Perhaps you’ve heard of Leaky Gut Syndrome, or may even suspect that you suffer from this often debilitating condition. If so, I’m sure you’re wondering if it’s possible to heal leaky gut?
While the situation may seem hopeless at times, let me assure you that there are many people out there suffering from the same sort of thing you are, yours truly among them, and I’ve done a ton of research about leaky gut so you don’t have to.
It’s what I love doing, and it’s actually helped my condition as well, so let’s examine this often perplexing and frustrating problem so we can make some intelligent decisions about our health.
Excellent question, my friend. The term has become very popular in recent years, but exactly what leaky gut is still remains much of a mystery and grey area to lots of medical professionals.
In fact, your doctor is not taught to diagnose leaky gut syndrome in medical school. It’s a difficult disease to pin down, although most healthcare professionals admit that it certainly does exist.
Simply put, your gut is said to be “leaky” when your intestines develop what’s called hyperpermeability.
This essentially means that the lining of your intestines has become more porous, therefore losing some of its ability to effectively contain food waste and other toxins.
If all was functioning well, everything would be contained neatly in your digestive tract, but for those with leaky gut syndrome, toxins and waste pass through and enter the bloodstream.
When that happens, all hell can break loose in your body.
Your liver, which may already be overworked to begin with, will start to mount a valiant defense against what it sees as foreign invaders. Try as it might, your liver is tasked with performing over 500 functions already and is probably not able to keep up with the constant onslaught of toxins, yeasts, food waste, and other substances.
Things begin piling up, and that’s a signal to your immune system that something isn’t quite right.
It will go on the attack, but because it has to defend against around the clock assaults, it may also not be able to keep up with all the activity and will begin losing the battle of ridding toxic substances from your body.
These toxic invaders will eventually be absorbed into various tissues throughout your body, causing inflammation, irritation, and outright pain.
Inflammation in and of itself is not always a bad thing. But chronic inflammation can lead to all kinds of health issues, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Sounds pretty ghastly, right?
Well, don’t worry. We’ll begin unraveling this mysterious illness and put you on the right track towards better health.
There are a number of causes that can contribute to your leaky gut.
First and foremost, today’s hectic lifestyle does not help. We’re all headed in 10 different directions at once, from work to parenting and everything in between.
That can lead to a lot of stress, and stress is one of the major causes of a leaking gut.
Another contributor is a poor diet. This goes hand in hand with the point discussed above.
Due to our modern lifestyle, our diet has suffered a great deal. All the packaged and fast foods we consume these days are geared more towards convenience instead of good health, regardless of what it says on the packaging.
Yet another factor contributing to a leaking gut is alcohol consumption. The reasons are many.
Alcohol stops your body from digesting its food properly. It does so by decreasing the amount of digestive enzymes your pancreas releases. Enzymes are what break down food for digestion, so we need the proper amount for sure.
Alcohol also inhibits the production of prostaglandins. These are pretty important for dealing with inflammation, and repeated, prolonged consumption of alcohol can increase inflammation in your body, along with a whole host of other nasty side effects.
Even certain medications can contribute to leaky gut syndrome. Over the counter drugs like Motrin can irritate your stomach lining, and they will also reduce prostaglandin production.
Antibiotics are another big one. They can destroy your gut bacteria, which is essential to good health.
Even taking a birth control pill can wreak havoc on gut bacteria, disrupting normal operations in your digestive system.
A leaky gut can be devastating to a number of systems in your body. We all may have a leaky gut in one way or another, because our intestines are designed to let nutrients pass into the bloodstream.
But everyone is different and you may actually be predisposed to this condition.
If that were true, you would probably want to take extra care with your diet and lifestyle.
You may have a hard time convincing your doctor about your gastrointestinal issues as well, because lots of physicians are of the opinion that there hasn’t been enough research in this area to declare it a legitimate issue.
This is unfortunate, because for those of us living with it every day, it’s very real indeed.
So how do you know if you’re suffering with this “mysterious” condition.
There are quite a few symptoms that are easy to spot. Be aware of the following:
Phew! That’s quite a list. I want to throw in another one here and talk about it a little, because this one really hit home for me.
It’s food sensitivities.
When I finally figured out I had leaky gut syndrome, it was sensitivities to certain foods that tipped me off.
Note that this will be different for everyone, and you really have to pay attention to your body and your diet to narrow down exactly what bothers you.
Also worth noting is there are diagnostic tests that can identify exactly which foods you are most sensitive to by identifying the inflammatory response of foods and chemicals.
The test is called MRT, or Mediator Release Test.
In my case, I did not have the test. I paid close attention to the way my body reacted when I ate certain foods and made adjustments in my diet.
Even though I had been eating these same foods for years without an issue, I had to eliminate these from my diet in order to gain some relief.
For me, the list includes green peppers, peanuts, eggplant, tomatoes, and most breads, but as I said, it will be different for each individual.
Just listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
There are a number of ways to improve leaky gut, and they’re all related to the list we discussed earlier.
For instance, we know stress plays a major role in this health issue, so it would be in your best interest to remove as much stress in your life as possible.
Easier said than done, I know, but since stress can be a major factor in all kinds of diseases, it would be in your best interest to trim away as much as you can.
I can tell you that meditation worked great for me, and it you’ve never tried it you really should give it a go.
Another biggie is alcohol. Once I removed alcohol from my daily routine I saw vast improvements in just about all areas of my life.
I can’t lie, it wasn’t easy to do, but I cannot argue with the results. Even occasional drinking is now off limits for me, because I am serious about improving my health.
Improving your diet is another way that you can ease the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, and although like alcohol, making dietary changes in not the easiest thing in the world to do, once you see positive results from the changes you’ve made, you’ll be encouraged to continue on the same path.
Ditching fast food improved things a lot for me, as well as trying to do away with almost everything that comes in a package or box.
While not a complete, these three areas are most likely where you’ll see the most improvement quickly.
There are a whole host of foods that can help improve leaky gut syndrome. Let’s examine a few right now:
Any whole and natural food should be okay, but you may have sensitivities to things just as I do. I have found out the hard way that eggplant and tomatoes belong on my do-not-eat list. Ug!!
The best thing you can do for your overall health is to listen to what your body is telling you. It’s a finely tuned machine and it will let you know when it’s not running at peak efficiency.
One other area that most people overlook when it comes to leaky gut is supplements.
There are a whole range of supplements that can be of great help when trying to heal leaky guy syndrome. Let’s take a look at a few of the more popular ones below.
Remember, before starting on any kind of supplement, or modifying your diet, please be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare professional, especially if you’re taking any prescription medications. He or she will be able to tell you if there might be any dangerous interactions. DON’T BLOW THIS PART OFF, IT’S IMPORTANT!
Supplements can play an important role in healing leaky guy syndrome, but please be sure to consult with your doctor before adding anything new to your diet or daily routine.
The are many ways to develop leaky gut, but thanks to more research and mainstream acceptance, there are also more and more ways to heal leaky gut as well.
The best method of all is prevention. By watching your diet, getting plenty of rest, and modifying your lifestyle to reduce stress and get plenty of exercise, you’ll be preparing your body to be its healthiest.
And if you do develop symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, you’ll now be better suited to understanding what you’re dealing with and armed with information you can supply to your healthcare professional.
Ted is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of nutrition and general wellness. He has recently published books on Sugar Detox as well as the inflammation epidemic, and continues to improve his knowledge by constantly remaining up to date with the latest news and trends in the nutrition world. When not busy writing, you can find him playing banjo and guitar, or outside fishing.