If you’ve been suffering from food allergies, thyroid issues, or a slow metabolism, you’ve likely tried several remedies to alleviate your symptoms. Trying to narrow down the causes of your health concerns can be overwhelming, especially if you feel like you’ve tried everything. If you’ve ruled out heredity, diet, and exercise levels, and still can’t alleviate your symptoms, you could be suffering from a leaky gut.
Across the United States, millions of people face the struggle of leaky gut, also called “intestinal permeability syndrome” and most likely don’t know it. When you first read the words, you might think that leaky gut has to do only with digestive issues, but in fact, the gut is where many diseases and health conditions begin.
If you read our previous article, then you know that leaky gut is the term for what happens when the lining of your digestive tract becomes more permeable than usual, thus allowing things like gluten, bad bacteria, and undigested food particles into your bloodstream, which leads to an immune reaction.
Recently, intestinal permeability has been pegged as the cause of various food allergies, joint pain, thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, slow metabolism, and low energy. If you feel like you’re suffering from leaky gut, take a look at the following steps that can be taken to heal your gut.
Avoid foods that damage the gut – Though leaky gut sounds downright scary, the good news is that you can successfully heal it. The first thing you should do is remove any offending foods from your diet. This includes sugar, grain, conventional meat, GMO foods, and conventional dairy. You’ll also want to stay away from tap water, pesticides, antibiotics, and NSAIDS.
Incorporate healing foods into your eating habits – When healing your gut, it’s important to remember that you’re not just looking to “eat healthier,” your true focus is to repair your intestinal wall. Increase your intake of foods that are rich in fermentable fibers such as sweet potatoes. Foods high in healthy fat such as pasture-raised meats, avocado, coconut oil, and pure olive oil will repair your intestinal wall. A popular dietary choice among those looking to heal their gut is bone broth. This broth is high in glycine, gelatin, and glutamine, which are all essential for intestinal repair.
Take supplements to repair your gut – There’s no need to go overboard with your supplement intake, but there are certain ones designed to focus on the intestines that will be highly beneficial to you. Start with a digestive enzyme. One or two capsules before each meal will ensure your foods are fully digested, thus decreasing the chance that partially digested food particles will damage your gut wall. Glutamine is a critical amino acid for healing your gut. Glutamine has anti-inflammatory properties and will promote your intestinal wall to grow and repair. It can be found in powder form, so be sure to take 2-5 grams twice daily.
Rebalance your gut with probiotics – When healing your gut, one of the best things you can do is incorporate probiotics into your daily regimen. Probiotics encourage good bacteria to grow while getting rid of bad bacteria. Typically, it is recommended to take probiotics in both food and supplement form. This is an important step because now that you’ve gotten rid of the damaging irritants, you need to encourage good bacteria to grow.
If you suspect you have leaky gut, it is recommended that you find a functional medicine doctor with experience in treating it. Speak with him or her regarding a complete evaluation and treatment plan that’s best for you. If you live in Eastern Iowa, call The Teggatz clinic to set up a free 15-minute consultation to see if a functional medicine approach is right for you.