How to Cure Leaky Gut Syndrome with Diet
Did you know that leaky gut syndrome can be prevented by having a properly balanced diet? Your overall health, including your gastrointestinal health, usually depends on the kinds of food you eat daily. There are key vitamins and minerals that are needed by your body to strengthen your immunity and boost internal bodily functions. But before we delve deeper into the type of diet you need to consume and how to cure leaky gut, we should first know more about this type of gastrointestinal condition.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
It may be surprising to know that a lot of doctors and scientists today don’t know much about the leaky gut syndrome. There is still no clear definition and therapies that can be applied to this condition. Doctors are still debating about its causes, but there are some advancements being made to address and cure this gastrointestinal condition.
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Leaky gut is also known as intestinal hyperpermeability or intestinal permeability, which is a condition that happens when there is a malfunction of the intestinal tight junction.
So what are these intestinal tight junctions? These tight junctions of the intestine are the gateways between the intestines and what is allowed to pass through the blood stream. When these tight junctions don’t work properly and let substances leak into your bloodstream, then you have intestinal permeability. This is why it is called leaky gut syndrome because the undigested food particles, microbes, and other substances such as toxins, yeast, and waste, can leak and flow freely into the bloodstream. The immune system is then activated to fight these substances and microbes because they are seen as invaders.
Causes of Leaky Gut
Stress – The three main causes of leaky gut are toxins, foods, and infections. Too much stress and old age is also a huge risk factor of leaky gut. When you are always physically stressed out, your immune system weakens, which elevates the risk of this leaky gut condition.
Diet – You have a higher risk of developing leaky gut if you always consume gluten foods. Gluten is considered as one of the leading causes of the leaky gut syndrome. Other foods that can cause leaky gut are too much consumption of dairy foods, alcohol, and refined sugar.
Infections – When it comes to infectious causes, the common suspects are intestinal parasites, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, and candida overgrowth.
Toxins and Medicines – The toxins that can cause leaky gut come in the form of medications, such as steroids, acid-reducing drugs, antibiotics, and Advil. Pesticides, mercury, and BPA from plastics are also included in the list.
Inflammation – Inflammation of the gut can definitely lead to leaky gut. The infections brought about by bacterial overgrowth, parasites, and yeast overgrowth can cause inflammation.
Leaky Gut Symptoms
When the gut cannot properly digest the food and let particles flow freely to the bloodstream, then several symptoms may show up such as:
- Gas and bloating
- Candida overgrowth
The symptoms may be seen and felt throughout the body. When your immune system starts to attack the foreign particles that escaped from the gut, the healthy cells are also killed in the process, which results in more inflammation within the body. This may lead to symptoms such as:
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pains
- Food allergies
- Skin rashes associated with inflammation
- Weak immune system
- Nutritional deficiency caused by improper absorption in the gut
- General and seasonal allergies
When the immune system is fighting overtime against both the dangerous and healthy cells, it puts too much stress on the body. This may lead to more serious complications and severe symptoms such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
The leaky gut syndrome may also affect the brain. Inflammation in the gut may create neurological problems with symptoms such as:
- A headache and migraine
- Memory loss
- Anxiety and depression
- Multiple sclerosis
Best Leaky Gut Treatments
The medical community is still searching for more options on how to treat leaky gut syndrome. Many experts recommend an effective leaky gut diet that would help more people recover successfully from this condition. There are already several methods that people can follow and practice to treat and alleviate the symptoms of leaky gut. Some doctors agree that the combination of these methods have a higher chance of closing up the open holes in the gut and allowing the body to return to normal. Here are some of the best methods on how to cure leaky gut.
Putting Restrictions On Your Diet
Yeast overgrowth in the gut is one of the leading causes of leaky gut. So if you want to defeat this condition, you can eliminate starch, sugar, grains and other irritating foods from your diet to kill the yeast overgrowth. If there are no irritants, your gastrointestinal tract may be able to go back to normal and stop leaking foreign particles into the blood stream. When there are no leaks from the gut, other symptoms would stop manifesting.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Inability to properly absorb nutrients is very common if you have leaky gut syndrome. Since digestion is greatly affected, it would lead to nutritional deficiencies. You need a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that would help eliminate this nutritional deficiency. Most importantly, you have to consume more zinc and vitamin D to help your gut return to normal. You can also take fish oil supplements because it has been proven to reduce inflammation and improve the intestinal mucosal lining.
Probiotics contain helpful good bacteria that can boost healthy digestion and improve your immune system. It also balances out the good bacteria in your gut. Choose a probiotic product that contains digestive enzymes, which can help break down the food so your body can properly absorb the nutrients. With healthy amounts of good bacteria in your digestive system, you can prevent leaky gut symptoms from occurring such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, acid reflux, and cramping.
L-Glutamine is one of the best supplements that you can take when repairing and rejuvenating the lining of your digestive tract. This amino acid is proven to boost the repair of your gut and eliminate chronic diarrhea. You should take 5 grams of L-glutamine powder twice daily.
Aloe Vera Juice
The juice of aloe vera is known to heal any complications in the digestive system. It is recommended to take half a cup of aloe vera juice three times daily to get the best results.
Ginger and peppermint essential oils are very effective in soothing gastrointestinal inflammation. If you really want to heal leaky gut syndrome, you need to take these essential oils. You need to add 2 drops each of ginger and peppermint oils in a glass of water. Another way is to mix 3 drops of these essential oils with coconut oil and massage it over your abdomen twice daily.
Changing Your Lifestyle
If your daily life is full of stress, both physical and emotional, it’s time to make some big changes. Outside factors, such as stress and lack of sleep, can have a tremendous impact on your immune system. Too much stress contributes to the inflammation within your body, elevating the risk of having the leaky gut syndrome. There are supplements that you can take to help reduce stress, but the best remedy is to relax and make necessary changes in your life that will help you avoid stress. Some of the best practices you can incorporate in your daily routine are meditation, taking a relaxing hobby, yoga, taking long walks, and so much more.
How to Cure Leaky Gut Using Diet
The leaky gut syndrome can be healed using an effective diet plan. This leaky gut diet will involve several steps in order to completely repair and bring your gut back to normal. The first stage of your treatment using diet is to remove all the irritants of your gut lining. This will be called your elimination diet, which can help pinpoint the types of food that are causing the leaky gut syndrome.
Start by removing the most common food irritants such as gluten, dairy, sugar, processed foods, and foods that are rich in chemical additives. You can stop eating a certain type of food for 2 weeks, and reintroduce them again to your diet and see what happens. You can write down how a particular food affects you. Some food can make you bloated, gassy, or fatigued. You need to be sensitive to what your body is telling you.
Eating plenty of whole foods is essential to your leaky gut diet. Whole foods that are fresh and nutritious have certain body-repairing properties that can rebuild new tissues. Whole foods are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that your gut needs to heal quickly.
Some of the best whole foods that you should include in your diet include lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables. You also need to include more fiber in your diet because your body will eliminate a lot of toxins and waste during the healing process. Foods that are rich in fiber include legumes, colorful vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole-kernel grains.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in treating inflammation and rebuilding the cell walls, which can eventually cure leaky gut. Some of the foods that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids include avocado, seeds, nuts, and cold water fish. You can also take an additional fish-oil supplement to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
You should eat more prebiotic and probiotic foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and tempeh. Fermented foods are also recommended to lower inflammation and increase blood sugar control. Probiotic foods are needed, especially when you have already cured the leaks in the gut. This is the stage where you need to grow and increase the healthy bacteria in your gut to protect the intestinal tract and promote good digestion.
Here are some of the foods that you should include in your leaky gut diet. These foods can help with the healing process because they are easy to digest and they can patch up the intestine linings.
- Bone Broth – it will provide you with the necessary minerals such as potassium and glycine, and amino acids that can supplement the nutritional deficiencies of your body.
- Fermented vegetables – these fermented foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, and coconut kefir. They will provide you with probiotics that can balance the pH in the gut, thus making it easier to repair the leaky gut.
- Healthy Fats – these healthy fats can come from avocados, egg yolks, coconut oil, and salmon. However, they should be consumed in moderation in order to boost the healing of the gut.
- Fruits – eating 1 to 2 servings of fruit every day is recommended for your leaky gut diet. You should consume your fruits in the morning and keep eating in moderation.
- Meats that are grass-fed – these meats include chicken, beef, turkey, and bison. Always choose organic and grass-fed if possible. Organic and free-range animals have fewer antibiotics and hormones than the farmed ones. The antibiotics and hormones in the farmed meats can become toxins in the body, which can do more damage to the gut lining. Which Fruits Have The Lowest Glycemic Load? Read Here.
Here are the foods that you definitely have to avoid. They can cause intestinal inflammation and promote candida.
- Gluten – it is difficult to digest, which can be damaging to your gut. By avoiding foods containing gluten, you can help treat the leaky gut syndrome.
- Sugar – bad bacteria and yeast love sugar. If you consume more sugar, you are only feeding the bad bacteria in your gut, which will damage your intestinal wall and lead to leaky gut.
- Cows dairy – it contains A1 casein, which can cause inflammation. It is even more damaging than gluten.
- Unsprouted grains – they contain phytic acid that irritates the intestines resulting in leaky gut syndrome.
- Genetically modified organisms or GMO – they contain pesticides and herbicides that can do a lot of damage to the gut lining. Studies have shown that GMO tends to destroy the probiotics in the gut and cause inflammation.