Leaky Gut Syndrome. It’s a hot topic in the health community at the moment. It’s affecting people of all ages. More now than ever before.
I’ve been reading on Leaky Gut a ton because of the close connection it has to autoimmune diseases.
I am learning a lot about how problems in the digestive tract not only cause intestinal issues, but problems throughout the body. The brain, lungs, skin, etc. can all be negatively affected by what’s happening in your gut.
I wrote this post to share my understanding of Leaky Gut Syndrome, because it is a silent issue that could be causing a lot of unknowing people sickness. I hope this helps!
- Our intestinal wall is made up of epithelial cells (layers of cells lining the intestine wall) that fuse together to create tight junctions. This gives us a sealed intestinal barrier, which holds the very important job of selectively choosing what passes through our intestinal wall and what is rejected. Any foreign invaders are denied, and food, nutrients and water are accepted.
- For different reasons (and research shows there are many) the gut becomes more permeable and less selective with what is allowed inside.
- Foreign particles- that may include bacteria and undigested food, are now able to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. Because these particles should not have been allowed through, they are tagged as foreign invaders and the body attacks. With an autoimmune disease, the body continues this state of attack on itself, instead of returning to normal. This leads to chronic inflammation.
In his outline of Leaky Gut, Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple provides a couple of ways to confirm if you have Leaky Gut.
But… Did the leaky gut cause my autoimmune disease? Or did my autoimmune disease trigger leaky gut? Did anyone even figure out if it was the chicken or the egg?!
- Anything from stress, overused antibiotics and NSAIDS, alcohol, and some foods such as gluten are linked with contributing to Leaky Gut.
Some of you may be thinking that this is just another way for health-conscious people to shame gluten some more! But here’s the science behind it…
Gluten releases a protein called zonulin, which can wear down those tight junctions and loosen up the intestinal wall. And faster than you can say “bagel,” we’ve got a leaky gut on our hands. Undigested food, toxins, bacteria, etc. are all passing through with no problem, and the body (which is so confused during this chaotic mess) attacks it’s own organs.
How can we fix this problem?
This is basically what I’m always working towards- healing my gut.
- I eat a clean diet, free of the foods I know cause me inflammation. (If you need help getting started, join my free, 5 Day Diet Clean Up Challenge)
- I take some supplements including fish oil, probiotics, vitamin D, activated charcoal, and more.
- Rarely if ever take Advil or similar medications
- I drink bone broth as often as I can (haven’t done this in a while…but now I am inspired to write a post & recipe for it!)
- I don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
- Try to control stress by believing in the power of positivity and gratitude
Has anyone felt as though they could be experiencing leaky gut? Share your thoughts below, and feel free to include what you do to promote a healthy gut!