Leaky gut or leaky gut syndrome is defined as leakage of molecules from the intestine into the intestinal walls and then possibly into the bloodstream. The intestinal wall has tight junctures that do not allow for anything to pass through other than nutrients and other molecules. When these tight junctures become loose, they allow other particles to flow through. This is called ‘increased intestinal permeability’ by medical professionals. In the alternative medicine field, it is called ‘leaky gut syndrome.’ There is no diagnostic test for leaky gut syndrome and some doctors do not buy into the syndrome. If stomach issues have cropped up in your life, it’s up to you to know the leaky gut symptoms so you can help heal your condition.
Common Causes Of Leaky Gut
1) The openings of our intestinal walls (think of them as pores) become irritated through inflammation and as a result they widen, allowing particles of food and other substances to flow through that are not supposed to. One reason for the inflammation is chronic constipation. Over time toxins from chronic constipation irritate the lining of the intestines.
2) Another factor is an imbalance of gut bacteria. Ideally, there should be a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria or gut flora. When there is an imbalance of gut flora this causes irritation to the lining which allows the pores to widen.
3) Another factor is the very common use of antibiotics and OTC NSAID drugs like Motrin, Advil, and Aleve. These NSAIDS and antibiotic use contribute to the imbalance of bacteria that causes irritation to the walls of the intestine.
4) Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory ‘vitamin’. A vitamin D deficiency is associated with heart disease, cancer, inflammation and leaky gut. Vitamin D is also the gate keeper to the tight junctures in the stomach lining. Being deficient raises the risk for leaky gut. Get tested for Vitamin D deficiency and then take at least 2000 – 5000 IU’s of vitamin D with K every day.
5) Excessive sugar consumption. Eating too much sugar feeds bad bacteria resulting in an imbalance of the gut flora. Since an imbalance irritates the intestinal wall, leaky gut can be the result.
6) Excessive stress. Stress causes excess cortisol to be released on a consistent basis throughout the day which courses through the body contributing to inflammation and the risk of leaky gut.
So, You Have Some Of The Causes…What Are The Symptoms?
- Food allergies. If you suffer with food allergies for a long time, leaky gut may be to blame. When food molecules pass through the inflamed barrier, reactions occur.
- Candida. Candida overgrowth invades the intestinal wall causing inflammation and permeability in the gut leading to leaky gut. If you have candida and are also experiencing food allergies or other gut problems, you probably have leaky gut.
- Bloating and gas, especially after meals.
- Autoimmune disorders
- Chronic constipation
- Anxiety and other mood disorders
- Chronic joint pain and muscle pain.
- frequent headaches
When you have several of these symptoms together or there is no other reason for these symptoms, leaky gut should be suspected.
The first thing you need to do is get your diet under control. Food allergies must be addressed. The constant inflammation of the gut lining will will keep the junctures open causing a cycle of inflammation and food allergies. A healing diet needs to be in place to reduce inflammation to the gut. This means avoiding grains, dairy, sugar and processed foods. Diet is the hardest thing for people to comply with. If you need help, a health coach can get you and keep you on track.
Candida, parasites and bacteria overgrowth need to be resolved. Yeast and fungus are stubborn and it’s hard to eliminate them, so being consistent with your diet is very important. You will need to supplement with healing herbs and keeping your body at a consistent PH level.
Stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes are important to replenish. Hydrochloric acid helps with regulating stomach acid and enzymes are needed to help with digesting food well.
Watch this free webinar starting February 8th to get more information.
When Can You Expect Healing?
The goal is to rehabilitate the lining of the stomach and tighten up the juncture openings. Recovery can take anywhere from a couple of months to several months depending on the severity of your symptoms. If candida is one of your symptoms, it will most likely take the latter amount of time to recover. The good thing is that you can heal. Joining a leaky gut program can help you get results faster. I recommend a program because doing it on your own is tricky and working with a health professional can guide you through tough parts or if you have questions.
In conclusion, Leaky Gut Syndrome is an emerging illness that doctors are starting to recognize. Leaky gut occurs mostly from inflammation which opens up the tight junctures allowing molecules past the gut lining possibly into the bloodstream causing a ripple effect of chronic illnesses ranging from digestive problems to autoimmune disease. Having certain symptoms over a period of time is a good indicator that you may be suffering from leaky gut. Working with a professional to help heal your leaky gut is recommended.
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