I first heard about leaky gut syndrome when I visited an integrative medicine doctor in 2016.
To be honest, I didn’t take it seriously then. I was still new in my diagnosis and didn’t want to accept that there was something “wrong” with me.
As I continue on my journey to optimum wellness, I find myself revisiting some of the concepts like leaky gut to see how I can apply it.
If you’re interested in learning more about leaky gut syndrome and how it can impact your health, keep reading.
What is leaky gut?
Let’s start with the basics. What is leaky gut syndrome?
Intestinal permeability, commonly referred to as leaky gut, is a digestive condition that can cause inflammation and autoimmunity.
Increased permeability means that the cells of your intestines are weaker or loosely knit. Think of large cracks or gaps in your intestinal walls.
This looseness makes it easier for larger compounds like protein from food and bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
What causes leaky gut?
Leaky gut is still a major gray in the health field. It can occur due to any number of reasons such as food sensitivities, poor diet, gut infections, or even chronic stress.
The link between leaky gut and autoimmune disease
While it’s not considered an official medication diagnosis, there are studies that demonstrate a link between your gut microbes and autoimmunity.
Random fact: Approximately 70% of your immune system is in your gut.
So it stands to reason that when there is an imbalance in the gut, the immune system can be affected. There are studies that show certain gut microbes can trigger autoimmune disease in people.
These results open new possibilities for treating and healing autoimmune diseases outside of western medications.
What are the symptoms of leaky gut?
One of the reasons leaky gut is overlooked is because it shares many of its symptoms with other health conditions.
Some of the symptoms of leaky gut include:
- chronic diarrhea
- nutritional deficiencies
- headaches and migraines
- brain fog
- difficulty concentrating
- skin problems, such as acne, or eczema
- arthritis or joint pain
- Autoimmune disease such as RA, lupus, Crohns, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis etc.
How do you heal leaky gut?
The first thing I want to say is be wary of anything or anyone that tells you they have the cure for leaky gut.
With that being said, there are a few things you can try to incorporate to help restore your gut back to health.
The first is adding in supplements. Zinc, L-glutamine, collagen peptides, Turmeric, and probiotics are helpful in creating a better gut environment.
Supplements can be expensive and taking a ton of pills daily (even natural supplements) seems daunting to me. I’d start with one or two before buying them all. Personally, I take a daily probiotic and turmeric.
After supplements, the next recommendation is to look at your diet. There are a ton of “diets” you can look into: AIP, gluten- free, low FODMAP. The list goes on and on.
I know. I hate it too when people tell me to change my diet to cure my MG. But just hear me out for a second.
It’s very common for folks to change their diets in pursuit of a healthier them, myself included. The main goal is to eliminate consumption of things that cause inflammation or have a negative effect on your gut flora (processed foods, alcohol etc).
The trick is getting to know your body and eliminating things that YOUR body sees as toxic or inflammatory. So while AIP may work for one, low FODMAP may be better for someone one.
While results vary as far as being healed from leaky gut or an autoimmune disease, generally people feel better after a diet change because their body is no longer fighting with inflammatory triggers.
Focusing in on My Leaky Gut
I don’t know if I have leaky gut for sure but I feel like this is something for me to explore and test out.
I tried the AIP diet a couple of years ago and didn’t notice a real difference but I also didn’t know what to look for. So I may revisit that or look into one of the others.
Over the next few months, I plan on monitoring my diet and tracking how I feel mentally, emotionally and physically. But again, what works for me, may not work for you so I encourage you to research the various meal styles and see which one fits your liking and also your lifestyle.
Would you guys be interested in me sharing my meals and things here? Let me know in the comments below.