What is Leaky Gut?

Increased intestinal permeability (IP), often known as leaky gut, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and poisons can "leak" through the intestinal wall.

Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is a disorder that many doctors and healthcare professionals are unaware of. However, recent scientific research reveals that leaky gut can cause various health problems.1 

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

Many of the symptoms of leaky gut are similar to those of other illnesses. This makes it harder for doctors to identify that it is a leaky gut.

Leaky Gut may cause the following symptoms - 

  • Joint pain
  • Headaches 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Issues with skin, such as acne
  • Fatigue 
  • Confusion/difficulty concentrating 
  • Inflammation widespread  

Causes of Leaky Gut

Experts are still unsure what causes leaky gut syndrome. Increased intestinal permeability, on the other hand, is well-known and occurs in conjunction with a number of chronic disorders, including Coeliac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.2 

Tight junctions are regulated by the protein Zonulin. Higher amounts of this protein have been found to loosen tight junctions and promote intestinal permeability in studies.3 

There are also various risk factors that can disturb the gut microbiota, leading to an increase in IP. 

Some examples are: 

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Diabetes
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Autoimmune disorders 
  • Infections

Your Gut

Food is broken down and nutrients are absorbed in the human digestive tract. The digestive system also aids in the protection of the body against hazardous chemicals. The intestines' walls serve as barriers, limiting what enters the bloodstream and is carried to your organs.

Tight junctions are small holes in the gut wall that allow water and nutrients to pass through while restricting dangerous substances. The ease with which chemicals flow through the gut wall is referred to as intestinal permeability.

The gut becomes more permeable as the tight connections between intestinal walls loosen, potentially allowing bacteria and poisons to move from the gut into the bloodstream. "Leaky gut" is a term used to describe this problem.

When the gut is “leaky” and bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream, it can cause widespread inflammation and possibly trigger a reaction from the immune system.

Treatments/Remedies for Leaky Gut

There is no conventional treatment for leaky gut because many doctors do not believe it to be a legitimate medical problem.

Certain dietary and lifestyle adjustments, on the other hand, may help people enhance their gut health. As a result, leaky gut symptoms may be reduced.

Following these tips may help to improve your gut health and improve digestion - 

  • Probiotics to boost healthy bacteria in the gut 
  • Eating foods that are rich in prebiotic fiber 
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics 
  • Avoid sweeteners and added sugars
  • Where possible, reduce stress 
  • Good night's sleep

Some of the foods that can help to improve your digestive health: 

  • Omega 3 rich fish 
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Healthy fats, such as avocado oil 
  • Nuts
  • Gluten free grains, such as buckwheat 
  • Seeds, such as chia seeds

Fibrous vegetables, fruits, fermented vegetables, cultured dairy products, healthy fats, and lean, unprocessed meats should all be included in a diet that promotes digestive health.

The Bottom Line

Overall, LGS causes holes in the gut walls, allowing dangerous germs and toxins to enter the bloodstream. 

Researchers have discovered substantial evidence that leaky gut exists. Leaky gut has also been linked to a variety of health problems, according to research.3 

Scientists have yet to discover how leaky gut contributes directly to the course of these diseases.

The most effective strategy to avoid this is to promote gut health through dietary and lifestyle changes.

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