A leaky gut sounds a bit weird or gross but it's very important to check if you suffer from it because it's been associated with many other conditions and diseases. A healthy gut is the pathway to a healthy life so if you think something is not quit right do make the effort of reading this blogpost where I'll tell you all about the different symptoms of leaky gut and how you can heal your so very important intestines.
If you have ever experienced bloating, being constipated or having diarrhea, not enjoying food anymore... you know it's not a very pleasant feeling. I've been struggling with a bad digestive system for many years now. It goes up and down. Sometimes I'm doing quite ok and I just have to watch my food sensitivities. Other times it feels like even a glass of water is too much.
7 symptoms of leaky gut
How do people become sensitive to food?
The many toxins in our world enter the bloodstream in different ways. By eating highly processed foods, using chemical products (soaps, washing liquids, plastic bottles that contain Bisphenol A (BPA), pesticides, car fumes, industrial toxins, prescription drugs,...
"On average we consume 14 pounds each year of food additives, including colorings, preservatives, flavorings, emulsifiers, humectants, and antimicrobials. In 1990, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimated there were 70,000 chemicals commonly used in pesticides, foods, and prescription drugs… the use of pesticides and herbicides to limit crop loss has skyrocketed over the past thirty years. " (extract from this article)
The immune system of people with intestinal hyperpermeability start mass producing antibodies against these toxins which makes their bodies more susceptible to antigens in certain foods like gluten and dairy.
2) Inflammatory bowel disease
This is a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The two most common diseases in this category are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of them are caused by an abnormal response of your body's immune system, where your system attacks your own tissue
3) Autoimmune disease
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. To understand how autoimmune diseases start we should look at a protein called "Zonulin"
"Zonulin is an inflammatory protein first discovered by Fasano and his team in 2000. It helps regulate leakiness in the gut by opening and closing the spaces or "junctions" between cells in the lining of the digestive tract. Zonulin is triggered by harmful bacteria, and offers important protection to the body: If you accidentally eat a food contaminated with salmonella, you rely on zonulin to help trigger diarrhea and flush out the bugs."
Zonulin is triggered by eating gluten and causes the gut lining to stop functioning correctly. Scientists are further investigating how it all works and more important if there is a way of regulating the "zonulin" production.
4) Thyroid problems
A common known thyroid disease is Hashimoto's disease also known as "Chronic thyroiditis". In this case your thyroid is functioning on a low level which can cause low metabolism, fatigue, depression, weight gain,...
5) Nutrient malabsorption
6) Inflammatory skin conditions
The gut-skin connection has been researched for over 70 years and describes how intestinal hyperpermeability can cause skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema,...
7) Mood issues and autism
Leaky gut has been shown to cause various neurocognitive disorders. For example, the inflammatory response characteristic of intestinal hyperpermeability triggers the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other chemicals that are thought to induce depression.
A study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience described findings from a number of studies that point to their theory that autism may be connected to problems in the gut microbiome particularly within the first year of life. It is actually a common hypothesis in modern science that leaky gut is strongly related to autism.
How to heal your leaky gut
There are a few simple test you can take to learn if you have a leaky gut or not. The medical world is still doing research on the cause of it and unfortunately there are still doctors who don't understand the importance of a healthy gut. There are doctors who do believe this is an important disease that needs to be taken care of. But they often don't know the right approach on how to tackle the cause and they just treat the symptoms with medication.
Different test methods:
There are 4 basic steps you need to consider to heal your leaky gut.
Remove - Replace - Repair - Rebalance
Remove all foods and factors that damage your gut. Foods like gluten, wheat, rye, barley, dairy, sugar,...
Replace these with healthy anti inflammatory foods like almonds, avocado, broccoli, blueberries, olive oil, salmon, spinach, strawberries, carrots, kale,...
Unless of course you are sensitive or allergic to these foods. When you healed your leaky gut you may not be sensitive to these products anymore ;-)
Repair the gut with probiotics, fiber, enzymes, L-glutamine, licorice root, collagen powder, glucosamine,... But please always check with your doctor first or do a test first to see what exactly is going wrong inside. Don't just start taking supplements if you don't know exactly which ones wil work for you. It will only leave you frustrated if not working and it will cost you a lot of money!! Trust me on this...
Rebalance by taking probiotics. We all know by now that our gut functions with bacteria: good and bad. If you had leaky gut syndrome your balance of these bacteria are compromised and need to be restored. Again, see your doctor or a health practitioner first before spending lots of money on probiotics. There are so many different types of probiotics I could write a book about it!
It's very important to follow these steps in the right order because there is no use in spending money on supplements etc if you keep eating or drinking things that will keep the inflammation going in your gut. I know it's not an easy task to stop eating all those "yummy" things but once you understand how bad they are for you and you'll start feeling less bloated and have more energy it will become much easier to stick to this new way of eating. I've been doing this for a couple of years now and feeling much happier and healthier ;-)
If you are looking for meals to heal your leaky gut do a little google search and you'll get hundreds of ideas. Should you have any question about his blogpost please just send me an email or post a comment below.
I do hope to write a book some time full of recipes to heal all kind of different gut related diseases ;-)
my name is Inez.
I'm a positive life enjoyer with fibromyalgia and I have to eat glutenfree, dairyfree, sugarfree and yeastfree.
I'm a health coach and here to help anyone who wants to grow in life on a physical, mental or emotional level.
My specialities are allergy free eating, fibromyalgia (or other chronic illnesses) and emotional well being.
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