Gut health is an essential—and repeatedly overlooked—starting point for achieving optimal health and preventing disease. Your gut is often referred to as “the missing link” and its health is important for everyone, not just those with digestive issues. Whether your goal is to lose weight, increase your energy, better your immune health, rid yourself of sugar cravings or resolve digestive issues, always start with the gut. It is the cornerstone for optimal health and the avenue through which nutrients are incorporated into the body.
Past dieting, antibiotic use, a stressful life and environmental toxins can all be impairing your health—even if you currently have a perfect diet. If your gut health isn’t up to par, even the most nutritious foods may not be broken down or absorbed properly. Eating healthy food is only half of the nutrition story. You need to be in the ideal state to digest food, too. So while it’s important to make the best food choices possible, it’s just as important to prepare your body to digest it.
What Makes a Gut Leaky?
A leaky gut (technically known as increased intestinal permeability) is when the lining of your intestine, which is supposed to keep the contents of our digestive system separate from the rest of the body, has become compromised…leaky. This allows large particles to slip through the gut membrane and enter into the bloodstream…not good! Your body perceives these particles as invaders, triggering an immune response which can then set the tone for a host of health issues such as food allergies, autoimmune conditions and more.
What Causes Leaky Gut to Happen?
Leaky gut is usually caused by eating foods with anti-nutrients, like grains—both refined and whole. These can basically tear holes in the intestinal lining because we can’t break the anti-nutrients down very well. This could be because of how different grains are these days than they used to be (grains have evolved into a totally different food!), or as a result from a lifetime of doing things that weaken our digestive function such as consuming refined foods, taking rounds of antibiotics, drinking alcohol, and being chronically stressed out. I’ve concluded that it is a combination of all of the above that causes leaky gut to happen.
What are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut can result in digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, burping, constipation or diarrhea, and it can also present itself in ways that we wouldn’t necessarily associate with the gut, like migraines, eczema, weight gain, blood sugar issues, food allergies, fatigue, anxiety and autoimmune conditions. A lot of these symptoms are the same symptoms you’d find with food sensitivities or chronic inflammation. Fortunately, the treatment for any of these conditions is the same, and we’ll cover that in a moment.
What Testing is Available for Leaky Gut?
If you want to differentiate and know for sure whether you are suffering from a leaky gut rather than something else, there are tests available to do just that. It’s safe to assume if you are suffering from more than a few of the symptoms we talked about that your gut isn’t in top notch health, and everyone can benefit from implementing strategies to healing a leaky gut—even if yours isn’t leaky. Like I mentioned earlier, gut health is important for everyone, so it’s beneficial to act as if you have a leaky gut and take the measures to heal it even if you don’t.
All of that said, there are some tests that can be done to verify whether or not you have a leaky gut. A leaky gut cannot be not found on the usual tests, not even with an endoscopy or colonoscopy, so these tests are quite specialized. Talk to your doctor about receiving these types of tests to check for leaky gut:
1. Urine test – specifically the Lactose/Mannitol test
2. Parasite test
3. Bacterial dysbiosis test
4. Comprehensive Stool and Digestive Analysis test
5. Blood test checking for IgG and IgA antibodies
6. Food allergy tests (but often food allergy tests can miss a sensitivity or indicate an allergy to a food you don’t actually react negatively to)
How Do I Heal my Leaky Gut?
Just like leaky gut can develop slowly over years or even decades, the healing process will also take time. With our clients, we see it taking anywhere from three to six months, and sometimes upwards to a year. It’s important to be diligent and consistent about the following tips in order for your gut to heal from the inside out.
Here are the five steps we walk our clients through to heal a leaky gut:
1. Stop eating foods that damage the lining of your gut. Grains, legumes and processed, refined foods can be hard to digest and promote perforations in your intestines. This means cookies, crackers, bread, pasta, oats, and even brown rice are blameworthy. It’s important to work hard at reducing consumption of these foods—at least for the duration of the healing process.
2. Start eating foods that reduce and heal inflammation and restore the healthy gut bacteria. Fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt are important for replenishing your good gut bacteria. Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, olives, butter, fatty fish (like salmon), and healing bone broth are important for calming inflammation that has occurred as a result of having a leaky gut.
3. Get stress and sleep under control. If these are out of whack, it will take a lot longer to heal a leaky gut, as you’ll be promoting more inflammation, and your body will need to focus on healing that before anything else. Do your body a favor and stay rested and practice stress management techniques so that it can focus on healing.
4. Take gut healing supplements. Gut healing supplements like L-glutamine, probiotics and fish oil are an important part of the healing process and should not be overlooked. L-Glutamine might be the most effective gut healer of all, as it plays a vital role in rebuilding, healing and maintaining the structural lining of your digestive tract. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, protects your cell walls and promotes good digestion and nutrient absorption while reducing inflammation. Probiotics replenish your good bacteria and crowd out the bad. Fish oil provides omega 3 fatty acids, which target inflammation and reduce it.
5. Use InflammaVive. This powder is specifically formulated to reduce inflammation. For those with leaky gut, consuming 1 scoop of this powder mixed into 8 ounces of water, once or twice a day, will tremendously speed up the healing process. To help get you started, I’m giving you 20% off your first order of InflammaVive with the code LEAKY20. Get yours today!
There are some simple steps you can take right now to get rid of the inflammation, so that you can start to lose weight (and keep it off!) because you are healing the underlying reason for it in the first place!
I’ve done a lot of research on this, and there’s a lot to learn! Go ahead and download the free guide I created to get you started. I’m going to walk you through the step-by-step process of getting rid of inflammation so that you can finally be liberated from the endless dieting cycles and lose the weight once and for all!
Click to download the free guide to learn the 7 simple ways to heal inflammation and melt away those unwanted pounds.