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.
What Are The Signs Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut is the spillage of toxins into the blood. This spillage can comes from candida overgrowth in the body. So, the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome can be associated as the symptoms of yeast overgrowth. These include skin infections, digestive issues like bloating, chronic fatigue, headaches, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances. Other symptoms may include thyroid conditions, joint pain and arthritis, and ADD or ADHD. If youre experiencing any combination of these, it may be time to look into your leaky gut diet.
Symptoms Of A Leaky Gut
Leaky gut syndrome has been linked to hormonal imbalances, joint pain, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimotos thyroiditis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema, and rosacea, just to name a few.
A properly functioning digestive system is critical to good health. Problems in our gastrointestinal tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems. If your intestinal wall has been compromised, youll likely experience these symptoms and signs:
If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, leaky gut may be the culprit. Take this quiz to find out!
Do you think you have leaky gut?
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How Do You Know Your Leaky Gut Is Healing
So once you start on the journey of improving gut health, what are the signs that your gut is actually healing? The main indicators are a reduction in your symptoms. Have a look at the following signs that your gut is on the road to recovery.
- Reduced heartburn or acid reflux
- Reduced sensitivities to certain foods
- Reduced fatigue or headaches
- Stronger immune system
Common Symptoms Of Leaky Gut
- Childhood history of ear infections, asthma, and/or skin rashes
- Joint pain or muscle stiffness
- Any history of repeated antibiotic use
- Brain fog
- Hormonal problems: PMS or difficult menstrual cycles
- Low libido or motivation in men
- Weight gain or inability to lose stubborn weight
- Mood problems: irritability, anxiety, and depression
- Headaches or migraines
The more symptoms you have from this list the more likely you are to have leaky gut. This list is not exhaustive but it should help you identify whether you need to schedule with me to address this sneaky and troubling condition.
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What Is Leaky Gut
You have to begin at the cellular level. The lining of your intestine is made of millions and millions of cells. These cells join together to create a tight barrier that acts like a security system and decides what gets absorbed into the bloodstream and what stays out.
However, in an unhealthy gut, the lining can weaken, so “holes” develop in the barrier. The result is that toxins and bacteria can leak into the body. This can trigger inflammation in the gut and throughout the body and cause a chain reaction of problems, such as bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, fatigue, headaches, and joint pain, to name a few.
How do these “holes” form? The biggest culprits are genes and diet, according to Dr. Fasano. “Some people may have a weaker barrier because they were born with it, or they follow an unbalanced diet low in fiber and high in sugar and saturated fats, which may be the trigger that weakens the gut lining.” Age also plays a role because as you age, cells get damaged more easily and heal slowly, if at all, so the gut becomes more vulnerable.
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:
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Symptoms Of Leaky Gut
There are many ill effects of leaky gut. As a result of your immune system being exposed to foods, bacteria, and chemicals it was never meant to see, it can flip into a permanent state of on sending a constant barrage of inflammatory chemicals through your body.
These immune chemicals and the inflammation they cause can lead to symptoms as diverse as acne, eczema, food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, body pain, brain fog, insomnia, and even autoimmune diseases like Crohns, Hashimotos thyroiditis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Completing Your Leaky Gut Treatment
Together, these four pillars are the recipe for overcoming chronic illness, autoimmune flares, leaky gut symptoms, and other health problems that can be helped by a leaky gut treatment plan. Once you fix leaky gut, youll see digestive issues disappear and food sensitivities go away, your mood will improve, and your energy will return.
Most importantly you will feel like yourself again and your healthy gut will be able to support your digestion, your immune system, and so much more. What are you waiting for? Theres no better time than now to fix leaky gut and achieve optimal health.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Leaky Gut Naturally
While technically you cant get rid of a leaky gut , you can heal a leaky gut naturally.
As youve just learned, evidence tells us that the most powerful ways to heal leaky gut are all-natural: diet, prebiotics, probiotics and lifestyle.
As far as were aware, there are no unnatural ways to heal leaky gut: nobody has created a pharmaceutical product to address intestinal permeability.
Some conventional medical practitioners are skeptical about leaky gut, and say that theres not enough evidence to link it to any medical conditions. However, the evidence is mounting. The many studies weve listed here are just the tip of the iceberg.
Finally All My Best Ideas For Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome In One Place
The #1 thing I hear people with leaky gut ask for, is an all-in-one list of simple ways they can heal their gut fast.
And I get it.
After all, when I suffered from leaky gut I found myself drowning in a sea of 100s of different research papers, reports and books. Jumping from one report to the next was time consuming and trying to tie it all together took months.
Well, thats why I created this list of the best ideas for healing leaky gut.
The ideas on this page have the potential to get you feeling so much better in just days , and they can save you 100s of hours of research.
But admittedly, there are a LOT of ideas listed below. And I know life is busy. So I dont expect you to read through the full list right now or start implementing all the ideas today.
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Can You Completely Heal A Leaky Gut
While its impossible to say whether or not you can completely heal leaky gut, you can certainly make it better.
Everyones guts are leaky to some extent: our small intestine is supposed to let out certain particles into the rest of the body. Its only a problem when it starts to let out the wrong types.
You need your gut to remember what to let out and what to keep in. The good news is, theres a lot of evidence that you can help it do that.
Eating When Youre Stressed Out
We all know stress is bad news for your digestive health and is one of the main causes of leaky gut. Eating while stressed can significantly derail your leaky gut treatment! Thats because when your stress response kicks in, your digestive process slows down to a crawl.
Rather than trying to force down your lunch when your stomach is in knots, try going for a walk or doing some deep breathing exercises first. Just these little changes will support your leaky gut treatment and your gut will thank you too.
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What Are Some Ways I Can Treat Leaky Gut
Theres a wide range of things you can do to help get your gut its strength back. A firm sugar detox along with a low-starch, nutrient-rich diet is a great way to begin. Incorporating key gut-healthy foods into your diet can be very beneficial foods include collagen, apple cider vinegar, probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and coconut. These foods are able to promote good bacteria, kill yeast, and strengthen the production of your gut tissue.
Reduce Your Stress To Decrease Inflammation
Have you experienced a variety of symptoms while youre in a stressful situation? Perhaps you have a stomachache, bloating, or diarrhea.
Stress can cause all sorts of changes in the way the body behaves, and the gut is not an exemption. It affects not only the gut secretions but also the permeability of the walls.
People who are chronically stressed may not have the ideal healthy lifestyle as well. They may lack sleep or may not eat the right types of food, which increases the risk of having a leaky gut.
When youre in this situation for so long, it may be challenging to reset. You can try supplements to help improve your sleep.
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Leaky Gut Diet Sample Menu
Based on the recommendations above regarding the best and worst leaky gut foods, here is what a few days of meals might look like when following a leaky gut diet plan:
- Breakfast: avocado on sprouted grain toast topped with sauerkraut and tomatoes
- Lunch: salad topped with sliced grass-fed steak and cooked or cultured veggies
- Dinner: stir-fry made with mixed veggies and protein of our choice
- Breakfast: yogurt parfait made with plain yogurt, chia seeds and berries
- Lunch: cooked fish, such as salmon, with steamed veggies topped with olive oil
- Dinner: seared chicken served with a mixed salad or vegetable soup
- Breakfast: smoothie made with coconut milk, kefir or raw milk, sprouted almond butter and collagen protein powder
- Lunch: chicken salad made with yogurt and avocado, served with veggies or salad
- Dinner: steak or fish served with vegetable soup
Signs Leaky Gut Is Healing
Following this protocol does take commitment, so of course, you want to see signs leaky gut is healing. While there are some lab tests available, I typically dont use them to diagnose leaky gut because the vast majority of my patients have autoimmunity. We know from the work of Dr. Alessio Fasano that if you have an autoimmune condition, you have a leaky gut.
Once youve followed my protocol to repair your gut, your symptoms are the strongest signs leaky gut is healing. Here are a few good indicators you are on the right track to healing leaky gut.
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The 6 Rs Of Gut Health
Will Leaky Gut Heal Itself
Although many individuals would like to believe that this problem will fix itself, the reality is that getting to the root cause of leaky gut requires testing and treatment. We like to use stool and/or urine testing to diagnose leaky gut and get to the root cause of it. If the conditions and behaviors that initially led to leaky gut do not change, then it is likely not realistic to expect leaky gut to fix itself. Not to mention, any damage done to the gut must be rectified.
Instead, concerted steps need to be undertaken to solve leaky gut syndrome.
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Can You Treat Leaky Gut
You can, but the approach is similar to diagnosing a broken car, says Dr. Fasano. “You dont know the exact problem until the mechanic lifts the hood, looks around, and tries different things there is not a simple, direct approach to fixing the problem,” he says. “Its the same with leaky gut. We have to try different strategies to see what helps.”
Your first step is to share your symptoms with your doctor. If leaky gut is a possibility, he or she can try several strategies to help relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation. The most common is to review your diet and eliminate known dietary causes of inflammation, such as excessive consumption of alcohol and processed foods, and to explore whether you have any food sensitivities for instance, to gluten or dairy. “In theory, reducing inflammation from your diet like this also may rebuild the gut lining and stop further leakage,” says Dr. Fasano.
The best way to protect yourself from leaky gut is to invest more in your overall digestive health, he adds. This means being more attentive about following a gut-healthy diet that limits processed foods and high-fat and high-sugar foods, and includes enough fiber. Sticking to a regular exercise program also can strengthen your digestive system. For example, studies have suggested that taking a 15-to 20-minute walk after a meal can aid in digestion. “Your gastrointestinal system is complex, but caring for it doesnt have to be,” says Dr. Fasano.
How To Heal Leaky Gut
Exercise is also beneficial in repairing the digestive system. Many studies have suggested that walking for 15-20 minutes after a meal can help strengthen this system. Another important lifestyle goal to heal leaky gut is incorporating fiber everyday. According to the USDA, men under 50 years of age should consume 38 grams and women under 50 should consume 25 grams daily.
In order to heal leaky gut, it is important to try and remove the offending stressor at the gut level. Once this has been removed, it is important to repair and replenish the complexity of the microbiome. The microbiome can be repaired through diet, but sometimes it takes additional supplements to help correct. If one is trying to repair through diet, it is recommended to add fermented foods such as tempeh, pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and roughage such as Jerusalem artichoke, flaxseed, and jicama. Add in some probiotic rich foods such as kefir, kombucha, and coconut yogurt.
When diet does not improve the microbiome, there are a range of different supplements that can be added such as L-glutamine, probiotics of certain strains, and medical foods. It is best to visit your healthcare practitioner before starting these supplements to make sure you are taking the correct dosage and the proper form.
At CentreSpringMD, all of our providers are well versed on leaky gut syndrome and can assist you in making these choices to help heal your microbiome.
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Symptoms And Associated Conditions Of Leaky Gut
Problems and imbalances in our gut can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea, they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems. Leaky gut has even been associated with hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and hashimotos thyroiditis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and skin conditions, just to name a few.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you could have leaky gut.
Symptoms of leaky gut include:
- Bloating and fluid retention
- Autoimmune diseases
Why Collagen Protein May Be Even Better Than Bone Broth
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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.
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