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What is Leaky Gut?

leaky gut

Have you heard the term “leaky gut” being thrown around and wonder what it actually means or if you have it? Multiple new avenues of research are linking some chronic and autoimmune diseases to a leaking gut.

Here comes your basic anatomy lesson! Your gut has a semi-permeable mucosa lining. This lining is designed to absorb water and nutrients into your bloodstream. Some people have a damaged lining which has become more permeable allowing more than just water and nutrients to sneak through. Hence the term “leaky gut”.

These unwanted guests cause your immune system to be on high alert which fires up antibodies to attack these unwanted guests. In the midst of this battle, normal healthy tissues may get damaged. When this process goes on long enough it causes inflammation. This chronic inflammation can manifest itself in all different ways, such as skin and hair issues, thyroid problems, IBS, diverticulitis, neurological issues, mood changes, joint pain, or gas.

If your intestinal barrier has been breached it means that it’s been under attack for a while. The good news is that you can eliminate things to help it heal. Things like gluten, soy, alcohol, dairy, corn, pain medications (either prescription or over the counter), stress, infections.

Each person’s trigger is going to be unique to them but here’s how we recommend you start to figure out what’s triggering you.

First thing is to eliminate processed foods. If it comes in a box, can or bag do not eat or drink it. If you do not know what the ingredient is or can’t pronounce it, your gut will not know what it is and may trigger your defense system (antibodies) to fire up. We didn’t say this would be easy!

Read the label.  If you don't know what it is or can't pronounce it, don't eat it!

Next thing to do is check your medications with your prescribing doctor because many meds can affect your stomach. If you are taking pain medications consistently try to get to the cause of your pain rather than trying to mask it with the medication which may be damaging your stomach.

Go slow. Don’t eliminate all the things at one time. Chose one and eliminate it for a few weeks and see how you feel. Then try another. Good luck!

To learn more about the ins and outs of LEAKY GUT read more here. If you are interested in cleaning up your diet try the Whole30 Plan or come to our Wake Up to Wellness nutrition event September 16th.

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