How to Heal a Leaky Gut and What to Expect Along the Way
6 minute read
It seems that everywhere you turn, someone is talking about gut health and how important it is. It may feel like a little too much attention, but health really is everything, and having a healthy microbiome can be the key to everything from mental health to physical health.
If you’re interested in improving your health across the board, then your first step is to look at your gut health and determining if leaky gut syndrome is affecting your health. Just remember, fixing a leaky gut is not an instant cure; however, it is an excellent way to start healing your body from the inside and putting your health first.
Here is what to expect when you decide to heal your leaky gut.
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
One of the key phrases you’ll hear tossed around is leaky gut syndrome. While this is a trendy term and designed for the layperson, the more scientific term is “increased intestinal permeability.”
In an article produced by Harvard Health Publishing, a division of Harvard Medical School, it is posited that we all have some degree of leaky gut because that’s simply the way our intestines work.
The more than 4,000 square feet of surface area in our guts is designed to form a barrier that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream and what gets evacuated as waste. When a gut is considered unhealthy, it contains large cracks or holes, allowing food, toxins, bacteria, and more to slip right through.
When your gut isn’t properly controlling absorption, your body suffers from inflammation and changes in the good gut bacteria that keep you healthy. This leads to problems that can be significant and far reaching. It could even play a role in the development of chronic disease and other problems, like metabolic syndrome.
How Does Leaky Gut Develop?
Part of learning how to heal your leaky gut is discovering how it develops. For some people, genetics play the biggest role in leaky gut. Not everyone’s intestines are built the same, though; while one person’s intestines form a strong barrier, others may be inherently weak.
While you can’t do anything about your genetics, you can make some lifestyle changes and cut out things that lead to leaky gut syndrome. The following things have been correlated with leaky gut:
♦ Low-fiber diet
♦ Diet high in sugar and saturated fats
♦ Heavy alcohol use
How to Cure a Leaky Gut
Grandma was on the right path when she recommended chicken soup to cure your cold. Eating certain foods and avoiding others is often the key to a cure. This is especially true when you’re looking to cure leaky gut syndrome. The following tips can help you heal, and you should always start with your diet first.
Change Your Diet
The first thing is to look at your diet objectively and see if you can remove refined sugars and saturated fats. Look to replace them with lots of fiber, like that found in whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
Add a Supplement
Look for a gut health supplement that will give you the right combination of ingredients to help you build a stronger gut barrier once you start reversing the damage.
One ingredient that you should specifically look for in a supplement is glutamine, L-glutamine in particular.
| Related: L-Glutamine: The Leaky Gut Superhero |
Glutamine is an amino acid molecule that serves as a building block for protein. L-glutamine plays a very important role in your immune system, which is vital in the intestines where a great amount of warding off bacteria and toxins takes place.
L-glutamine is also responsible for maintaining that vital gut barrier between your intestines and the rest of your body.
Avoid Alcohol Excess
There are several different ways that alcohol exposure can harm the gut and cause intestinal permeability. “Alcohol, Intestinal Bacterial Growth, Intestinal, Permeability to Endotoxin, and Medical Consequences”, is a summary of a symposium that looked at this very topic and not only clearly linked alcohol abuse to leaky gut, but then went further to tie that to other chronic conditions.
Be Aware of Food and Other Sensitivities
If you have a particular food sensitivity or an allergy, then these things could be causing leaky gut syndrome if you don’t steer clear of them. While food sensitivities can be particularly destructive and noticeable in the gut with cramping and bowel issues, there are other products that are consumed that may have similar reactions.
When you’re working to repair and rebuild your intestines, remember that the results may not be as fast as you’d hoped. It takes time to heal. Also, there are often other health conditions present when someone has leaky gut, and these conditions may make it harder to heal.
The Bottom Line
Intestinal permeability is something that all of us have, by design. It’s not necessarily a bad thing until holes or tears appear in the intestinal barrier, prompting leaky gut syndrome.
This is an area of great discussion lately and it’s a hot button for researchers as well. The evidence keeps rolling in, but it appears as though the Ancient Greeks were on to something when they pointed to the stomach as the cause of many illnesses.
If you’re concerned about leaky gut, there are some things you can do to help heal your intestines and put your body back in balance. Make sure to change your diet to focus on foods that are fresh and healthy and full of natural fiber, eliminate sugars and saturated fats. If you consume alcohol, make sure it’s always in moderation, and even then, you may want to cut back.
And be sure to add a supplement that’s designed to support gut health by boosting the L-glutamine in your daily regimen.