02 Sep 201821:33
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut, or “intestinal permeability,” is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products and bacteria to “leak” through the intestines and flood the blood stream. The foreign substances entering the blood can cause an autoimmune response in the body including inflammatory and allergic reactions such as migraines, irritable bowel, eczema, chronic fatigue, food allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
With leaky gut, damaged cells in your intestines don’t produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion. As a result, your body cannot absorb essential nutrients, which can lead to hormone imbalances and a weakened immune system.
What causes leaky gut?
In many cases, leaky gut is caused by your diet. Certain foods including gluten, soy and dairy, can be foreign invaders that have to be fought off. When eating these foods, your body can produce antibodies, which trigger an immune response that includes diarrhea, headaches, fatigue and joint pain.
Leaky gut can also be caused by medications including antibiotics, steroids or over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and acetaminophen, which can irritate the intestinal lining and damage protective mucus layers. This irritation can start or continue the inflammation cycle that leads to intestinal permeability.
How to heal a leaky gut
The key to healing a leaky gut is changing your diet and eliminating the foods that your body treats as toxic. Try eliminating gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Within six weeks, your should be feeling better. Your energy levels should be up, the diarrhea and bloating subsided, and sleeping better.
In addition to eliminating certain foods, try these few things to help repair your leaky gut. These included healthy fats such as olive oils; avocados and flax; probiotics to restore the healthy bacteria in my gastrointestinal tract; and L-glutamine (from collagen hydrolysate), an amino acid that rejuvenates the lining of the intestinal wall.