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Are you familiar with the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome? It is a common gastrointestinal problem that has been gathering a lot of attention lately because research is linking it to a number of other health issues and diseases. The SAD (Standard American Diet), stress, toxic overload, intestinal permeability, and bacterial imbalance people battle have contributed to the epidemic of leaky gut symptoms that impacts millions of people globally.

Have These Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Have you been doing everything you can to feel well, but are still frustrated by your lack of results? Regardless of what healthy living methods you implement – improving a poor diet, exercise, mindset, relaxation techniques – does nothing seem to offer permanent relief? If you have these symptoms of leaky gut syndrome that could be the root of your issues.

Perhaps you feel:

  • Itchy
  • Foggy
  • Anxious
  • Exhausted
  • Heavy
  • Moody
  • Achy
  • Joint pain
  • Food sensitivities
  • Skin issues
  • Bloated…

Maybe even all of the above!

And, more concerningly, does it seem like you’re unable to get any traction in feeling better?

If so, the source of your woes may lie somewhere unexpected…

In your gut!

Between 70-80% of your immune response resides in your gut, so it stands to reason that an unhealthy gut can translate to an unhealthy you as immune cell production is disrupted. One of the main physiological signs that something’s amiss intestinally occurs when the delicate lining of your gut gets compromised. This condition, known as leaky gut, is due to intestinal permeability. Leaky Gut is the root cause of dozens of health problems and chronic diseases… Even ones that seem completely unrelated!

The key to feeling better – and finally getting some positive wellness momentum – starts with supporting your digestive tract and patching up the leaks.

Leaky Gut Explained

Leaky gut or “intestinal permeability” (even hyperpermeability) disorder is caused by intestinal tight junction malfunction.

Your gut is lined with a protective barrier that lets only friendly substances into your bloodstream. And keeps unwanted substances out! This feature is called selective permeability. The gut barrier is created by cells that form tight junctions (like interlocking fingers). And those cells get extra protection from a thick layer of mucus (the mucosal layer) that shields them against attackers.

When everything is working right, the intestinal barrier allows bloodstream access to only a select few beneficial particles. That’s how nutrients pass through your gut and into your bloodstream.

But sometimes troublemakers – like infections, food allergies, chronic stress, or certain medications – chip away at the mucus shield and bust those tight junctions wide open, poking micro tears in the intestinal barrier, which results in the “leak” in the gastrointestinal tract.

And when you have a leaky gut, unwanted substances like pathogens, toxins, and undigested food particles can sneak through into the bloodstream, where they absolutely don’t belong. Once those particles enter your circulation, they can cause all sorts of damage anywhere in your body.

What Makes Your Gut Leak

  • Pesticides, like glyphosate
  • 24/7 stress
  • Inflammatory foods (such as gluten and dairy)
  • A high-fat diet
  • Gut infections (including food poisoning and candida overgrowth)
  • Dysbiosis (a medical condition where bad bacteria in your gut outnumber beneficial bacteria)
  • Medications (like antibiotics and NSAIDs)
  • Intestinal parasites (more common than you’d think)
  • Heavy metals
  • BPA and other chemicals found in plastics

And, according to the National Health Services, the following medical conditions and drug treatments can also damage your intestinal lining:

  • Celiac disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Complicated surgery
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases – such as Crohn’s disease
  • Intestinal infection (salmonella, norovirus and giardiasis)
  • Radiotherapy to the abdomen
  • Sepsis
  • Type 1 diabetes

Representing the chief obstacle within the paracellular pathways between intestinal epithelial cells, disturbance of the constricted junctions opens the door for pollutants to be released into the blood.

According to the Norwegian journal Acta Paediatrica, this process “is implicated in the pathogenesis of several acute and chronic pediatric disease entities that are likely to have their origin during infancy.”

Leaky gut has specifically been linked to these childhood disorders:

Unfortunately, this is just a partial listing of the many things that can harm your intestinal barrier function, and leave you suffering with the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.

How Leaky Gut Causes Whole-Body Problems

Any of These Confusing Symptoms Could Point to Leaky Gut

With a leaky gut, you may encounter a number of symptoms that seem completely unrelated. And while they all start in your gut… they don’t stop there

Here are 10 signs that could indicate you’re dealing with a leaky gut:

  1. Gastrointestinal (GI) issues, including bloating, gas, chronic diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  2. Any autoimmune disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, and psoriasis
  3. Allergies and asthma
  4. Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders
  5. Trouble thinking, concentrating, remembering, and learning (brain fog)
  6. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), such as Crohn’s disease, gastric ulcers, and ulcerative colitis
  7. Blood sugar issues, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  8. Eczema, acne, and other skin issues
  9. Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  10. Obesity, weight gain, or difficulty losing weight

Your health advisor may have given you a few different diagnoses, and you may even be receiving treatment. But until the underlying problem – the leaky gut – gets fixed, true healing will always be just out of arm’s reach.

Most Common Co-Morbidities of Leaky Gut

If you think you may have leaky gut syndrome, here are FIVE co-morbidities to talk to your doctor or medical community members about.

1. Skin Disorders

First defined more than 70 years ago, the connection between the gut and the skin points to a slew of skin irritations, including acne and psoriasis, in people with intestinal hyper-permeability. While many doctors lean on dangerous creams and other drugs to treat these disorders, they can usually be solved by fixing the gut.

2. Mood Disorders (Depression)

Studies, such as one published in the journal Neuro Endocrinology Letters, show us that leaky gut can lead to numerous mood disorders. For instance, intestinal hyperpermeability’s inflammatory response features activate the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other chemicals that induce depression symptoms such as chronic fatigue syndrome, gastrointestinal upset, and a variety of so-called “sickness behaviors.”

3. Digestive Disorders

As you’d expect, if your intestines aren’t properly functioning, your digestion will be affected. Such is the case with leaky gut as intestinal permeability has been linked to chronic constipation & microfloral imbalance, which are direct causes of impaired immune function. Researchers discovered that immune cells were disrupted and pathogenic bacteria were allowed to flourish upon prolonged constipation.

For people with intestinal hyperpermeability, the immune system can shift into overdrive when a poisonous assault of toxins is introduced on the bloodstream, dangerously increasing the production of antibodies. This makes them vulnerable to antigens in foods and an increase in food allergies. This is why we recommend allergy-friendly, anti-inflammatory recipes. All of Mama Z’s recipes are dairy-free and gluten-free for a reason!

Leaky gut can also cause various nutritional deficiencies, including deficiencies of vitamin B12, magnesium, and other important enzymes that aid in food digestion.

4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Hungarian scientists recently found that people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis have links to leaky gut syndrome. This is because higher gut permeability is usually localized to the colon.

Another study found that the majority of patients with Crohn’s disease also had leaky guts. Furthermore, up to 10% – 20% of their “clinically healthy relatives,” also had leaky gut, which is a sign of genetic connection. Studies show that zinc is effective at tightening up intestinal junctions.

5. Autoimmune Disorders

Being an inflammatory disease by nature, it’s no wonder that so many people with autoimmune conditions suffer from leaky gut syndrome. One specific autoimmune disease that researchers are connecting to gut disorders is Hashimoto’s disease, or “chronic thyroiditis.” (10Thyroid disease can lead to a host of problems, including weight gain, fatigue, depression and impaired metabolism.

Research conducted on a protein called “zonulin” is key to understanding the link between leaky gut-related diseases – specifically autoimmune diseases. A 2011 paper published in the journal Physiologic Reviews says,

“Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur.”

This hazardous flow is often triggered by grain consumption. In fact, University of Maryland School of Medicine scholars have revealed that gluten “activates zonulin signaling irrespective of the genetic expression of autoimmunity, leading to increased intestinal permeability to macromolecules.”

How to ‘Leak-Proof’ Your Gut

If after reading this article you think a leaky gut may be responsible for your health problems, I have two things to say:

  1. Your suffering doesn’t have to continue. There is hope.
  2. Healing the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome is not only possible but happens all the time.

With a healthy and intact gut barrier, toxins, pathogens, and other harmful substances will remain locked inside your gut where they belong. Keeping your gut barrier healthy involves:

  • Avoid damaging substances – like gluten, sugar, pesticides, and NSAIDs – as much as you can.
  • Eating a healthy, GMO-free, whole foods die
  • Addressing gut infections (if you have one)
  • Supporting your protective mucosal layer
  • Keeping your gut junctions tight
  • Maintaining a well-balanced gut microbiome where beneficial (probiotic) bacteria outnumber harmful (pathogenic) bacteria

When it comes to supporting your gut microbiome, high-quality, spore probiotics are one of your strongest allies. In addition to crowding out harmful bacteria, specific types of spore probiotics help other beneficial bacteria flourish for a healthy well-balanced gut microbiome.

Here are two spore strains to look out for:

Bacillus clausii

As we’ve learned, one of the chief culprits behind leaky gut is the pervasive use of antibiotics. Bacillus clausii is the only strain of probiotic known to resist damage from a variety of common antibiotics.

Because of its pathogen-fighting power, this strain is the largest selling probiotic in the world (though it’s typically sold as a prescription drug.) Fortunately, it’s now available in the U.S. dietary supplement industry and has been proven effective in supporting gut health and soothing numerous GI issues (gas, bloating, diarrhea.)

Bacillus coagulans

In a human trial, 90 days of supplementing with Bacillus coagulans resulted in significant improvements in gut health, and major reductions in occasional diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and unusual stool frequency.

Bacillus coagulans is also known for its potent immune-supportive activity due to its unique production of lactic acid – specifically the L+ optical isomer of lactic acid. This has been shown to have a profound impact on immune stimulation and digestion and drives a healthy gut defense.

Live Gut Support

Though probiotics have long been touted as our best gut-optimizing partners, many people find it difficult sourcing a probiotic that actually works. According to research, the body’s naturally harsh stomach acid – which is necessary for digesting all types of foods – kills off 99.99% of the probiotic strains available. That means most probiotic products die long before their active strains get to your intestines.

Shockingly, even the *supposedly* special “live” probiotics found in the refrigerated section are “dead on arrival” when they reach the areas where they’re needed most. (This actually makes a lot of sense – If a probiotic can’t survive at room temperature, how can it possibly survive the typical human body temperature of 98.6 degrees?!?)

Bottom line: be sure to purchase LIVE probiotics!

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/leaky-gut-syndrome#1
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16092447/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21248165/
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  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18283240/
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  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16635908/
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  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29908580/
  18. https://www.lupus.org/news/the-gutlupus-link-how-gut-bacteria-may-impact-disease-development-and-activity
  19. https://chriskresser.com/got-allergies-your-microbes-could-be-responsible/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871166/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6587489/
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641835/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4437570/
  24. https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-020-1705-z
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4637104/
  26. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21382153/
  27. https://nationaleczema.org/leaky-gut/
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678709/
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6290721/
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140100/

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