The life we live today is certainly not as harsh as it was thousands of years ago. But the same is not true for your gut. Modern living conditions with all its processed foods, artificial and chemical compounds make it extremely hard for your gut to function.
FACT: Your entire digestive system is affected by processed food, medications, alcohol, stress and bacterial imbalances. All that chronic irritation can cause inflammation and eventually, pinprick style leaks in the very delicate and thin lining of your intestinal wall. Even just a tiny leak in your gut can cause significant problems.
There is a long list of symptoms associated with a leaky gut syndrome that includes allergies, acne, asthma, autism, arthritis, thyroid problems among others.
Leaky gut is a condition that leads to a myriad of health problems, yet this is a disorder that is rarely talked through the media or even the doctor’s office. As a matter of fact, a majority of people are suffering from this problem but have no idea. Here is a look at what Leaky gut is, and how to heal it.
What is Leaky Gut?
You hear the word leaky gut and what come into your mind are holes poked into your gut. Unfortunately, your image might be right. In a healthy intestine, the walls are lined with cells sealed together, providing a barrier containing its contents. Villi, which contains a vessel from the lymphatic system and a tiny vessel from the circulatory system, absorbs nutrients from our food. This exchanged is designed to be the only way food enters through the lymphatic system and the bloodstream.
When an intestine is permeable, the cells that provide the lining of the wall do not provide a proper barrier. Microbes, undigested food particles, and toxins leak through the intestinal walls through to the lymphatic system and the bloodstream. In return, the immune system starts fighting these foreign particles that don’t belong to the lymphatic system or the bloodstream.
How to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome
The institute of functional medicine came up with a tool for practitioners to use while treating the leaky gut disorder. The tool is commonly known as Four “R” program. This method highlights efficient ways to deal with digestive imbalances.
The first step is to identify and remove the source of the gut lining irritation, instead of trying containing the symptoms with drugs.
Start an elimination diet.
Doing away with some common irritants like dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, and the chemical additives that are found in most of the processed food can provide a surprisingly quick relief. For most people, sugar alone is enough to cause gut problems. A proper elimination will help you know which foods specifically are causing trouble. Eliminate the food for 14 days, and then reintroduce it and keep track of its effect.
Begin a food journal.
Take notes of what you are eating and its impact on you. If you feel fatigue, bloated, or gassy, add that particular food to your elimination list.
Limit use of alcohol and NSAIDs.
Alcohol has some adverse effects on the liver and takes nutrients away from the gut. NSAIDs inhibit the production of prostaglandins by the body, a substance essential to rebuilding the gut lining.
Root out infections.
Leaky gut can be caused by some parasites and pathogenic microorganisms that thrive in intestinal warm, mucosal environment. If food level interventions are not helping you, visit a health practitioner to run tests on you.
The second step involves giving your body what it needs to rebuild the intestinal lining. Often, using digestive enzymes, digestive herbs, or other digestive supports, can assist in protecting the lining from more damage, and coat the gut while it heals.
Eat plenty of whole foods.
The body needs fresh food so that it can be able to repair the tissues that are damaged and rebuild new ones. Whole foods are full of minerals, vitamins, enzymes required by the small intestine and phytonutrients.
Take digestive enzymes.
Digestive enzymes cover the microvilli and villi projections that your body needs to break food into components: fats, proteins, and carbs. Taking digestive enzymes gives the body a jump start making it easier for nutrients to assimilate and easy food breakdown.
Supplement with glutamine.
It supports digestion and immunity by fueling the cells that line the gut. Glutamine heals the gut wall more than any other nutrients.
Get more Omega 3 fatty acids.
The intestine uses it to rebuild healthy cell walls and inflammation. Some of the omega three rich foods include nuts, fish, purslane, seeds, and avocado.
There is a majority of ways to repair and rebuild the intestinal cells and lining. Medical research continues to ways on how healing can be done naturally. Studies have revealed that glutamine is essential for maintaining the function and the structure of the small intestine. It has also been shown to improve damage from chemotherapy and radiation. Other therapies include N- acetyl and methionine, larch, zinc and kiwifruit to aid in healing. It is vital to work with a clinician to establish to repair and treat your digestive tract.
Finally, it is important you pay attention to how you feel when you eat, where and how you eat, and what you eat. Sliding back to old eating habits that caused a leaky gut may only lead to having the problem once again.
Eat Mindfully. Eat slowly, have your meal in a relaxed setting and chew the food thoroughly. A healthy system is necessary for the entire system.
Calm your central nervous system. Recalibrate by cultivating a more centered and more relaxed state. Consider a yoga practice or daily meditation
There is some tests that could be carried out to determine a leaky gut; they include parasite test, food tolerance test, lactose/mannitol test, and bacterial dysbiosis test.