“Leaky gut” is a common issue. It’s when the lining of your gut becomes damaged.
What exactly is leaky gut?
Think of it this way: your gut lining is like a security checkpoint. It allows authorized individuals to pass through with no problem. These authorized individuals include things like micronutrients from food to pass through without problems.
However, these security checkpoints can become weak from different aspects of your lifestyle like (food sensitivities, toxins, stress). When this happens, there are gaps that form between the security checkpoints that allow “bad guys” (toxins, microbes, food particles) to pass through without detection.
Security guards (the immune system) send out alerts that there are intruders in the bloodstream. These intruders can affect the security system (immune system) and lead to a whole host of health issues that reach far beyond the gut. Many non-obvious health problems occur as a result, including:
- Food sensitivities
- Gut issues (such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, etc)
- Thyroid conditions
- Anxiety, depression, and other cognitive issues
- Skin problems, such as rashes and eczema
- Weight gain and/or weight loss resistance
- Joint pain
- Premature aging
- Autoimmune diseases
- Frequent colds or other minor illnesses
- Rosacea, acne, and other skin problems
And yet, so often, when we experience these symptoms… “It’s just aging,” we’re told.
There is so much that you can do to prevent these symptoms by healing the gut lining.
The best first step if any of these symptoms sound familiar, is to get tested by a functional doctor. This test helps confirm whether you have a leaky gut and gets you started on the road to recovery.
Even if you suspect a leaky gut, there are action steps that you can take now. Here are three critical steps to healing a leaky gut:
Food: Common food sensitivities can damage the gut lining. Foods to avoid can include: refined oils, grains (for some individuals), conventional dairy products, gluten, sugar, synthetic food additives, corn, egs, soy… and alcohol (sorry!)
Toxins: Environmental toxins put a lot of stress on the gut lining and the body. Avoid common toxins found in beauty products, household cleaners, medications (like NSAIDS and antibiotics), and tap water.
Stress: Stress is a common source of inflammation in the body that can also impact the gut lining. Identify the things in your life that add to your stress levels and find ways to either reframe, avoid, or accept the stressor in your life.
2. Eat foods that support your gut.
Focus on a diet that includes clean sources of protein, healthy fats, and lots of veggies! In addition you can also include:
Bone broth is rich in collagen and essential aminos acids that can help repair leaky gut.
Fermented foods can assist in increasing the quantity of healthy bacteria in your gut, known as probiotics.
3. Take supplements to accelerate the healing process.
Here are five of the best supplements to help heal a leaky gut:
Slippery elm helps with digestive issues by creating compounds that line your digestive tract.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that reduces inflammation and helps close the holes in your gut lining.
DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) assists your immune system, promotes new gut cell growth, helps with ulcers, reduces inflammation, and creates a protective barrier around your gut.
Quercetin is a plant flavonoid that helps close the leaks in your gut. It also helps counter allergic responses that can damage your gut.
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our bodies that actually starts slowing down in production in our 20’s. Collagen is the glue that holds our bodies together including skin, joints, blood vessels, tendons and the lining of our GI tract. Collagen helps create tight junctions in our GI cells to help repair the lining as well as reduces inflammation and helps maintain a healthy gut.
Feel like you need additional support to help heal your gut? This is something that I can help you with! Sign up for a free 1:1 15 minute call.