Following on from our importance of digestion article, leaky gut was one of the things we mentioned in regards to how efficient your digestion is (or is not).
The father of modern medicine Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut”. He was right!
Leaky gut – I think most of us have heard something about this odd sounding description of our digestive system. It’s a rapidly growing condition that many don’t realise they have. It is as it sounds, a gut lining that has become ‘leaky’, and is a condition whereby the symptoms are not confined to just digestive. There are many health issues that could stem from it.
Leaky gut or intestinal impermeability is a condition that happens when the tight junctions of your intestines malfunction and become loose allowing undigested proteins to enter the blood stream. This triggers a cascade of immune reactions and subsequent inflammation causing a list of possible health hazards.
What does it look like?
If you imagine your gut lining to be a bit like a net or a cheese cloth with very tiny holes to allow for particles of a specific size to go through. When someone has leaky gut it means the holes are bigger enabling particles that are not supposed to be in the bloodstream to be there, and this is what can cause damage to your system.
Symptoms vary from person to person and can be disorders such as eczema, headaches, moodiness and irritability, sinus, asthma, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems and other auto immune issues as well as food intolerances.
How does it happen?
Causes of leaky gut can be toxins, microbes, infection, heavy metals, food allergies, dysbiosis (an imbalance of gut bacteria), candida, poor diet, alcohol, antibiotics & other medications and even stress.
How do I fix it?
Remove irritants – let us help you identify these – contact us here.
- Dietary – there are a few obvious and common ones – gluten, dairy, sugar and soy. Unfortunately though even healthy foods can be a problem for some and eggs might be another one to try eliminating.
- Infection such as candida overgrowth or parasites.
- Toxins such as heavy metals.
These things can really weaken the gut lining.
Repair the damage –
- Glutamine – is an essential amino acid. It helps to repair the gut lining and is anti-inflammatory. It protects your gut wall by coating it and it can also deter irritants.
- Zinc – also helps repair the gut wall. Necessary because this is one of the minerals that can be low due to malabsorption of nutrients. It’s also needed to make HCL in our stomach which breaks down proteins
- HCL – as we age our HCL levels decrease and if we do not have sufficient HCL in our stomach, our food is not broken down properly. It’s important to keep our ‘digestive fire’ going strong.
- Digestive enzymes – help to break our food down. If our digestive tracts are damaged or there is infection, dysbiosis or toxins our enzymes cant do their job and inflammation escalates even further
- Probiotics, fermented foods – not only feed the good bacteria but also help repair the gut lining
- Herbal medicines – licorice, gotu kola, calendula
Replace – with nourishing foods, bone broths for the non-vegetarians, eliminate processed foods and add good forms of fiber
Rebalance – with probiotics
If you’d like a personalised taylored assessment to look at food irritants along with treating them and checking your digestion to get the right supplements for you, contact us here