I tell people all the time the gut is like your second brain, maybe even the first. If your gut is healthy, chances are that you’re in good health. However, there are times when people “think” they feel fine and I run a GI panel on them and they have a very leaky gut. So all of you who say you are fine should probably not skip this blog. There is a condition called leaky gut that can lead to a host of health problems. This is today’s buzz word and I am grateful the word is getting out how important gut health is for a number of reasons. To name a few symptoms that could be due to a leaky gut are: weight gain, autoimmune desiesase, cancer, infertility, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, depression, PMS, low libido, thyroid disorders, parasites, candida, SIBO and arthritis. Honestly the list goes on and on.
What is a leaky gut?
The gut is naturally permeable(things can pass through) to very small molecules in order to absorb these vital nutrients. Regulating intestinal permeability is one of the basic functions of the cells that line the intestinal wall. In sensitive people, gluten can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart the tight junctions in the intestinal lining. Other factors that can cause this are infections, toxins, stress and age — can also cause these tight junctions to break apart.
Once these tight junctions get broken apart, you have a leaky gut. When your gut is leaky, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles, and more can travel from your intestines and go throughout your body via your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them. The immune response to these invaders can appear in the form of any of the common or uncommon signs you have a leaky gut.
Causes of Leaky Gut?
The main culprits are foods, infections, and toxins. Gluten is the number one cause of leaky gut. Other inflammatory foods like dairy or processes foods, such as sugar and excessive alcohol, are suspected as well. The most common infectious causes are candida overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Toxins come in the form of medications, like Motrin, Advil, steroids, antibiotics, and acid-reducing drugs, and environmental toxins like mercury, pesticides and BPA from plastics. Stress and age also contribute to a leaky gut.
Do you suffer from any of these ? …9 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut
1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.
3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.
7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
9. Food allergies or food intolerances.
How do you heal a leaky gut?
For me I have my clients run three labs a Food sensitivity test, Adrenal/hormone test and a comprehensive GI panel. Depending on the results I will follow a D.R.E.S.S. protocol to heal the gut and help the client increase there vitality. Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction and Supplementation. Every client is unique so each protocol is a little different.
- Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract, such as inflammatory and toxic foods, and intestinal infections.
- Replace the good. Add back the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption, such as digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids.
- Reinoculate. It’s critical to restore good bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria.
- Repair.It’s essential to provide the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself. One of my favorite supplements is mucosa max or support mucosa. Careful using anything with L-glutamine if you have SIBO.
I hope that helps give you a little insight on “Leaky Gut”. You may also hear it being called intestinal permeability. If you are curious to know if you have a leaky gut I am more than happy to help you with nutritional consultation or testing. 🙂