What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky Gut also known as “intestinal permeability” is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through your intestinal wall. This happens when the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged. When this happens- undigested food, toxins, and bacteria are able to pass through the intestine lining and enter the blood stream.
When this occurs your gut no longer completely digests food which prevents your body from absorbing all the nutrients. Eventually the lack of nutrients lead to hormonal imbalances and a weakened immune system.
A person with a leaky gut will experience symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating, nutritional deficiencies, a poor immune system, headaches, brain fog, acne, eczema, cravings for sugar or carbs, joint pain, depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, and auto immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease or Crohn’s.
What causes leaky gut?
The most common trigger for leaky gut is a poor diet. Other known causes include chronic stress, strenuous exercise, alcohol, a bacterial imbalance, infections, zinc deficiency, radiation, chemotherapy, aging and giving birth. Everyone has some level of permeability in their gut lining.
Leaky Gut and Disease
Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (commonly known as IBS) are related to an increased intestinal permeability. Crohn’s and celiac disease are autoimmune disease and while IBS is not, it is frequently overlapped with them. Studies have shown that leaky gut is associated with other auto immune diseases and other medical issues. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Fixing Your Gut
If you are experiencing symptoms of a leaky gut the first thing you need to do is change your diet. Eliminate foods that your body treats like a toxin, like sugar and foods that contain sugar. This also includes foods that turn into sugar while in your intestine like bread and pasta. After fixing your diet start implementing pre and probiotics. This will help to rebuild the gut lining and bring more balance to the gut flora.
Resources used in writing this article are listed below