With various symptoms and mystery of the disease, you may have Leaky Gut Syndrome and not even know it.
Leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing condition that millions of people are struggling with and don’t even know it. It’s possible that leaky gut could be the cause of your food allergies, low energy, joint pain, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions and even slow metabolism that you blame for weight gain.
How is this possible? A very large percentage of your immune system (nearly 75 to 80 percent) actually resides within your gut where billions of bacteria live (both good and bad). Your gut communicates directly with your brain via a nerve called the “vagus nerve” to control almost every aspect of your bodily functions – from appetite, energy, digestion, mood and stress levels.
So what exactly is “leaky gut”?
Normally within a healthy gut environment, the gut lining remains tightly “sealed”. During digestion this carefully keeps toxins and waste within the digestive tract where they belong instead of spreading throughout your body.Leaky gut occurs when the gut lining becomes abnormally permeable, which is known as “intestinal hyperpermeability”.
In the digestive system, certain food particles and toxins from our environment can actually damage the gut lining and make our gut permeable. Small particles can pass through tiny tears in the gut and leach into the blood stream, which triggers full-body inflammation. This leaves the body susceptible to autoimmune reactions and other illnesses because strains of bacteria and viruses are able to cross the gut barrier.
Leaky gut can be a trigger for a variety of problems, especially autoimmune diseases like arthritis, diabetes and ulcerative colitis.
Gut problems including leaky gut syndrome are caused by several different factors, especially from eating a poor diet with too many processed foods which have been chemically altered in some way. When the majority of our food intake is no longer in it’s whole, natural form, it usually means we are consuming lots of artificial sweeteners, sugar, low-quality non-organic dairy, vegetable oils and refined grains. Many packaged foods also contain genetically modified organism crops like corn and soy, known as GMOs, which could potentially also aggravate the gut.
Food sensitives and allergies are closely tied to leaky gut as well. Many people react negatively to gluten, dairy and soy whether they realize it or not. For example within the digestive tract, gluten can actually damage the gut lining, triggering full-body inflammation and susceptibility to other bacteria or viruses crossing the gut barrier.
Not only can food intolerances trigger gut permeability, but once someone has leaky gut they can start experiencing even more negative reactions to foods they normally tolerate well (like dairy).
Leaky gut is not the cause of weight gain in most people, but it can definitely make it more complicated to lose weight. When the gut lining is disturbed, your body cannot use nutrients from food properly and therefore signals are sent to your brain that effect hormone levels involved in controlling appetite. For example diabetes is a condition that is related to improper levels of insulin hormone within the blood. Insulin is affected by changes in blood glucose (sugar) levels and your diet has a direct impact on those levels. At the same time, insulin resistance can lead you to pack on the pounds and have trouble getting it off.
The bottom line: to help heal the gut and positively impact digestion and immunity, you want to take a close look at avoiding the previously mentioned common digestive culprits and also consider altering some lifestyle factors like stress, sleep and toxin exposure. Too much stress, too little rest and exposure to chemicals from beauty products and poor air or water quality can also compromise gut health.
Changing your diet is key to overcoming leaky gut. Replacing processed foods in your diet – especially ones with sugar, vegetable oils and refined grains – with healthier whole foods instead can really dramatically help your overall mental and physical health.
Fermented foods, vegetables,certain fruits, healthy fats and quality proteins are especially important for healing leaky gut since they provide probiotics, various nutrients, antioxidants, fiber andanti-inflammatory.
Some foods that can help heal your digestive troubles and can slow down autoimmune reactions?
These include: easily digestible sources of animal protein like fish and organic poultry; healthy fat sources like nuts, seeds, coconut products (especially coconut oil), and avocadoes; all types of non-starchy veggies and starchy veggies too including sweet potatoes; low fructose fruits like berries, citrus and melons; bone broth and bitter or sour fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and apple cider vinegar that contain gut-healing probiotics.
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