Repairing Leaky Gut

The Four R’s to Repairing Your Leaky Gut

A healthy gut means a healthy immune system. On the other hand, a leaky gut can be the cause of a wide range of autoimmune disorders, including everything from alopecia to diabetes to psoriasis. It can also lead to allergic reactions, infections, food intolerances, and chronic inflammation. That’s why it’s important to address your gut health because it’s the foundation of your whole body’s proper functioning.

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky Gut is basically a deficiency in your intestines. When the lining of your small intestine becomes damaged, it allows foreign items to pass through – things like undigested food particles, toxic waste products, or bacteria. These items, which should normally be expelled from your body, leak through the intestine and into your bloodstream, causing your body to react. Whether it’s an allergic reaction or inflammation, it can all be traced back to your gut. And, because the damaged cells in your intestines aren’t producing the enzymes you need to digest food, you’re missing out essential nutrients, which further weakens the immune system.

Signs of a Leaky Gut

Leaky gut can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are so easily mistaken for other conditions. However, if you suffer from any of the following, it might be worth speaking to your doctor about leaky gut: chronic diarrhea, constipation or gas; headaches or memory loss; poor immune function; chronic fatigue; skin issues like eczema or psoriasis; arthritis or joint pain; mood disorders such as depression, anxiety or ADD; chronic inflammation such as Interstitial Cystitis; and autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s or lupus.

Causes of a Leaky Gut

The number one cause of a leaky gut is a poor diet. This includes eating food items such as gluten, along with dairy and alcohol. Foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar can also play a factor, as can having vitamin deficiencies – most notably vitamins A and D, which are needed to maintain the proper functioning of your intestines. In addition to your diet, leaky gut can be caused by stress, strenuous exercise, trauma from an injury, toxins in the environment, or unwanted bacteria, fungi and parasites.
According to a 2005 study published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, less than 10 percent of people who are genetically predisposed to autoimmune disease actually develop the diseases. This means that many of the environmental factors listed above may be especially important for your health.
Whatever the cause, don’t lose hope – there is a way to fix it.

How to Repair a Leaky Gut

In order to restore balance to your body and achieve a healthy gut, try following these four steps:

1) Remove: Start by getting rid of all the things that could trigger negative reactions. Remove things like alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten, GMO’s, and dairy from your diet.

2) Restore: Next, bring back the good. Make sure your body is getting the essential ingredients it needs, especially those that might have been targeted by the items listed in Step 1. This includes, for instance, enzymes to support your digestion and nutrient absorption, including HCL (Hydrochloric acid). You will also want to make sure that you are getting the right nutrition so eating clean is important. Foods that help to restore gut health include: bone broth, raw butter, goats milk kefir, coconut and avocado oil, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso soup, apples, grapefruit, avocado, Salmon, grass-fed beef, organic fruits and vegetables, and sprouted flax seeds.

3) Reinoculate: Here, you want to restore the balance in your bacteria. Taking a probiotic supplement can go a long way to supporting your gut health. Make sure your probiotic has a minimum of 25 billion CFU’s and contains multiple strains of bacteria, soil-based organisms, and prebiotics. Choose one that does not require refrigeration. You can find an excellent one on Dr. Axe’s website.

4) Repair: Finally, you need to help your gut repair itself. That means giving it the proper nutrients. Things like fiber, collagen supplements, zinc, L-glutamate, N-acetyl glucosamine, DGL licorice root, quercetin, marshmallow root, slippery elm, caprylic acid, and candisol, all of which can help heal damaged cells and build tissue, which are helpful in improving your gut’s lining.

Focusing on improving your gut health is a good thing for anyone. Even if you don’t suffer from an autoimmune disorder or any kind of chronic inflammation, restoring balance in your body will go a long way to keeping you healthy, longer.

Patricia Deckert, D.O.

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