The gut has often been said to be the gateway to your body and to having good or bad health. Without even realizing it, many today are dealing with a condition known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. This condition starts in the gut but can affect just about every function in the body. If ignored or not treated properly, it can send your overall health spiraling out of control. If you want to improve your quality of life and take care of this problem, you may need to follow a specific leaky gut diet along with implementing some other tips that will help you get your health back on track.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome can also be thought of as intestinal permeability; which it is now recognized by many healthcare professionals as a very real condition caused by each one’s diet and environment. If this happens, the intestinal tract becomes damaged and more porous than it should be. This then, allows toxins and waste to leak through the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream causing your body to develop an autoimmune and inflammatory response which can lead to many major medical issues.
What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Before you can begin healing, you have to understand what causes this problem to develop. Some of the main factors include:
- Poor food choices including processed and genetically modified (GMO) foods and grains, low fat dairy, conventional meats, excessive alcohol and too much sugar.
- Stress overload
- Infections and intestinal parasites
- Medicines such as antibiotics, birth control, NSAIDS (Motrin, Advil), acid reducing drugs
- Environmental toxins and pesticides from water, food and air
Many times, it is a combination of these factors that can contribute to the development of this syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome?
- Food intolerances or sensitivities
- Digestive issues like chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating
- Irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s Disease
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mood and Mind issues
- Skin issues and rashes
- Joint inflammation and pain
- Candida overgrowth symptoms and diagnosis
- Seasonal allergies
If you show any of these signs and you suspect that you may have this condition, please see a functional doctor or a natural physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Luckily, this condition can be reversed over time if you make some dietary and lifestyle changes that you will be outlined below. In addition to that, you may be able to use the tips below to get started on a leaky gut diet plan right away.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Diet
Fortunately, there are several at home remedies that you can begin implementing and being healing your leaky gut naturally.
1) ELIMINATE the foods and factors that inflame and damage the gut including processed foods, gluten, grains, conventional meats and dairy, soy, alcohol and all forms of sugar. You will also need to work with your doctor or go through a process of elimination diet to determine which foods that you are individually sensitive to and remove those as well. A really great diet plan for eliminating all of these inflammatory foods is called the ‘21 Day Sugar Detox’ by nutritionist, Diane Sanfillipo. The program has three levels and you can gradually ease into a whole-foods based diet at your own pace.
2) REPLACE those with gut healing foods and a lifestyle that contributes to repairing your body. Some of these foods include: Grass-fed and local farm pastured meats, organ meats, bone broth, vegetables, low glycemic fruits, coconut oil, fermented foods and healthy fats.
3) BALANCE your gut flora with probiotics that are specifically designed to support this condition. There will be more on this below.
4) SUPPLEMENT your healing process with high-quality products. Below are some supplements that I have personally used to help restore my digestive health.
Supplements to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome
Probiotics – A high quality probiotic containing 100 billion units is needed to replace the bad bacteria in your stomach with the good and rebalance your gut flora. I have used many different brands but I always come back to my favorite which are called the Garden of Life Raw Probiotics with 100 billion units. Garden of Life is one of very few companies out there that use raw ingredients in their products. All of their supplements contain real fermented foods that are uncooked, untreated and use no fillers. The Ultimate Care probiotics contain 34 RAW probiotic strains and are vegan, soy free, gluten free and very easy to swallow. You will only need to take one per day and you will need to store these in your refrigerator for best potency.
L-Glutamine is an essential supplement for anyone who wants to heal their gut. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally found in the body and essential to repair your damaged intestinal walls and build up your immune system. Non-sythetic Glutamine comes from a natural vegetable fermentation process. The synthetics of course are cheaper but they since we want to heal naturally, those are not recommended. L-Glutamine comes in powder form and can be added to a drink or taken in capsule form. I prefer the capsules myself but to each, his own. My doctor recommends at least 4,000mg per day so I take two 1,000mg caps in the morning and two at night. My preferred brand is Optimum Nutrition’s Glutamine 1000 caps, pictured to the right. I’ve also provided a link to another brand Jarrow Formula L-Glutamine powder that is naturally derived.
Digestive Enzymes are needed for those with Leaky Gut. These enzymes will help to make sure that the nutritious foods you will be eating are properly digested. Take one or two before each meal to assist in the digestion and break down of proteins, fats, sugars, fiber and carbs. Taking these will also help to lower the chance of your partially digested foods leaking past the intestinal walls. Again, I really like the brand Garden of Life’s Ω-Zyme Ultra Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Blend.
These are just a few of the supplements that will help you start the leaky gut healing process and help you on the road to feeling like a newer and healthier you. You may also want to consult your doctor to see if they recommend any additional supplements for your individual health issues.
What Other Diseases can Leaky Gut Cause?
If left unchecked for an extended period of time, leaky gut can cause chronic autoimmune conditions and lead to a plethora of other diseases. Some of these include:
- Celiac Disease
- Thyroid Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory joint disorders
- Food intolerances or allergies
- Eczema or other skin problems
- Irritable bowel
- Fungal disorders
Leaky gut syndrome affects more and more people in today’s modern age of processed foods and fast-paced lifestyles. If you suspect that you have developed this syndrome, make an appointment with your doctor right away for treatment.