7 SIGNS YOU HAVE LEAKY GUT SYNDROME & HOW YOU CAN HEAL IT
When it works perfectly, the lining of your gut keeps out the toxins, allergens and microbes that would otherwise make you sick, while absorbing the nutrients that are essential for great health. But with leaky gut syndrome, things don’t run quite so smoothly. When there’s an increase in the permeability of the small intestine, foreign compounds can escape into the bloodstream, increasing the sensitivity of the immune system, triggering auto-immune reactions and causing a whole host of common health problems.
Here we round up 7 of the most common signs that you have leaky gut syndrome – and how you can heal it.
1. Food Allergies
A leaky gut overworks the immune system, which can put you at risk of developing food allergies. If you find that you’re noticing sensitivities to foods like bread and milk, it’s worth looking into gut permeability testing then repairing the gut lining by eliminating the trigger foods.
2. Digestive distress
From IBS and constipation to indigestion and heartburn, leaky gut is responsible for all kinds of digestive distress. It all comes down to gut microbes. In a healthy gut, they work to regulate, clean and repair the digestive system. But when the gut lining is too permeable, the microbiota isn’t fed those nutrients that aren’t being properly digested. It’s at this stage that intolerances begin to develop, leading to those uncomfortable tummy troubles.
3. Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune disease isn’t just a sign of leaky gut syndrome – it’s a cause of poor gut health. There are more than 80 recognised autoimmune diseases including Crohn’s disease, type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies suggest they’re caused by a combination of genetics, environmental factors and gut dysbiosis.
So where does leaky gut syndrome come into it? Autoimmunity can be traced back to T cells. When there are defects in these cells, the type of gut bacteria is altered, causing inflammation and autoimmune disease. This means that the treatment for flareups could be to replace the gut bacteria with carefully selected probiotics.
4. Chronic Fatigue
Struggling to shift the sleepiness? You could be suffering from chronic fatigue caused by a leaky gut. Certain inflammatory compounds, called cytokines, are increased by leaky gut syndrome and are directly associated with fatigue. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, your body could be producing high levels of immune cells to defend itself against the toxins given off by unhealthy gut bacteria – a sign of leaky gut syndrome and a cause of inflammation.
5. Poor Immune Health
If you find that you’re getting sick more frequently, leaky gut syndrome could be to blame. That’s because nutrients are vital in bolstering our immune response, but malabsorption means that we can’t get enough of them. So when your digestive systems suffer, your immune system weakens, too.
6. Skin troubles
You might not instantly connect your gut health with the appearance of your skin, but these two things have more in common than you might think. Many skin problems like eczema, acne, rosacea and psoriasis are linked with inflammation. Since food leaking from the gut causes an inflammatory response in the body, it’s likely that the inflammation is triggering your skin woes.
7. Acid Reflux
When food can’t be broken down well enough by the body, it can lead to an overproduction of acid. This directly causes many of the problems associated with leaky gut, including bloating, heartburn, nausea and indigestion.
How to heal leaky gut syndrome
Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet for treating leaky gut syndrome. There are, however, lots of steps you can take to gradually repair the gut lining and find your way back to good health.
- Cut out the foods that damage the lining of your gut – even healthy whole foods like grains and legumes can be tough on your digestive system. Keep a diary of what triggers digestive distress like an IBS flareup, and cut it out of your diet – including highly refined foods.
- Add gut-healing foods to your diet – superfoods like sauerkraut, yoghurt and kimchi are rich in probiotics that have been shown to repopulate your good gut bacteria and ease inflammation.
- Relax – stress does nothing to help heal a leaky gut. Stay rested and practice stress management techniques to give your body the energy it needs to get better.
- Take gut-healing supplements – L-glutamine, probiotics and Digestive Enzymes have all been shown to support gut health. L-Glutamine plays a vital role in rebuilding the lining of your digestive tract; probiotics promote healthy gut microbiota, while Digestive Enzymes helps your body absorb more nutrients from your food.
Find out more about the food-based supplements that can repair your gut, boost your energy, and get you feeling healthier than ever here.