Repair Your Leaky Gut Naturally
What is Leaky Gut?
Your digestive tract lining has tiny junctions that act like doors to selectively allow nutrient absorption but keep out potentially harmful substances. If you have a leaky gut, the doors are left open and particles from the digestive tract that wouldn't normally be allowed to enter the bloodstream can sneak in. The presence of foreign particles prompts the immune system to send out alarm signals to deal with the perceived invader. This leads to a chronic, low-grade inflammatory war inside the body. Over time, symptoms of brain fog, achy joints, fatigue, poor mood, and food sensitivities may develop.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
There are many things that can lead to changes in gut permeability. We are all at risk. Mold and herbicide residue on food, a poor diet, stress, and an overgrowth of candida or bacteria are common causes. Dysbiosis is a particularly common cause of intestinal permeability. Dysbiosis is the disruption of the flora that lines the intestinal tract, or too many bad bugs and not enough good ones. The digestive tract is lined with billions of bacteria, yeast and fungi that protect us from the outside world and help us digest food. These foreign cells outnumber our own cells by about 10 to 1. Their health is incredibly important to our health. Antibiotic use is known to kill friendly flora and disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. We are killing off all the good bacteria and doing very little to foster the growth of new bacteria. Furthermore, the modern American diet, which is low in fiber and high in sugar and processed foods, certainly isn't doing anything to help our gut health.
The Road to Recovery
Good gut health centers on beneficial flora. The above factors challenge the life of healthy gut bacteria, so it becomes essential to use probiotic supplements daily and make it a point to eat more probiotic-rich, fermented foods to keep the gut microbiome healthy. Eating more fiber is also important to foster the growth of beneficial bacteria. Fiber is known as a “prebiotic” because it acts as a source of food for good bacteria. You should get at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Cut sugar out of the diet, as bad bacteria use sugar to grow.
To correct a leaky gut, you have to repair the leaky junctions. Special proteins link the epithelial cells that line the digestive tract together. Research highlights key nutrients that support a healthy gut lining and help to reverse permeability. These include L-glutamine, N-acetyl-glucosamine, lactoferrin, quercetin, and whey protein. Other helpful nutrients for a healthy gut lining are vitamins A, C, D, boswellia, DGL licorice, NAC, omega-3 fish oil, zinc, rhodiola, and digestive enzymes. Know that it takes time to truly repair a leaky gut.
It may take three to twelve months and beyond to truly heal. Doing nothing will surely lock in aches, pains, stubborn weight problems, fatigue and brain fog. Research is finding leaky gut syndrome is a root cause of more and more health conditions, but start improving your gut health today and you will find there is hope.