The gut is the hub of your bodily health and you would be surprised at just how many illnesses are a result of leaky gut. Proper break down and assimilation of nutrients from your food is required in order for your body to distribute nutrients to allow each bodily system to thrive, but it needs to start with proper digestion of these nutrients in the first place. Leaky gut can lead to a whole host of issues preventing your body from thriving leaving you depleted, fatigued, inflamed and more.
What is Leaky Gut?
The lining of our gut is much like a mosquito mask. Permeable, to allow oxygen through, but prevents skitters from getting through causing irritation and inflammation. Your gut functions the same way and is naturally permeable to allow vital nutrients to be absorbed. In cases of digestive issues, leaky gut is caused when the tight junctions, the gateway between the intestines and what is allowed to pass into the blood stream, begin to break apart. This can be caused from stress, poor diet, toxins, dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut) and in cases of sensitivity, gluten.
Leaky gut is when the tight junctions have broken away causing undigested food particles, toxins, microbes and more to eventually reaching the blood stream. The foreign objects are then marked by your immune system as invaders, starting a war and begins to attack them. Your immune response can lead to any one of the following symptoms indicating the presence of leaky gut.
8 Signs You Have Leaky Gut
1. Digestive issues such as gas and bloating, diarrhea or even constipation.
2. Mood and mind issues such as anxiety, depression, ADD or ADHD.
3. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
4. Food sensitivities.
5. Irritable Bowel Disease such as Crohn's or Colitis.
6. Malabsorption/ Nutritional Deficiencies.
7. Skin Conditions such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
8. Hormonal Imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
The 4 Step Approach To Healing Leaky Gut
You must be wondering by now, what can I do to heal my leaky gut? The good news is that it is manageable in just 4 steps. I have used this system time and time again with my clients seeing great results.
1. REMOVE the bad stuff. Inflammatory foods (gluten and dairy), highly processed, toxic foods (soda, deep fried foods or any other boxed or processed food like substance) and high amounts of processed sugars (milk chocolate, candy, soda, etc.).
2. REPLACE with the good stuff. Add back in whole living foods including your vegetables (especially dark leafy greens), fruits (in moderation), nuts, seeds and legumes. Adding in a digestive enzyme such as hydrochloric acid will also be an essential ingredient for proper digestion and absorption.
3. REPAIR the gut lining. There are many supplements that can assist you in healing your leaky gut. In my experience L-glutamine is my favourite for getting the job done, in conjunction with my other recommendations. L-glutamine is an amino acid supplement that is anti-inflammatory and essential for the repair and growth of your intestinal lining.
4. REPOPULATE the good bacteria. Foods such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and kefir are all excellent ways to add in food sources of probiotic. Incorporating a good quality probiotic supplement, at least 50 BILLION active cultures is critical to assist in your gut healing protocol.