Should we be concerned?
What is Leaky Gut?
We’re all aware that the gut refers to the abdominal region. Specifically, the gut is a long tube that begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. The gut is responsible for digestion as well as the absorption and expulsion of food. 90% of digestion and nutrient absorption occurs in the small intestines. A healthy small intestines maintains a semi-permeable membrane, inhibiting harmful materials such as gluten, proteins, bad bacteria and toxins from leaking into the bloodstream. In individuals with leaky gut syndrome the small intestines develop larger holes or passage ways for these harmful substances to enter the bloodstream.
Symptoms Associated with Leaky Gut
Now that you have a better understanding of leaky gut syndrome, you’re probably wondering if you’re in that 80% pool. The following is a list of common symptoms associated with leaky gut.
Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it. If untreated, leaky gut may progress into:
- Eczema + Psoriasis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Autoimmune disease
So yes, we should be concerned!
What Causes Leaky Gut?
Now that you understand the serious nature of leaky gut, you should probably know what causes it. The following is a list of 12 common causes.
How to Repair Leaky Gut Syndrome
Dr. Axe has developed a 4-step process designed to repair leaky gut syndrome and promote optimal gut health.
STEP 1: Remove foods and factors that damage the gut
- Conventional (inorganic, pesticide-laden) produce
- Gluten: wheat and other un-sprouted grains
- Conventional dairy (derived from conventional meat + pasteurized)
- Tap water (containing fluoride and chlorine)
- Conventional meat (antibiotic and hormone pumped)
STEP 2: Replace with healing foods
- Bone broth (contains L-glutamine)
- Coconut oil (especially beneficial for Candida)
- Fermented Foods such as: raw goats milk kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi
- Blueberries (superfood, antioxidant rich)
- Orange squashes (nourish the spleen and reduce anxiety)
STEP 3: Repair with specific supplements
- Digestive enzymes such as:
Protease – breaks down proteins (including gluten)
Amylase – breaks down starches
Lipase – breaks down fats
Lactase – breaks down lactose in dairy
- Adaptogenic herbs such as:
- L-glutamine powder (serves as a band-aid for gut lining)
Step 4: Rebalance with probiotics
Dr. Axe claims probiotics are the #1 deficiency in the United States. Probiotics are positive bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight off infection. They also line and repair the gut, while serving to breakdown gluten and casein. When we don’t have enough positive bacteria in our system, the side effects may lead to: digestive disorders, skin issues, candida, autoimmune disease, and frequent colds and flus.
Foods containing probiotics
- Yogurt (goat’s milk best, otherwise select a raw or organic, grass-fed varietal)
- Kefir (again, goat’s milk is ideal)
- Fermented foods such as: sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and kimchi
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
What to consider when purchasing a probiotic
- Brand quality — Seek reputable brands such as: Garden of Life, MegaFood and Axe Naturals
- High CFU count — CFU counts range from 15 billion to 100 billion. Purchase a probiotic brand that has a CFU count of 50 billion or higher.
- Strain diversity — Search for a probiotic supplement that has 10–30 different strains.
- Survivability — Look for robust strains like bacillus coagulans, saccharomyces boulardii, bacillus subtilis, lactobacillus rhamnosus, ensuring the probiotics make it to the gut and are able to colonize.
- Research — Do your homework and purchase a brand that supports your specific needs.
Nearly of the information within this post is courtesy of Dr. Axe. He is the man in the know in terms of all things gut related. If you’d like to learn more about healing leaky gut syndrome check out his free informational webinar here.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Katie Rodriguez nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.