How do we get it?
Now you know what leaky gut is, the next question is how it occurs. There are various reasons why and how leaky gut occurs, although if I had to pick the biggest factor it would be ‘inflammation’. Inflammation occurs when the body is damaged and resulting the need to repair itself. Systemic stress is often widely debated as the primary catalyst to the deterioration of an individual’s health.
“Stress – 95% of all dis-ease is caused by stress” National Institute of Health 2010
Stress is everywhere and is part of daily life, below are my top 4 menaces that cause leaky gut syndrome:
- Chronic stress – over stressed individuals always have a suppressed immune system. A weakened immune system is unable to do its job, leading to inflammation causing the permeability of intestinal lining to be compromised.
- Diet – consuming large quantities of food that your stomach is sensitive to or foods that are not REAL foods will result in inflammation of your gut, here are some examples:
- Refined sugars or large amount of natural sugars
- Junk food
- Foods containing high levels of Lectins ; wheat, rice, gluten, soy and majority of grains
- Processed foods including commercial cow’s milk
- Medications – essentially the majority of medications cause an irritation to intestinal and stomach lining. The stronger the medication (antibiotics) the more they remove our natural good bacteria giving the opportunistic bad bacteria the perfect chance to overdevelop and take over.
- Dysbiosis: The imbalance between beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in your gut. For many, this imbalance occurs at birth from the mother having a C-section instead of a vaginal birth, where most of healthy bacteria is consumed by the baby. It can also occur if the mother didn’t have a healthy gut herself during the pregnancy. Other contributing factors are: tap water that contains chlorine and fluoride, and foods lacking
Signs of leaky gut
Leaky gut varies from person to person depending on factors such as:
- Levels of damage
- Food sensitivities
- Medical conditions
Food sensitivity tests are one of the best ways to evaluate your current situation. Being unable to consume healthy foods due to food intolerances is a clear indication that something is wrong! Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals from nutrient malabsorption tends to be another alarming factor that you’re not breaking food down in your intestines as you should. The list below are other common signs that your gut is not happy and needs attention:
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Bloating and gas
- Rashes or eczema
- Colds and flu all year long, weakened immune system
- Headaches, brain fog and memory loss
- Chronic fatigue, cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
- Depression and anxiety
- Unexplained weight loss or gain