The Best Strategies for Healing Leaky Gut Naturally
Leaky gut – also known as intestinal permeability – is a condition wherein the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, allowing bacteria, food particles and toxins to enter the bloodstream. In addition to causing infection and disease, leaky gut triggers an autoimmune response from the body that leads to chronic inflammation and allergic reactions such as migraines, eczema, chronic fatigue, food allergies and more. The gut is home to nearly 70% of the body’s immune system, so an imbalance in your digestive system can cause health problems throughout the body. That is why healing leaky gut naturally is so important for your overall health.
What are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut can trigger symptoms throughout all the body’s systems. Common symptoms include:
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, Crohn’s)
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression or anxiety
- Digestive issues (chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating)
- Eczema or skin rashes
- Food sensitivities
- Hormonal imbalances
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Thyroid problems
- Weakened immune system
What Causes Leaky Gut?
The main causes of leaky gut are foods, infections and medications. Certain foods, such as gluten and dairy, are known to trigger inflammatory responses in the body. Likewise, if you have sensitivities to certain foods, ingesting those foods will irritate the gut and damage its lining. The most common medication culprits are antibiotics, which kill healthy gut bacteria, and OTC pain relievers that can irritate the intestinal lining and damage protective mucus layers.
Healing Leaky Gut Naturally
Leaky gut is corrected through dietary changes. First, your doctor should test you for food sensitivities and allergies. Any foods that cause a reaction will need to be eliminated from your diet to stop the cycle of inflammation. You should also avoid or eliminate gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, processed foods, artificial sweeteners and alcohol.
Next, you will need to add foods to your diet that promote a healthy gut environment. These include healthy fats (such as avocados, fish and coconut oil) which feed the cells that line the gut and help them heal. Other beneficial foods include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Seeds (chia, flax, sunflower)
- Swiss chard
You should also add probiotics and prebiotics to your diet. Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria to promote a healthy gut and can be found both in supplements and fermented foods. Supplements can be helpful for picky eaters and also ensure you don’t consume too little or too much. If you want to incorporate probiotics into your diet, they can be found in plain yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut. Prebiotics are the foods that good bacteria feed on to grow and flourish. They are mainly found in fiber-rich plants, such as artichokes, asparagus, garlic, legumes and onions.
Non-dietary changes that can help heal leaky gut naturally include reducing stress, exercising more and getting restful sleep. Because of the gut-brain connection, stress can have a negative impact on your gut as well as your brain. Reduce stress through relaxing activities that you enjoy, such as music, meditation, going for a walk, or doing a puzzle. Exercise is also beneficial to gut bacteria, with research showing that regular exercise can actually improve gut health independent of diet. And lastly, be sure you are getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. This gives your body time to heal and recover, while insufficient sleep weakens your immune system and puts added strain on your body.
For Help Healing Leaky Gut Naturally, Call Anchor Wellness Center Today
If you’ve been suffering from leaky gut, call Anchor Wellness Center today at (832) 246-8437 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM. Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra can discover and treat the underlying cause of your leaky gut and help restore your gut health naturally.