What is Leaky gut?
Leaky gut is another way of saying that your intestinal wall is permeable, which means unbroken down macronutrients can leak into the bloodstream. Leaky gut is specific to the small intestine, the organ that connects the stomach to the large intestine (colon), and is where the assimilation of nutrients happens.
Assimilation of Nutrients in a Healthy Gut
A healthy gut is lined with villi, finger like projections that are waving in the digestive tube. These waving projections are responsible for the uptake of nutrients from the small intestines into the blood stream, and into to the cells to be used as fuel. 90% of what we eat is transported through the villi so we need them to be strong.
What Happens in an Unhealthy Gut?
When the intestine is damaged, the villi get squashed and they are no longer waving to take up nutrients to deliver to the blood and cells. This is what happens when inflammation occurs in the gut.
The cells lining the intestinal wall are designed to sit closely together to restrict nutrients that are not fully broken down from getting into the bloodstream. When the gut is leaky, unbroken down food particles leak through fissures in the gut and into the bloodstream. These unbroken down food particles are foreign to the body, and immune cells will attack them as if they were a pathogenic invader. Even if you ate a piece of kale, since it is not completely broken down, it will be foreign to the immune system, and will be attacked.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
Inflammation in the intestinal wall
Diets high in sugar and simple carbohydrates
Why is Leaky Gut a Problem?
Cells do not receive proper nourishment
Immune cells in our intestinal lining are compromised—70% of the immune system is in our gut lining!
The body is less resistant to infection
We are susceptible to autoimmune diseases where the body starts to strike itself; all auto immune diseases are born in the gut. Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride, physician and known for her groundbreaking work with GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome), and many other pieces of research have stated that autoimmune diseases are a digestive disorder.
Tips to Heal and Avoid Leaky Gut
1. Take a Probiotic
Probiotics help to rebuild the microbiome (intestinal flora), strengthen the immune system, and reduce chronic inflammation.
2. Add Apple cider vinegar to your glass of water upon waking
Try adding a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar to lukewarm or warm water. Acids improve digestion and limit growth of unfriendly bacteria.
3. Take an L-Glutamine Supplement
L-Glutamine is the preferred source of fuel for the small intestines to rebuild and repair. It acts as a band-aid for further damage and protection. It also improves metabolism and detoxification. You can also add foods rich in L-Glutamine, such as bone broth, spirulina, asparagus, turkey and wild fish.
4. Try an Elimination Diet. Foods that trigger leaky gut contain gluten, dairy, corn, eggs and soy.
If you are experiencing brain fog, depression, bloating, gas, or having trouble losing weight, this could be caused by a leaky gut. If you would like support in resolving this issue, schedule a complimentary consultation with me.