Do I have Leaky Gut?

Leaky Gut is the term used to describe a weakened and compromised intestinal bowel wall. In a healthy gut, the bowel wall is made up of cells held tightly together. And it is these tight bonds which ensure that digested toxins and nutritional products can not escape through the bowel wall and into the interstitial fluid. These toxins make their way through into the bloodstream where they are circulated.

Why is that a concern? All kinds of havoc is caused by circulating toxins. Inflammation rises, the immune system (for many) is thrown into an over riding mode (attacking the body’s own tissues instead), anxiety, mood changes, stress, fogginess, skin conditions, hormonal disruptions are all some of the many ways circulating toxins impair our health.

Feeling toxic? This subsequent increased toxicity has a significant impact on many health conditions, but it is especially problematic for those who suffer allergies and intolerances. This includes any immune dysregulation and autoimmune conditions (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroid conditions, Endometriosis, Asthma), skin conditions, low energy and compromised detoxification systems.

These toxins can cause a cascade of reactions involving your autonomic nervous system and immune system. Eventually this can trigger the body to become more reactive to seemingly harmless foods, smells, products, contributing to intolerance, allergies, IBS and more.

And at the end of all of this, the liver is left to fight an ever increasing battle to remove the increased amount of toxins from the blood stream and detoxify the body, which can leave it encumbered.

What causes Leaky Gut?

Leaky Gut often can develop from consuming foods which you are intolerant / allergic to, which can irritate the bowel wall, compromising the mucus membrane layer which protects it. And as we have seen, Leaky Gut can also contribute to increasing intolerances and allergies. It certainly is a vicious circle, that involves a targeted strategy to resolve.

Leaky Gut can also develop following periods of overconsumption of alcohol, medications such as NSAIDs (aspirin type medication), stress and poor diet. All being a common factor in the busy lives of many in society currently. How many of these factors can you tick? Are you suffering symptoms? Are you finding you are harnessing the energy and vitality that you should be from your meals? Or are you even more tired after meal times?

How can this be rectified?

Repairing the bowel wall takes some time and effort, but it is of utmost importance for optimal health and wellness, energy and vitality, physical and emotional health. The first step is to take a break from the aggravating or contributing factors and irritating foods, thus paving the way for repair to occur.

There are some fantastic Naturopathic products designed for Leaky Gut. These formulas reduce inflammation in the bowel, soothe and heal injury to the bowel wall, provide the specific nutrients required to fuel the enterocytes (bowel wall cells) so they can flourish and function well, and repair the integrity and structure of the bowel wall. Treatment will include specific pre biotic foods, probiotic formulas and soothing fibre and must be tailored to your individual requirements.

One key element to this process, and for preventing leaky gut in the future, is to support and maintain a healthy mucus membrane layer. This ‘mucus’ layer protects the bowel wall from injury and insult and ensures everything moves easily southward and can be expelled. Did you know that this mucus membrane layer (in the bowel) is connected to, and no different to that which is in your sinuses and respiratory system? Not only does it serve as a huge component of your immune defences (keeping bugs and viruses out), but clearly shows the relationship between the gut and allergies/immune function. Don’t wait until sinus seasons to treat your allergies. Start as soon as possible with gut health to ensure you reduce your allergic potential before the triggers arrive.

We hear it so much, but it is so true, healing starts in the gut. With a condition like leaky bowel left unmanaged, we impede the treatment of any other condition. 

 For more information or to discuss how Naturopathy can help you, email and request a call back.