Have you ever heard of the leaky gut syndrome? Many people suffer from it without even knowing it. That is because it is a relatively new condition, that is not even yet taught in medical school.
We say that someone is struggling with a leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability, when the wall of the digestive tract (the intestines) is damaged for different reasons.
With a leaky gut, little holes let particles pass through when they should not, causing all sorts of immune reactions. Gluten, bad bacteria and undigested food particles are examples of things that should not pass the intestinal wall. When these toxins leak into the bloodstream, they cause inflammation in the body and symptoms like bloating, food sensitivities and allergies, headaches, fatigue, slow digestion and constipation.
New doctors now have to face the reality and realize that a leaky gut does not only affect our digestion and that it may also be responsible for reactions such as joint pain, skin issues, thyroid problems, weight gain, psychological disorders, autoimmune diseases, malabsorption of nutrients and deficiencies.
Before we look into the solutions on how to heal a leaky gut, let’s look at what is provoking it. The most common causes of a leaky gut are a poor diet, microbial imbalances, stress, and the different toxins we ingest. Let’s look at them individually.
A poor diet
Different types of food can damage your intestinal wall. Normally, the usual suspects are industrial sugars, dairy products, processed foods and gluten.
Sugar is public enemy #1. It will feed your bad bacteria and yeasts like Candida Albicans, which will allow them to multiply rapidly and take control of your gut. The bad bacteria living in your digestive tract creates toxins called exotoxins, which are damaging to healthy cells and can create holes like we mentioned earlier in your intestinal wall.
Conventionally grown food products are usually sprayed with so many chemicals and/or are genetically modified. They surely can damage your gut lining and affect the balance of your flora.
Dairy is the lactation of a large cow and is meant to make a calf gain a few hundred pounds in just a few months. Just like human breast milk, cows milk’s nutrients are designed for a specific animal. Over time, consuming the milk of another species can have damaging effects on our digestive system, simply because it is not for us to consume.
If you have leaky gut symptoms and your diet is rich in candies, pastries, sodas, processed foods, dairy and highly refined carbs like white bread, don’t look any further. Your intestinal wall is probably damaged.
A bacterial imbalance
Also called dysbiosis, a bacterial imbalance occurs when the beneficial and harmful bacteria in our gut are not in harmony. There are different causes for dysbiosis, such as taking drugs and antibiotics. These products have the ability to kill pathogens, but also to destroy our gut flora.
Dysbiosis can also start at birth after a C-section. In that situation, the baby was not able to go through the birth canal and come in contact with the mothers’ beneficial bacteria.
Consuming tap water can also be a cause. City water usually contains chlorine to avoid possible contamination. However, chlorine can also kill our healthy gut bacteria.
A candida overgrowth or intestinal parasites can also be responsible for an unbalanced flora. When they overpopulate our intestines, they compete with our healthy bacteria and consume all their food.
Being constantly stressed greatly affects our digestive system. Stress is known to weaken our immune system and lower our ability to fights different pathogens.
Did you know that the health of your gut can influence your mood and your mental health? Many scientists refer to the gut as our second brain. We know that gastrointestinal inflammation can encourage a depressive state and stress, and vice-versa.
Haven’t you noticed that whenever you feel stressed, you feel abdominal pain or discomfort at the same time? We all get those butterflies in a stressful situation, that sometimes force us to run to the bathroom.
Stress is not only in our head. Our central nervous system is directly linked to our gut and our intestinal microbes. Being chronically stressed puts an enormous stress on flora and can be responsible for a leaky gut. Scientists have discovered that stress does not affect our own cells. Our microbes can also detect stress hormones that are released during stressful situations. This can cause dysbiosis and a leaky gut.
It is impossible to avoid all the environmental pollutants that are present around us. We breathe them, we touch them, we eat them and we drink them every day.
Even if we are very careful with the products we consume, there will always be traces of pollutants in our bodies. Everything contains a little bit of toxins. Plastic, glyphosate, phthalates, fluoride, chlorine, paint, car pollution, heavy metals, mold, antibiotics, drugs, etc. We are surrounded by toxicity.
Our generation has been exposed to these toxins since birth. So a lifetime of being in contact with them can end up damaging the intestinal wall and cause a leaky gut.
How? They kill our healthy bacteria, they cause chronic inflammation and disrupt the natural functioning of the digestive tract and immune system, and they destroy the lining of our gut.
So, what is the solution?
How to heal leaky gut syndrome
The solution to heal leaky gut syndrome is divided into 4 steps. You will start by removing the damaging foods we mentioned earlier from your diet, then replace them with healing foods. You will repair your gut lining with different natural supplements, and help rebalance your microbial flora with probiotics. If you follow this 4-step program, you will heal leaky gut syndrome faster than with medication.
4 steps to heal leaky gut syndrome
The first step is to engage in a strict diet called the elimination diet. That will involve removing all the allergenic foods from your present diet. Earlier, we spoke about dairy, gluten, processed foods and industrial sugars. And don’t forget the conventionally grown foods. It’s best to choose organic products in order to avoid all the pesticides.
You should write a journal and note all your feelings and symptoms after your meals. This will help you identify food intolerances. Do not consume drugs, alcohol or other toxic chemicals.
Now that you have eliminated the crap from your diet, it’s time to introduce the healing foods: whole plant foods. Buy fresh and organic products. They contain more nutrients and they do not contain toxic petrochemicals.
Eat probiotic-rich foods, like cultured vegetables, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut. Drink water kefir. This will help to rebalance your flora. Eat fibre-rich foods to stimulate your digestive system. Chia seeds, oat, flaxseed and hemp seeds are great additives to your diet.
Repair your gut lining with natural supplements that have the power to heal your intestinal wall and support your digestive health. L-Glutamine and digestive enzymes are helpful when it comes to repairing the gut. L-Glutamine is involved in muscle repair and enzymes can boost your ability to digest food.
Fasting can also be very beneficial. Resting the digestive system is the best way to heal a leaky gut. It permits to repair tissues rapidly and to flush toxins out of the body. Try this 7 day cleanse and see the results.
Rebalance your gut flora with probiotic supplements. They are a great natural treatment for leaky gut and candida. Introducing new beneficial bacteria into your system will help restoring the balance of your gut flora and fight the bad bacteria.
You should always choose a probiotic supplement that contains different strains of Lactobacillus and Bibidobacteria, as well as a high amount of active bacteria (10 billion or more). Probiotics should be refrigerated to conserve them longer, and they should be taken 30 minutes before a meal on an empty stomach.