7 Signs You May Have Leaky Gut Syndrome & Treatments
8 minute read
Even though it is catching on as a popular topic, many people still do not know the basic facts about leaky gut syndrome, or some of the signs that they may be suffering from it.
As the medical evidence continues to come in, more and more people have begun viewing leaky gut syndrome, also called gut hyper-permeability, as a real health issue that needs to be addressed.
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome is the result of a weak gut lining that allows bad bacteria into your digestive system at a rate beyond what is ideal. Your digestive system, also known as your gut, is a delicate environment that contains trillions of bacteria, some good and some bad.
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When your gut lining has worn thin, i.e., become too permeable, through years of a poor diet or other strenuous activity, it can cause bad bacteria to flood your gut microbiome and outnumber the good bacteria. When this happens, it can manifest itself in a number of symptoms.
To help you identify the signs of leaky gut syndrome, below is a list of some of the effects it can cause. If you’ve noticed yourself experiencing one or more of these on a regular basis, it could be the result of leaky gut syndrome.
This might manifest itself in painful digestion or cramps, caused by eating foods to which your gut has become sensitive. When leaky gut syndrome strikes, your gut lining is seriously impaired.
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This can make it easier for harmful bacteria and other negative elements to make their way into your digestive system, which can be exacerbated by certain particular foods. Gluten is a common food in this category, as people with leaky gut syndrome often experience sensitivity to gluten.
For anyone who has suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS), you know how debilitating the symptoms can be on your daily life. IBS can cause you to need the bathroom at a moment’s notice, but there are other less-known symptoms that can be just as bad.
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Constipation, painful bowel movements, and other issues related to IBS can greatly impact your quality of life. IBS symptoms are one of the telltale signs of a leaky gut. Without a healthy gut lining, your digestion can be thrown way out of whack, and this can often result in IBS.
Your immune system is one of the most important parts of your health, but unfortunately, it often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. We often take our immune system for granted, but the truth is, it can be greatly diminished if you don’t maintain proper digestive health. A strong healthy gut lining is key to protecting your immunity and keeping autoimmune diseases at bay.
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Good nutrition is extremely important when it comes to immune strength, and when you have leaky gut syndrome, it impacts your body’s ability to digest food properly. That means you can’t obtain the proper amount of nutrients from your food, which can leave you vulnerable to disease.
Your thyroid is responsible for a wide range of bodily functions, including weight management and hormone regulation. If you’ve noticed your body gaining unwanted weight that is difficult to shed, one of the reasons for this could be an underactive thyroid.
Your thyroid and your digestion are closely related, so if you’re suffering from thyroid issues, it’s a good sign that you may have leaky gut syndrome. Thyroid problems can be hard to detect, but if you notice swelling under your jaw on the sides of your face, that’s one easy way to check if your thyroid is inflamed.
As alluded to earlier, a leaky gut impacts your body’s ability to pull nutrients from food. In addition to leaving your body vulnerable to diseases, malnutrition can cause a wide range of other problems as well.
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If your body isn’t absorbing the right amount of nutrients, it can decrease your energy levels during the day, cause you to crave unhealthy junk foods, and it can even impact your cognitive abilities. You need a better diet for your digestive system. Instead of junk food, try eating more probiotic foods.
Inflammatory Skin Conditions
The skin is the body’s largest organ, but it is often overlooked in terms of its relationship to your other organs. The fact is, your skin can be impacted greatly by your digestion.
You may have noticed yourself breaking out after eating poorly for an extended period of time. This is a direct result of poor gut health causing inflammation, which can lead to serious skin conditions. If you do have leaky gut syndrome, one of the ways it may manifest itself is with inflamed skin.
Another way that your gut health can impact your body and mind overall is by altering your mood. When your digestive health is in good working order, it means your hormones are being regulated properly, and your mood is at a normal level.
Sure, outside stimuli can cause you to be in a bad mood, but that is perfectly natural. What’s not natural is when your gut bacteria begin to affect your mood due to an improper balance in your gut microbiome.
Leaky gut syndrome causes bad bacteria to overtake the good bacteria in your gut, which can affect your mind and mood via something called the “brain/gut axis.” This is often the reason for junk food cravings—bad gut bacteria thrive on sugars and starches, and when they take over your digestion, they cause you to crave these foods as well.
How to Treat Leaky Gut
If you think you may have leaky gut syndrome, the best thing to do is consult with your physician. One popular treatment you can get on your own, though, is probiotics.
Probiotic foods and supplements can both help improve your microbiome and combat leaky gut.
The Bottom Line
Leaky gut can be hard to diagnose sometimes. The symptoms can be very subtle, and it can be hard to determine if you really are suffering from this common condition. Hopefully, this list of symptoms can serve as a helpful guide, so you will know if you are suffering from leaky gut, and how it can affect you.