Health & Wellness

Do You Have a Leaky Gut? (+ 3 Natural Remedies for Leaky Gut Syndrome) 

If you’ve heard of leaky gut syndrome but aren’t quite sure what it is, you aren’t alone. This relatively new term has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years from many notable medical experts and even numerous researchers. But why is that?

As it turns out, leaky gut syndrome is a very serious concern that affects more people than you may have guessed.

If you’re curious to know more about what leaky gut is, the top symptoms, and what you can do about it if you suspect you may have it, keep reading. This is one article you don’t want to miss!

 

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

As with all topics, we must begin at the beginning and review what, exactly, leaky gut syndrome is.

Within your digestive system, you have an intestinal, or gut, lining that controls what material enters your bloodstream. It also helps to prevent the loss of water and electrolytes your body needs to function.

When working properly, or with small gaps in this lining, nutrients and some water are allowed to seep through and enter into your bloodstream and reach your organs.

When your intestinal lining develops larger cracks or holes, however, more harmful substances are allowed to leak through. These substances consist of everything from toxins to bacteria to even partially digested food! This condition is referred to as leaky gut syndrome—because substances are literally leaking out of your gut and into your body.

The problem with this is that when harmful materials seep into your body, it can cause chronic inflammation not only throughout your digestive tract but also throughout your entire body.

This opens you up to experiencing a myriad of problems, including many chronic diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and more.

One of the reasons why leaky gut syndrome can be such an issue is that when harmful substances leak into your bloodstream, they trigger an immunoglobulin response. And when this happens, you’re more likely to develop delayed sensitivity reactions to foods, otherwise known as food intolerances.

Once this triggers your immune system, it can cause all sorts of other symptoms as well. This is why so many gut issues are related to autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s, lupus, and more.

As you can see, leaky gut syndrome isn’t something to be taken lightly.

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?

So, the next logical question is: What causes leaky gut syndrome?

Studies have shown that while everyone has some degree of leaky gut (since the intestinal wall is intended to be penetrable), some people experience a greater likelihood of experiencing leaky gut syndrome.

Researchers have found that leaky gut syndrome can stem from a few different causes. Some of the most common culprits are genetic predisposition, poor (inflammatory) diet, and stress. [1, 2]

While you obviously can’t do much about your genetic predisposition, the good news here is that you can absolutely control your dietary choices. And while you may not be able to control your psychological stress, you can also absolutely help your body better manage both psychological and physiological stress.

This means you don’t have simply live with leaky gut syndrome. But how do you know if you even have it? Let’s take a look at some of the common symptoms of leaky gut. You may be surprised to learn how common many of these symptoms are!

8 Leaky Gut Symptoms

Here are the most common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Skin problems
  • Joint pain and/or headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble with memory and/or concentration

As you can see, these symptoms are pretty common. So common, in fact, that surveys have shown that 74 percent of Americans are unknowingly living with symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. What’s more is that they’ve reported living with these symptoms for more than six months! [3]

 

Leaky gut syndrome - Dr. Pingel

 

3 Natural Remedies for Leaky Gut Syndrome

Fortunately, as I said above, you don’t have to just settle for living with leaky gut syndrome. There are several things you can do to help remedy this syndrome, including taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, and even getting more rest at night.

One herb I highly recommend is glutamine, which is imperative for healing a leaky gut. When taken in conjunction with other anti-inflammatory herbs known to promote digestive health, glutamine is known to help repair your intestinal lining. (Think of it like putting aloe vera on a cut.)

While this is a great start, here are three more incredibly effective natural remedies that I recommend for those with leaky gut syndrome.

1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

It stands to reason that if eating inflammatory foods increases intestinal permeability, eating an anti-inflammatory diet would reverse that damage, right?

Several studies have shown that improving your diet can, in fact, reverse intestinal leakiness as well as mucosal damage in the intestines. [4]

Specifically, plant-based diets have been shown to promote a diverse and stable microbiome, which is important to support the integrity of your intestinal lining. [5]

For more information on eating a plant-based anti-inflammatory diet, including my 10-step plan to get you started, click here.

2. Support your body’s stress response.

The next best thing you can do to combat and help reverse leaky gut syndrome is to support your body’s stress response. And here’s the great news about that: By eating a plant-based anti-inflammatory diet, you’re already on your way!

It’s been well documented that there’s a strong link between the status of your gut microbiome and your chances of developing stress-related conditions such as anxiety and depression. [6]

So, it’s easy to understand how supporting your body’s ability to handle stress can help to support your gut integrity, right?

A few things I like to recommend to help support your body’s stress response are staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, taking adrenal-supporting herbs and supplements, and embracing the mind-body connection by meditating, deep breathing, or even journaling to help decrease your body’s cortisol levels. [7]

3. Exercise each day.

Finally, one way you can help reverse leaky gut syndrome is by incorporating a little movement every day.

Studies have shown that engaging in cardiovascular exercise each day can help support digestive health by promoting a healthy gut microbiome. [8]

Meanwhile, other studies have revealed that exercise supports stable and enriched microflora diversity, which is known to support the health of the brain-gut axis and overall health. [9]

 

Key Takeaways

  • Leaky gut syndrome is a serious concern that affects most Americans. It occurs when your intestinal lining develops larger cracks or holes and allows harmful substances to leak through and into your bloodstream.
  • Researchers have found that leaky gut syndrome can stem from a few different causes. Some of the most common culprits are genetic predisposition, poor (inflammatory) diet, and stress.
  • Some of the top natural remedies include taking digestive-supporting herbs and probiotics along with eating an anti-inflammatory diet, supporting your body’s stress response, and exercising daily.

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