by Will Grumke July 27, 2020 5 min read
Have you not been feeling 100% lately? Are you constantly tired or often sick? Or do you have a bunch of problems with your digestive tract?
Well if you do, you are not alone as many Americans face digestive and stomach issues everyday. And right now, there is a lot of talk about Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Which could be a potential reason that you are experiencing some digestive issues and feeling the way you do.
If you have never heard of this condition, don’t worry.
In this article, we will explain what this syndrome is and some ways that you can help work to reduce some of the symptoms yourself.
So, let's dive in.
Leaky gut syndrome is a digestive condition that affects the intestines. The intestines have a lining that plays a vital role in sorting and determining what enters your bloodstream.
Whatever is deemed waste, continues on through the intestinal tract. In the intestinal tract, there are tight junctions, or gaps in the intestinal lining, that are in control of this sorting process.
But what happens when these tight junctions are damaged or they are no longer maintaining their integrity?
The damage to the intestine causes more of these tiny gaps to open up, or increases the size of the existing gaps.
The extra gaps or enlarged gaps are referred to as increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome.
It is thought that these extra gaps in the lining of your intestines permit bacteria, waste, and toxins to leak into the bloodstream and cause health issues.
Now keep in mind, no one can escape the fact that some toxins and extra material will slip through their intestinal lining.
Our guts aren’t perfect and some waste will slip through the cracks. This is normal and expected.
But it is a cause for concern when an excessive amount of waste, bacteria, and toxins slip through these gaps.
While genetics play a roll in the permeability of your intestines, diet is typically the main culprit in determining the level of permeability and damage to your intestines.
Interestingly enough, this condition is not recognized by many mainstream professionals. Despite its lack of recognition as of now, the evidence that this is a potentially serious health condition is increasing.
As we learn more about the human gut, digestive tract, and its role in our health ... intestinal permeability is becoming viewed as a health condition to be aware of and drawing the attention of more professionals.
Leaky gut syndrome has a variety of symptoms. Most of the symptoms have to do with either your immune system or digestive tract.
Leaky gut affects your immune system because of all the foreign substances leaking into your bloodstream.
When foreign substances like bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream, it can possibly trigger a reaction from the immune system and widespread inflammation in your body. Which is not good.
Your digestive track will probably be the first tell-all of whether you have this condition or not though. The gut is where the issues begin.
• Autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis
• Chronic diarrhea, bloating, constipation, cramps, and/or gas
• Poor immune response
• Chronic fatigue
• Joint pain
• Stomach Pain
• Headaches and/or poor memory
When working to improve your gut health, it mainly comes down to eating a nutrient-rich diet and understanding your body. Here are some tips to help you start working to improve your gut today.
People will often start a “Leaky Gut Diet.” This type of diet limits foods that exasperate this condition. Prohibited foods are below:
• Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners
• Excessive amounts of meat and eggs (especially processed meats)
• Alcohol and Caffeine - Read below for more information
Health professionals suggest eliminating these foods from your diet completely for 4-6 weeks.
After this time period, slowly introduce one of these foods back into your diet and keep track of how your body reacts. This will help you discover which foods your body disagrees with.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption - Alcohol and Caffeine dehydrate the body and irritate the gut.
Limiting these substances and replacing them with water will allow your gut to heal and for your body to receive proper hydration.
Relieve Stress - High levels of stress can increase intestinal permeability.
Stress imbalances hormones and causes your body to release an excess of adrenaline. By helping your body relax, your gut will be able to heal better.
Exercise Regularly - Exercise can help regulate your gut, bowel movements, and helps relieve stress.
Exercise helps balance hormones and helps move your digestive system along. Any type of exercise can help with a leaky gut - running, weightlifting or yoga are all great options!
Understand Preexisting Health Conditions - Some pre-existing health conditions such as celiacs, diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome can weaken the intestinal lining.
This inevitably can increase the likelihood of leaky gut syndrome. If you have one of these health conditions, some of the best things you can do are to make lifestyle adjustments to try and avoid making the situation worse.
Helpful Supplementation - Probiotics help regulate the gut and add beneficial bacteria. The boost in good bacteria can help your gut regulate itself better.
Digestive enzymes can aid your body in breaking down the foods we eat, possibly easing the work load of your digestive system.
Greens Powders, such as Opti Greens 50, can assist with multiple benefits.
Along with already having Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes, they also contain Phytonutrients that can help with reducing inflammation, helping your body operate more efficiently and improve overall gut health.
GI Advantage is a specific product made with the intention of tackling gut issues. It can have benefits such as; tissue repair, soothing your digestive tract, and lowering gut inflammation.
This could alleviate bloat, gas, heartburn, upset stomach and help alleviate some digestive issues you may be experiencing.
We know that it can be overwhelming, trying to make drastic changes in your diet. That is why we compiled this list of foods that you can focus on to help you with a leaky gut.
Many times just simply focusing on what we can do and eat is a better strategy for making necessary lifestyle changes.
Here is our list of foods that can help soothe your leaky gut symptoms.
• Herbs and spices (Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Basil, Bay leaves)
• Probiotic yogurts
• Fermented vegetables (saur kraut, kimchi)
• Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Pine Nuts)
• Roots and Tubers (potatoes, carrots, turnips)
• Healthy fats (avocado oil, olive oil)
• Some grains such as oats, quinoa, and rice
As we talked about in the beginning, gut issues, digestive issues, and even leaky gut syndrome are challenges that more and more Americans face every day.
And while we continue to learn more and more about these issues and how to overcome the symptoms and improve your health, there are lifestyle adjustments we can make to improve our situation if we are having issues.
Leaky Gut Syndrome can alter your quality of life, but this condition doesn’t have to control your life...
So while some of the symptoms may be slightly more difficult to get rid of completely, there is hope, and you can work to improve your overall digestive health.
If you have any questions, need help, or anything at all, don't hesitate to reach out.
Here at 1st Phorm, we have a team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialists to help you with anything you need ... for free!
Will Grumke is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.