Lately I’ve been hearing more and more about intestinal permeability or leaky gut so I thought it would be the perfect time to share some symptoms and facts about leaky gut with you. Leaky gut is a condition that is often not recognized by conventional physicians, but is a very real condition that primarily affects your digestive system as well as many other areas in your body. Basically, the intestinal lining is damaged so it is less able to protect and filter itself thus resulting in bacteria, protein, fats and waste being leaked out into your bloodstream. Keep reading to find out more symptoms and facts about leaky gut below.
1. Varied Symptoms
Let’s start off with one of the more uncommon facts about leaky gut, the symptoms aren’t unique. According to WedMD, the symptoms of leaky gut are often shared by other seemingly unconnected problems which makes it harder for doctors to get to the bottom of and it can often go undiagnosed. This leads people to seek alternative medicine practitioners as they often can’t find relief. This means you might have a leaky gut, but the symptoms won’t be cut and dry and people experience different symptoms.
2. Your Diet Matters
What you eat really impacts your health! If you eat a diet high in refined sugar, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine, your body might start to view them as toxins. If these toxins build up in your body, it can cause inflammation. If you have a leaky gut, even healthy foods like an apple can slip through your porous intestines and into your bloodstream which your body will identify and attack as foreign matter.
3. Digestive Issues
As you might expect, having leaky gut syndrome often results in digestive issues. Many people experience bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramps or nausea. Many individuals who have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are often found to have a leaky gut. If you have a lot of food allergies or sensitivities, that can be another strong indicator of leaky gut syndrome.
4. Mood Issues
You might not expect there to be a connection between your gut and your brain, but there is and it’s huge. Many people who experience digestive issues often experience anxiety, panic attacks and depression concurrently and many even say that they never had any mood issues until their gut started acting up. The gut is often called the “second brain” because of how it can influence your mood and well-being.
5. Autoimmune Disorders
Individuals who have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder often find that they have leaky gut syndrome as well. Hashimito’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease diagnoses are often associated with leaky gut syndrome. According to Dr. Alessio Fasano of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment in Boston, he found that every autoimmune disease is made up of three elements: a genetic predisposition, an environmental trigger and a leaky gut.
6. Stress and Drugs
Taking NSAIDS, steroids, chemotherapeutic agents, antacids and antibiotics over a long period of time have also been known to contribute to a leaky gut. If you have chronic, uncontrolled stress, it can reduce blood flow to the gut which can increase free radicals and affect proper digestion. We don’t often choose to take the aforementioned drugs and we all experience stress, but it’s good to cut back on those drugs if possible and try to find ways to control stress.
7. You Can Heal Your Gut
Despite all the negative news, you can heal your gut! Depending on how damaged your intestinal lining is, it can take some time, but there are many things you can do. First off, changing your diet is imperative as you don’t want to continue consuming foods that can further aggravate your condition. Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods and avoid excess alcohol, sugar and processed foods and consider introducing probiotics and digestive enzymes into your diet.
Aside from cutting back on alcohol, sugar and processed foods, many people find relief after trying an elimination diet. The most common irritants are gluten and dairy. Try eliminating all dairy from your diet for a month and see how you feel. Once the month is over, try eliminating gluten and see if symptoms improve. Gluten is in a lot of everyday products from medicine to sauces so be sure read labels!
9. More Info
Leaky gut syndrome can be a complicated issue so it’s essential to seek help from your family doctor or an expert in alternative medicine. Leaky gut can wreak havoc with your health and while it might seem like an uphill battle, there are many resources out there that can help relieve symptoms and help make the condition easier to understand. Check out some of these websites for more detailed information: mindbodygreen.com, mindbodygreen.com, doctoroz.com
Having leaky gut syndrome can be a life altering condition, but there are a lot of resources and help available and if you have it, you are most definitely not alone! If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, don’t hesitate to seek medical help, there are ways to feel better!
Sources: health.usnews.com, therootofhealth.com, articles.mercola.com, womentowomen.com, doctoroz.com, drweil.com, stopleakygut.com, webmd.com, scdlifestyle.com, mindbodygreen.com, mindbodygreen.com, scientificamerican.com, experiencelife.com