Could A Leaky Gut be Damaging your Health?
Leaky Gut is a rampant problem in today’s modern society. Leaky gut syndrome happens when the epithelium on the villi of the tight junctions of the small intestine becomes inflamed and weakened, which allows toxins, bacteria, fungus, food particles etc. to leak into the blood stream. This event causes the immune system to become overburdened, compromises the liver and lymphatic system as well as interferes with the normal functioning of the endocrine system. This is essentially what can lead to Auto-immune diseases, where the body attacks its own tissues.
So What Causes a leaky gut?
There are many causes of leaky gut syndrome, but the most prevalent is the overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. They wipe out everything and allow for the growth of bad bacteria which naturally grows in our guts to overgrow and create inflammation to the microvilli and tight junctions in the gut.
NSAIDs and other medications also create leaky gut syndrome, so although you are killing your pain, you are also destroying your gut as they inflame the lining of the intestines and sometimes even cause bleeding of the stomach and intestines.
Gluten is also a major cause of leaky gut syndrome, especially from wheat. Wheat contains an enzyme called Zonulin which destroys your gut's tight junctions which then causes them to be weakened. Wheat also contains glyphosate (round up), a pesticide that destroys your gut within hours. Think of how quickly someone who eats wheat can be disposed to a leaky gut with Wheat containing both Zonulin and Glyphosate.
And Perhaps one of the biggest contributors to leaky gut is STRESS. Did you know that stress weakens your gut integrity by killing good bacteria?
When you lack good bacteria the breakdown of hormones from the liver and into the digestive tract is compromised. This may cause a person to reabsorb estrogens which can then be deposited in the breasts and ovaries. A person lacking good bacteria is more susceptible to hormonal imbalances and even cancer.
Another way that someone can get leaky gut syndrome is by Candida Albicans overgrowth. Candida is a pathogenic fungus and yeast. Antibiotics can create a perfect environment to fungus and yeast overgrowth. But even if you yourself do not consume antibiotics, your milk or meat that you eat could contain antibiotics. In a healthy gut the tight junctions maintain their integrity, create a physical barrier for intestinal absorption and have a mucous lining, which acts as a chemical barrier that contains immune agents that neutralize toxins.
Candida Albicans secretes an aldehyde, which causes the intestinal epithelial cells to shrink and allow toxins into the blood stream. But Candida will also affect the gut-brain axis and could affect a person's moods, cause brain fog, etc.
Leaky gut also gives rise to food intolerances and allergies. With a leaky gut, food particles begin to leak through and into the blood stream. The immune system begins to see this as an invasion as these food particles are not supposed to be there. The immune system tells the body that this food is an invader and every time you eat that food, your body will have a food reaction as soon as the food hits the intestinal lining.
Some of the symptoms of Leaky gut Syndrome include…
1. Chronic Diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
2. Hormonal imbalances
3. Poor immunity
4. Headaches, brain fog and memory loss
5. excessive fatigue
6. skin rashes such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis
7. Nutritional deficiencies
8. weight gain
10. Arthritis, joint pain
11. Autoimmune disease
12. Depression and Anxiety
So how do you Heal a Leaky Gut?
The first step will be to eat a Clean Gut healing diet, or anti-inflammatory diet.
This diet consists of Lean proteins from things like fish and chicken (grass fed, organic if possible), lots of veggies especially green leafy vegetables, healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, low glycemic fruits such as berries and apples, sweet potatoes. This diet does not include Sugar, Dairy, Grains except for Quinoa, no alcohol, no corn or corn products.
You will also need to determine what kinds of infections are in your gut. Such as... do you have Candida overgrowth or bacteria overload? Do you have parasites? Working with a Functional Medicine practitioner to determine your gut health by a simple stool test is recommended.
Leaky gut is a rampant problem today, but it is fixable with the right protocol.
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