I don’t know what image that question conjures in your mind, but I’m sure that you are aware that about 90% of all health issues can be traced back to the gut. If your home fence has a hole in it, you are likely to get unwanted visitors. Same with your gut.
Our guts are home to several trillion bacteria, collectively referred to as our gut microbiome. Lest you cringe and think that’s a bad thing, let me share some of the many benefits we derive from them. Our gut bacteria synthesize vitamins for us, help us absorb nutrients, control our immune system and even produce compounds that impact mental health.
This amazing microbiome is comprised of many different types of bacteria, the balance of which influences our health. What determines the variety of bacteria we carry inside us? Primarily our diet, but also our lifestyle, the medications we take and environmental exposures.
What is Leaky Gut?
So what’s this leaky gut about and is leaky guy real? Our gut barrier has the job of letting nutrients into the body while keeping unfriendly bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins out. When the integrity of this barrier is impaired, these harmful organisms or substances leak into the body via the bloodstream, hence the term leaky gut.
Not only does this expose our bodies to a potential hazard, but undigested portions of food can slip out into the bloodstream. The immune system doesn’t recognize it as proper and goes into “attack mode” raising inflammation levels in our bodies which can contribute to dis-ease.
What are the Most Common Causes of Leaky Gut?
Stress – the release of stress hormones causes inflammation and damages the immune system.
Food sensitivities – food to which your body reacts can trigger an inflammatory response and damage the gut barrier whenever those foods are eaten. Gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts and soy are common reactive foods, though there can be many others.
Nutrient deficiencies – there are several key nutrients that help protect both the stomach lining and the intestinal lining from damage.
Poor digestion – deficiencies in stomach acid and digestive enzymes can hinder our food from being properly broken down and add stress to the whole digestive process.
Imbalance of gut bacteria – when the beneficial bacteria in your gut becomes outnumbered by harmful bacteria, the gut barrier can be damage
Treating Leaky Gut
Does this seem overwhelming? Have no fear! When you address the potential hazards, your body can bounce back….
Modulate the stress in your life. Lighten up, take a walk, breathe – check out my many posts on this.
Evaluate food sensitivities. This can be done through an elimination diet or testing. I can help here.
Address nutrient deficiencies. Consider adding vitamin A, vitamin D and Zinc, which support gut and immune health.
Evaluate your digestion. If you are on acid reflux meds, your digestion is weakened. If you often feel bloated, have gas, or burp, your digestion needs support.
Replenish beneficial bacteria. If you have taken antibiotics, your microbiome has been damaged. Taking a probiotic supplement or eating fermented foods can help restore the balance.
Can I Help You?
Don’t continue to suffer from a growing number of symptoms without seeking the root cause and making changes to support your body’s healing. I can help you evaluate what is at play and turn the tables!
You will be amazed at how good you can feel in your body!