Leaky gut syndrome affects millions of Americans, and they may not even know they have it. This one condition may be at the root of an array of health problems, from indigestion and allergies to joint pain to autoimmune disorders. While it sounds like a digestive problem, leaky gut syndrome affects various areas of the body if left unchecked.
What is leaky gut syndrome?
Essentially, the walls of the digestive tract are lined with tiny pores that allow certain molecules and nutrients to pass through to the bloodstream. Damage to these pores makes them bigger, allowing undigested food particles and other impurities to leak through. The body reacts to these foreign invaders with an immune reaction.
What causes leaky gut syndrome?
An overabundance of unhealthy intestinal bacteria is a common cause of leaky gut syndrome, causing inflammation, irritation, and eventual damage to the intestinal wall. Another cause is chronic constipation. The stool sits in the digestive system and builds up toxins that irritate the intestinal lining and cause damage.
How does leaky guy syndrome affect the health?
When the immune system responds, it builds up antibodies to food particles and other foreign invaders. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body causing a wide array of symptoms:
Leaky gut can affect absorption of key nutrients including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that if left unchecked, leaky gut can lead to autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, anxiety, and depression.
Indigestion Home Remedies: What are some natural ways to soothe a leaky gut?
Modifying the diet and making other lifestyle changes can help heal a leaky gut. People should eliminate foods that contain sugar and grain and replace conventional beef and lamb with grass-fed versions. It is important to swap tap water for filtered water or pure spring water, and always eat organic fruits and vegetables. People should not smoke or drink alcohol when trying to heal a leaky gut, and they should limit the use of NSAIDs and antibiotics.
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Foods that are especially helpful for leaky gut include:
Bone Broth – Collagen and important amino acids found in bone broth help repair damaged cell walls.
Coconut Products – Because medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are easier to digest than other fats, they take less of a toll on the system. In addition, the antibacterial properties of coconut oil encourage a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Fermented Vegetables – Organic acids and probiotics found in fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi encourage proper pH balance and a healthy bacterial balance in the gut.
Foods High in Omega-3 Fats – Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, foods like wild-caught salmon and grass-fed beef help sooth certain symptoms of leaky guy syndrome.
Yogurt – Probiotics found in yogurt help populate the gut with healthy bacteria and promote healing.
Supplements that help sooth a leaky gut include:
Probiotics – A supplementary version of the good bacteria found in yogurt, probiotics help encourage healthy intestinal balance.
Digestive Enzymes – Products that contain protease, lipase, and amylase encourage better digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, lowering the chances that these particles might damage intestinal walls.
L-Glutamine – An essential amino acid with anti-inflammatory properties, glutamine helps encourage growth and repair of the intestinal lining.
Quercetin – Because it promotes the production of tight junction proteins, quercetin helps repair damaged intestinal walls. Studies show quercetin also curbs the release of histamine, a compound associated with immune response to allergies like those associated with food.
Because of a wide range of symptoms, people experience leaky gut syndrome in different ways. Taking advantage of a few natural methods can help repair intestinal walls and ease symptoms. If these methods are unsuccessful, people who suspect they may have leaky gut syndrome should consult with a health care professional.