How To Get Clean Filtered Water
All you need to do is buy a $10 BRITA jug or bottle, which usually comes with 2 cartridges. Then keep an eye out for filter cartridge sales. When they pop up snap up a dozen!
And if you want to up your filtered water game, get something super convenient like the big BRITA water tank this is great because you dont need to refill it multiple times a day and wait for the water to filter.
Bonus benefit is that these filters make water taste so much better and by having a jug constantly next to you it will encourage you to down your 2-3 liter a day target.
Some Claims About Leaky Gut Are Not Backed By Science
Clinical studies to date show sufficient evidence to demonstrate a clear link between leaky gut and chronic illnesses such as IBS, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. At the same time, there are just as many open questions regarding the role of the gut in other illnesses that burden our society.
Research on the role of the gut in health conditions such as Alzheimers disease, anxiety, depression and autism is ever expanding. Critics of the emerging research argue that the existing clinical evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions and that at best we can establish a correlation rather than a causal link. As the field of microbiome research continues to expand, we will likely learn much more about the role of the gut in many common diseases.
What Is Leaky Gut And How Can A Gastroenterologist Help Treat It
If youre dealing with gastrointestinal distress, there could be a number of different issues going on with your digestive system. One such condition that can cause problems is known as leaky gut syndrome. It occurs when bacteria and toxins leak through intestinal walls and into the bloodstream. In todays blog, we take a closer look at why this condition develops and how a gastroenterologist can help you treat leaky gut.
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Avoid Inflammatory Foods Such As Gluten And Dairy
Although the idea of giving up precious bread and pastries and going gluten-free can be a difficult thought, its definitely one to consider seriously if were experiencing signs of leaky gut.
Gluten and dairy can exacerbate a leaky gut because gluten activates a protein called zonulin. Zonulin is the protein responsible for how much the cells in our intestinal walls open. When these walls open too much, as can happen when eating a lot of gluten, proteins that are meant to stay in our gut can move from there, to other parts of the body which causes inflammation. Where dairy comes into it is that for people who are sensitive to gluten, the proteins in dairy can look quite similar so the response of the body to these foods is the same.
Click here for some handy tips on going gluten free if this is something new to you.
When we have inflammation in the gut, it can also be in response to excess sugar, food allergies or gut dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, which can result in sugar cravings, bad breath, and indigestion.
Avoiding coffee, alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods and foods high in trans-fats may support the healing of our gut lining because they are all highly inflammatory foods and drinks and can lead to gut permeability or leaky gut if consumed regularly.
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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Pay The Premium And Eat Organic Veg Grass
Yes, I know. This can get expensive. Especially if you are hitting up Wholefoods weekly and going all raging bull in there! Unfortunately, there is just such a wide gap between conventionally farmed food and the organic stuff.
For starters, organic meats and fish will come packed with more omega-3s, vital for taming the inflammation being caused by your leaky gut83.
And these foods, devoid of the toxins from conventional farming , will ensure fewer poisons make their way into your gut and through to your blood stream.
Thats a double win for leaky gut syndrome.
One other advantage is that these products dont suffer from the omega imbalance84 found in conventional meats and fish ie the overload of omega 6 that is so pervasive throughout the Western world.
Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome
So while we know that leaky gut syndrome can cause gastrointestinal distress, doctors still arent completely sure about whether a leaky gut is a symptom of larger conditions or a contributing factor to these related conditions. Either way, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, its important that you reach out to your primary care physician or a gastroenterologist.
Treating leaky gut needs to be done on an individualized basis, because there could be varying factors and related conditions at play. However, some lifestyle adjustments that can help improve your gut health and work to prevent leaky gut include:
- Improved Diet Eating healthier and cutting out things like fats and carbohydrates can help to improve your overall gut health and limit symptoms associated with leaky gut.
- More Exercise Exercise has also been shown to be great for your gut health and your overall health. Work to get 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3-5 times a week.
- Better Sleep Getting plenty of quality sleep is also helpful for a number of bodily processes, including your gut health and immune system.
- Stop Smoking Finally, smoking has been shown to negatively impact your gut health and can affect the healthy bacteria that helps to digest food. Stop smoking, and your gut health will certainly improve.
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I Think I Might Have A Leaky Gut What Next
A healthy gut is crucial to overall health and our base levels of comfort.
- Take The BePure gut health questionnaireis a good first step to give you a snapshot of your personal gut health!
- Ensure your diet contains essential nutrients like zinc, omega 3s, and vitamin D and that your life has long periods where youre managing stress well, getting a lot of rest, and eating mindfully.
- Prep your digestive system with digestive enzymes to support a healthy, balanced microbiome and add a probiotic to your day.
But Things Are Changing Tests Are Becoming 10x More Useful
Some companies are actually starting to deliver plain English results and most of all, tell you what you should do with the results they find!
I mean, imagine receiving a letter in a language you couldnt speak or understand and now, finally having a translator convert it to plain English!
i.e. instead of just sending you a complex and bewildering list of strains in your gut, they are now sending you individualized recommendations and lifestyle tips to improve your gut health and thus intestinal permeability.
This changes everything.
Unfortunately, there are dozens of companies out there offering what they say are the most advanced tests. But most are delivering nothing of the kind.
Ubiome and Biohm are 2 interesting testing companies Im keeping my eye on, because the data they produce is solid. However, the actionable takeaways they offer in the results they send back are still quite limited.
Thryve is doing interesting work too, but I feel their testing service is a loss leader for their follow up products. So Im not totally sold on them.
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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.
Have Leaky Gut These 7 Food Additives Might Be To Blame
Our intestines do more work than we give them credit for, with the ability to process the food we eat and utilize the nutrients for the health of our bodies all while we go about our daily lives. Individuals who may indulge in less than healthy diets could be doing damage to their intestines without even knowing it, and their digestive problems might be a result of something called leaky gut.
Termed a medical gray area by physicians across the world, not much is known about this condition except that it can cause symptoms that make life difficult, including gas, bloating, and cramping after eating certain foods. Also called intestinal permeability, its thought to be linked to a wide variety of ailments including:
- Type 1 diabetes
- And so many more!
Leaky gut occurs in individuals when their intestinal lining breaks down and allows undigested food particles to enter into the bloodstream. This triggers an inflammatory response that can vary in severity, and until the gut lining is healed, the symptoms they experience will be ongoing. If youve ever had a stomach ache after eating a specific food or have a general feeling of unwellness all of the time, leaky gut could be the reason for the way you feel.
Foods That Contribute To Leaky Gut
Bolstering Our Gut Health
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What Is The Main Cause Of Leaky Gut
There is no one main cause of leaky gut. Here are some of the most common drivers:
Stress and depression contribute to leaky gut .
One study even found that couples in unhappy marriages had leakier guts than couples in happy marriages .
Sugar has been shown to increase intestinal permeability .
Lack of fibre
Your gut bacteria need fibre. When they eat the fibre you eat, they produce a long list of chemicals to keep your gut healthy. Some of the most important of these are short-chain fatty acids . Without enough SCFAs, your gut can become leaky .
Additives in processed foods
If theres an ingredient on your food label you cant pronounce, dont eat it: emulsifiers in particular have been found to increase leaky gut . Plant milk and processed sauces and ready meals often contain emulsifiers.
Too much exercise
High-intensity exercise over a long time contributes to leaky gut . This is because your body releases stress hormones when you exercise. While moderate exercise or intense exercise in short bursts is very good for you, too much isnt.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowthan overgrowth or imbalance of microbes of the small intestineappears to exist hand-in-hand with leaky gut .
SIBO has been found in upto 85% of people with IBS symptoms. To find out more about SIBO, check out our blog SIBO symptoms: what they mean and what to do next.
If you want to find out how to take a SIBO test, read What does a SIBO test show: diagnosis, accuracy and results.
Top 11 Leaky Gut Supplements
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where undigested proteins like gluten, toxins and microbes can pass into the bloodstream. Another name for this condition is intestinal permeability, which means the tight junctions or the gateway between the intestinal wall and bloodstream have been damaged and are allowing the undigested particles to pass through the intestinal wall.
When these particles enter the bloodstream, it will cause system-wide inflammation and can initiate an immune response in the body. Over time, if leaky gut is not healed, it can lead to food sensitivities, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, skin issues like eczema, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, depression, anxiety, ADHD, nutrient malabsorption and autoimmune disease.
Most doctors will tell you that repairing leaky gut is difficult and it takes time, but for most people who follow my leaky gut diet and treatment plan, its possible to see results fast.
Along with changing your diet, taking the right supplements can make a big difference in fixing leaky gut. These are the 11 key leaky gut supplements that I have recommended to my patients for years that you may consider adding into your daily health routine.
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Pasta Hold The Gluten
Pasta is one of those comfort foods that people on a leaky gut diet or with weight issues have a hard time letting go of. The great news is that more people are waking up to the benefits of eating less gluten, so there are now super-delicious options to satisfy your pasta cravings without the guilt. And without compromising your nutritional goals.
For those who think they may be suffering from leaky gut syndrome, or anyone who wants to improve their gut health in general, here are some delicious and nutritious gluten-free pasta alternatives:
- Brown rice pasta
- Zucchini noodles
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a proposed condition caused by increased intestinal permeability.
The digestive system consists of many organs that collectively break down food, absorb nutrients and water, and remove waste products. Your intestinal lining acts as a barrier between your gut and bloodstream to prevent potentially harmful substances from entering your body .
Nutrient and water absorption mostly occurs in your intestines. Your intestines have tight junctions, or small gaps, that allow nutrients and water to pass into your bloodstream.
How easily substances pass across the intestinal walls is known as intestinal permeability.
Certain health conditions cause these tight junctions to loosen, potentially allowing harmful substances like bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream.
Alternative health practitioners claim that leaky gut triggers widespread inflammation and stimulates an immune reaction, causing various health problems that are collectively known as leaky gut syndrome .
They believe leaky gut leads to various conditions, including autoimmune diseases, migraines, autism, food sensitivities, skin conditions, brain fog, and chronic fatigue.
Yet, there is little evidence to prove that leaky gut syndrome exists. As a result, mainstream physicians do not recognize it as a medical diagnosis.
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Toxin Exposure And Overload
We are exposed to chemicals every dayin our homes, our personal care products, and in our environment. They can be magnified by where we live, our occupation, and the amount of chemicals were exposed to. Various chemicals can wreak havoc on our gut lining, intensifying and worsening leaky gut symptoms.
Create A Diet You Can Follow:
You should create a healthy diet based on the recommended foods while staying away from the kinds of foods you need to avoid. Start by creating a healthy menu with the sole purpose of improving your digestive health. Your diet should focus on incorporating the kinds of food that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria while getting rid of foods that are notorious for triggering uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
A healthy gut diet should be rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, as they are a great source of healthy gut bacteria. It is also essential to ensure that your diet is always gluten-free while adjusting or making modifications to accommodate particular food allergies, special dietary needs, and other underlying conditions. Some of the changes you make to your diet may only be temporary, aimed at addressing increased nutritional needs, for example, during pregnancy or allowing your body to heal after a surgery or illness. However, if you need to make drastic long-term changes to your diet, it is important to first speak with your doctor or nutritionist. Doing this will help ensure that your diet does not end up depriving your body of certain essential nutrients it needs. Your leaky gut diet can be very nutritious and satisfying as long as it is not too restrictive. If you end up cutting out entire food groups from your diet, you may find your body deficient in essential nutrients as well as motivation.
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So You Might Also Want To Consider Temporarily Cutting
- All nightshades. Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers etc. These guys come packed with their own form of bug repellent, alkaloids. Suffice to say, not everyone responds well to them and they can cause inflammation and digestive issues93.
- Eggs. These can spike a high allergy response in a lot of people, and the lysozyme in egg white especially may be troublesome94.
- Nuts. Like eggs, these may not react well with your body95.
- Seeds. Seeds are meant to survive dormant for long periods of time and through varying conditions so, due to being constructed of natures tough-to-crack materials, even the sprouted ones can cause issues for some people.
- All vegetable starches. If youre still struggling 30 days into the diet, well then sadly, even that innocent looking sweet potato has to go96.
- All fruits. That low sugar berry shake you started loving on the leaky gut dietwell, that is out!
- All dairy. If you were eating raw unpasteurized yogurt for the probiotics or sheep cheese, stop. Its out as well97.
Of course the best news is that these eliminations arent necessarily permanent.
In idea #36 below, well look specifically at how to reintroduce these borderline foods in later to see if they still cause issues or whether some can be permanently added back into your diet.