Leaky gut is a condition that affects the intestine. The condition causes the walls of the intestine to turn loose. Thus, many large particles also enter the blood easily. Undigested food, toxins, and bacteria also pass through the intestinal walls. This further causes irritation in the gut.
We will look at leaky gut syndrome, its signs and moreover how to heal it. Check out below to know more:
What causes leaky gut?
Our digestive tract comprises of organs that help in breaking down food. It also helps in absorbing nutrients, water and throwing out waste. Besides this it acts as a barrier for larger particles and toxins. To be exact, it doesn't allow them from entering into the intestine. However, in some cases, the intestinal gaps and walls loosen. This causes swelling and autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes.
Another factor is Zonulin. It is a protein that causes tightening of intestinal sections. This contributes to causing a leaky gut.
Some of the factors that cause loosening of intestinal walls are as follows:
- Higher consumption of gluten products
- Low levels of healthy gut bacteria
- Consumption of NSAID for long period affects the digestive system
- Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen leading to an imbalance of gut bacteria.
Signs of Leaky Gut
Following are the signs and symptoms of the leaky gut syndrome:
- Nutritional deficiency
- Inability to remember things
- Arthritis and constant joint pains
- Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s syndrome, celiac disease or lupus
- The person may experience depression and anxiety.
- The trouble of ADD and ADHD
- Rashes on skin
- Problems such as acne and eczema
- Irritable bowel syndrome. This includes constipation, feeling bloated or chronic diarrhea
- Poor immunity
- Increase in cravings for sugar and carbs.
How to heal leaky gut?
Though the actual reason for this is unknown, it is not incurable. For healing leaky gut follow the process of Remove, Replace and Rebalance. Mental health has also proven to be a large factor with the gut-brain connection.
First, if you are experiencing the above symptoms, consult your physician. In the meantime, check whether you are sensitive to certain foods. Your physician or nutritionist may suggest you to follow a dietary plan. Follow their advice about what to eat and what not to.
After consulting your nutritionist, understand the source of gut-irritation. Do this through following a proper diet plan. Avoid consuming excess sugar, soy, gluten, dairy and additives like coffee that can lead to irritation.
- Avoid Alcohol - Over consumption of alcohol is bad for your liver. It further steals away the nutrients from the gut.
- NSAIDs increase the production of prostaglandins that builds the walls of the intestine. Higher dosage of these leads to leaky gut.
- Decrease Stress - Find ways to mentally unwind if you are dealing with a lot of stress in your daily life. Try meditation, yoga and regular exercise.
- Replace your diet with food that will further help build the intestine wall.
- Eat more non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, and whole foods. These, in particular, will help in strengthening the membranes. Add more nuts, berries, and whole grain to your diet.
- Specifically consume 1 to 2 tbsp of flax seeds, chia seeds. Also, include oat bran or psyllium seeds every day in your meal.
- Have food rich with glutamine and omega-3 fatty acids
- Eat more fermented food. It helps in lowering swelling. Once the gut is back to normal, focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Be careful about what you eat. Avoid food with gluten. Follow a proper diet that is nutritious and healthy.