Leaky Gut Syndrome At A Glance

Did you know that anxiety, acne, allergies, asthma and autoimmune illness all have something in common? It's called leaky gut syndrome and it's one of the major sources of underlying inflammation in your body. If left untreated, it can lead to numerous health problems elsewhere in your body. By healing your gut, you can restore health and vitality to your life.

A Leaky Gut: What It Is

Your digestive tract is lined with cells that work to:

  • Protect you by keeping bad bacteria and other pathogens from gaining access to your bloodstream

  • Absorb the food you eat and the liquids you drink

When your gut is healthy, only key nutrients and fluids are "allowed in" or absorbed, through specific checkpoints while harmful bacteria, toxins, parasites, yeast, and viruses are kept out. Every inch of your gut is defended by the beneficial bacteria, enzymes, mucus, and immune substances whose job it is to keep the entire length of this border - which represents the largest part of your immune system - protected and functioning optimally.

When this lining becomes inflamed, you start absorbing things you don't want like harmful bacteria and undigested food particles, while not absorbing the things you need like nutrients. Overtime, you can develop food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, a weakened immune system, and autoimmmune illness.

A Leaky Gut: What Causes It

There are four main causes of a leaky gut:

  • Medications: Antibiotics, aspirin, steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, and oral contraceptives can disrupt the normal integrity of your gut lining.

  • Poor Diet/Poor Digestion: Eating too much sugar or processed foods, excessive alcohol intake, or poor digestion can all contribute to inflammation in your digestive tract, leading to food allergies or sensitivities which further aggravate the inflamed lining of your gut.

  • Infection: Stomach bugs and other gastro-intestinal infections can lead to increased permeability of your gut lining.

  • Stress: Physical and mental stress are felt in your gut. Prolonged stress leads to inflammation and, eventually, a leaky gut.

A Leaky Gut: How You Can Heal It

Healing a leaky gut can bring healing to your entire body and greatly improve your overall well-being. To heal, you need to address the four R's:

  • Remove: Knowledge is power. Get tested for food allergies/sensitivities and eliminate those foods from your diet so that you heal your gut. If you take medications that can cause inflammation, speak with your healthcare practitioner about alternatives. Wherever possible, reduce or remove the sources of stress in your life. See our blog on Transforming Stress for more detailed information.

  • Replace: Poorly digested or undigested food particles are a source of irritation for your gut. Taking digestives aids such as enzymes reduces gut inflammation by helping you digest and absorb your food properly.

  • Reinoculate: The good bacteria which live in your gut and work to keep your gut lining healthy, can be killed off by medications or infections. Taking a probiotic supplement will help to rebuild the population of good bacteria in your gut and help heal your gut lining.

  • Replenish: To rebuild and maintain a healthy intestinal lining, you need to nourish both the cells that line your gut and the good bacteria that live there. We use a targeted nutritional supplement, Ultra GI Replenish to do just that: restore gut health by providing all the nutrients your gut needs to heal.

If you are suffering from digestive problems or health issues that have been difficult to treat, you may have a leaky gut. Healing your gut is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you bring health back to your gut.

References

Lifestylematrix Resource Center. Pillars of GI Health Patient Handbook.

The contents of this blog are intended for educational purposes only. The information presented here is not a substitute for proper medical attention, diagnosis, or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider before starting or making any changes to an existing treatment plan, exercise program or dietary regimen, and before using nutritional supplements.

~ Dr. Sarah Williams ~ Concord & Nantucket, Massachusetts ~

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