How would you know if you have a leaky gut? Let’s take a quick look.
Last week, I mentioned that regular alcohol consumption – even if it’s not heavy – may be creating inflammation in your intestine, a condition known as leaky gut. How does this happen and what does it look and feel like?
Well, when regular alcohol consumption is combined with lack of sleep, too much stress and/or poor dietary choices – which most of us struggle with on a daily basis - the bad bacteria that are normally present in your gut begin to proliferate, and that adds or leads to leaky gut.
However, when there is too much bad bacteria in the gut, there is insufficient good bacteria to protect the lining of the intestine and this eventually leads to inflammation, causing the tight junctions between the cells of the intestinal lining to pull apart and become permeable or leaky. (This is a simplified explanation for now).
A leaky gut means that toxins, incompletely digested proteins and other harmful particles from inside your GI tract can now easily enter the bloodstream and traveling to any place in the body.
Signs of Leaky Gut
Some signs of leaky gut that begin in the immune system as it becomes hyper-protective from all the "intruders" include:
The first three organs affected by leaky gut are liver, brain and lungs. You may notice liver or gall bladder problems, respiratory infections, hormonal imbalances, weight problems, thyroid issues, low energy, foggy thinking, anxiety and depression…. to name a few.
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms, but there are many more. Read more about it here in an article I wrote called : "Is it Your Gut or Something Else?"
Medical practice is still catching up on the science - most doctors have not be been trained to see how a leaky gut is a root cause for these other conditions.
WebMD refers to leaky gut as "something of a medical mystery" and gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic, says "Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ."
Case in point, a MD recently hired me because she was unimpressed with what the gastroenterolgist had to offer about healing her gut. He told her that nothing could be done about it!
Well, I'm here to tell you there is PLENTY you can do about it! Our bodies know how to heal, we just need to supply them with the right foods and habits so the organs can do their job.
Solving Leaky Gut Problems
It starts with good digestive habits like choosing health-giving foods, relaxing at mealtimes, chewing your food well and taking digestive enzymes if you need extra support.
Most critically, it continues by adding fermented foods and drinks to your diet, so you are nurturing and building a healthy community of good bacteria and yeasts in your gut.
And it is essential that you get help understanding your own body, like what your symptoms are telling you and identifying what organs need the most support, so you can learn to nurture yourself exactly right for you.
If you're still wondering what is wrong with your gut and what to do about it, please don't wait until you develop a more serious health condition.
Leaky gut can lead to malnutrition (which can lead to diminishing capacity in any area of the body like sight or strength), autoimmune disease and other chronic health problems,... and then your recovery process is harder and longer!
Take advantage of my free Gut Insight & Clarity Call to find direction on your next steps, or join me in the It Takes Guts Community on Facebook where I give tips everyday to beat the bloat, shed light on your health problems and end your digestive dilemnas.
With love for your gut,
It Takes Guts Nutrition
Katanne Belisle RHN
Gut Health Specialist
Whitehorse, YT, CAN
What Clients Are Saying
"I was plagued by a myriad of digestive and inflammatory issues and after months of discomfort I was fortunate enough to meet Katanne. Her insight, intuition, knowledge and caring attention has made it possible for me to heal and thrive with a new understanding of the food I eat. I am now healthier, happier and have more energy than I have had in quite some time. " ~ Steve T.
"Katanne gives well balanced information versed in first hand experience and research. After seeing various health professionals over the years, doing my own research, trials and tribulations, I can (say) that this is the real deal, and that what she provides people is a holistic, realistic approach to healing oneself through food" ~ Elizabeth G.