Leaky Gut, what on earth is it? And the 5 ‘Rs’ to healing it!

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This term sounds pretty horrible and a bit scary when you really think about it?  Where is my gut leaking from and to where?  Unfortunately more and more Australians are being diagnosed with, or are showing up with symptoms of Leaky Gut.  It’s not a disease or illness in itself but is a group of symptoms, imbalances and inflammation that has a large number of causes and really make you feel pretty crappy all round.

Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, affects the lining in our small intestine where the nutrients from our glorious food are designed to be absorbed.  Tiny holes in the lining of our intestine appear, which are normally very tight junctions and stop any large molecules passing through to our blood system.  When these holes are irritated or inflamed they become damaged and then loosen up, allowing larger particles like bacteria, toxins, fungi or undigested foods to seep out into our bloodstream. 

Our immune system sees these leaked substances as foreign bodies that shouldn’t be there so a full-blown attack is launched to get rid of them but this causes inflammation.  The problem with this attack is that the chronic inflammatory response destroys not only the foreign body but also our normal healthy tissues. 

Leaky gut causes inflammation throughout the whole body, not just in the gut and this can lead to a variety of other conditions or diseases.  IBS, celiac, crohn’s and other autoimmune diseases (ie the body attacks itself), depression, anxiety, diabetes (Type 2), obesity, dementia, food intolerances and allergies are just a few.  

Symptoms of Leaky gut may look completely unrelated to the gut and could manifest itself in aching joints, arthritis, exhaustion, bloating, shortness of breath, brain fog, indigestion, poor immunity, acne, eczema, asthma, depression, IBS or a diagnosis of auto immune disease. 

So what causes leaky gut I hear you ask?  Sorry to say buuuut it’s our Western diet of highly processed and sugary foods is playing a big contributor.  Other major factors that can cause this condition is ingesting allergenic foods a parasite, excessive exercise or excessive alcohol intake, toxicity from our environment like the chemicals in our household cleaners or our shampoo’s and soaps. Chronic stress can be a big issue for many people as stress changes the way as well as the effectiveness of our stomach to be able to digest foods properly. Medications, painkillers, OTC (oral contraceptive pill) and antibiotics are also major culprits and change the way our microbiome (good gut bacteria) works.  I told you there were a large number of causes.

Can you heal from Leaky gut?  Can you restore the “Gut Integrity?”  Yes you can but there are a number of factors to look at:

1. Remove any irritants - processed foods, poor quality fats, sugars any parasites, infections and allergy foods.

2.  Replace with whole foods, nutrients, digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile salts to increase stomach acid.

3.  Re-inoculate: Beneficial probiotics and prebiotics from foods or supplement if necessary.

4.  Repair: Using foods like broths, gelatin, healthy fats, fermented foods contain great sources of pre and probiotics, fatty fish with good omega-3 fats, lots of vegetables and green leafies. grass-fed meats.

5. Rebalance: Stress management, sleep, exercise, self-care, eating habits and belief systems.

If any of this sounds like you or you’d like to discuss your gut health further, book your appointment or your complimentary 30 minute discovery call so that we get you feeling more of your old self again.