Perhaps no condition is more common than Leaky Gut Syndrome. After all, Harvard says that all have “some degree of it. [*]” Leaky Gut Syndrome is a vague term used to describe damage to your gut lining. In reality, Leaky Gut Syndrome opens the door for bacterial infections and autoimmune disease.
- 1 What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
- 2 Digestive Tract and Leaky Gut Syndrome
- 3 Why Gastrointestinal Disorders Lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome
- 4 Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
- 5 What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?
- 6 How to Repair Leaky Gut Syndrome?
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky Gut Syndrome is used to describe a patient whose gut permeability is a bit on the excessive side. It’s like the gut is an unemployed person who decided to charge a bunch of new gadgets on their credit card. When you have Leaky Gut, your gut gives no effs…and then pays the consequences in the long run.
When you suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome, it means toxic substances are transferring from the digestive tract back into your bloodstream. In small doses, our body can handle these antagonists. As Leaky Gut Syndrome persists, the consequences may become direr. To understand the levity, let’s dive into the anatomy of the digestive tract.
Digestive Tract and Leaky Gut Syndrome
Our entire system is created by cells. Every follicle, tissue, and organ. This rings true of the intestines. These cells have adapted over time to create the perfect mechanism conducive to breaking down solid matter. They created a barrier that forms the intestines.
When we consume food, the intestines are our endgame. The solid matter travels down the esophagus and into the stomach acids. After
The small intestines consist of three main parts:
Food particles get broken down in the duodenum of the small intestine. From there, they move to the jejunum where the nutrients are absorbed.
What’s left after that shipment is bile, which the ileum uses for various functions. The ileum is also vital in Vitamin B12 absorption.
The remaining food particles are shipped to the large intestine, where our body extracts water from the waste. From there, the waste is well…waste.
Why Gastrointestinal Disorders Lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome
Seeing as we eat a lot (we all know we do), the digestive process takes some time. Therefore, some toxins will remain in the intestines until you are ready to eliminate them. As anyone who has cooked at high volumes knows, you need ventilation. Otherwise, it’s kaboom!
The gut lining has little holes in the barrier that work two-fold:
- They Allow Ventilation
- They Release Nutrients from Intestines to Bloodstream
These little breaks in the cell pattern are known as tight junctions. In a healthy body, the tight junctions are like a tightly-woven basket. However, poor gut health causes larger cracks to develop. When these bigger holes develop, it significantly increases your chances of developing symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
What makes Leaky Gut Syndrome so hard to diagnoses is that it mirrors many of the symptoms associated with those with poor gut health.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome include:
- Anxious Tendencies
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Food Sensitivity
- Joint Pain
- Skin Rashes/Redness/Blotchiness
If you have any of the above symptoms, or a number of them, consult your physician about Leaky Gut Syndrome.
What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?
While some people are born with a weaker gut barrier, for the most part Leaky Gut Syndrome is a gradual process. There are a number of reasons why we may develop Leaky Gut Syndrome. However, the most prevalent is our diet.
One-third of the population is considered overweight [*]. This alarming statistic was made possible by the practices used by the Standard American Diet (SAD). The correlations don’t end there. You also need to take into account that gastrointestinal bacterial infections for C. difficile are up 200% over the last 10 years [*]. That’s right. Cases of Leaky Gut Syndrome are just starting to rise.
So, what causes Leaky Gut Syndrome? Here are some things to look out for when you go grocery shopping.
Our body needs fat. Fat is essential for nutrient absorption and amino acids. Not to mention, it tastes delicious! However, the fat you consume matters.
Too many saturated fats can cause our system to go on a backlog. In these moments, inflammation and harmful bacteria take advantage and seek shelter around these fats.
Artificial Sweeteners/Refined Sugar
Speaking of products that are wreaking havoc on your system, our body is not equipped to break down synthetic ingredients. Artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, and food dyes may change the taste and appearence of food, but they also alter your gut microbiota.
Healthy bacteria are unable to consume these sugars. While our digestive system tries to figure out how to process them, harmful bacteria feast on these sweets. Consider Halloween their Thanksgiving.
In addition, these sweets are sticky. If they remain undigested, they will only harden with time. So, these sugars will attract more sugars, fat cells, and dead tissue. Once these sugars harden, it will be even harder to repair your Leaky Gut. Just ask your dentist when they’re cleaning the candy plaque from in between your teeth!
The number one culprit tearing our tight junctions are allergens. There are so many additives in our foods. We take for granted that our body has the tolerance to digest all of them. However, our body can’t break some of the fibers in our food down.
Part of this issue is because our body has an allergic reaction when they come into contact with these food byproducts. We’re talking about two types of sugars.
Mass-produced wheat is not the same whole grains our great grandparents foraged. The dark side of wheat is these highly-refined loaves are stripped of their nutritional value.
Instead, they’re manufactured in bulk, baked with additives our body can’t break down. What’s left after we digest mass-produced grains are empty carbs not conducive to creating energy.
We just have the sugars from the grains. You know them as gluten. Leftover gluten is an irritant to the body. Two-fold, it also serves as a nice fort for inflammation to burrow.
Think of how many bread products you eat almost every day. If your gut is having a continuous allergic reaction, this is the perfect storm to cause inflammation. Daily inflammation means that your gut lining is being chipped away at,
Got Milk? Maybe you shouldn’t have as much. When we are born, milk is pretty much essential. It has essential
Mothers provide us nutrients through breast milk. Breastfeeding is a great way to acclimate your new addition to the world because you’re nourishing them with the exact nutrients they had in
Feasting on a mother’s milk is a great way to kick start the beginning of a human’s life. Much like cows, we rely on our mother for milk until we are able to fend for ourselves. All other animals in nature stop drinking milk once they reach maturity. Humans are the only mammals that do not. In fact, we’re also the only mammals to drink another mammal’s milk. [*]
Our body is not equipped to break down excess lactose. Yet, it’s in everything from potato chips to chocolate to cheese to lattes. You name it, and lactose has probably graced it.
As you read with gluten, letting these irritants fester is a recipe for disaster when it comes to gut health. Inflammations relish when someone with a lactose allergy consumes daily frequently. These conditions will undoubtedly make it easier for Leaky Gut Syndrome to persist.
It’s not just the food that we’re eating that’s causing harm. The way our food is farmed is also doing a number. Pesticides are toxins to living organisms that may consume our food. So, why is it acceptable for us to eat it?
Pesticides are found in 85% of fresh produce [*]. So, even when you think you’re being healthy, a hit has been put on your gut. We are consuming toxins, the exact things we’re trying to stop from entering our system by repairing our Leaky Gut Syndrome.
How to Repair Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Here is the million dollar question. How do you repair Leaky Gut Syndrome? After all, Harvard pretty much called the condition inevitable. Well, there are a few things you can do to help out the cause. Let’s take a look at where to start.
You probably first heard of collagen in health and beauty realms. Collagen is used to improve elasticity. However, it also helps in the rejuvenation of cells. This is a pretty essential skill seeing as cells are responsible for keeping our tight junctions tight in the first place!
Collagen also has two important amino acids. They are proline and glycine. Together, these building blocks of life repair the intestinal wall.
What gives collagen such strong revitalizing capabilities lies within its root. Here is where you can find gelatin.
Gelatin is the compound responsible for giving bones, tendons, cell membranes, and cartilage their structure.
The best way to use collagen to get to gelatin is by making a bone broth. As you heat up the collagen bone, it will start to secrete compounds from its core. Of those essential minerals is the gut-healthy gelatin.
In addition to giving structure to the intestinal wall, gelatin also helps create gastric juices. This makes guiding toxins out of the system a more efficient process. Therefore, you will experience less backup and in turn feel pain relief.
Those who follow the SAD and experience Leaky Gut Syndrome will also suffer from an overly acidic environment. Our gut thrives when it hovers around a pH balance of 7. However, the foods in a SAD don’t lend itself such a neutral number. As a result, harmful bacteria prop themselves up in your microbiome.
To give your body a fighting chance in repairing Leaky Gut Syndrome, you need to shift the balance of power back to the probiotic side. Your stomach needs beneficial bacteria. Therefore, you’re going to need to transplant those bad boys in.
A great way to do achieve a neutral pH balance is by consuming fermented foods. These are fruits and vegetables that are preserved in a brine of distilled water and vinegar. As they sit in the brine, yeast from the food will start to feast on the sugars it sweats out. A byproduct of this process is known as probiotics.
When you said the word “enzyme,” it’s code-word for “get ish done.” Enzymes are catalysts for biological functions. Digesting food will fall into that category.
Part of the reason why we suffer from food sensitivities and allergies is
Read the label and keep an eye out for products containing the following enzymes to help digest the following foods:
- Amylase – Starches
- Lactase – Dairy
- Lipase – Fats
- Protease – Proteins such as Gluten
By giving your body this extra backup, it has a better chance of withstanding digestive issues common from allergens.
Part of the repairing Leaky Gut Syndrome process is flushing the toxins out. While our body does this naturally, it can always use a helping hand. The best natural source for this sort of help would be fiber.
If you are having issues of constipation associated with your Leaky Gut Syndrome, opt for soluble fiber. Soluble fiber allows for more water retention in your stool, making it easier for you to pass the toxins.
Foods rich in soluble fiber include:
- Black Beans
- Brussels Sprouts
- Lima Beans
If your Leaky Gut Syndrome symptoms include diarrhea, you want to opt for insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool. The extra mass will make the bathroom trips seem less urgent and frequent.
Foods rich in insoluble fiber include:
- Fruit Peels
- Brown Rice
- Whole Grains
Fiber is great because it fills us up. Therefore, we are less likely to overindulge. However, it’s also a tasty treat for probiotics.
Beneficial bacteria like to feast on fiber. Fiber is their source of energy and helps the colony grow more prominent in your microbiome. When we can’t digest fibers that probiotics do, those foods are called prebiotics. Prebiotics are essential for maintaining optimal gut health.
There are many supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome. Much like all supplements in the wellness market, each vitamin has a different purpose. Depending on your symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome, some supplements may work better for your lifestyle than others.
Here are some of the most common supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome.
- Aloe Vera – Repairs Gut Lining [*]
- Caprylic Acid – Amino Acid Destroys Opportunistic Yeast [*]
- Glutamine – Amino Acid Repairs Intestinal Damage
- Licorice Root – Fights Adrenal Fatigue [*]
- Marshmallow Root – Coats Stomach Lining [*]
- Quercetin – Crystalline Pigment that Boosts Immunity, Anti-Inflammatory [*]
- Turmeric – Primary Compound, Curcumin, Relaxes Muscles in Intestines [*](For Higher Bioavailability, Take with Black Pepper)
- Slippery Elm – Antioxidant with Mucilage that Coats Intestines, Serves as Prebiotics for Probiotics
As you can tell, there are plenty options to choose. Be sure to go with one that covers your symptoms. However, consult a physician before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Try Microbiome Testing
The most effective way to repair Leaky Gut Syndrome is to alter your microbiome. Never enter the journey blindly. Test your microbiome and find out which bacteria is causing the problems. From there, you will also figure out which beneficial bacteria you’re missing.
Join the Thryve Gut Health Program. We ship you a discreet at-home microbiome kit. With one of the sterile swabs we ship you, collect a sample from your toilet paper. Place the sample in the tube provided and put in the mailer we included. Mail back to us with the self-addressed envelope we provide.
From there, we will formulate a probiotic supplement unique to your microbiome. Each month, the probiotics will be delivered to your door. That means fresh live cultures ready for your microbiome every thirty days!
Seeing as your probiotic supplements are live cultures, they’re going to need food too. With the Thryve Gut Health Program, we help you concoct a diet plan to meet your wellness goals. Since we know which bacteria you are supplementing with, we also know which prebiotics this live culture enjoys. We help you repair your Leaky Gut every step of the way!