The name alone sounds pretty gross. Leaky gut. You may have heard about this syndrome, or even know someone who thinks they have it. But what is leaky gut? How do you know if you have it? And most importantly, what can you do about it?
First let’s talk a little anatomy and physiology. You gut consists of your stomach, small, and large intestines. The lining of your gut is composed of epithelial cells, the same cells your hair, skin, and nails are made of. In a healthy gut, these cells form very tight junctions.
In leaky gut syndrome, however, these junctions become loose, or leaky, allowing food and other particles to pass through the gut lining and into the blood stream. When this happens, your body’s immune response kicks in creating antibodies that fight these “foreign substances” in your blood.
According to many experts, this can lead to number of widespread health problems including:
· Autoimmune diseases
· Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
· Learning disabilities like autism
· Food sensitivities
· Arthritis and other bodily aches
· Increased risk for Diabetes
· Changes in mood, weight, and appetite
Over 80% of your immune system resides within your gut. Therefore, many nutrition experts agree that Optimal Health begins in your gut!
How to Know If You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is a good bet that you have leaky gut. In fact, most doctors who are treating the syndrome say that as much as 80% of the population have it and many don’t know it.
To be sure, you need to be diagnosed through a Leaky Gut Test, especially because several of the symptoms get wrongly attributed to other conditions. There are a few different ways of testing for leaky gut, however, the one I recommend most often is an IgG Food Intolerance Test. This is a blood test that looks for those specific antibodies that are created in response to those particles that get through your gut wall into your blood. This response can be triggered every time that same food is eaten, causing internal inflammation, which in turn worsens the condition.
What You Can Do About It Now
Luckily, there are some things you can do right now that can help minimize the symptoms, in may even start to heal your gut completely.
1. Avoid foods that you have a reaction to. Pay very close attention to your body when you eat. Do you tend to get gas or become bloated after eating certain foods? Do develop any redness, or does your skin get dry? Once you start to identify some of the foods that may be to blame, start taking them out of your diet one by one.
2. Add some “healing foods” into your diet. Foods such as Kimchi, Kombucha, Bone Broth, and sprouted seeds have amazing probiotic properties that can heal the bacteria in your gut.
3. Taking a few supplements such probiotics and L-Glutamine powder will rebalance the gut flora and maintain the lining of the stomach. Quality of supplementation is critical, check out our link below to a great product by Thorne.
I hope that if you are experiencing the symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome, that you can start to feel some relief by implementing the simple steps above. Of course, I will always strongly recommend getting tested to be sure, since there are some more intensive courses of action that can be undertaken depending on the severity.