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Happy Tummy: Understanding and Treating a Leaky Gut

Modern lifestyle predisposes us to digestive tract problems due to stress, alcohol, medications, processed foods and bacteria. These are digestive irritants causing inflammation of the intestinal tract and a lot of pinprick-style leaks in a very delicate and thin lining of the intestines. A tiny leak can be a big problem causing undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria to the bloodstream that leads to a potentially out sized immune response. If your intestinal lining is severely damaged, substances regularly leak which can cause bigger problems. Allergies, acne, asthma, arthritis and autism are just some of the conditions associated with a leaky syndrome. Symptoms of leaky gut include fatigue, respiratory issues, joint pain, rashes, and autoimmune responses like psoriasis.

Rather than taking medicines to suppress symptoms of a leaky gut, the primary objective of treatment is the identification and removal of the source of the irritation intestinal linings. Identification and removal of intestinal irritants include beginning an elimination diet, keeping a food journal, limiting use of NSAIDs and alcohol, and ruling out infections. Elimination of digestive irritants such as dairy, sugar, soy, gluten and chemical additives found in processed foods is helpful to reduce your gut leak. Digestive irritants should be eliminated for at least two weeks, and are gradually reintroduced taking note its effects. Having an elimination list of foods that makes you gassy, bloated or fatigued will help you monitor the foods you need to avoid. Your gut can tell you the foods you’re sensitive to, all you need to do is listen. Limit the use of alcohol and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs and alcohol because it inhibits the production of prostaglandins needed for rebuilding the lining of the intestines, while alcohol tires the liver and steals the nutrients from your gut. Run an appropriate test and check-up to rule out any infection, because parasites and pathogenic microorganisms can instigate a leaky gut.

You will need lots of fiber such as berries, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, and whole-kernel grains to eliminate toxic waste materials as quickly and efficiently as possible. You may also consume food supplements such as flaxseed, chia seeds, psyllium seeds, or oat bran. Enzyme supplements taken with meals three times a day gives your gastrointestinal tract a jump-start for good digestion, so food are easier to break down and nutrients are easier to assimilate. Glutamine supplements fuel the cells of the small intestinal lining that supports immunity and digestion. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and rebuild the wall of the digestive system, so you can consume avocado, seeds, nuts, cold-water fish and purslane. It is important to avoid foods for upset stomach, and consuming foods that are helpful in achieving a digestive system.

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