Are you one of those individuals with a mysterious stomach problem? Is it a stubborn situation? Perhaps what you have is “Leaky gut syndrome”, a condition that some health practitioners believe causes a variety of long-term issues.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
“Leaky gut syndrome” is known to exhibit symptoms such as gas, cramps, bloating, food sensitivities, and general pains and aches, however, it is sort of a medical conundrum.
Those who believe in “leaky gut syndrome” say that most symptoms and conditions are triggered by the immune system responding to toxins, germs, or other materials that have entered into the bloodstream through a porous bowel, hence the word “leaky”.
Though it is true that some disorders and medicines can trigger a “leaky” gut or what medical practitioners call elevated intestinal permeability, there is little to no proof that porous bowels cause noteworthy, extensive health issues.
Likewise, there is also little proof that the remedies some individuals claim to help lessen bowel “leakiness”, like nutritional supplements and herbal remedies, have any beneficial effect.
Generally, from a medical standpoint, it’s a very murky area. The term “Leaky gut syndrome” is not a proven condition which means a diagnosis still has to be made or established. Call it a catch-all phrase for any non-definitive diagnosis.
Therefore, if you have a vaguely diagnosed gut condition, you may be lumped with those suffering from a “leaky gut”.
Signs and Symptoms That You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome
Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Studies have recently observed that increased gut permeability is commonly isolated to the colon in individuals afflicted with ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Sensitivities To Food – Those with food sensitivities usually blame a “leaky gut”. Since toxins enter and overwhelm the bloodstream, the immune systems of individuals with intestinal hyperpermeability are working overtime, over-producing different antibodies, making their bodies more prone to antigens in certain foods, especially dairy and gluten.
Autoimmune Conditions – Essential to understanding how “leaky gut” can trigger an autoimmune disease is through a protein called Zonulin. When the delicate amount of Zonulin pathway is not controlled in genetically prone people, both extraintestinal and intestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic illnesses can happen. Consuming gluten can usually cause this serious event.
Thyroid Issues – Among the autoimmune illnesses that “leaky gut syndrome” could directly influence is Hashimoto’s disease, also called “chronic thyroiditis”. This condition can cause an impaired metabolism, hypothyroidism, fatigue, depression, weight gain, and a myriad of other problems.
Inflammatory Skin Conditions – The gut-skin link idea connects intestinal hyper-permeability with a variety of skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne. Typically, strong drugs and harmful creams are prescribed to treat these skin disorders, but oftentimes it can be managed by healing a “leaky gut”.
Mood Problems and Autism – A recent study observed that a “leaky gut” can trigger a variety of neurocognitive disorders, such as depression. As for autism, a study recently established a nasty cycle between immune system damage and growing dysbiosis. It is believed that the metabolic pathways compromised in autistic kids can be affected by genetic changes or by environment-xenobiotics intervention.
Malabsorption – Many nutritional shortages are caused by “leaky gut” such as lacking vitamin B12, magnesium and key enzymes that aid digestion. It is suggested that people with leaky gut take a whole foods based multi-vitamin in addition to live probiotic aid food digestion and to make certain they get the essential nutrients.
Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome
The interior of the bowel has a single layer of cell lining that comprises the mucosal barrier, or the divider between the interior of the gut and the rest of the body. This divider performs by absorbing nutrients, but stops most big molecules and pathogens from traveling inside the bowel, consequently into the bloodstream and possibly triggering widespread symptoms. In some individuals, this divider or barrier can turn less effective or “leaky”.
Alcohol and Painkillers
Aspirin as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and alcohol are established irritants of the lining of the bowel. They can harm the seals among cells, permitting some materials to enter into the bloodstream. This will typically trigger no apparent symptoms and will get better over time if one ceases taking the medication or stops imbibing. At worst, the swelling might occasionally cause ulcers in the bowel lining.
Certain Conditions and Treatments
Begin a detox diet – Take out common culprits like dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, as well as the chemical additives present in most processed foods. Continue doing a detox diet for two weeks and slowly reintroduce the food you eliminated. Be sure to observe how your body reacts each time you reintroduce certain food.
Start a food journal – As part of the detox diet, jot down what you consume and how you are affected on a notebook. Be sure to be thorough and establish a cause and effect with each new food item.
Limit alcohol and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) use – Alcohol stresses the liver and deprives the gut of nutrients. Additionally, studies show that excess and frequent intake of alcohol increases growth of negative bacteria in the intestines. (1) NSAIDs hinder the body’s ability to manufacture prostaglandins which is vital for rebuilding the intestinal lining.
Isolate infections – Leaky gut can be triggered by a myriad of pathogenic microorganisms and parasites that love the gut’s mucosal and warm environment. Find a healthcare practitioner that can conduct tests and treat you with precision.
Rid the body of harmful bacteria and toxins – Many individuals find it extremely beneficial to start changing their habits by doing a quick body detox. The toxins built up in our bodies may be part of the reason for a “leaky gut” which is why it’s important to rid the body of them. There are many ways one can detoxify the body and may be the spark that triggers a healthier lifestyle choices.
Eat lots of whole foods – The body requires the nutrients in genuine, fresh food to fix impairment and reconstruct healthy new tissues. Whole foods are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients, not to mention enzymes the small intestine requires to mend properly. In order to reap the benefits of whole foods, make sure to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and herbs.
Favor non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins – Non-starchy vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients for good health as well as a good amount of fiber. (2) Adequate fiber intake is necessary for good gut health. Additionally, since non-starchy vegetables are very low calorie, it can help individuals lose fat and maintain a healthy weight.
Lean proteins help the body repair and rebuild, while promoting satiety and fullness. Lean proteins are also much easier for the gut to digest compared to fattier cuts of protein.
Use selected supplements – Many health specialists recommend supplementing with a complete multivitamin, due to nutrient gaps that typically accompany leaky gut conditions, even amongst those consuming a healthy diet. Glutamine is also an option, as it reinforces immunity and digestion by feeding the cells that line the small intestine.
Take digestive enzymes – If you have a “leaky gut”, enzyme assistance is critical to healing and rebuilding. Ingest supplemental enzymes prior to eating to give the GI tract a head start on digestion.
Take omega-3 fatty acids – Having a diet rich in different types of protein sources is essential for good health. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. For those who do not get enough fish in their diets, it is recommended to take an omega-3 supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids can help mitigate inflammation and restore healthy cell walls by increasing healthy bacteria in the gut. (3)
Consume fermented foods – Have daily servings of both prebiotic and probiotic loaded foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh. Certain detox teas such as Kombucha tea is very beneficial to good gut health due to it’s high probiotic content. High level probiotic support revitalizes and restocks a microbiome injured by antibiotics or a bad diet.
Consider Lifestyle Changes
Lingering stress may also be an influence and cause. One needs to address stress level and causes, either through meditation techniques or medication. Lifestyle alterations, particularly those that lessen stress and improve the diet, could be among the best strategies to fight leaky gut, especially when no apparent underlying condition is recognized. Chronic health issues are so frequently attributable to a bad lifestyle, and there is no medicine for that. The way we live, our outlook in life and the way we eat could be all the cure we need.
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