It might be the most awkward conversation you’ve ever had with your doctor: “Uhh, doc, I think I might have symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.”
You go on describe your symptoms – and how that anti-diarrhea medicine is not working – and your doctor smiles warmly at you.
Leaky gut, he tells you, isn’t an external leakage issue – it’s internal.
It’s important to first understand what leaky gut syndrome actually is, and this includes the various symptoms impacting many different body systems.
Only then can you begin to effectively treat leaky gut by identifying trigger foods and replacing with natural anti-inflammatory foods.
What is leaky gut syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome isn’t actually a disease in and of itself, though it can cause an entire host of other, related gastrointestinal diseases.
Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is actually a condition – an underlying environment, let’s say – often associated with inflammatory bowel issues such as Crohn’s disease, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome (the single most complained-about gastrointestinal issue facing patients.)
The permeability issue lies in the small intestine, and the result is that bacteria and toxins in your intestines end up in your bloodstream. Your body views these toxins as pathogens, and your immune system sets up an attack.
What are the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome may cause a host of gastrointestinal issues including bloating, weight gain or loss, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.
But the fact that leaky gut engages a systemic immune response means that your body may also experience non-gastrointestinal issues like headaches, acne, fatigue, or joint swelling.
So while you may attribute your strange aches and pains to a desk job or recent injury, there may be more factors at play.
Left untreated, any of the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome may eventually cause chronic stress or depression.
How do you heal and treat leaky gut?
Doctors agree that leaky gut syndrome has become a health epidemic, impacting people of all ages, races, and lifestyles.
But before you turn to your doctor (who will likely suggest yet another form of medicine) consider self-evaluating your nutrition and lifestyle.
The first step for anyone suffering symptoms of leaky gut syndrome is to start a food diary – and yes, this includes that single french fry you sometimes sneak from your son’s happy meal. Every morsel counts.
Next, experiment with cutting out gluten, dairy, alcohol, soy, and GMOs.
After you’ve identified potential food triggers, consider swapping out certain foods with their natural anti-inflammatory alternatives: for example, kefir and raw dairy in place of pasteurized milk, or ground flax seed in lieu of whole grain wheat.
Consider also the addition of probiotics – but before you turn to greek yogurt, first eliminate dairy as a potential food trigger.
Chiropractic consultations may also be of use: remember, there is much more to your chiropractor’s toolbox of skills than simple spinal adjustments. Nutritional and lifestyle counseling are our job, too.
If you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, familiarize yourself with the impacts that leaky gut syndrome may have on the body.
We can help, too, with this discussion and counseling. Give us a call today to talk through your options in addressing leaky gut syndrome.