Common Causes Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Genes: Many of us are simply predisposed to developing leaky gut syndrome because were overly sensitive to environmental conditions that bring about an autoimmune response.
- Stress: Chronic stress disrupts gut balance, and leads to a wide variety of digestive health issues.
- Standard Western/American Diet: This way of eating is no good for your gut health. Too many chemicals, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, refined oils all these toxins take a major toll on digestive health.
- Imbalances in gut bacteria. Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the gut between good and bad bacteria.
- Too many toxins. Toxins add up, and some of us have far too many lurking in our bodies. Exposure to chemicals from over-the-counter drugs, medications, conventionally grown foods, personal care products, air pollution, plastic food containers all of these add up and can result in a high internal toxic load.
- Gluten. Some people can eat gluten, but many cannot. And for those with gluten intolerance, it can cause leaky gut syndrome.
Types Of Food For Gut Health
Diet and gut health are very closely linked. Avoiding processed foods, high-fat foods, and foods high in refined sugars is extremely important to maintaining a healthy microbiome, as these foods destroy good bacteria and promote growth of damaging bacteria. There are also a number of foods you can eat that actively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, contributing to your overall health. These foods include:
Signs You May Have A Leaky Gut
The gut issue were going to explore today is often called leaky gut syndrome and its becoming more and more common across the globe as populations the world over begin to adopt a Western diet and lifestyle. While leaky gut syndrome is a fairly modern phrase, it has another name thats been documented for years intestinal permeability.
Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, is famous for having said, all disease begins in the gut. Even ancient Ayurvedic practitioners have long believed gut permeability was at the root cause of all disease processes, and healthy functioning of the gastrointestinal system is paramount to a healthy body and mind.
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Ill Run Through How I Have Done This In The Past
First, I compared my personal health history against all the signs of leaky gut.
After seeing I had several signs of digestive problems , and previously suffered from other signs that indicated leaky gut 10, I decided that there was more probability of leaky gut than not.
Given I had not been able to find any other reasoned diagnosis for my collection of symptoms, I was more than happy to finally have a working hypothesis.
I figured that if after 90 days the 7 signs I had of leaky gut were gone or severely diminished it was because my gut had healed .
Within the first month of this protocol I already experienced a decrease or elimination of the majority of symptoms.
Stomach pains gone. Heartburn non-existent. Asthma 80% reduced. It was amazing!
And after the full 3 months I was in amazing health.
For example, I no longer carried antacids with me, rarely reached for my inhaler, woke up in the morning full of energy, worked all day with intense focus , and I even noticed how much easier it was to gain lean muscle . Talk about a big difference!
Whilst I could not be 100% certain I had leaky gut, I can be certain that the leaky gut recovery protocol, which you can find in my free guide here, worked to fix my health problems. And for me that is all the proof I need.
Of course n=1.
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.
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Seasonal Allergies Or Asthma
This symptom of leaky gut may have you scratching your head, but if you start having seasonal allergies or asthma problems that you previously didnt have, then it could be a sign of leaky gut syndrome. Usually people who have seasonal allergies and respiratory issues have had them for their entire lives meaning that any sudden onset of these problems could be an indicator that leaky gut is to blame.
The Solution For Repairing Your Gut
There is a bright side, however. The symptoms of a leaky gut are manageable when you implement a few lifestyle changes to bring balance to your microbiome and improve your gut health. The below-listed tips should help improve your symptoms and lower your risk of developing other health problems.
Changes in your diet9 are the first line of action when it comes to repairing and healing your gut.
- Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners6
- Reduce meat and dairy consumption
- Increase prebiotic foods rich in fiber6 like vegetables and whole grains
- Add probiotics to help feed good gut bacteria7
- Drink OWL Broth Elixirs, infused with healing herbs and nourishing veggies
You might even consider a full gut Reset to give the lining of your stomach a break so it can recover from the heavy lifting it does on a regular basis. The OWL Reset Cleanse is designed to heal your gut while nourishing your body so that you can get back to feeling your best self without feeling hungry or deprived of food.
More options to consider, along with diet changes, are certain lifestyle changes9 that support gut health.
- Regular exercise
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Are You Experiencing A Nutritional Deficiency Or Sensitivity To Certain Foods
In the case that your gut lining becomes swollen or subject to damage, your gut barrier can become permeable and allow for toxic substances to pass through your system. However, leaky gut syndrome can sometimes also be responsible for partial nutrient absorption. The swelling of your gut lining will likely affect the function of your microvilli those are the little bristles lining your gut barrier that help with nutrient absorption.6
If your tight junctions expand in width or stick open as you digest, unprocessed fats and proteins can pass through them and infiltrate your bloodstream. In this case, your body will react negatively to these threats and may greenlight allergic responses which can complicate the following symptoms:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Skin irritation7
How Do You Treat Leaky Gut
Remember, leaky gut is not an official medical condition. It is a process that causes the gut lining to be damaged from something else. There arent any accurate or approved tests to diagnose leaky gut. There also are no FDA-approved treatments currently available specifically for leaky gut. Researchers are still trying to figure out what causes leaky gut and how it may affect the body.
If leaky gut is associated with a medical condition, you need to treat the underlying condition. Sometimes these treatments can help restore the gut lining, but its not known why this happens. Its possible that improving leaky gut can improve a disease, but much more research needs to be done to prove this. Also, diseases associated with leaky gut do not always automatically improve when the gut lining is healed.
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How To Know If You Have Leaky Gut
Some people with leaky gut have major digestive issues .
Others can become clinically depressed.
There are also a lot of people who simply feel like crap most days out of the week, and they cant pinpoint exactly whats going on.
Some experience skin issues, some hair issues, some low energy, and on and on.
Theres an added layer of messiness because many medical doctors dont know about or talk about leaky gut.
Even though the condition is rooted in scientific research, its not taught in most medical schools.
So let’s discuss the whole leaky gut thing, including the signs and symptoms that indicate this could be the underlying issue.
Well also discuss the risk factors for leaky gut syndrome and what you can do today to jumpstart healing if you think you have it.
Do I Have Leaky Gut Syndrome 14 Signs You May Need To Address
GUT HEALTH IS THE GATEWAY to next-level wellness. Donna Gates M.Ed., ABAAHP is the best-selling author of The Body Ecology Diet and has helped millions of people get their health in order with this philosophy in mind. A pioneer in the natural foods industry and proven expert on how to best care for our inner ecosystem, we trust Donna and the holistic lifestyle she stands for.
One modern health issue thats key to address for so many is leaky gut syndrome. So, what is it, do you have it, and how should you address it? Donna is unpacking everything you need to know below
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Eg Crohns Disease Ulcerative Colitis
The link here with leaky gut is quite clear and as mentioned above, studies are increasingly revealing the growing link between leaky gut and autoimmune disorders such as IBD.
Said differently, if you have IBD, you likely have leaky gut.
There is no chicken and the egg problem here. Unsurprisingly then, there is also a strong connection between people who suffer with IBS and leaky gut27.
Youre Grappling With Food Sensitivity
Leaky gut can trigger inflammation, but it may also be caused by inflammation in the gut. And the one way your gut can become inflamed is through food sensitivitiesheres how to tell if you have food sensitivities. Dr. Edelberg notes that there are few good tests for leaky gut symptoms as a result, one of the better ways to get nearer to a diagnosis is to eliminate foods that are most likely to cause problems. There are six he focuses on, and he asks patients to try going without them for two to three weeks: dairy, egg, corn, gluten, citrus, and soy. Patients can then reintroduce the foods one at a time to identify their trigger.
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My Favorite Company For Micriobiome Testing Is Viome
Not only are they doing scientifically sound testing, but theyre also focused on the right things.
So instead of trying to sell you follow up products like other companies, theyre giving you simple-to-follow diet and lifestyle advice.
And Im actually kinda amazed at what theyre able to tell from our stool samples now.
For example, they are now able to pinpoint specific foods that YOUR specific gut flora tolerates well and what foods it does not. This puts a whole new spin on reactive testing.
It is quite possible that this info can sniff out food sensitivities that no other test can. And then by eliminating these foods, you could potentially say adios to food-based digestive problems almost overnight.
In other words, this test is trying to deliver the benefits of a 3-month elimination-reintroduction diet, but without the painstaking effort from you.
Unsurprisingly, Viomes testing service is priced higher than the likes of Ubiome, Biohm and Thryve. But for me, thats because it is simply backed by better data and more useful results.
Hope For Leaky Gut Syndrome
Because we at Gain Wellness Center use a functional medicine approach when it comes to healing you, we go in-depth and work to discover the deeper, underlying causes of conditions like leaky gut syndrome. We take leaky gut seriously, even though traditional mainstream medicine has yet to do so.
Bottom line? We want you to get better and dont quibble about whether a condition like LGS exists. When we hear any patient describe the discomforts consistent with leaky gut, we have an arsenal of treatments to employ, and lifestyle recommendations for you.
When you visit us and receive a free wellness evaluation, we talk to you about what you eat, how much you move, how you manage your stress, your hormonal health, and detoxification strategies. This way, we can get to the root of your problem, particularly if you have leaky gut syndrome.
If youre suffering from any of these LGS symptoms, dont hesitate to call the Gain Wellness Center or book an initial consultation online.
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Food Allergies / Intolerances
As we know food sensitivities may arise when undigested food particles or toxins in general cross the gut barrier and into your bloodstream.
So what were saying is that to develop a food intolerance, having an overly permeable gut lining may just be a prerequisite11.
Basically heres what happens: whole food particles arent meant to cross the gut barrier into your bloodstream. When they do, the body doesnt recognize them so, the immune system flares up in an attempt to defend your body against what it perceives as foreign invaders.
Well, we all know what it means when the immune system flares up inflammation, inflammation, inflammation! And thats accompanied by a large side of symptoms.
Unfortunately, it might continue doing this every time you eat certain foods, especially gluten and dairy12 .
And thats the thing foods you may have previously tolerated, can all of the sudden become intolerable, as the body is now fighting against them every time they show up.
Although you can do the elimination diet, like me, to see what foods cause you grief, there are certain foods that might only cause you subtle pain.
Thats where a food intolerance test comes into play. Without this test it can be quite difficult to identify exactly which foods are causing a reaction and, you may very well keep eating them without even knowing theyre harming you!
This can lead to ongoing, low level systemic inflammation. i.e. your leaky gut will never completely heal.
How Can You Heal A Leaky Gut
Doctors are still working on finding the best way to treat the condition, so if you suspect you have it, it’s important to work with a skilled physician who understands the gut. To combat your gut issues naturally, Christie recommends some lifestyle changes. I start people with sleep and stress, she says. When you are getting good quality and quantity of sleep, and your stress is mitigated, not only are you actively healing your body, you are also setting the stage for more challenging lifestyle behavior modification.
Once youve lowered your baseline of stress, you can work on rebuilding the good gut bacteria to support damaged tissue repairs. Christie advises clients to eat a wide variety of plant foods in their diet. Shifting the food you are consuming away from processed and damaging foods to more organic, whole, plant foods is always beneficial, she says. She typically suggests cutting out gluten, dairy, and eggs to begin the healing process, and instead opting for fresh fruits and vegetables. Supplements are also a key lifestyle change. Taking a daily probiotic will introduce good bacteria back into your digestive system and support the healing process.*
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Relief Starts With Healing
In reading through the list of symptoms that can help you determine if you may suffer from a leaky gut, Im sure you noticed a consistent theme: weakened or loose junctions and damage to the intestinal lining, which is quite literally a leaking gut.
Your intestinal epithelium is a protective mucosal barrier that research is only beginning to understand. Along with other epithelial barriers in other parts of your body, the breakdown of this protective system has been linked in the past 20 years to 2 billion chronic, non-infectious diseases which are believed to be triggered by distant inflammatory responses in the guts microbiome.
That means to heal from leaky gut and all of its effects, you must start with healing the epithelium, with tightening the junctures, reducing the inflammation and balancing the microbiome.
Here are steps you can start taking today to start that road to recovery:
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.
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