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Gut Health: What Is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut is now considered the root cause of most illnesses in the developed world.

Hippocrates said over 2000 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut.”

Intestinal infections, toxic chemicals such as glyphosate, food allergens, amines in protein foods like chocolate, cheese, less-than-fresh meats, and seafood,- trauma, stress and antibiotics, all contribute to poor gut health.

Equally, sugary baked goods, gluten, and processed meats produce inflammation in the digestive tract. This leads to a decreased amount of nutrients our body can absorb. As a result, the immune system becomes overwhelmed.

Eventually, all of these influences contribute to the permeability of the intestines. Otherwise known as a condition called Leaky Gut.

Hippocrates said over 2000 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut.” Studies have established that autoimmune disease, food sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, even issues like autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, depression, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, joint pain and arthritis, immunity issues, all begin with issues with the gut lining.

What exactly is leaky gut? Well, imagine your intestinal lining is a mesh. It is the barrier sandwiched by your intestines and your bloodstream. That mesh allows certain particles to get through – small vitamins and minerals – and it excludes larger proteins and other things that should be sent through other areas of your body.

What happens is if there is a lot of inflammation of the gut lining over time, the mesh can tear, allowing certain things to pass through in the bloodstream that should never get in there. This results in immune response or an inflammatory response progressing to systemic inflammation.

If that continues to happen over time, it can affect and cause issues in particular places of your body.

Daily Gut Inflammatory Dietary sources known to contribute to Leaky Gut

  1. Inflammatory fats and oils such as Omega 6 fats from seed and plant-based oils – sunflower, canola, peanut, grape seed oils, palm, soybean.
  2. Hydrogenated oils such as margarine, fried foods; packaged snacks; pre-rolled cookie dough; vegetable shorting; baked foods; coffee creamers, both dairy and non-dairy.
  3. Fast foods and takeaway foods

  4. Gluten

  5. Sugar feeds yeast which will proliferate throughout the gut and feed on the gut lining.
  6. Antibiotics– both environmental and prescription. Leaky gut has become widespread, especially during the pandemic due to the increased use of hand sanitizers.

Bacteria in your digestive tract help with many important metabolic and hormonal functions, so if you are unable to digest the foods you eat as well, it is common to experience symptoms like constipation, bloating, food sensitivities, and deficiencies due to malabsorption of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Foods and Lifestyle Habits to help heal a Leaky Gut

  1. Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, tamari, kefir, kombucha and Greek yoghurt. Please note, if you are sensitive to histamines, please consult your health practitioner prior to including the above.
    These food and drinks are rich in probiotics which helps stimulate your immune system by reducing inflammation.
  2. Prebiotic foods such as fibre from vegetables; resistant starch from cooked, cooled starch-based foods such as rice, potatoes, and green bananas. It is important to consult with your practitioner as to what type of resistant starch is most suitable for you.
  3. Sound sleep is paramount to reducing inflammation and cortisol levels. Aim for 7-8 hours per night.
  4. Exercise – helps stimulate the nervous system so that the body can heal. Choose anything you enjoy- walking, swimming, dancing, Pilates or yoga. The goal is to positively stimulate your nervous system which will also give you the added benefit of increased energy levels and a better sense of wellbeing. Also, note that exercises like these are also known to release endorphins which will positively impact your mood and improve symptoms of depression.
  5. Manage your stress levels – stress not only intensifies the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, but it can also lead to heart disease and cancer. Dealing with stress can be challenging since it mostly arises from scenarios outside of your control. Fortunately, simple things like taking time to focus on your needs, exercising, meditation, and reading can all help reduce your stress levels and help heal your leaky gut as a result.

How your Practitioner can help you mend your Leaky Gut

  1. Remove toxic and inflammatory foods and gastric irritants such as alcohol, caffeine, and medications.
  2. Restore essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, medications, diseases, or aging.
  3. Re-inoculate with beneficial bacteria to re-establish a healthy balance of healthy bacteria in your gut.
  4. Repair your gut lining by providing the nutrients necessary to help reduce gut inflammation.

This tailored protocol takes time and commitment. The benefit is that you will notice that your digestive issues disappear, food sensitivities go away, skin issues clear up, autoimmune lab results improve, and you are back to being your optimal self.

For a limited time, Mogestri is offering all Elixr members 30-min consultations for only $45

All consultations will include tailored nutrition advice based on your unique metabolic type and a review of your progress, providing ongoing personalised support and important guidance to achieve your goals.

Make a sustainable difference to your life – Book now with Mogestri Pather at nutrition@elixr.com.au