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leaky gut
leaky gut syndrome
stomach cramps
food bacteria
chronic conditions
What Is Leaky Gut And How Do You Get Rid Of It?
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What is Leaky Gut And How Do You Get Rid Of It?

What Is It?

If you’re just learning that this oddly named condition might be causing some of your own suffering, than you’re probably wondering what exactly Leaky Gut Syndrome is, how you got it, and more importantly, how you get rid of it.

Leaky Gut is a gastrointestinal disorder where the intestinal lining is damaged and has become more permeable then it should be, due to repeated irritation. There are several different names for this condition, including Leaky Bowel and Gut Leak. Its correct name is actually Increased Intestinal Permeability, and it's NOT actually considered a disease, but more of a malfunction of the intestinal lining. Put simply, there are larger than normal gaps between the cells that line the intestines, allowing food, bacteria, fungus, and other toxins to leak out of the bowel and into the circulating blood supply. Obviously toxins floating around in the blood stream is not good, and if not treated could lead to other more serious problems.

Symptoms

A few related symptoms include; weight gain/ difficulty losing weight, heartburn, stomach cramps, autoimmune disfunction, excessive flatulence, bloating, fatigue, recurrent vaginal infections, diarrhea, and recurrent bladder infections, joint pain, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, irritability, memory problems, and the list goes on. Although millions of people worldwide are afflicted with this condition, it is not widely recognized by the mainstream medical community. Because of this, most doctors don’t routinely test for or treat Leaky Gut, leaving many undiagnosed and unaware of what causes their chronic conditions and still suffering.

If not treated leaky gut can cause a number of health issues including liver disfunction, which is one of its most serious outcomes. Since the liver is responsible for filtering and keeping the blood supply clean, being constantly bombarded with leaked toxins can quickly lead to serious illnesses. An overworked liver wears out quickly.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

There are many causes, most of which stem from the poor diets of modern lifestyle. We consume meat, fast food, and processed food products which are loaded with pesticides and other chemicals, microorganisms, and antibiotics, which all wreak havoc on our intestines. Processed sugar and salt, white flour and trans fats found in margarine and hydrogenated oils are also causes.

Irritation, and inflammation are typical allergic reactions to the foods we ingest, and this allercic reaction is the most common reason for leaky gut. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol may also contribute to this condition. Alcohol can not only irritate the stomach and intestines, but it also suppresses the production of prostaglandins which also cause leakage.

Medications such as birth control pills, steroidal drugs like hydrocortisone, prednisone, corticosteroids, NSAIDs (ibuprofen) and antacids, can contribute to a leaking gut. Household cleaning products, perfumes, and even stress can also be contributing factors.

How Do You Know if You Have It?

There is a test that can be given by your doctor- the lactulose and mannitol test. During the test, you drink a solution mixed with both mannitol and lactulose. Urine is then collected for several hours and the amount of mannitol and lactulose present in urine reflects how much of the two were absorbed by your body. Lactulose is a larger molecule and is only slightly absorbed and Mannitol is easily absorbed by people with healthy intestinal linings.

In a healthy person, the test would show high levels of mannitol and lower levels of lactulose. If a patient has leaky gut syndrome, there would be high levels of both lactulose and mannitol. If low levels of both molecules are found, it indicates general malabsorption of all nutrients.

The problem with the test is finding a doctor who is knowledgable about Leaky Gut and willing to perform the test. Leaky Gut can still be treated even without the test, but it is still important to see your doctor first in order to rule out any more serious conditions, such as cancer, that might be causing your chronic symptoms. Treating cancer and treating leaky gut are two very different things.

Food allergies are the most common causes of leaky gut. Lab tests can tell you which foods you are allergic to so that they can be eliminated from your diet. These test are expensive and since most people continue to develop new allergies regularly, finding out might not do you much good unless you underwent ongoing allergy testing. An easy solution to this is a food rotation diet, which is the best way to avoid new allergies from popping up.

What Can you Do About It?

If you are one of the millions who suffer with chronic symptoms, yet your doctor is unable to find the cause, you might consider finding someone who is experienced in gut healing. Many allergists, nutritionists, and holistic practitioners have been healing Leaky Gut for many years.

Healing your gut is simple. It all comes down to understanding what causes the inflammation in your gut and then eliminating those things in order to give your gut time to heal. There are also supplements and herbal remedies you can take to promote the healing as well. One of the most important factors in healing your gut is getting yourself in the right mindset. Because, if you want to heal your gut, you will have to make some changes in what you consume. But, when you have the end goal in mind (to stop chronic symptoms) the long term benefits make it much easier to take the steps needed to change your life!


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