Could I Have Leaky Gut?

Could I Have Leaky Gut?

If you have had digestive distress and discomfort for some time it’s likely you’ve been diagnosed with IBS-C or D, acid reflux or food poisoning. You’ve been put on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), laxatives, fiber supplements, pain medication or antidepressants. Maybe the medicines along with a food plan helped temporarily alleviate symptoms. More often than not your troubles come back.  As you turn to the internet to learn about your symptoms and treatments you have come across the term leaky gut. Have you wondered what it means?

Inside our digestive tract, we have an extensive intestinal lining covering more than 4,000 square feet of surface area. When working properly, it forms a tight barrier that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream. An unhealthy intestinal lining may have large cracks or holes, allowing partially digested food, toxins, and bugs to penetrate the tissues beneath it. This may trigger inflammation and changes in the gut flora (normal bacteria) that could lead to problems within the digestive tract and beyond. It is at the root of many gut and health disorders including those mentioned above. Your gastrointestinal tract is meant to digest food, break it down into its component parts, and absorb what is needed for nutrition while keeping out infectious organisms, such as harmful bacteria, parasites, and yeast.

We all have some degree of leaky gut, as this barrier is not completely impenetrable (and isn’t supposed to be!). Some of us may have a genetic predisposition and may be more sensitive to changes in the digestive system, but our DNA is just one possible cause. Modern life may actually be the main driver of gut inflammation. There is emerging research that the standard American diet, which is low in fiber and high in sugar and saturated fats, may initiate this process. Heavy alcohol use, chronic stress, infections, low stomach acid, antibiotic use and anti-inflammatory drug use also seem to disrupt the balance and cause leaky gut.

What are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut?

Digestive system changes like bloating, diarrhea, gas, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Seasonal allergies
Hormonal imbalances like PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome).
Autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Skin conditions like acne, rosacea, or eczema.
Candida overgrowth, which is a fungal infection in humans.
Food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances.
 A Weak or poor immune system.
Arthritis or joint pain.

Although it is unusual to hear the term “increased intestinal permeability” or “leaky gut” in most doctors’ offices, alternative and integrative medicine practitioners have successfully worked on gut healing as an initial step to treat chronic diseases for decades. Other cultures around the world often recommend specific diets based on leaky gut to make people feel better. Treatment plans need to be flexible based on the clients specific symptom presentation and lifestyle but dietary change is a standard component to healing. Typically alternative medicine practitioners follow a 5 R Protocol:  Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair and Rebalance.

And to answer that question in your mind – Yes! Leaky gut can be healed. With this healing you can also see a reversal of other conditions like IBS and Autoimmune Disease. The process can take several months but the reward is unquestionably worth it. No more embarrassing restroom emergencies, looking 6 months pregnant by 6pm and no more lifelong prescription medications. When I started my journey of healing over a decade ago there weren’t nearly as many resources as there are today. The options for supplementations are endless and thanks to bold and brave patients like yourself there are caring practitioners and health coaches who want to help you get well as much as you do. If this sounds familiar and you want to learn more about the possibility that leaky gut is plaguing you please send me a message. My absolute joy is to help others overcome their issues without spending years and $$$$ chasing a diagnoses and program you have to run alone. I can’t wait to help you!

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