Are you carrying extra pounds around your abdomen? Are you prone to bloating, excessive gas, cramps, food sensitivities, skin rashes, joint pain, or autoimmunity? Do you have allergies, arthritis, or asthma?
You may suffer from what many in the progressive community refer to as Leaky Gut Syndrome. Some doctors don’t use the term “leaky gut,” but prefer to use the term, increased intestinal permeability. It’s essentially the same thing.
Regardless of whether we consider it a medical condition or not, many people have less than optimally functioning digestion systems, and are subject to many of the above symptoms. One of the essential parts of your Optimal Health Game Plan is to improve digestion and heal the gut, so let’s talk about what a leaky gut is, what causes it….and most important, what we can do to heal it. You could get your medical transcription online now.
What is it?
Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal membranes weaken and allow gaps or holes to exist that allow food, toxins, bacteria, and waste products to empty into the blood stream and interstitial area. This can lead to infection, inflammation, water retention, fat accumulation, and weight gain. Not good. A leaky gut could make you more prone to, or increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic degenerative diseases.
What causes it?
As we know, 90% of all health problems are related to stress, mental/emotional, chemical, and physical. Mental and emotional stress can certainly get our guts tied up in knots and cause problems, but perhaps the greatest source of stress that leads to intestinal problems would be chemical. Sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, refined grains, processed foods, pesticides, genetically modified foods, antibiotics, hormones, steroids, artificial sweeteners, and any non-food chemical that stresses our body.
What happens is a disruption of the balance between your cells and the essential micro-organisms that live in your intestines. Did you know that you actually have 10 times as many bacteria living in your intestines than you have actual cells that make up you? It’s true.
So, when the stresses of life overwhelm our body’s ability to adapt, the gut system gets sick and we become prone to gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, nausea, sugar cravings, and weight gain.
What do we do about it?
There are several strategies we must implement in order to heal our digestion and elimination system. We are going to discuss 3 things: 1) what NOT to eat and drink, 2) what TO eat and drink, and 3) what supplements to take.
What NOT to eat and drink:
Our goal is to create a game plan or strategy for healing the gut. So, stop doing what you shouldn’t do, and start doing what you should. What’s that mean?
Stop eating sugar, refined foods, genetically modified foods, commercial dairy, grains, breads, starches, soda (diet or regular), sports drinks, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, or any other “food” or chemical which places too much stress on the body.
What TO eat and drink:
Eat a FOOD. Drink half your weight in oz. of WATER every day. Consume a diet that is primarily vegetables, some fruit, quality meat, and quality fats such as seeds, nuts, avocado, coconut oil, and olive oil.
If you need a named diet to use as your guide, consider it a “modified” Paleo diet. Paleo may be a trendy diet, but it’s a trend that has been serving people’s health needs for around 10,000 years, so it’s a great place to start.
Learn about fermented foods such as beet kvass, sauerkraut, greek yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, and fermented vegetables.
Learn to make your own bone broth and consume it on a daily, or at least regular basis. It couldn’t be any easier. Just heat bones in a crockpot for 24-48 hours. Perhaps your mother or grandmother didn’t make their own bone both, but I guarantee that every generation prior to grandma did.
The main supplements that I use when helping people with increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut are:
- Prebiotics and Probiotics. (ProSynbiotic)
Prebiotics and probiotics are essential for maintaining a healthy balance in the gut bacteria. Prebiotics are like fertilizer or food for the probiotic organism. I use a product made by Standard Process, called ProSynbiotic. The product bulletin (which has not been approved by the FDA) says this of ProSynbiotic:
ProSynbiotic is a synergistic blend of four research-supported probiotic strains and two prebiotic fibers to support gut flora and overall intestinal health.
• Contains research-supported strains of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria), and Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii
• Contains inulin, a nondigestible, soluble fiber from chicory root and galactooligosaccharide (GOS), a nondigestible carbohydrate, both of which are used by probiotic bacteria as food
• Useful in maintaining a healthy gut microbial environment
• Contributes to absorption of calcium and magnesium
• Improves nutrient digestion/absorption
• Supports normal bowel regularity and consistency
• Supports the body’s natural immune response†
- Digestive Enzymes (Enzycore)
Enzycore is a comprehensive blend of microbial enzymes and bath towels new york city ny is designed to support healthy digestion and maximize nutrient absorption.
• Contains microbial enzymes for action within a broad range of pH
• Contains a blend of enzymes that comprehensively break down fats, protein, and carbohydrates
• Contains kale and beet powder for their trace amounts of lutein and betaine
• Contains L-glutamine, an amino acid used as a building block for other amino acids; also provides energy to cells with high energy needs (like those in the intestines)
• Provides support during both gastric and intestinal phases of digestion†
- Betaine Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) (Zypan)
The best supplement I use for lowering the stomach pH to promote healthy digestion is made by Standard Process, and called Zypan. The following comes from the Zypan product bulletin (which has not been reviewed by the FDA)
Zypan combines pancreatin, pepsin, and betaine hydrochloride to facilitate healthy digestion.
• Supports gastrointestinal pH
• Supports the environment of the gastrointestinal tract
• Provides enzymatic support for protein digestion
• Fatty acids are included to coat the pancreatin, helping it to be digested in the correct area of the digestive tract
There is certainly more to share about digestion health and the importance of taking care of the gut. It’s an essential part of the Optimal Living Game Plan. It all starts with eliminating the offensive and toxic foods, and consuming the anti-inflammatory, healing foods.