What Is Leaky Gut?
The term “leaky gut” has been attracting a lot of hype in recent years. It has been associated with many various diseases and not only with those related to the gastrointestinal tract. But what actually is “leaky gut”?
Leaky gut, technically known as intestinal hyperpermeability, is essentially where your intestinal lining is porous. This intestinal lining is extensive, covering more than 4,000 square feet of surface area.1 Along this intestinal tract, we have many microvilli, which are finger-like hairs that increase the area of absorption in our gut and help to absorb our nutrients and eliminate waste. If they get damaged, it can lead to the intestinal barrier becoming “leaky” and our intestinal lining becoming porous.
It’s like a sieve which you use in cooking to separate the liquid and smaller particles from the larger ones. Your intestines have small “pores” likes that, allowing only liquid or very small molecules to go through. If the intestinal wall is damaged and “hyperpermeable,” this allows things like waste products and toxins, food proteins, bacteria and other compounds to seep through the membranes and enter the blood stream.
The immune system then mounts a response to what they see as foreign bodies in the bloodstream leading to inflammation, immune dysregulation and subsequent diseases.
Leaky Gut and Disease
The reason leaky gut is such a huge issue is that the bacteria, toxins, food proteins and other larger molecules, once they’ve passed through the damaged wall, are recognised as foreign bodies in the blood stream. This makes the immune system go haywire, causing inflammation and immune dysregulation.
Leaky gut plays a significant role in not only gastrointestinal conditions such as coeliac disease, Crohn’s and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but recent studies have shown that it is associated with a range of other conditions such as arthritis, allergies, asthma, autism, liver disease, obesity, mental illness and a host of autoimmune diseases including lupus, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Rheumatoid arthritis.5
How Can You Tell If You Have Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut can present itself in various ways but common symptoms include:
Natural Solutions to Fixing a Leaky Gut:
Fortunately, there are ways to healing a leaky gut and decrease your risk of many chronic diseases. It is vital to both treat the cause and heal the existing damage through diet and supplements. Healing a leaky gut can be done in four simple steps:
1. Remove the drivers that are damaging the gut
Now everyone is different and determining what foods are triggering you is important, however, the common food sensitivities include gluten, wheat, dairy and eggs. It may be helpful for you to eliminate these triggering foods for a few months to give your gut a chance to heal. It’s also important to avoid sugar, caffeine, GMO foods and unsprouted grains as much as possible.
Try to reduce your toxin exposure as well. The worst offenders are chronic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory use, regular antibiotic use, pesticides, food additives and tap water.
2. Mitigate stress with some key stress management strategies
Making sure you get enough sleep, exercising, getting out in nature and practicing gratitude are some great ways to alleviate stress. Supplements can also help to balance your adrenal glands, the ones responsible for producing your stress hormones.
3. Balance your gut microbiome
After figuring out and removing the drivers, add some gut-healing foods such as green smoothies, prebiotics and probiotic foods. Probiotics are various forms of good bacteria which are necessary to rebalance the gut ecosystem by overpowering the bad guys by increasing the good guys. Some food sources include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and coconut yogurt with live bacteria.
It’s also ideal to obtain probiotics from a mix of food and supplement forms. Make sure you buy high strength and high quality probiotics with a variety of different strains.
4. Supplement with nutrients to restore healthy gut function
Getting in there with some gut-healing supplements is vital.
Nutrients such as zinc and magnesium are essential for the production of stomach acid to be able to break down your food properly as well as for the immune system, detoxification and stress management.
Digestive bitters or enzymes helps to ensure your food is fully digested as poorly digested food particles and proteins damage the intestinal wall. Supplementation helps to minimise large, indigested particles of food escaping into the blood stream.
L-Glutamine is another great nutrient. Glutamine is an essential anti-inflammatory amino acid necessary for that repair and maintenance of your gut lining. It also supports immunity during stress.
Vitamin A maintains mucous membranes and healthy immune function.
Vitamin D is vital to protecting the lining of your gut and managing dysbiosis.
Turmeric (curcumin) is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent to help normalise gut health and function.
Quercetin, a plant flavonoid, improves gut barrier integrity as well as reduces the release of histamine present in allergic reactions.
The most important nutrient for gut repair, L-glutamine can relieve gas, bloating, and pain caused by leaky gut.
Glutamine is an essential anti-inflammatory amino acid necessary for that repair and maintenance of your gut lining. At times of stress, injury and illness, the body cannot produce enough L-glutamine to meet its demands. Supplemental L-glutamine supports the repair of leaky gut and enhances immune function.
The Leaky Gut Kit includes 1 bottle of L-Glutamine.
Fulvic minerals enhance nutrient absorption and are an important source of trace minerals. Studies have also shown that fulvic minerals can bind to inflammatory toxins that contribute to leaky gut. These ancient minerals contain probiotic cultures and prebiotic fibers for a robust and diverse microbiome. This is absolutely crucial to keeping us strong enough to fight diseases. Premium Fulvic Minerals also reduce stress, relieve fatigue, and enhance energy levels.
The Leaky Gut Kit includes 1 bottle of Premium Fulvic Minerals.
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory. Gut problems fuel bodywide inflammation that manifests as chronic pain, fatigue, depression, food sensitivities, constipation, diarrhea and reflux. Turmeric soothes inflammation, supports the gut and relieves the symptoms of IBS. Supercharged Turmeric features 95% curcumin along with black pepper for maximum absorption and effectiveness.
The Leaky Gut Kit includes 1 bottle of Supercharged Turmeric.
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