Happy Tummy: Understanding and Treating a Leaky Gut

Today’s busy lifestyle is really stressful and bad for your gut, because the entire digestive system can be affected by processed foods, medications, alcohol, stress and bacteria. These are digestive irritants causing inflammation of the intestinal tract and a lot of pinprick-style leaks in a very delicate and thin lining of the intestines. A tiny leak can be a big problem causing undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria to the bloodstream that leads to a potentially out sized immune response. Severely damaged intestinal lining causes substances to regularly leak which can cause bigger problems. The conditions associated with a leaky syndrome are allergies, asthma, acne, arthritis and autism. The symptoms of a leaky gut may include fatigue, respiratory issues, joint pain, rashes, and autoimmune responses like psoriasis.

The first step in treating a leaky gut is identification and removal of the source of the irritation intestinal linings. Identification and removal of intestinal irritants include beginning an elimination diet, keeping a food journal, limiting use of NSAIDs and alcohol, and ruling out infections. Elimination of digestive irritants such as dairy, sugar, soy, gluten and chemical additives found in processed foods is helpful to reduce your gut leak. These foods should be eliminated for two weeks, and are reintroduced taking note its effects. Having an elimination list of foods that makes you gassy, bloated or fatigued will help you monitor the foods you need to avoid. Your gut can tell you the foods you’re sensitive to, all you need to do is listen. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibits the production of prostaglandins needed for rebuilding the lining of the intestines, while alcohol steals the nutrients from your gut. Parasites and pathogenic microorganisms can instigate a leaky gut, so run a medical check-up and appropriate tests.

You need to consume foods with high fiber such as berries, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, and whole-kernel grains for elimination of toxic waste materials quickly and efficiently. You may also consume food supplements such as flaxseed, chia seeds, psyllium seeds, or oat bran. Enzyme supplements taken with meals three times a day gives your gastrointestinal tract a jump-start for good digestion, so food are easier to break down and nutrients are easier to assimilate. Supplementing your diet with glutamine fuels the small intestinal lining to support digestion and immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and rebuild the wall of the digestive system, so you can consume avocado, seeds, nuts, cold-water fish and purslane. It is important to avoid foods for upset stomach, and consuming foods that are helpful in achieving a digestive system.