Leaky Gut Syndrome: Is it affecting your happiness
Your gut health greatly influences the health of your body. When your digestive system is functioning well, it is able to process and break down food that you consume in order to extract the necessary nourishment for healthy skin, strong organs, and good mental health. But when there’s something wrong with the microbial ecosystem of your gut – known as leaky gut syndrome- the situation can look very different.
Introduction to Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which the lining of the intestines becomes damaged, allowing bacteria and toxins to leak through into the bloodstream. This can lead to a host of health problems, including inflammation, IBS, pain, autoimmune diseases, and food allergies.
Leaky gut syndrome is thought to be caused by a combination of factors including poor diet, stress, and inflammation. Treatment typically focuses on repairing the gut lining and restoring balance to the gut flora.
Pain, Stress and Leaky Gut
Pain, stress and leaky gut are all closely related. When you have a leaky gut, your body is unable to properly absorb nutrients from the food you eat. This can lead to malnourishment, and can also cause stress on your digestive system. This can in turn lead to abdominal pain and other digestive issues.
Leaky gut syndrome is often caused by a combination of factors, including poor diet, stress, and taking certain medications. Treating leaky gut syndrome typically involves making lifestyle changes, such as eating a wholesome diet (mainly plant based), reducing stress, and avoiding triggers like certain medications.
Leaky Gut And Brain Issues
The gut-brain axis is a layer of protection that separates the gastrointestinal tract from the rest of the body. When this barrier is compromised, as in leaky gut syndrome, it can allow bacteria and toxins to cross into the bloodstream and travel to the brain. This can trigger inflammation and an immune response, both of which have been linked to anxiety and depression.
How Can You Prevent A Leaky Gut?
There are a few key things you can do to prevent or heal a leaky gut:
- Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet. This means avoiding processed foods, sugary foods, wheat and gluten, dairy, meat.
- Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods or supplements. Probiotics help to replenish the good bacteria in your gut and support a healthy digestive system.
- Make sure you are getting enough fibre. Fibre is essential for keeping things moving through your digestive system and preventing constipation, which can make gut problems worse.
- Reduce stress levels. Stress can contribute to gut problems, so it's important to find ways to relax and reduce stress in your life.
What Triggers Your Body To Have a Leaky Gut?
The intestinal wall is lined with a single layer of cells known as enterocytes. These cells are connected to each other by tight junctions. The spaces between the cells are very small, allowing only fully digested nutrients and water to pass through into the bloodstream.
Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) occurs when the spaces between the cells become larger and allow undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to pass through into the bloodstream. This can trigger an immune response and inflammation.
There are many potential causes of leaky gut syndrome, including:
- Infections, such as H. pylori or Candida overgrowth
- Chronic stress
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity
- Use of oral contraceptives or hormones
- Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Excessive alcohol consumption
If you suspect you have leaky gut syndrome, it's important to see a healthcare professional for testing and treatment. Left untreated, leaky gut can lead to serious health problems. Contact our clinic today for a naturopathic nutrition consultation.