3 reasons why your gut might be leaking.
What works for some won’t work for all!
This is something that I advocate all the time. In media there is this mass generalisation of “diet” eating styles and whole host of reasons everyone should be eating the latest “superfood”. Don’t get me wrong any style of eating which gets people eating real whole foods in a balanced manner is going to be a winner to me, but there is so much information (and misinformation) out on the world wide web spruiking the “diet” of the day and why you should eat or avoid certain foods but what is often missed in these generalised messages is that we are all individuals. Human beings are 99.9% the same but when you break it down that 0.01% is massive when it comes and to our health and especially our food choices and how our bodies react.
While foods such as eggs may be packed full of nutrition, good fats and vitamins if you are having food sensitivity issues or are allergic then these foods are best avoided
As individuals things such as genetics, exposure to pathogens and toxins, general health status as well as personal experiences all combined to make up to whether we like or dislike certain foods and how our bodies may react to foods.
It is unfortunately in the Western world we have lost touch with the basics, we’re time poor, many of us lack cooking know how and marketing and food companies are right there to make us feel like real food is just too hard and that we should opt for their convenient processed choice – so we do!
Due to this massive swing away from our real food we are now seeing increasing numbers of food related “illness” such as leaky gut and food sensitivities which are both closely intertwined.
Leaky gut also know in medical circles intestinal hyper-permeability has several known contributors, with some of the symptoms often being treated as the cause leading to only short-term fixes. When you consider food and food sensitivities to be only one contributor, removing these foods from the diet will affect a better outcome but will only last as long as the foods are removed. Without healing and sealing the gut, things can if fact progress meaning that new foods may also start creating havoc.
Inflammation is both a symptom and a cause of leaky gut. Many of the foods we consume on a daily basis and even those ones which are branded as “health” foods can come high in sugar, salt or trans fats which are all widely reported to increase inflammation levels in our bodies. Through the chemical cocktail of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, we are creating the perfect inflammation storm, which is then often fueled further by excessive alcohol intake, and before you know it, you are in a world of hurt. Things can go from bad to worse as our immune system comes in to try and clean up the mess but often further aggravates the situation by causing further inflammation when trying to eradicate foreign food particles in our bodies.
The role of our immune system to seek and destroy anything that it believes could be harmful to us. Unfortunately, it can go a little haywire as with autoimmune disease and start attacking our own cells when we have large food particle leaking into our blood stream. Most of our ever-vigilant immune system lives in our gut, protecting us by attacking and destroying anything deemed to possibly cause us harm. Problems start to emerge when food particles even ones from healthy foods slip past the bouncers and get into our blood. As our immune system hunts and tract down the fugitives, inflammation is created as part of the process, meanwhile the offending food may then be placed on the immune systems watch list, meaning when we eat it from that point on wards, it’s not getting through security without being handcuffed, scanned and possible cavity search. The inflammation created during the seek and destroy process, as well as the vigilant boarder security process and associated inflammation are often primarily responsible for the systems associated with both food sensitivities and leaky gut.
Additionally, exposure to certain pathogens or bugs which habituate in the gut can cause mayhem in the gut can also play a factor in leaky gut. Exposure to Helibactor Pylori (the one that causes stomach ulcers), Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO), parasite and yeast infections are a couple of key culprits.
Now don’t let this stress you out as stress is also a major player in leaky gut linking back to the fight or flight mode. When we’re stressed our sympathetic nervous system is activated. Which can be a life saver for short-term stressful situations where we need to fight our way out or flee the F**K away. Our essential stress hormones come to the rescue in and help us survive the situation, but long-term effects of stress have been widely documented and can do more harm than good.
Consider this for a moment - when we have the sympathetic nervous system activated the para-sympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest phase isn’t. We need this system activated to help with the repair and rebuilding, the cleaning up after the stress storm has passed. So, if you think about it, if we are stressed, our body is lacking in the ability to give healing and repair the attention it requires, and that includes gut wall.
Treatment for leaky gut needs to address all possible contributing factors and causes not just systems. Identification and abstention of food sensitivities is only one layer. Stress, immune and inflammation also need to be fixed, otherwise the vicious circle may continue.
Allison is a qualified Naturopathy and Nutritional & Western Herbal Medicine. As the founder of Fundamental Wellbeing she specialises in gut health and stress related conditions. Allison possesses as strong passion for all things health and wellness, she understands that balance is essential to life, looking for real world solutions to help client’s reach their health goals.
Source information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440529/