No medical journal jargon, no long-winded 20 paged reports, no clipart diagrams.
Just real, basic words that we can all understand. Because what is leaky gut anyways? The best opinion out there comes from Dr. Axe, a leader in functional medicine and gut expert. He wrote Eat Dirt, which is all about leaky gut and how to cure it – a must read if you also suffer from it too.
So, what is leaky gut?
Naturally, the lining of your digestive tract has tiny holes in it. But, if you have leaky gut, these holes get larger over time and toxins, microbes, and bits of food will pass through when they shouldn’t. This causes inflammation since the bacteria and contents inside your digestive tract are different than what’s outside of it. Items like proteins like gluten, bad bacteria, and undigested foods particles are moving though that lining. Plus, Dr. Axe adds that “toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your bloodstream causing an immune reaction” in this post.
Then, what causes leaky gut?
- Dr. Axe states that leaky gut stems from these main areas:
- Poor diet. The most common foods that damage your intestinal lining are the proteins found in un-sprouted grains, sugar, GMO’s, and conventional dairy. Plus, eating GMO and pesticide-ridden food and conventional meat also contribute to our toxic load that we ingest through food.
- Chronic stress, weakening the immune system over time.
- Chemical exposure from pollution, off-gassing, pesticides, additives, household cleaners, and beauty products.
- Medication overload, including cold and flu meds, antibiotics, and taking too many over-the-counter drugs and painkillers.
- A bacterial imbalance
What are the symptoms of leaky gut?
- According to Dr. Axe, symptoms include:
- Food allergies and food sensitivities
- IBS and IBD
- Autoimmune disease
- Thyroid issues
- Inflammatory skin conditions
- Mood issues and autism
How to cure leaky gut:
There is no cure, just lifestyle and diet management. It takes time to heal itself, just be patient!
What works for me:
- Given my health issues, I eat smaller meals because it works for me. I can’t digest my food very well in big portions, so I eat many little meals throughout the day.
- I also cut out the sugar and alcohol since I had an intestinal yeast overgrowth. The sugars feed the yeast and cause them to grow.
- Also, going gluten-free really shifted the way my functions. It decreased my gut inflammation, bloating, and stomach pain. I also can digest my food and absorb my nutrients since the gluten was attacking my white blood cells (due to my celiac disease).
- Lastly, eating plant-based is another tip because it is anti-inflammatory. Meat, dairy, sugar, and alcohol all cause inflammation in the body. For me, I notice that if I eat those things, I will also flare up and have more intense symptoms. So, plant-based is the way to go for my body.
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Peace, love, and cheers to a functional life!
-Kelly from The Wild Manifesto