LEAKY GUT & THE ROAD TO COMPLETE HEALTH

leaky gut
leaky gut

You may be asking yourself, what the heck is Leaky Gut? Do I have leaky gut?  Well, chances are you do but take a breath because leaky gut is curable!

At a young age I began having issues with dairy. I experienced stomach aches all the time. My immune system was impacted a great deal resulting in multiple episodes of strep throat. What we didn’t know back then was the impact that gluten had on our health. I think for me, it goes without saying that dairy and gluten took it’s toll on my gut resulting in chronic inflammation, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Epstein Barr flair-ups and more. Years of this particular lifestyle combined with stress resulted in cancer and chronic fatigue. I know that many of you are experiencing some of these issues but I can assure you that YOU CAN heal.

WHAT IS LEAKY GUT?

Leaky gut is a process where the lining of the intestines becomes permeable making it possible for food particles as well as toxins to pass through. These particles and toxins move into your blood stream-where they are NOT supposed to be. Over time this causes inflammation in the gut as well as in the body which leads to disease. 

WHAT CAUSES LEAKY GUT?

There are many different factors that can lead to leaky gut. Some of the most common causes are:

  • low stomach acid
  • NSAIDS
  • stress
  • poor diet
  • alcohol
  • low stomach acid
  • viruses/infections
  • GMO’S
  • lectins
  • medications/antibiotic

According to Mayo Clinic, leaky gut symptoms may include bloating, gas, food sensitivities, aches and pains.

gut brain

THE SECOND BRAIN

Did you know that the gut is referred to as your second brain? Seems strange right but it’s not. Over 90% of Serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for “feeling good” is produced in the gut. SURPRISING HUH? So you can imagine is the gut is out of balance then you can count on the production of serotonin being off. 

The brain and the gut have quite the marriage. The Vagus nerve ties this all together. Through this nerve, the brain communicates to the gut. This action involves digestion, metabolism and absorption. When the gut-brain balance is off, WE are off so it’s vital that we begin the healing process.

FOODS THAT CAUSE LEAKY GUT

  • Gluten- is a protein found in wheat, barley & other grains that is  non-digestible because we lack an enzyme to break it down. Gluten is made up of 2 proteins called Glutenin & Gliadin. Gliadin resembles the tissue of the thyroid so when this is absorbed into the blood stream, the immune system begins to attack. Because it resembles thyroid tissues, the immune system also attacks the thyroid. This is an autoimmune response resulting in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Even without a diagnosed gluten allergy or Celiac diagnosis, we can all benefit from cutting out gluten. 
  • Dairy- dairy contains the proteins whey and casein. Because pasteurized milk lacks necessary enzymes to break these down, these can pass through the gut wall resulting in inflammation.
  • Corn- corn, especially GMO corn, poses a similar response as gluten. It is essential to eliminate corn especially during an elimination diet or in healing the gut.
  • Soy- it’s important to know that soy is highly processed. It also interferes with the absorption of selenium which affects the conversation of T4 to T3 for proper thyroid function. It’s important to eliminate soy as well during the healing process.
  • Sugar- need I say more?!!! It cannot be said enough how toxic sugar is. Sugar is responsible for many disorders such as leaky gut, fatty liver, cancer, high cholesterol and more. There are healthier options when sweetening recipes so consider things like maple syrup,  date and coconut sugar as well as honey.
  • Lectins- Lectins are proteins found in nightshades, legumes, corn and gluten that bind to the intestinal wall and allowing food particles to break through. 
  • Eggs- yes eggs….unfortunately egg yolks are high in omega-6 fatty acids which cause inflammation. It’s important to know that most eggs come from chickens that are fed GMO corn which poses a huge threat to our gut. Be sure to buy pasture raised organic eggs but refrain all together while healing the gut.
  • Phylates- phylates are salts or acids that interfere with the absorption of essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. Nuts and seeds contain phylates so it’s important to sprout or soak all seeds and nuts overnight before consuming. 
  • Nightshades- for the healing process it’s important for some to cut out nightshades because they contain lectins. They also produces alkaloids which is like a natural insect repellant that if eaten in high amounts can affect our gut.
  • FODMAPs- FODMAPs are easily know as sugar alcohols- fermentable oligo-, di- and monosaccharides and polyols. These sugar alcohols are responsible for a a fermentation process in the gut that causes bloating and gas. IBS patients do well with cutting out FODMAPs.

These are a handful of foods and proteins that affect leaky gut. So how do we begin the repairing process?

HEALING THE GUT

We begin by eliminating the items I have already mentioned including:

    • Dairy
    • Gluten
    • Soy
    • Corn
    • Lectins
    • Phylates
    • Eggs
    • Sugar
    • FODMAPs

Beyond the eliminations, we introduce things like:

  • Prebiotic
  • Probiotics
  • Enzymes
  • Glutamine
  • Fiber
  • Healthy fats

It’s important to understand that while this is a sure-fire plan in healing leaky gut, everyone must be treated individually. Working with a practitioner and devising a plan based on your history and current symptoms is optimal. 

I cannot express enough that healing is 100% possible. I know how discouraging it can be when you feel like crap!

But know that I am here to support you on your journey. 

I’m here and happy to connect. If you share a similar journey or have question feel free to comment or message me. 

Cheers to your best life!

Jennifer

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  1. Kerrie Maitland says:

    Hi Jen, I was recently diagnosed with Leaky Gut. Do you recommend any specific book for healing that would include a food lifestyle diet plan?
    Thanks for all the great posts on food and healthy living!

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