Understanding Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is the root of many of our contemporary health issues. In fact, some sources claim that LGS is the underlying cause of up to 50% of chronic medical complaints. LGS has been directly linked to or pinpointed as a potential contributing factor in:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Food allergies
- Fungal disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
In a nutshell, LGS weakens your system, making you more susceptible to a wide range of issues. So I want to go over the basics of this troubling disease—and what you can do to heal from it. Here’s how LGS happens. The walls of a healthy gut are just permeable enough to absorb nutrients. That means they allow very small molecules to pass through.
But certain conditions can cause tight areas in the intestinal wall to break apart, making it possible for much bigger molecules—in the form of metabolic waste and microbial toxins—to permeate the wall and enter the blood stream. Common factors that can cause this include:
- Gluten sensitivity
- Excessive consumption of inflammatory foods such as dairy, sugar, and alcohol
- Use of antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Infections such as candida, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) So what do you do if you suspect you’re suffering from LGS?
First, you want to cut out foods that irritate the gut. The main culprits here include:
- Legumes—especially soy
- Processed and canned foods
- Seed oils (these are high in omega-6 oils, the overconsumption of which can lead to inflammatory disease)
- Sugars and sweeteners
- Tomatoes (Don’t despair—this isn’t forever!)
Next, you want to start eating foods that help the gut heal. One of the biggies is bone broth, which has exceptional intestinal healing power. Other healing foods include:
- Coconut (in all its many forms, such as coconut oil and coconut milk, coconut helps combat the overgrowth of bacteria, yeast, and fungus in the gut)
- Fermented foods
- Herbal teas
- Low glycemic fruits
- Meats (grass-fed is best—avoid factory-farmed)
- Most vegetables other than those listed above
- Olives and olive oil
You’ll also want to take a strong probiotic to flood your system with good bacteria. And there are several other supplements that are very helpful for healing a leaky gut. Patients often ask me how long healing Leaky Gut Syndrome takes. The truth is, it’s a very individual process that I’ve seen take anywhere from a couple months to a couple years.
And I realize it requires commitment and can be challenging. But you know the saying, “all disease begins in the gut”? Well, the good news is that optimal health begins there too. And once you understand that, you’re on your way to healing what ails you and feeling the best you’ve felt in a very long time!
Keep thinking big & living bold!