Perhaps you’ve heard the term “leaky gut”. Or been told you have a leaky gut. But what the heck is it?
Leaky gut, for many medical professionals is a gray area, it is not a recognized medical diagnosis nor is it taught in medical school. It has been associated with a variety of symptoms and health concerns which can make it difficult for doctors to diagnosis. More and more evidence is emerging about leaky gut.
Gut leakiness refers to the degree of permeability of the intestine walls. The walls of our intestines have a very important role in our health. Every day we bring foreign substances from the outside world into our body. Every time you eat, you bring the outside world into your body. These substances go in your intestines. As far as the body is concerned, inside of the intestines is filled with foreign material - bacteria, microorganisms, food, potential toxins, dirt, dust, etc.
The walls of the intestines serve as a barrier between your gut (where a large percentage of your immune system lives) and bloodstream to prevent potentially harmful substances from entering your body and keep you healthy. Nutrient and water absorption occurs mostly in our intestines which have small gaps that allow nutrients to pass into the bloodstream - this is known as intestinal permeability. When this permeability is too large, it can allow bacteria, toxins, undigested food particles to “leak” or pass through into the blood stream and pose a danger to our overall health. The foreign material crossing the intestinal barrier can cause inflammation not only locally but elsewhere in the body.
Leaky gut has been linked to :
Bloating and gas
General aches and pains
There are a variety of factors that can effect leaky gut. Diet plays a large role. Energy rich diets, high alcohol consumption, diets high in corn, soy, gluten tend to be common triggers. High levels of stress, infections and medications such as aspirin, pain relievers, steroids and antibiotics can also irritate the gut lining.
What can you do to help?
Decrease the amount of pro-inflammatory foods in your diet. Think processed, man made foods like deli meat, processed oils, fried foods, refined sugar and refined carbohydrates like bread, crackers, cookies. Try starting an elimination diet. Remove all the suspected trigger foods from your diet for a minimum of 3 weeks. See how you feel. If you are feeling better, add one - just one - food back in for 3 weeks. Take note of how you feel. If you still feel good, that food probably isn’t a trigger for you. Then add one more and so on.
Some good foods to add in?
Fresh veggies- go for the rainbow of colors on your plate for variety. Keep your veggies in their natural state or close to it. Broccoli covered in man made dressing or sauce is not the same as raw or lightly steamed.
Nuts and seeds. Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds are nice choices
Olive Oil in place of highly processed and refined oils
Flax seed, try grinding it in order to get the benefit, If we eat it whole it tends to pass right through the body due to its small size
Healthy fats such as avocado are a nice addition
Fermented foods are great for pro and pre biotics
Other helpful hints include:
Get out in nature
Increase water intake
Laugh, laughter really is good medicine
Sleep well. Sleep is when the body rests and restores. Your body is hard at work during sleep and it is important to our immune function
One of the most effective things I have found and use daily with my clients who deal with chronic inflammation and autoimmune issues is Amino Neurofrequency Therapy (ANF). This is a wearable frequency therapy that contains no drugs nor chemicals and provides three days of continuous treatment. It reduces pain and inflammation and helps to normalize acute and chronic conditions. If you struggle with not feeling as you know you should or with any chronic conditions, reach out. There is help. Help that works.
This is not meant to replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor.