaky Gut
Our, gut, plays a role in weight loss, it plays a role in brain health. Eighty percent of our immune systems is in our, gut. So, if you want to be well you have to have a, healthy gut. Our, gut, acts as a barrier, it doesnt allow the bad stuff in and it doesnt allow the good stuff out until its ready to be released. But because we are exposed to things like antibiotics, not only through medications, but through the foods we eat, these things kill our microbiome, our good bacteria.
Listen to full interview here:
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Wherever Possible Try To Do As The Drug
- Cut down drug intake and rely on more natural remedies. For example, breathing exercises and meditation can work well to replace mild pain relievers.
- Prevent the causes happening in the first place. This is the big one! So for example, NSAIDs are often taken during hangovers. Solution: dont get drunk. Another example headaches often flair up on days where you dont have enough sleep, drink too little water and/or OD on caffeine. Solution: ah well, you get the point.
- Take probiotics. Many drugs by design will strip your digestive system of bacteria, both good and bad, eg antibiotics59. So during and after use, consider trying a probiotic supplement, which can add more good bacteria to your gut. In particular, ask your doctor about S Boulardii, which is a probiotic yeast that can help our gut60, even when we are taking antibiotics.
Speaking from personal experience, I found that even seemingly necessary drugs were no longer necessary if I addressed the deep root causes.
For example, when working on a new doctor-supervised asthma protocol several years ago, I found it possible to cut down my corticosteroids intake by 80% within 30 days by addressing leaky gut itself.
The funny thing is by following many of the ideas on this page you will naturally find your use of these drugs reduces, ie the vicious cycle stops. Gut happy!
Leaky Gut: How To Prevent It
From my previous two posts on Leaky Gut , you should have a good idea about how and why intestinal permeability might be impacting your overall health. Whether you are currently healing from a leaky gut or looking to avoid it and the diseases associated with it, the following tips on prevention will be valuable for you.
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Ditch All Sugars And Dairy Except For Some Gut
First I asked you to ransack your house and bin all the grains and legumes.
Now Im asking you to find anything with sugar or dairy in it, and add that to the scrapheap as well! By the end of today youll probably have no food left in the house
But thats alright.
In fact, the process of elimination is without doubt the most important step towards healing your leaky gut and feeling great again.
Take A Probiotic Supplement Daily
Unless youre going around eating sauerkraut all day like some crazed German Popeye, your gut will be crying out for probiotics, aka good bacteria.
The reason probiotics work so well is something I dive deep into in my article on probiotics and leaky gut syndrome.
But one of the most interesting roles it can play is its ability to fight leaky gut by enhancing the production of tight junction proteins as mentioned in Frontiers In Immunologys 2017 research paper on leaky gut.
In addition, the good bacteria can help to fight off bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth, so that your gut flora can start regaining a healthy balance48.
And best of all, continued use of probiotics can help ensure the ratio of good to bad bacteria stays in the healthy range, which means bad bacteria and excessive yeast may not return and cause leaky gut again. A bonus benefit is that a healthy gut flora will also aid digestion49.
When all 3 benefits are taken together you can see why probiotics are at the heart of any leaky gut recovery protocol.
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