LEAKY GUT - WHAT IS IT
A healthy gut denotes a healthy you! If your gut is unhealthy, you become prone to various diseases which drag you to sickness. Leaky gut is one of the most annoying diseases of the gut.
Your gut is naturally permeable to small molecules to absorb all vital nutrients. The basic function of the intestinal cells that line the walls of the intestines is to regulate intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is a condition where these cells get damaged and undigested food particles, toxic waste matter and bacteria pass through the intestines and ‘leak’ into the blood stream. Your gut is lined with a thick intestinal lining which can break apart due to infections, toxins, stress, etc. The gut cells of gluten sensitive people release a protein called zonulin. Zonulin breaks the tight junctions in the intestinal lining causing breaks in the lining. Once broken, these linings fall apart, and you have a condition called ‘Leaky Gut’.
With a leaky gut, unwanted substances like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles escape from your intestines into the blood stream and travel through the entire body. The symptoms of leaky gut can come up in any of the following forms.
10 Signs That Show You Have a Leaky Gut -
1. Poor immune system
2. Chronic constipation, diarrhoea, gaseous distension or bloating
3. Nutritional deficiencies
3. Headaches, poor memory, brain fag
4. Unusual cravings for sugar or carbohydrates
5. Excessive fatigue
6. Anxiety, depression, attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder
7. Arthritis or joint pains
8. Skin rashes and complaints like acne, eczema, rosacea
9. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, coeliac disease
10. Food allergies and sensitivities
Causes of a leaky gut - Most cases of leaky gut arise from your diet. Certain foods that you consume daily, including gluten, dairy and soy could have been taken as foreign invaders by your body that required to be fought off. After eating such foods, your body goes into war to produce antibodies that trigger an autoimmune response leading to diarrhoea, fatigue, headaches and joint pain. Leaky gut also occurs due to intake of medicines like antibiotics, steroids or over-the-counter pain killers taken without consulting your physician. These medicines irritate the intestinal lining and erode the protective mucous layers. This irritation restarts or continues the inflammation cycle leading to intestinal permeability.
How can you heal your leaky gut?
In order to heal your leaky gut, you can try to change your diet and eliminate the foods which cause your body to become toxic.
Follow the ‘4 R-rule’ to live a closed gut life!
1. Remove the foods causing your leaky gut, like gluten, soy, refined sugar, dairy, caffeine, etc.
2. Replace these foods with healthier options which are necessary for fulfilling your daily nutritional requirement.
3. Reestablish your balance of healthy bacteria in your gut by including foods like yogurt, probiotics, etc. in your diet.
4. Repair your body with the help of essential nutrients. Include vitamin supplements to your daily diet, to fulfil the losses. Amino acids like L-glutamine, help rejuvenate the inner lining of the gut wall.
Adhere to these dietary changes and start feeling lively all again within 4-6 weeks.