The gut plays a huge role in our day-to-day health. The stomach and intestinal tracks are responsible for absorbing nutrients and vitamins, the start of digestion, and how we feel each day.
Think about it – how would you say your day went, the last time you had a severe stomach ache? Probably not so good. Stomach and intestinal problems can be debilitating, slowly but surely eroding good will and energy, and causing massive discomfort.
What Does Having “A Leaky Gut” Mean?
The stomach naturally absorbs small nutrients and vitamins that fuel our bodies. It plays a very important role in overall body function and you always want to make sure that your stomach, intestines, and digestive system are in tip top condition. Both the stomach and intestinal wall have regulating features which determine the function of the lining and exactly what is absorbed into the body through that wall.
Unfortunately, individuals who suffer from gluten sensitivity often have issues with Leaky Gut Syndrome. Gluten sensitivity causes cells to release zonulin, a protein known for breaking down the intestinal lining, changing its basic function, and affecting the absorption of nutrients and vitamins.
Aside from gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease, there are a number of other factors that can lead to the release of zonulin, including infections, old age, and even stress levels.
This breakdown of the intestinal lining can be quite uncomfortable and often leads to pain in the stomach region. The process also causes a number of symptoms which you or your doctor can use to identify leaky gut as the problem. Here are the common symptoms:
1. Digestive Issues
Leaky gut can certainly lead to digestive issues. Individuals suffering from Leaky Gut might experience, gas, bloating, or diarrhea over an extended period of time. As absorption is not happening in the way that it was naturally intended, the digestive system is working with unbalanced levels that it is not used to dealing with.
2. Hormonal Imbalances and Conditions
Leaky Gut Syndrome can also cause a number of hormonal imbalances and conditions. Because leaky gut actively changes the chemical makeup of your system, your body can end up over-producing or under-producing certain hormones. Most commonly this is observed in high-hormone situations such as with PMS.
3. Autoimmune Issues and Diseases
Leaky gut can also be the cause of a number of different autoimmune diseases. These include but are not limited to lupus, Celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions are most commonly experienced long term, with Leaky Gut Syndrome going undiagnosed.
4. Season Allergies
Did you know that Leaky Gut Syndrome can also cause seasonal allergies? If you are someone is congested throughout the early spring season, your issues could be caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome. Although seasonal allergies are quite common and most are not caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome, this symptom, combined with others, could be a sign of serious stomach issues.
5. Fatigue and Lack of Energy
Over time Leaky Gut Syndrome can lead to serious fatigue issues. Because the body is not correctly absorbing vitamins and nutrients vital for consistent energy levels, the body’s chemistry is thrown off. Although it is normal to experience some fatigue on occasion, particularly during or after busy days and high stress situations, it is not normal to notice it on a day-to-day basis. Fatigue and lack of energy will be one of the first symptoms to set in if Leaky Gut Syndrome is present.
6. Altered Mood
If you are suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome, you might notice sharp changes in your mood and mind. Common mood-related changes include depression, anxiety, and attention issues. These conditions may be exacerbated by fatigue and a lack of energy, and the two combined together can make the condition much worse.
7. Presence of Acne and Other Skin Issues
Another symptom of Leaky Gut Syndrome is the sudden appearance of acne and other skin issues such as eczema. These breakouts will usually be sudden and unexpected given the historical health of your skin. Acne and other skin issues can arise out of nowhere and, when combined with other conditions, can be one of several symptoms present.
8. Food Allergies
Leaky Gut Syndrome also causes food allergies and other intolerance such as gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease. Most individuals who have natural food allergies have had them since they were young. Food sensitivities which crop up out of nowhere could certainly be caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome.
9. Candida Fungus Growth
Leaky Gut Syndrome can also cause Candida Fungus Growth. This comes from eating a diet of refined carbs and sugars. Typically, the bacteria that are present in the stomach and gut will keep Candida at bay. However, individuals that develop Candida Growth have a fungus, which is most commonly known as a form of yeast, that continues to live and prosper both in the mouth and the intestines. This can lead to a number of issues such as skin infections and toenail fungus that is unsightly and at times painful.
The good news is that a paleo diet can be the solution to Leaky Gut Syndrome. Such a diet is likely to drastically cut back on the negative effects of leaky gut and ensure that you are able to live a comfortable life.
If you are currently experiencing more than one of these symptoms, contact your doctor or do this quiz to find out if you have Leaky Gut Syndrome. Alternatively, check out the great course that our friends at the SCD Lifestyle have put together: Solving Leaky Gut.
- 9 Signs You Have A Leaky Gut
- 10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth & What To Do About It
- Could Leaky Gut Be Troubling You?
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- What Is Leaky Gut?
Photo credit: Beth Scupham
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