Did you know that health concerns ranging from gas and bloating, to mood changes, to hormone imbalances can all stem from the gut?
Many illnesses are actually associated with some level of gastrointestinal dysfunction, whether you have digestive symptoms or not. This is called “leaky gut” or intestinal permeability.
What is leaky gut?
First off, there aren’t actual holes in your intestines. However, when working properly, your intestinal lining forms a tight barrier between the inside of your gastrointestinal tract and the inside of your body only allowing very small, specific molecules to get through. When it is unhealthy, your digestive tract starts to let much larger molecules through such as food particles, toxins and microbes.
When these “unwanted” molecules get into your bloodstream your immune system recognizes these as foreign invaders and starts to attack. This can lead to food sensitivities and issues with your microbiome (healthy gut bacteria), and/or a variety of inflammatory conditions including hormone imbalance, autoimmune conditions, brain fog, joint pain, skin conditions, and more.
What causes leaky gut in the first place?
There are many potential causes of leaky gut.
- Irritation from foods, most commonly gluten and dairy.
- Toxins from our food or the environment.
- Infections such as food poisoning or parasites.
- Medications such as antibiotics, pain medications, steroids and stomach acid-reducing drugs.
- Stress and extreme hormone changes like childbirth, puberty or menopause can also contribute to leaky gut.
How do you fix this?
When it comes to leaky gut, dietary changes alone are not going to fix the problem. This is because the food may be causing the symptoms but it isn’t the original issue; the integrity of the gut lining is the problem. Therefore, there are several stages of gut healing that need to happen in order to improve the intestinal lining and help fix the resulting conditions.
This is why I use “The 4 R’s of Gut Repair.”
- Remove food sensitivities and other factors that are damaging your gut such as bad bacteria, yeast or parasites and toxins in your food or environment.
- Replace the irritating foods with foods that are healing. This could mean incorporating specific foods, or adapting your whole diet for a period of time.
- Repair the gut with specific supplements that are necessary to heal your intestinal lining and will improve your digestive function.
- Rebalance your gut bacteria with a healthy balance of good bacteria.
Let me help you heal your gut! Click HERE!
Dr. Lisa Maddalena, ND