GUEST POST BY ROXANA OLIVER
Leaky gut syndrome is often overlooked or even neglected by medical workers as it does not rank as a high priority condition for public health.
Another obstacle to successful treatment and precise diagnosis is the fact that it’s not fully understood and explained: it’s considered to be a medical mystery. There is a lack of research in this field so further studies are needed. However, health professionals agree on one thing: proper nutrition and stress management are the key in battling leaky gut syndrome.
What exactly is the leaky gut syndrome?
The condition is known as “increased intestinal permeability” and here’s how it is explained, in layman terms: there are microscopic pores inside the small intestine that form the intestinal lining and control what nutrients (from absorbed food) get into the bloodstream. It is the first frontier that ensures safe filtration so that no toxins and food particles end up where they shouldn’t. However, with leaky gut syndrome, this lining has gaps and so the materials leak directly into the blood which causes further health complications. Your body’s immune system identifies the unwanted substances in the bloodstream as invaders and starts attacking them along with your healthy cells.
What causes it and what are the symptoms?
Recent studies have shown a correlation between stress and gut health and there are other theories about what might cause leaky gut syndrome, such as poor nutrition, constipation, excessive consummation of alcohol, lack of zinc, poor intestinal flora, long-term use of harmful painkillers (e.g. Ibuprofen) or continuous use of the antibiotics. This is why it is always advisable to take probiotics during antibiotic therapy, as they keep your gut healthy and balanced by providing it with good bacteria.
The basic symptoms of the leaky gut syndrome include bloating, ongoing diarrhea, gas, and constipation. However, symptoms may vary from one person to another. Leaky gut might also manifest through skin issues (e.g. acne or eczema), chronic fatigue, and mood swings. It can even trigger autoimmune diseases as the body continues fighting against the “intruders” in the bloodstream.
How to notice if you have it?
The problem with leaky gut syndrome is that its symptoms are not easily connected to the condition. In other words, having diarrhea could be caused by severe stress or a virus and is not necessarily an indicator of having leaky gut.
Pay attention to your body right after having a meal, as the symptoms of leaky gut are best observed when your body starts digesting food. If you start feeling excessively tired and bloated, or even experience cramps – your gut is signalizing you that something is wrong.
Food intolerance is another clue to look for: it’s not rare that people experience food intolerance, a feeling of unease provided by a certain food or food type. This condition is amplified with leaky gut syndrome, and can cause inflammation as a result of our body’s immune system.
What can you do about it?
Leaky gut usually implies nutritional deficiencies such as magnesium and vitamin B12 so it is advisable to take supplements. Taking probiotics is also advisable due to the lack of healthy gut bacteria. You should first and foremost forget about processed foods. Most medical experts have agreed that taking L-glutamine is beneficial as it is an amino acid that strengthens and restores the lining of the gut.
In addition to supplements, minding your lifestyle is crucial. The fast-paced world we live in makes it a bit challenging to reach serenity and stress-free everyday life but for the sake of health – be more mindful about it. There are many ways to reduce stress – you just have to find the one that suits you. However, a healthy diet is the number one way to fight leaky gut.
What is considered to be proper nutrition?
Whether you’re struggling with leaky gut or you’re smart enough to take precaution, lay off gluten, processed food and sugars, and embrace healing types of food. These include raw cultured dairy (e.g. kefir, yogurt, and raw cheese), bone broth, coconut products, chia and hemp seeds, and fermented vegetables.
When transitioning to a different kind of diet, it might feel hard to come up with tasty dishes. Check out the recipes we’ve prepared and you’ll see that healthy food doesn’t have to be tasteless:
Roasted bone marrow recipe
Mexicali kitchen soup
Fish curry with coconut lemongrass and kaffir lime
Bone broth recipe
Daikon and endive salad with a creamy spiced dressing
Thai carrot soup
Creamy potato and chicken soup
Roasted aubergine with quinoa feta and fresh herbs
Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney. She is all about healthy lifestyle – loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.