Problems in the gut not only affect digestion and absorption of nutrients, they can cause issues like irritable bowel syndrome, Celiac disease or reflux. Even more so we now know that gut has an effect practically on every part of your body. Imbalances in the gut can play a role in the development of rashes, exacerbate joint pain and even cause depression.
One of the concerns regarding gut health and it’s effects on the whole body is something called intestinal permeability, often referred to as “leaky gut”.
What? My gut is leaking?
If you or your loved ones are struggling with chronic illness, it might be due to “leaky gut”.
One of the keys to good gut health is your small intestine because that’s where most of your digestion takes place.
Why would my gut leak?
Our intestinal barrier plays an important role in maintaining our health by protecting us from the many things we’re exposed to from the outside world. In a healthy individuals the intestinal lining is healthy and tight and does not allow toxic material such as undigested food particles, bacterial waste or environmental chemicals through your digestive tract and into your body. If the intestinal barrier is not working as it should, if it’s “leaking”, these foreign particles enter your body, travel to different areas of your body, trigger an immune response, promoting inflammation and the development of chronic disease. This is what we call an increased permeability, often referred to as “leaky gut”.
Leaky gut is a very common and tricky condition and can show in every person in a different way.
Leaky gut has been associated with conditions including:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Heart failure
What causes my gut to leak?
- undigested or partially digested food particles including gluten or dairy, GMO’s (genetically modified foods)
- bacterial infection, yeast or bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), parasites
- medication including NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen), acid-blockers, birth-control pills
- chronic stress
So what can I do to reduce the permeability?
- Assure you have enough stomach acid. Stomach acid is necessary to break down proteins, protects you agains pathogenic bacteria, yeast and parasites.
- Avoid any necessary medications including NSAIDS, birth control pills and antacids, these are known to damage the gut lining.
- Choose anti-inflammatory diet high in oily fish, green leafy vegetables and good quality protein, also use herbs and spices in your cooking such as turmeric or ginger.
- Avoid gluten, dairy, eggs and night shade vegetables (aubergines, bell peppers, tomatoes) where possible, these are highly inflammatory.
- Indulge on quercetin-rich foods such as apples or red onions – quercetin is known to reduce the release of histamine, a chemical known to cause inflammatory response within the body, quercetin has also been shown to have a “sealing’” effect on intestinal cells.
- Manage stress.
- Add friendly bacteria to your diet, this includes sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir or good quality supplementation.
Unfortunately your gut isn’t going to heal in a day. More than just healthy diet is needed to keep your gut healthy, my tips above are a good starting point.
If you think you may have a leaky gut, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss how to support your gut to heal.Tags: dairy-free, friendly bacteria, gluten, intestinal permeabilitiy, leaky gut