Lately, more and more patients have been coming to me with digestive health issues that appear to be leaky gut. No one seems to know exactly why it’s so common now to have a lactose or gluten intolerance, although many people point a finger at how processed and genetically modified the human diet has become. The focus for treating food sensitivities is usually all about the food. Most of the time it’s chalked-up to aging and shrugged off. People assume there’s nothing they can do about the discomfort they’re feeling except avoid certain foods for the rest of their lives.
I’ve got my own theory, and it goes deeper. The answer is within us – in our gut!
What is Leaky Gut?
Age does come into play, just not how most people expect. If you see wrinkles on the outside of your body, odds are there are wrinkles on the inside, too!
Our digestive lining has wear-and-tear damage from food and how it’s eaten, and the more life lived means more exposure. Food can scratch and damage the digestive lining, especially if not chewed properly. Microscopic holes formed in the digestive lining allow some not-so-good things into the bloodstream.
Many foods eaten today are genetically modified, exposed to many pesticides, toxic oils, colors and dyes that inflame the digestive system lining. The body goes on high alert when these things are found unexpectedly in the bloodstream. The immune system fights to get rid of the intruders, resulting in a variety of uncomfortable situations such as skin problems, joint pain, and other “allergic reactions.”
How Does the Gut Leak?
The older you get, the less collagen and elastin you have keeping your skin cells firm and tight, and this goes for the cells in digestive lining as well. Environmental contaminants, just like food elements your body doesn’t need, are meant to stay in the digestive system and eventually be eliminated when you go to the bathroom. Instead, they end up passing through “leaks” in the gut lining to the bloodstream, and our body doesn’t know how to deal with all of these foreign molecules.
The body’s overactive immune system response is surprising to us; it comes in varying forms of muscle and joint pain or rashes and acne or headaches, and we typically believe we are having an allergic reaction to something. What makes this worse is that if our body is too busy dealing with digestive health it can’t take care of viruses and bad bacteria that make us sick, so it can take longer to recover from illness.
What are Common Signs of Leaky Gut?
– Food sensitivities or allergies
– Skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema
– Thyroid problems
– Pain in a weak area
– Sinus issues
– ADD, depression and anxiety
How Do I know Leaky Gut is Real?
Everyone has low-level food allergies – also known as food sensitivities – and there’s something fishy about that. Many people having many low-level allergies is a lot different than someone having a serious allergy that can be life-threatening, like a peanut allergy so severe it requires an EpiPen.
The sheer volume I’ve witnessed doing food allergy testing over the years has me convinced this a digestive health issue. In addition to testing for food allergies, reactions to a fungus which occurs only on food have shown up on blood tests. How would the fungus get in the blood? It has to be through the digestive system lining.
I have found that after patients follow my steps for fixing their gut, the food sensitivities typically go away. Psoriasis and eczema have also cleared up after we’ve cleaned up the gut. It’s no longer a gut feeling – my theory has been tested!
What Can We Do About Leaky Gut?
Knowing that digestive health is the key to total body health, here’s the plan to keep your gut in tip-top shape:
Step 1. Link Cells Back Together
Make it a priority to heal and rebuild the cells in your digestive lining. Find ways to eat or drink more vitamin C, the amino acid L-glutamine, and good quality butter. Some foods that help link the cells back together are bone broth soups, coconut or fish oil, yogurt, and tea. Luckily, digestive lining cells turn over every 3 or 4 days, so you should start to notice effects fairly quickly.
Step 2. Soothe the Lining
Continue to soothe the digestive lining for some time before introducing probiotics, because the digestive system might be so inflamed that good bacteria will not survive. Click here to see my favorite gut lining repair powder.
Step 3. Help the Body Break Down Food
The easiest thing to do for digestive health is simply to remember to use your teeth and chew! Cook food thoroughly as well; don’t always eat food that’s cold and raw. Adding a digestive enzyme with each meal will aid in digestion as well. Fruits like kiwi, papaya and pineapple are delicious and loaded with digestive enzymes, or you can opt to take a supplement.
Step 4. Probiotics
Now is the time to introduce good bacteria probiotics into your diet and onto your skin. Yep – your skin! With a gel capsule, spray or powder, you can mix probiotics into a moisturizer or mist them onto your skin and get all of the benefits the good bugs have to offer.
Step 5. Support the Gut with Ph Balanced Greens
The last recommendation I have for keeping the gut leak-free is maintaining a healthy internal PH with dark leafy greens. 3 cups a day if possible. If you can’t get them in your diet, take greens as a powdered drink mix or vitamin. Click here to see my favorite greens drink!
You Probably Have Leaky Gut
The next time your body is feeling bothered, don’t be so quick to blame it on getting older or on food sensitivities. It’s highly likely your gut is just trying to tell you it needs some TLC. It’s fascinating how much of an impact the digestive system has on the rest of the body and mind.
Repair all that internal wear-and-tear and welcome back your happy, healthy body! On my resources page I have a guide called 4 Simple Steps to Plugging your Leaky Gut. Save it or print it for a quick reference on how to keep your gut healthy. If you need to take major action to fix your gut today, check out my in-depth course How to Fix Your Digestive System In 6 Weeks.
If you liked this blog, guess what? There’s a podcast that covers this topic fully – listen now!