If you’re finding yourself reacting to more and more foods that didn’t used to bother you, you might have leaky gut. Many of my patients are surprised when they find out they have leaky gut. What does that even mean, you might wonder? Imagine that your small intestine is like a colander, when you pour the pasta into it, all the water drains out and leaves you with pasta. When you eat food, it is all supposed to be broken down into liquid by your digestion, and then the water filled with nutrients is supposed to be absorbed into your blood stream.
When you have leaky gut, there are holes in the colander, and the pasta gets absorbed into your blood stream. It isn’t supposed to be absorbed whole, it’s supposed to be broken down into its little tiny chemical components. Your immune system is sitting right there in the blood stream waiting for foreign invaders – like pasta and chicken – because it was told to recognize only the little tiny nutrient particles. As soon as it sees foreign invaders, it attacks. This leads to inflammation.
Also known as increased intestinal permeability, leaky gut affects much more than our digestion. Symptoms also include chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions, food allergies, dry skin, nutrient deficiencies, and thyroid conditions. Leaky gut is caused by chronic stress, poor nutrition, and…you guessed it…toxins! Read on to discover more symptoms of this condition, as well as how to heal.
Causes of Leaky Gut
This weakening of the lining of the small intestine comes from trauma (surgery or injury), undiagnosed food allergies (gluten, dairy), chronic infections such as SIBO or other gut infections, and toxins (medications, pesticides, unproperly filtered water, etc.).
The most common symptoms of leaky gut are as follows:
- Allergies (Seasonal and Food)
- Autism and Mood disorders
- Autoimmune conditions
- Hormonal imbalances
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Joint pain
- Nutrient deficiencies
How to Heal
The most important step in healing leaky gut is to remove the toxins or irritants that are causing the weakening in the first place! A proper detoxification process like Dr. Shiroko’s 14-Day Seasonal Reboot both eliminates common allergens like gluten and dairy, and also supports the liver. It might also be important to test for and eliminate any suspected food sensitivities at least temporarily to put out the fire of inflammation in your body.
Next, you’ll need to start rebuilding your body and your nutrient stores. Choose high-quality supplements and be sure to check out my Top 20 Supplements for Healthy Living.
Finally, you’ll need to replenish your beneficial bacteria with a probiotic supplement.
If you suspect you have leaky gut, be sure to pay attention to the foods, drinks, and supplements you nourish your body with. Take time to listen to your body each day so that you’ll be aware when something is amiss. If certain foods seem to cause discomfort, try eliminating them and reevaluate how you feel. Though it takes time to heal, strengthening your gut will have a positive impact on every aspect of your life!