HEALING LEAKY GUT NATURALLY

HEALING LEAKY GUT NATURALLY

“All disease begins in the gut”

The above is a quote attributed to Hippocrates, about 2500 years ago.

Now, modern scientists have finally caught up to Hippocrates’ ancient word of warning: the latest research affirms that at least 90% of all modern health problems and diseases begin in the gut. 

Chronic diseases such as autoimmunity,  arthritis, diabetes, obesity, depression,  eczema, constipation and even an unhealthy thyroid can be traced back to an unhealthy gut.

Toxins from the environment, processed foods, pathogens, overuse of antibiotics, excessive alcohol, use of acid blockers as well as not eating enough healthy high fiber probiotic rich  foods can make our guts imbalanced and inflamed.

One such imbalance  is “leaky gut” or “intestinal permeability”—have you heard of it?

What exactly is “leaky gut?” What is the best leaky gut syndrome diet, leaky gut vitamins  and leaky gut test?  

In this article, I will discuss leaky gut syndrome,  its symptoms, causes, and provide tips on  how to heal leaky gut naturally.

What is “leaky gut?”

image showing normal gut vs leaky gut

Leaky Gut, also known as intestinal permeability, is just what it sounds like.

 It is a condition in which the bonds that keep the intestinal cells tightly linked together (called “tight junctions”) become irritated and weak allowing holes to appear. 

 The lining then loses its integrity and becomes an entry point for things that normally would stay out of the bloodstream.  Things like food particles, waste products, and bacteria.

 

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

Click here for full infographic

list of symptoms of leaky gut

 

 

 

 

Since the symptoms of leaky gut are similar to those of other digestive conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Celiac Disease, and Crohn’s Disease it may be best to do a gut health test or microbiome test.

Leaky Gut Test vs. Gut Microbiome Test.

One great test to determine if you have leaky gut is called wheat zoomer; it  is available through vibrant-wellness.com. It is one of the most accurate tests to help determine if you have leaky gut. It tests for for gluten sensitivity and a protein called zonulin. 

If zonulin is elevated it is associated with increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut). If there is a gluten sensitivity this can also contribute to leaky gut.

Another test called gut zoomer, is even more comprehensive and in my opinion one of the best gut tests on the market. 

Gut zoomer by vibrant-wellness.com detects over 300 markers  in the gut with superior accuracy.  It can provide information on risks for not only leaky gut, but for many other gut disorders including IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBD (irritable bowel disease), AND SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).

 Interested in these tests?  Fee free to contact me here.

What causes leaky gut

 Causes of Leaky gut syndrome remain a bit of a medical mystery, and medical professionals are still trying to determine exactly what causes it. That being said a number of lifestyle and diet factors can contribute.

 Underlying causes of Leaky Gut:

  • Poor diet (processed foods and those containing sugar, alcohol, and gluten seem to be the biggest culprits)

  • Stress

  • Poor sleep

  • Overuse of antibiotics, aspirin, and NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications)

  • Overgrowth of pathogens in the gut such as  yeast, bacteria or parasites

  • Decreased levels of beneficial bacteria.

 

The Healing Leaky Gut Naturally Diet Plan

Cleaning up your diet is the first step to healing leaky gut. Here are some general foods to eat and avoid. 

Foods to Eat

  • Proteins: wild caught fish, pasture raised eggs, pastured chicken and grass fed meat.

  • Vegetables: leafy greens, zucchini, carrots, salad, green beans, *broccoli, *cauliflower *( if tolerated)

  • Healthy fats: olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocado, nut butters

  • Fruits: berries, oranges, apples, melon, banana

  • Tubers: yams, cassava, potatoes

  • Gluten free grains: Brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, gluten free oats and cereals.

  • Fermented foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir

  • Bone Broth and Collagen.

Foods to Avoid

  • Gluten: One of the best ways to heal leaky gut is to avoid gluten foods, such as pizza, pasta, breads, crackers, cereal, spelt, rye, barley and oats, soy sauce.

  • Sugar: This feeds bad bacteria in the gut and increases inflammation, foods such as honey, maple syrup, ice cream, cookies, cakes, agave, ketchup, teriyaki sauce, bottled salad dressings.

  • Alcohol: Feeds bad bacteria and increases leaky gut

  • Processed foods: chips, pretzels, fried foods, cookies, cakes, french fries

  • Artificial sweeteners: splenda, aspartame, sucralose, sweet and low, these all decrease healthy bacteria in the gut and are toxins.

  • Bad oils: canola, corn, sunflower and safflower oil are inflammatory foods.

Below are links to several diets that have been shown to naturally help heal a leaky gut.

FODMAP DIET PLAN Decreases foods that irritate the gut such as dairy, gluten, beans, and certain fruits and vegetables.
CLEAN EATING PLAN A program that includes whole and fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fat. This diet limits sugar, alcohol, gluten and dairy and all processed foods.
PALEO PLAN Decreases processed foods, dairy, sugar, and carbs. Emphasizes a whole-foods, low-carb diet high in veggies, healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado, and healthy proteins.
INTERMITTENT FASTING Gluten free diet plan that is eaten within a specific window of time to allow the gut to rest to allow healing and decrease inflammation.

Leaky Gut Treatment Supplements

The list below are some leaky gut vitamins that can help contribute to more rapid improvement for digestive problems. You can click on the link to purchase these here.

  • Vitamin C
Supports collagen production to help with gut repair
  • Vitamin D3
Effects the immunity of the gut
  • Digestive Enzymes
Helps break down foods to give the digestive tract a rest to help it heal
  • Turmeric
Reduces inflammation in the gut
  • Prebiotics
Feeds the good bacteria in the gut
  • Probiotics
Good bacteria to restore a healthy gut lining and treat dysbiosis (a reduction in gut bacteria diversity)
  • Bone Broth
Supports the healing of the intestinal lining
  • Glutamine
An amino acid that helps repair the gut lining
  • Herbs: Slippery Elm, MarshMellow root, licorice
Reduces inflammation in the gut and helps to heal and seal the leaks

In addition to the supplements, sleep is very important as is stress reduction, and regular exercise.

Final Thoughts on The Leaky Gut Protocol

Leaky Gut is real.

It can be associated with gut and non-gut symptoms. It’s an inflammatory condition that has been linked to metabolic disorders, autoimmune conditions, and even mental health. 

If you have any of the symptoms discussed in this article you may want to do a test for intestinal permeability or a full gut zoomer test. In order to be able to order these tests you can contact me.

Also , if you have any of the symptoms listed above, you can move toward starting a gut health support program. Try cutting down on alcohol, processed foods, gluten and any that you may be allergic or sensitive to. Replace these foods and drinks with specific fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats.

And remember that regular exercise, stress management, and quality sleep are great lifestyle strategies for your gut and the rest of your body.

Do you think  leaky gut or other gut symptoms are bothering you?  If so book an appointment with me to see if my  services can help you. 

References 

Harvard Health. (2018). Putting a stop to leaky gut. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/putting-a-stop-to-leaky-gut-2018111815289

Harvard Health. (2018). Putting a stop to leaky gut: What can you do about this mysterious ailment? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/putting-a-stop-to-leaky-gut

Leech, B., Schloss, J. & Steel, J. (2019). Association between increased intestinal permeability and disease: A systematic review. Advances in Integrative Medicine. 6(1), 23-34 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2018.08.00https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221295881730160X

Mayo Clinic. (2016). Food sensitivities may affect gut barrier function. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases/news/food-sensitivities-may-affect-gut-barrier-function/mac-20429973

Medical News Today. (2019). What to know about leaky gut syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326117.php

Medical News Today. (2019). What is the best diet for leaky gut syndrome? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326102.php

Medscape. (2019). Is ‘Leaky Gut’ the Root of All Ills? Retrieved from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/913237

Mu, Q., Kirby, J., Reilly, C. M., & Luo, X. M. (2017). Leaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases. Frontiers in immunology, 8, 598. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.00598 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440529/ 

National Institutes of Health News in Health. (2017, May). Keeping Your Gut in Check. Retrieved from https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2017/05/keeping-your-gut-check

Obrenovich M. (2018). Leaky Gut, Leaky Brain? Microorganisms, 6(4), 107. doi:10.3390/microorganisms6040107 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6313445/

US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. (2015). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, eighth edition. Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations. Retrieved from https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

 

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