The gut is the doorway to health if the gut is healthy, the chances are that the body is also in good health. However, there is a condition known as the leaky gut syndrome which can lead to a swarm of health problems.
In This Article
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome
The first thing we need to start off with is an explanation of exactly what leaky gut is. Allergenic foods we consume, such as gluten often cannot be properly digested by the human body. Foods that cannot be easily digested tend to cause a buildup of gas and inflammation of the intestines, which in turn damages the lining of the small intestine. Instead of being smooth with tiny little holes meant to allow nutrients to pass through, these holes enlarge, allowing larger particles of undigested food to pass through into the bloodstream. When the larger particles of food pass through they are detected by the immune system as being invaders that do not belong.
Once these “invaders” are detected the immune system attacks these particles in an attempt to remove them from the body. This is where food sensitivities are born as the body creates antibodies to these substances and recognizes them as foreign invaders every time they are consumed. Leaky gut can and often does lead to problems throughout the body, so once diagnosed or suspected the best thing you can do is avoid the foods that the body has built antibodies against
Not enough is known about this condition medically
This condition has been getting a lot of attention recently for numerous reasons some of which include, research from different scientific studies have associated leaky gut to a number of “apparently unrelated” chronic diseases and health concerns.
As a lot of Americans are affected by unhealthy diet choices, toxic overload, chronic stress, and bacterial imbalance, it seems that the commonness of leaky gut has begun to reach epidemic proportions.
Leaky Gut Syndrome symptoms
Just a few of the symptoms a leaky gut can cause are diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, abdominal pains and cramps, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches and pains, stiff joints, acne, rashes, etc. One of the most dangerous things it can cause is a leak in the blood/brain barrier, allowing the brain to be affected. Leaky gut diet symptoms are numerous, but for the sake of this article, only eleven will be highlighted.
- Food Sensitivities
– individuals affected by food sensitivities most times find that the leaky gut is the culprit, due to the attack of toxins which enter the bloodstream. It is also caused when the immune system of individuals with intestinal hyperpermeability begin to run on overdrive when mass-producing different antibodies. This then makes their bodies to be more susceptible to the antigens in some foods especially dairy and gluten.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
– scientists from Hungary have lately uncovered that raised gut permeability is most times localized to the colon as seen in people suffering from ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Another scientific study proposes that, for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, leaky gut is common in a majority of cases and even up to about 10% – 20% of their “clinically healthy relatives,” and this suggests a possible genetic constituent. Zinc supplementation has also been found to be relatively effective in tightening up the intestinal junctions in most of these cases.
- Autoimmune Disease –
The path to understanding how a leaky gut can result in an autoimmune disease is by the research done on a particular protein which is known as “zonulin.” According to an article which had been published in 2011 article in the journal Physiologic Reviews,
Zonulin is a single physiological modulator of the intercellular tight junctions. It is involved in the trafficking of macromolecules and, the intolerance or immune response balance. Where the finely tuned zonulin trail is deregulated in individuals who are genetically susceptible, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, the neoplastic disorder, and inflammatory, disorders can occur.
Consuming gluten can most times trigger a similar dangerous cascade. The school of medicine researchers of the University of Maryland has revealed that gluten activates zonulin signaling regardless of the genetic manifestation of autoimmunity, which leads to an enlarged intestinal permeability to macromolecules.
- Thyroid issues –
One of the autoimmune illnesses which leaky gut syndrome might directly affect is Hashimoto’s disease. This disease is also known as “chronic thyroiditis,” and this disorder may lead to impaired metabolism, hypothyroidism, depression, fatigue, weight gain, and a swarm of other worries.
- Malabsorption –
so many nutritional deficiencies are by leaky gut, and some include magnesium, vitamin B12, and other key enzymes which help digest food. It is suggested that individuals with leaky gut complement the body with a whole foods multi-vitamin and also live probiotic which will not only assist in digesting the food that they eat but make sure that they have the vital nutrition which they require.
- Inflammatory Skin Conditions –
this condition was first described nearly a century ago, the gut-skin link theory has defined how intestinal hyperpermeability may cause a slew of skin disorders; particularly psoriasis and acne. Generally, hazardous creams and drugs may be prescribed for these skin ailments, yet they can most times be fixed by simply healing the gut.
- Mood Issues–
reports from a study which was published in the Neuro Endocrinology Letters journal state that leaky gut has been revealed to cause different neurocognitive disorders. For instance, the inflammatory reaction characteristic of the intestinal hyperpermeability activates the discharge of pro-inflammatory cytokines and several other chemicals which induce depression.
Concerning autism, research which was published the past in the Journal of Nutritional Neuroscience describes the brutal circle between increasing dysbiosis and immune system impairment which leads to neurochemical compounds, leaky and neurotoxic xenobiotics absorption and production. The impression is that the metabolic paths impaired in autistic kids may be affected by some genetic alterations or simply by environment-xenobiotics interference.
- Seasonal allergies or asthma-
Both the digestive tract and the respiratory tract are immune barriers, implying it is their jobs to protect the body from incoming invaders. The gut specifically, profoundly affects the entire immune system and when the gut health suffers so does the entire body, and this may result for many people as allergy symptoms which flare up each spring.
- Hormonal imbalances such as PMS-
Leaky gut also affects the adrenal glands, and make the adrenal burn out even faster. It disrupts some other hormones in the body as well. When these hormones cannot function properly, it leads to PMS, breast and uterine problems, and menstrual irregularities.
- Candida overgrowth-
Candida is a fungus which lives in the mouth and intestines, in a very small quantity and its role is helping out with nutrient absorption and digestion. However, when it is overproduced, candida may break down the intestinal wall of the body and move into the bloodstream. While doing so, it releases toxic by-products into the body and may cause leaky gut. This can invariably lead to many various health issues, from digestive issues to depression.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Diet Plan
To effectively manage leaky gut, avoid foods which will most likely perpetuate leaky gut, in particular, gluten. Also, decrease your exposure to certain toxins, as well as to caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. Instead, you should pick foods which help the body heal and maybe add supplements as these have been shown to treat leaky gut.
How to Heal Leaky Gut: 4 Step Treatment
There are ways of helping to heal the intestinal damage caused in your gut, as follows.
Leaky Gut Treatment Plan
eliminate any and all foods suspected or diagnosed as causing an immune response. Foods such as gluten (wheat, rye and barley), other grains such as corn, rice, and oats, eggs, dairy, soy, etc. can all become problematic with leaky gut present. It’s best to eliminate all of the allergenic foods from your diet and allow your body time to heal before attempting to reintroduce any of them.
One thing to take into consideration with gluten is the fact that there is more involved than just removing the gluten from your diet. Gluten hides in cracks and crevices in your plastic bowls, plates, utensils, cutting boards, scratched non-stick cookware, etc. Anything with a porous surface that is scratched or cracked needs to be replaced and the entire kitchen needs to be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate all or as much gluten contamination as possible.
okay, so you’ve eliminated everything from your diet that could possibly be causing an immune reaction, so what’s next? Healing the damage done so you can stop the immune response with things like bone broth that are very healing. Homemade bone broth can be made fairly easily with some chicken (bone in leg quarters work well, preferably organic, free range), water, a tablespoon of vinegar (helps to extract the collagen), 1 small onion (chopped), a couple carrots (chopped), a couple cloves of garlic (chopped), and a couple tablespoons of fresh parsley (chopped).
Place 3 – 4 lbs of whole chicken leg quarters in a crock pot or dutch oven on low and let cook for 8 – 24 hours. The longer it simmers the more collagen will be extracted from the bones and connective tissues, which happens to be the most healing part of the broth. If you want to use the meat you’ll want to remove it by the end of the first 8 hours so it does not become to dry and tough to chew.
If you choose to do this simply pull the legs out, remove the meat, then put the parts you don’t want to use back in to continue simmering. At this time if you prefer a smoother more chicken flavored broth you’ll probably want to strain the broth before you put the chicken bones back in. Once the broth is done simmering simply strain into mason jars, salt to taste and enjoy the healing powers of bone broth. The collagen in the broth is known to help heal and close the holes created by leaky gut.
Step 3 Diet supplements:
probiotics are probably one of the most important supplements to take with leaky gut to balance and replenish good gut bacteria. This is especially important because the good bacteria keeps the bad bacteria from overrunning your intestines, which will only make matters worse.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is very prevalent in the human body. It supports things such as healthy muscles, tissue, immune function, and also happens to help heal leaky gut. Digestive enzymes are another good supplement to take to help break down the food you eat to make it more easily digestible.
all healed up, now what? Once you have managed to heal your intestines (after probably at least a month or two of healing) now you can start introducing some of the things you have given up. You want to do this slowly, one at a time for 1 – 2 week intervals to give yourself time to see if you’re going to react to it.
Some things you will probably be able to eat again once you’ve healed the leaky gut, especially if you weren’t actually allergic to it. Others like gluten you may find you will never be able to eat again, but luckily there are many gluten free alternatives out there to choose from to replace some of the gluten containing items you’re used to. Now that you have managed to heal your leaky gut and establish a healthy diet that works for you enjoy your new found, much improved health.
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