Leaky gut syndrome has become increasingly recognized as a condition, though many physicians don’t consider it a diagnosis but instead the first step in finding a diagnosis. Essentially, if you suffer from leaky gut, the lining of your small intestine is damaged and food particles, bacteria, and toxins can pass with relative ease through your intestinal wall into your bloodstream.
This causes your immune system to respond as though your body is under attack.
Leaky gut syndrome has a range of causes, which is why it often isn’t considered a true diagnosis. It can be caused by poor diet, stress, toxins in the digestive system, and imbalances in the flora in your gut – called dysbiosis in medical circles. It manifests in a host of different ways, including:
- Diarrhea, constipation, or gas
- Inability to recover from common illnesses like the cold
- Headaches, poor concentration, brain fog, memory loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Skin conditions such as acne
- Sugar and carbohydrate cravings
- Pain in the joints
- Depression and anxiety
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autoimmune diseases including celiac, lupus Crohn’s, and rheumatoid arthritis
Repairing A Leaky Gut
Repairing a damaged and leaking gut comes down to diet. There are steps you can take now if you suspect you have leaky gut syndrome.
Change Your Diet
Shift to natural foods and away from processed foods. This means preparing more of your food at home. While this can be difficult if you lead a busy, hectic life, it can be done through planning. So look at ways in which you can be more efficient in preparing food. For example, when you buy groceries, prepare items such as carrots and celery immediately for easy snacking throughout the week. Getting plenty of fresh vegetables will go a long way toward repairing your gut.
Consider Going Gluten-Free
There is some evidence that the gluten protein found in wheat products could contribute significantly to leaky gut syndrome. Consider going gluten-free, or at least doing a six-week trial without gluten in your diet to see whether your symptoms are relieved.
Add Probiotics And Fermented Foods To Your Diet
Probiotics help rebuild and rebalance the bacteria in your gut. You can add probiotic liquids to smoothies. While many probiotics are milk-based (a serious issue if you are lactose-intolerant), there are rice-based probiotics that are not. And you can also add yogurt, kombucha, pickles, and other fermented and probiotic foods to your diet.
Add Glutamine Supplements
Glutamine is an amino acid which has been linked to the repair and maintenance of the cells in the stomach and intestinal tract. Taking regular doses may help repair your leaky gut. But consult your doctor first, as glutamine may have side effects or impact other conditions. For example, do not take it if you have liver or kidney disease.
Add More Omega-3
Omega-3s are fatty acids found in fish, avocados, and nuts. Add more of these to your diet, or take omega-3 supplements.
Consult A Dietician Or Functional Medicine Practitioner
Consult an expert in the field, especially if you have suffered from this condition for some time. A functional medicine practitioner can look at the entirety of your diet and lifestyle, and make recommendations to address this condition. It’s important to get it under control, as living with a leaky gut may compromise your immune system and lead to increasingly serious health issues.
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