Hippocrates the father of medicine once stated that “All diseases begin in the Gut”. Much of his wisdom which is over 2000 years ago has the stood the test of time and this quote is one of them.

Several chronic metabolic diseases start from a faulty gut. This has a lot to do with the integrity of the gut lining or the good bacterial microbiome that resides in your digestive tract. In this article explore what leaky gut is and how you can heal it.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

The leaky gut syndrome occurs when the lining in your small intestine is damaged, causing foreign compounds to escape into your bloodstream. It weakens your immune system and triggers auto-immune reactions.
The guts cells are lined together liked bricks. There are little openings that enable nutrients to be absorbed into your bloodstream and let the bad toxins pass through to be excreted out. When you have a leaky gut, those bricks have spaces between them and now everything is absorbed including the bad stuff.

The Hidden Danger of Leaky Gut

Your gut lining is compromised in such a way that it no longer seals the outside from the inside. Just imagine when you have no seals in your gut. You will be inviting trouble and toxins into your body now.

More than 80% of people with chronic diseases have leaky gut, an overgrowth of bad bacteria or not enough good bacteria. Conventional medicine does not understand what leaky gut syndrome is and never state it in their diagnosis or treatment. But you are what you eat and your nutrition is a big contributing factor to a healthy gut.

If your gut is not functioning right it sets the stage for illness and disease. It is important to understand the underlying cause of the disease and take the right measures to strengthen your gut for your overall wellbeing. Here are some diseases caused by a leaky gut:

  • Arthritis, joint pain and muscle pain
  • Headaches, depression, anxiety, ADHD, brain fog
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Acid Reflux and digestive issues
  • Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Lupus
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Seasonal Allergies and Food Allergies
  • Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, itchy skin
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Hormonal disorders including Thyroid, PCOS, estrogen dominance
  • Candida

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut leads to detrimental conditions in your body by over stimulating the immune system, increasing inflammation and decreasing the efficiency of metabolism. Your body shifts to a dangerous acidic mode which is a breeding ground for several diseases. To add to this, it disrupts the ability of your body to absorb vital nutrients. Here are the common triggers of a leaky gut:

1. Excessive Sugar Intake

A diet rich in refined sugars, fructose, high GI foods harm the barrier function of the intestinal lining

2. Drugs

Long term use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs can increase the gaps between the “bricks” and contribute to leaky gut

3. Alcohol and Chronic Stress

Prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and thereby lead to leaky gut

4. Poor Diet Habits

A diet high in gluten, dairy and sugars is a contributing factor to a weakening of the gut flora. When you consume more of it, your body goes into war mode producing more antibodies. As a result, it triggers an auto-immune response that manifests itself as migraines, allergies, fatigue, joint pain and more.

5. Nutrient Deficiencies

Vitamins and Minerals are vital for the optimal functioning of your body. Especially low levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Zinc can lead to intestinal permeability

6. Overload of Toxins in your System

We are exposed to toxins, it’s inevitable. At times we don’t have control over it as so many toxins enter your body through water, skin, air, and food. Over time a long-term exposure to toxins can damage your gut.

How to Heal a Leaky Gut?

Follow the below 4 basic rules to heal leaky gut syndrome:

1. Remove – Remove foods that can damage your gut. This includes gluten, dairy, processed food, refined sugars, unsprouted grains, refined oils, genetically modified food, synthetic additives and preservatives, non-organic animal products.

2. Replace – Replace the above foods with nourishing foods that help to strengthen your gut. Include nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods like natural vegetables, sprouted seeds like flax seeds and chia seeds, raw-cultured dairy like kefir, yogurt, amasai, butter and raw cheeses, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid, coconut products, healthy fats, fermented foods.

3. Rebalance – Rebalance your gut with probiotics and replenish your body’s natural stores of good bacteria. Some natural probiotics are organic unsweetened yogurt, apple cider vinegar, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Tempeh, Natto

The state of your gut health directly translates and dictates your overall health. Healing a leaky gut is as simple as swapping refined and processed foods with whole, organic and natural foods rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients. It might seem daunting at first, but even taking small steps can make a huge difference to your gut and keep diseases at bay.

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