Millions worldwide are affected by Leaky Gut Syndrome but unfortunately, many are unaware of the symptoms and treatment. In this article, we will go into detail about how to heal a leaky gut.
Fixing a leaky gut sounds like patching just one problem. But in fact when you heal a leaky gut you reduce the chances of several other health problems occurring.
The tricky part is that it can show up differently from person to person. So diagnosing is not always as direct as one might hope.
- Type 1 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Chronic diarrhea, IBS, constipation, gas or bloating
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Poor immune system
- Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
- Cravings for sugar or carbs
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Crohn’s
- Inflammatory conditions
- Celiac disease
- Food allergies & intolerances
- Chronic fatigue
Sounds like an excessive list but think of a leaky gut as the start of a domino effect to a world of problems. The stomach lining and bacteria culture are central to so many functions in the body. From the immune system to the central nervous system. It is so crucial in fact that the science community as named it the SECOND BRAIN.
Kind of hard to imagine that gurgling source in your belly as being the brain, but it is so true. In fact, there is a major nerve that runs from the stomach lining to the brain called the VEGUS NERVE. No, not vegas. That’s a whole other kit and caboodle.
The vegus nerve connects not only the brain but a multitude of other crucial organs. In very real terms if you set fire to the gut via poor eating habits, you set fire to the brain. Another way to look at this is that your gut health has a very real impact on your mental health.
If you have an inflamed gut you will thus have an inflamed brain. Let me explain how that flows.
leaky gut >> chronic low-grade inflammation >> inflammatory cytokines cross the blood brain barrier >> leaky brain barrier and increased immune response microglia cells >> Brain inflames, nerve conductance is reduced, and depression onsets >> brain communication to vegas nerve decreases >> decreasing blood flow to the intestines >> increased pathogenic yeasts and bacteria
And now we get an exasperated condition where the leaky gut only gets worse…
Imagine for a moment your gut was making you drunk. Not in a fun, let’s tie one off for the weekend kind of thing, but the next day when you are crawling through a bag of Cheetos thinking about your poor life choices drunk.
This is what can happen with the overgrowth of candida (yeast) we mentioned above.
The glucose in your system is meant to be turned into lactic acid to be used as water and energy. When you factor in a candida overgrowth, which is a byproduct of a leaky gut, that glucose goes through a fermentation process instead which converts it into acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is what causes the hangover effect from alcohol. So when you have a leaky gut, you are having all the effects of a hangover without the fun of having been drunk.
Go a little further down that path and you can see metabolic waste being flushed into the brain rather than flushed out of you. As well as Sulphate (anti-inflammatory anti-depressant) being converted to Sulphites. When this happens it creates a ripple effect into chronic fatigue, depression, migraine, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, hyperactivity, autism, Parkinson’s, motor neuron disease, Alzheimer’s, lupus erythematosus, systemic primary cirrhosis of the liver, and food and chemical sensitivity
- Chronic Stress
- Improper Nutrition
- Too many Toxins
- Not enough healthy Bacteria
- Food allergies
- incomplete chewing
REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut.
Foods like Aspartame, canned foods, GMO’s, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Processed Foods, Sugar, Trans Fats. Start an elimination diet. You can’t expect to win all at once. It’s like that old saying if something doesn’t add up, start subtracting. This is where you should start. Sugar alone can cause a leaky gut, but it may not be the only irritant. You can start a food journal, cut out alcohol and sugars, take a look at any medications and ask yourself if they are doing more harm than good. A simple method is to consider this; if it has a label its a product and you better know what’s in it, if not its food.
REPLACE with healing foods.
One effective method is using the GAPS diet to correct the situation. So many of us rush to pills and replacement shakes because we are so rushed in life that we cannot be bothered with consuming whole foods. Stop it, just stop it. Your health matters more than anything else on your mind, and to keep healthy you have to make time to eat whole foods. Keep in mind that as your body heals you need to remove all that toxic build up so make sure you get lots of fiber to flush out those toxins.
- REPAIR with specific supplements.
I suggest adding digestive enzymes as they will give your digestion system a jump start. This is going to help in a huge way for you to break down nutrients and give your body the fuel it needs to function properly. It’s one thing to eat the right things it’s another to be able to break it down properly to absorb them. I also recommend Glutamine which will repair all that damage to the stomach lining. This will heal that gut in such a powerful way.
REBALANCE with probiotics.
Now that you have a healthy got let’s regrow the population of bacteria that was lost initially. This is the good bacteria that will improve your metabolism, immune system and assist in the absorption of minerals and vitamins. You can do this by eating probiotic yogurt or supplements, or you can eat fermented foods.
Now that you have all that down, just work on one more thing as you go forward. Be mindful of the things you eat. Don’t eat something just because it pleases your palate. Eat mindfully, know what your body needs and meet that need.
- Tight Junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16092447
- Breaking down the barriers; the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability and stress-related psychiatric disorders http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26528128
- The Gut Brain Axis http://empoweredsustenance.com/gut-brain-axis/
- The brain gut connection http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection
- Signs and symptoms of leaky gut http://draxe.com/7-signs-symptoms-you-have-leaky-gut/
About the Author
Tom Topham holds a 1st class honours degree in Sports Science (Human Performance) from Brunel University, England. He also comes from a triathlon background, competing as an age-grouper and holds a level 2 triathlon coaching qualification.
About the Author
Bochakorn began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.