9 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut + How to Heal Fast and Prevent a Relapse
7 minute read
For the millions of people who experience the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, it's a real problem. Leaky gut occurs when your intestinal wall becomes more permeable, and particles other than nutrients can pass through to your blood.
The link between leaky gut and autoimmune conditions makes it a serious problem, so it is important to identify leaky gut before your health declines.
What You Need to Know About Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is mostly caused by diet. Certain foods like gluten and dairy can cause allergic reactions, which damage the intestinal wall and increase inflammation. Leaky gut can also be caused by an imbalanced gut microbiome from overuse of certain medications such as antibiotics.
When the beneficial bacteria in your gut are outnumbered by pathogenic strains, inflammation and intestinal damage can occur. This makes the tight junctions in your intestinal wall become loose, causing particles and undigested food to pass through.
The only things that can pass through a healthy gut are nutrients. However, when unauthorized particles pass through the gut wall, your immune system will react. These particles are identified as foreign, and an inflammatory attack is released. If they travel throughout the body to healthy organs, sadly these organs also come under attack.
Autoimmune conditions increase your risk for leaky gut, and, conversely leaky gut can contribute to autoimmune conditions. Chronic inflammation is the underlying factor that links these two conditions, so controlling this is the key to preventing a leaky gut or autoimmune response.
Before you can control inflammation, you need to first identify that you have a leaky gut, and then you can make the changes to improve symptoms.
9 Ways to Identify Leaky Gut
There are several symptoms to look for that can indicate you have a leaky gut. Should you notice any of these, you need to speak with your doctor for testing. Once leaky gut has been identified, you can make dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation and promote the healing of your gut.
The good news is that, with the right diet and supplemental support, your gut can return to full health.
There are symptoms that can identify a leaky gut, but they can also identify other conditions. Should you notice any of the 9 symptoms below, especially a combination of them, be sure to speak with your doctor so they can help to accurately diagnose the condition.
♦ Nutritional deficiencies, which occur as a result of your damaged intestine being unable to properly absorb nutrients.
♦ Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
♦ Chronic headaches or brain fog as well as memory loss
♦ Excessive fatigue that does not improve with sleep and rest
♦ Poor immune system function, which occurs as a result of imbalanced gut microbiome. The bacteria in your gut support your immune system function. When they are depleted by inflammation (triggered by a leaky gut), they cannot provide this support, and your risk for illness increases.
♦ Cravings for carbohydrates and sugars. The harmful bacteria in your gut thrive off of these foods, and crave them as the good bacteria is depleted.
♦ Arthritis and joint pains, which result from the excessive inflammation in your body that is triggered by the particles leaking through your gut wall.
♦ Skin rashes or irritations like eczema, acne, or rosacea
♦ Depression or anxiety, which occurs because the gut and brain communicate via the gut-brain axis and an imbalanced gut can trigger inflammation in the brain.
How to Heal a Leaky Gut
The best way to heal a leaky gut or prevent it in the first place is with dietary changes. Specifically, by eliminating foods that trigger inflammation or cause allergic reactions, you can reduce the risk of leaky gut and allow for any damage to heal.
Gluten, dairy, soy, and refined sugars are the common culprits known to cause leaky gut and eliminating these will give you improved health in a few weeks.
Inflammatory foods you should consider eliminating are processed meats, refined grains (white bread), unhealthy fats, spicy foods, and alcohol. In addition to removing foods that cause inflammation, you want to eat foods that reduce inflammation, this will encourage your gut to heal properly.
The best anti-inflammatory foods include:
♦ Blueberries (any berries will help fight inflammation)
♦ Fresh fish full of omega-3 fatty acids
♦ Whole grains
♦ Chia seeds
♦ Green tea
Making these suggested dietary changes will help prevent inflammation in the first place. Several of the anti-inflammatory foods contain nutrients and beneficial compounds that can also soothe a damaged gut wall and allow for healing. Once the gut is restored to optimal health, you should continue the leaky gut diet to ensure it does not develop again.
If you have an autoimmune condition, a leaky gut diet will help prevent inflammation that can aggravate the condition.
Getting regular exercise and reducing stress are additional ways to prevent and reduce inflammation. Exercise not only reduces fat storage, which can trigger chronic inflammation, but it promotes better digestion and overall health. Reducing stress is essential because stress releases the harmful hormone cortisol, and this triggers the production of inflammatory chemicals.
Practicing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are good ways to keep stress and inflammation minimized.
You can also choose to add supplemental support to help ward off leaky gut. Along with omega-3 supplements, probiotics can help to maintain gut health by supporting your natural gut bacterial colony. Additional supplements that contain the beneficial yeast S. boulardii can also help by reducing inflammation and promoting quick healing for a leaky gut.
The Bottom Line
Despite the dangers that leaky gut can contribute to autoimmune disorders and other diseases, there is no need to fret. Inflammation is the culprit, and this can be controlled. With the right dietary changes and supplemental support, you can reduce inflammation and allow your gut to heal.
Once healed, the right lifestyle will ensure that your gut remains strong, and leaky gut will become a thing of the past.