What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome
To understand what causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, it is important to first appreciate the role of the gut lining in overall health. The gut lining can be thought of as a chain-linked fence that allows nutrients to cross it and holds water and electrolytes in but prevents substances such as allergens, bacteria, fungi, and parasites from passing;through .
The gut lining comprises a surface area of approximately 400 square meters and requires twice as much energy as the brain to function effectively. The condition of the gut lining directly influences overall health.
Conditions like Leaky Gut Syndrome can damage that fence, enlarge its holes, and ultimately allow harmful substances to cross. Despite its challenging symptoms, Leaky Gut Syndrome does not occur all at once.
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.
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!
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How Do You Know If You Have A Leaky Gut
There are tests for leaky gut, which can be useful if you want hard evidence that you need to address your gut health. In other words, having proof that something is going on in your body might help to motivate you to make changes in your lifestyle or stick to a protocol.
For a more detailed rundown of how you can know if you have leaky gut, read our blog How do you know if you have leaky gut? Some quick answers
At Healthpath we use a PEG test to look at leaky gut. Together with your symptom survey, our Registered Nutritional Therapists and Functional Medicine Practitioners use the results to build you a personal diet, lifestyle and supplement protocol to get you great gut health.
For all you need to know about leaky gut testing, read Testing for leaky gut syndrome: the complete guide .
For most people, we recommend a deep-dive into the workings of your gut: a Gut Health Test. Some of our Gut Health Tests look at your zonulin level, which is one marker of leaky gut.
However, theres really no comparison to a stand-alone leaky gut test and a Gut Health Test, which is a fully comprehensive analysis of the goings-on of your gut. It looks at:
- Your microbiomes health: stool consistency, pH levels, microbe diversity, enterotype, and dysbiosis index.
- Bacteria, yeasts , moulds, parasites, worms, H. pylori and pathogenic bacteria.
- Advanced biomarkers: digestive function, immune system and inflammation.
Bonus elements on more advanced tests include:
What Are The Causes Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
A lot of things can result in a leaky gut. These can include anything from stress and eating too much sugar , to antibiotics and hormone treatments. There are some additional factors that may come into play too, such as consuming too much alcohol or not having a properly balanced diet. All of these things can affect your guts permeability. A healthy diet rich in the proper amount of nutrients can help you avoid this condition in the first place.
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What About Old Fashioned Food Intolerance Tests
My big problem with them is that they often come back positive for just about everything Ive already listed under the banned foods list above, as well as countless other good foods, and are often temporary intolerances resulting from the fact that your gut is hyperpermeable .
So instead of getting old fashioned food intolerance tests, I personally believe youre better off doing an elimination diet per the above ideas, healing your gut and then gradually and one by one reintroducing foods to see how your now-healed gut deals with them.
i.e. doing an elimination & reintroduction diet .
No doubt you will find it far more tolerant!
If you really do want to get tested for intolerances/allergies, then my best advice is to speak with a functional doctor.
They can work 1-1 with you to piece together your overall health history and current state of affairs, and from there decide what is the best leaky gut syndrome treatment plan.
But that said, always keep an eye on the economics of testing, because getting a battery of tests done, followed by a $1000+ bill is sure to cause stressand ironically more leaky gut.
And What About Vitamin D How Can It Help Leaky Gut
Well, vitamin D, has been shown to support our guts epithelial barrier , this being the lining that protects your bloodstream from all the food, toxins and other bacteria making their way through your gut.
In addition, like with fish oil, it can support tight junction integrity, meaning more help for the gatekeepers of the gut lining J Infect Dis, October 2015.
Also, per that study, vitamin D can help fight against bad bacteria due to the way it tackles inflammation118. Pretty cool, right.
Despite all those benefits, you may not need to take it in supplement form if you are getting 20 minutes of safe sun exposure each day.
e.g. 20 minutes of sun at 11am, without sunscreen .
So consider skipping the vitamin D supplements during summer.
That said, to truly benefit from vitamin D during this repairing stage youll want to be getting higher than normal amounts of it.
So popping a 2000 IU supplement of vitamin D3 like this one each day, might be worth considering.
Note: vitamin D3 is the more absorbable form, so make sure to look for that in your supplement.
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How To Diagnose Leaky Gut
The gold standard to test gut barrier function is the lactulose/mannitol urine test. This is a non-invasive test, thank goodness. Your role is to drink a sweet solution that contains two types of sugars lactulose and mannitol and then to collect a urine sample. Then the lab will test your urine to see which of those sugars show up.
When your gut is healthy i.e. not leaky lactulose is too big to be absorbed directly by the lining of your small intestine. However, if your gut function is compromised, the lactulose sugar can sneak through and be absorbed, kind of like your puppy sneaking through a loose board in the fence. More lactulose present in the urine signals a more leaky gut.
The mannitol is absorbed by the gut lining, but if the gut is damaged, it is not able to absorb as much of the sugars. So in this case, less mannitol means more damaged gut tissue and less surface area.
Together, the ratios of sugars present in your urine after drinking the sugar solution lets your doctor know how well your gut is functioning; is it leaky or is the surface area in good condition to absorb the nutrition from your food? .;
I Often Hear People Say L
But the minute they mention the amount they are taking, I straight away know why.
You see, when it comes to leaky gut in order to get the positive effects from L-Glutamine you cant simply take 1-2g a day. Instead, you may need to consider taking a high dosage and then a significant maintenance dosage.
Of course, it is worth saying that some peoples bodies just dont agree with L-Glutamine. And so as with everything on this site, it is worth talking about to your doctor first.
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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.
Symptoms Of Leaky Gut
Leaky gut, despite being not a full condition by itself, can produce a number of uncomfortable symptoms or side effects. These include:
- Allergies or allergic reactions
- Chronic fatigue
- And more
Since these symptoms are so varied, its always a good idea to speak to a doctor if you think you are suffering from a leaky gut. Thats the best way to get as close to an official diagnosis as possible and potentially identify any underlying condition that may be causing the leaky gut in the first place.;
In most cases, your symptoms will be caused by the underlying issue at hand. For example, irritable bowel syndrome often causes abdominal pain, cramping, constipation, and more, all of which are also potential side effects of a leaky gut.
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Is Leaky Gut The Hidden Reason Youre Feeling Like Crap
Leaky gut. Yuck. The first time I heard the term, I immediately thought of the scene in the movie Alien that scared the bejeezus out of me, when a space alien burst through John Hurts midsection.
But for many clients Ive worked with, leaky gut is a real-life horror show.
In this post, Ill explain what leaky gut is; the symptoms associated with it; its causes; how it can be fixed, including some of the best foods to treat it; how you can find out if you have it, and if you do have it, the best plan of action for overcoming it and living the pain-free, inflammation-free life you deserve.
So first things first
So This Weekend Heres What I Recommend You Do
I typically only fast for 48 hours. It is more than enough time to get all the benefits of the fast itself and the servings of broth.
Let me just wrap up by saying, please speak to your doctor before undertaking any fast or any other leaky gut syndrome treatment in general.
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Do I Need A Supplement
According to research published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, there is some evidence that probiotics can improve the function of your gut and even help reverse leaky gut, but long-term studies are still needed. There is not a single study to date suggesting that probiotics are harmful.
Probiotic supplements are more like a fertilizer that communicates to your existing gut bacteria. It can regulate the pH and cross-talk to other bacteria, increasing short-chain fatty acids which is the food for the gut cells and help regulate inflammation and the immune system of the gut, says Dr. La Vella. Transitioning away from processed foods and toward whole foods is usually enough to keep your gut healthy.
Herbal supplements may be helpful in certain situations, but arent necessarily a quick fix.
I think of supplements as medications; there is always a risk and a benefit. I prefer to think about restoring ecosystem balance rather than supplementing to cover up a bad dietary or lifestyle choice, says Dr. La Vella. ;
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.
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Leaky Gut Syndrome Explained
If youve been struggling with GI issues or have noticed some systemic symptoms that negatively impact your life it could be leaky gut syndrome. Its very possible that this condition will be affecting many individuals each year, and with the proper treatment, they could restore a better quality of life.
For now, you can take steps to improve your gut health and decrease the risk of leaky gut syndrome by following some of the steps mentioned. By reducing inflammation, transforming your diet, and adding a wide range of beneficial supplements you could eradicate your symptoms and feel like your best self. If you feel you need help on that journey, our Integrative Nutrition Team treats both local and virtual patients. Wherever you are, were there too. Just or, you can start by filling out the form below.
Heres How I Incorporate Coconut Products Into My Daily Life
- I use 1 tablespoon of non-hydrogenated organic coconut oil in my daily shake/juice. Tastes insanely good and as weird as this sounds, gives a lovely mouth feel to the shake. Just make sure you get quality coconut oil that is not rancid and not filled with all kinds of crazy chemicals.
- Now and then I will have half a can of coconut milk in my shake instead of the oil . Probably 2 times a week. This is the taste of island holidays in food form!
- Since my gut is now in good health and able to handle oats these days, I will cook up some gluten-free oats with coconut milk on gym days. Of course, theres a lot of energy in this sort of concoction, so best to pair with commensurate training.
- Coconut oil is my go to cooking oil for many dishes, eg a mild Thai-style chicken & broccoli stir fry.
- You might even enjoy coconut kefir91 fermented coconut milk/yogurt.
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What Can Cause A Leaky Bowel
The inside of the bowel is lined by a single layer of cells that make up the mucosal barrier .
This barrier is effective at absorbing nutrients, but prevents most large molecules and germs passing from inside the bowel into the bloodstream and potentially causing widespread symptoms.
In some circumstances, this barrier can become less effective and “leaky”, although this in itself is not generally thought to be sufficient;to cause serious problems.
The Complete Leaky Gut Diet Guide: How To Heal Your Gut
You may have heard of leaky gut syndrome before. Leaky gut happens when your intestinal lining gets damaged, allowing the contents of your small intestine undigested food particles, gut bacteria, and more to leak into your bloodstream, triggering an immune response.;
Leaky gut is becoming more and more common thanks to food sensitivities, chronic stress, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and imbalances in gut flora.;
The good news is that a ketogenic diet can help improve symptoms of leaky gut and the health problems associated with it. A high-fat, low-carb diet like the keto diet can relieve a lot of the inflammation and intestinal barrier damage that contributes to leaky gut.;
This article will cover what leaky gut is, its causes and symptoms, how keto can help with leaky gut, and a few other ways you can repair your intestinal wall and get rid of leaky gut.;
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Engage In Cardiovascular Exercise
Finally, move your body! It has been proven that cardiovascular exercise helps with the transportation of oxygen throughout your body and digestive system.
This supports the bacteria in your digestive system especially the n-butyrate generating beneficial bacteria. 150 minutes of heart rate increasing exercise is recommended.
To Begin Healing Leaky Gut Its Best To Entirely Eliminate These Foods:
Gluten and all foods containing gluten- The obvious sources of gluten are wheat, barley, rye, bulgar, spelt, couscous, Kamut, and conventionally grown and processed oats. Whether or not you have gluten sensitivity, gluten causes your body to produce Zonulin, which is a leading cause of breakdown in the gut lining. The challenge is that gluten hides in so many products. Obvious sources are bread, cookies, cakes, pasta, pizza, pastries, bagels, and the list goes on. But gluten can also hide in foods like ice cream, gravy, sauces, veggie meat, soy sauce, and licorice. The list is long.;
Turns out our favorite childhood snack of bread and milk doesnt do our gut any favors
I recommend using a website like Celiac.org or Gluten.org to obtain a comprehensive list of gluten sources. You can also use an app like Find Me Gluten Free or The Gluten Free Scanner for help making gluten-free decisions while shopping or out for a meal.;
As long as were ripping the bandaid off, lets talk about a few more things that are best avoided:
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The 2 Best Tests For Leaky Gut
These tests are definitely interesting, but can be quite expensive and sometimes inconclusive. So as with everything, speak to your doctor to see if they make sense for you.