Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It?

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition not fully recognized in the medical community. It’s described as the weakening of the intestinal walls, which creates openings that expose the bloodstream to bacteria and toxins. A leaky gut can lead to an onset of symptoms that may lower a person’s quality of life and indicate or exacerbate a more serious condition.

In this blog on leaky gut syndrome, we’ll look at the following:

How Do I Know if I Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

To diagnose leaky gut syndrome, a healthcare professional may look at a set of symptoms usually accompanied by the condition. If you’re experiencing some or all of these, this is a strong indication you may have a leaky gut and require further treatment.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome

  • Burning sensation in the gut
  • Painful indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and bloating
  • Low energy
  • Cramps
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Rosacea and acne
  • Weight gain
  • Aches and pains

When left unaddressed, the effects associated with leaky gut syndrome can prolong inflammation in the body, contributing to severe problems. Several medical conditions can develop or worsen due to an ongoing leaky gut.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Leaky gut syndrome can contribute to or develop intestinal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and IBS. The growing permeability caused by intestinal dysfunction adds to the symptoms of IBS, including abdominal cramping and bloating.

Celiac Disease

Individuals with celiac disease may be more prone to leaky gut. Gluten sensitivity can increase chronic gut inflammation in a person with celiac disease, resulting in increased intestinal permeability and other symptoms of leaky gut, like bloating, diarrhea, and pain.

Chronic Liver Disease

The gut and liver significantly affect one another. The substances made by the gut microbiome reach the liver through the bloodstream, portal circulation, and the bile duct. A leaky gut can increase the amount of endotoxin that reaches the liver, leading to chronic inflammation and progressive liver damage.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Leaky gut and PCOS may play a role in causing one another. A leaky gut may be brought on by the effects of PCOS and its ability to weaken the gut wall. As a result, the leaky gut can worsen existing PCOS symptoms. Similarly, research has found that women with PCOS are more likely to experience IBS, another contributor to leaky gut syndrome.

Diabetes

Leaky gut can play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases. The gut and gut microbiota changes increase inflammation and intestinal permeability, which are linked to type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

How Do You Fix a Leaky Gut?

A leaky gut is a repairable condition that must be fixed by targeting the underlying condition causing it. Chronic inflammatory conditions, such as celiac disease and IBS, could be the culprits behind leaky gut. It could also be that your diet or lifestyle contributes to the leaky gut. Ongoing factors like poor diet, alcohol consumption, and stress can create inflammation and other health problems that harm the intestinal lining.

Diet

Diet is a significant factor in leaky gut syndrome – there are even “Leaky Gut Diet Plans” designed to decrease symptoms. The goal is to consume foods that grow healthy gut bacteria and avoid those that create inflammation.

What Foods May Contribute To A Leaky Gut?

  • Refined carbohydrates (white bread, processed foods)
  • Diet sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Grains and pseudograins
  • Gluten
  • Dairy

What Foods Can Help A Leaky Gut?

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Skinless chicken or turkey breast
  • Bone broth
  • Probiotics
  • Fatty fish
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Tofu
  • Nuts and seeds

Lifestyle Changes

Inflammation in the stomach lining can be brought on by certain lifestyle factors: your fitness levels, quality of sleep, stress management, and whether you smoke.

Fitness

Exercise increases good bacteria in the body, contributing to more microbiome diversity and fighting inflammation. Likewise, these bacteria play a role in strengthening the gut lining and improving overall gut function.

Sleep

Poor quality sleep can create hormonal imbalances in the body and increase the stress hormone cortisol. As stress builds up, inflammation can develop in the gut, leading to intestinal permeability issues, aka leaky gut syndrome.

Stress

When stress goes unchecked, your body becomes more prone to gut barrier permeability, allowing bacteria to reach blood circulation and trigger inflammation. The same can be said for other health conditions, such as depression or anxiety.

Smoking

Smoking is related to several health conditions, including leaky gut syndrome. Regular smoking can decrease blood flow to the lining of the GI tract. This leads to elevated intestinal pH and allows bacteria to grow and develop gut microbiota dysbiosis, which may compromise the gut barrier.

Best Supplements to Support Your Gut

The most science-backed supplements that can be used to strengthen your gut include:

  • Probiotics
  • Prebiotics
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin C
  • Beta-carotene
  • L-glutamine

Always consult your doctor before adding supplements to your diet to ensure you choose the best options and dosage amount for you.

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A Nice Apothecary is dedicated to providing our clients with top-quality supplements efficiently and effectively. We offer various services, including compounding and medication synchronization, so you always have what you need when needed. Learn more today by contacting us and getting started.