What is leaky gut syndrome?
One serious health issue that many people unknowingly suffer from is leaky gut syndrome. This occurs when the lining of the gut is chronically inflamed and nutrients are not being absorbed as they should. Additionally, small fissures open up in the membrane that lines your intestinal tract allowing bacteria, toxins, and partially digested food molecules to slip out into the bloodstream where they are considered foreign invaders by the immune system. Once this foreign matter is detected, white blood cells rush to surround the offending particles and systemic inflammation ensues.
Allergies can develop when the body produces antibodies to the undigested proteins that are derived from previously harmless foods. These antibodies can get into any tissue and trigger an inflammatory reaction the next time that food is eaten. According to holistic health practitioner Dr. Zoltan Rona, “If this inflammation occurs in a joint then autoimmune arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) develops. If it occurs in the brain then myalgic encephalomyelitis (i.e. chronic fatigue syndrome) may be the result. If it occurs in the blood vessels then vasculitis (or inflammation of the blood vessels) is the resulting autoimmune problem. If the antibodies end up attacking the lining of the gut itself, the result may be colitis or Crohn’s disease. If it occurs in the lungs, asthma is triggered on a delayed basis every time the individual consumes the food that had triggered the production of the antibodies in the first place.”
Symptoms and health problem associated with leaky gut include:
Early symptoms include the development of food allergies, eczema, psoriasis, hives, and acne, but the bacteria and the toxins that are released into the body through the intestines can lead to more serious issues such as inflammation, heart disease, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, autoimmune disorders, cancer, celiac disease, ADHD, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, autism, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
New research from Sweden has uncovered a connection between leaky gut and visceral fat, which is a type of body fat that surrounds the internal organs. The researchers found that women with higher test markers for leaky gut syndrome also had higher levels of visceral fat, as well as fatty livers, and also had a larger waist circumference, which in turn can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Because of the serious nature of the illness, leaky gut syndrome is viewed by many alternative health practitioners as the spark which can ignite a firestorm of inflammation, and this is a leading cause of many illnesses, including cancer. You can read more about that with this link.
How to heal a leaky gut.
- Eliminate common food allergens, these include wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, and soy. Try an elimination diet to see what your dietary triggers are.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of mostly plant-based foods that are eaten in their natural form.
- Eliminate sugar in all forms (except for natural sugars from fruits). Read an article about sugar and cancer
- Make homemade bone broths that nourish the body and are soothing to the gut lining.
- Aloe Vera Juice can be used to soothe and heal a damaged gut lining which can lead to systemic inflammation.
- Ginger root, freshly grated and added to your food, or taken as a supplement can help to soothe inflammation of the body as well as aid in the digestive process.
- Take Digestive Enzymes. The body progressively loses its ability to produce enzymes, with major drops occurring roughly every ten years of life. At the beginning these drops may not be noticeable, but as this progresses you may soon discover that you cannot tolerate certain foods like you did before. A lack of digestive enzymes would present itself as heartburn, gas, constipation, bloating, allergies, ulcers and a general lack of energy. Read more about enzymes.
- Do an appropriate cleanse for Parasites
- Do an appropriate cleanse for candida with Thorne Research – Formula SF722, which also contains probiotics to replenish the beneficial gut bacteria.
- Eat naturally fermented foods. These foods are easy to digest and contain beneficial bacteria that can assist in the digestive processes.
- Medications such as antibiotics, steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, acid blockers and hormone therapies all have a detrimental effect on the good bacteria within the gut. Rethinking these strategies for more natural approaches may be in your best interest.