Is leaky gut real?
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition with symptoms that range from the vague to the serious. While it has been discussed for decades, many people have never heard of it before and don’t know anything about it. It’s a condition which most often occurs in association with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive tract disorders, but can also occur alone.
What Exactly Is Leaky Gut? Myths vs. Facts
Many people are dealing with leaky gut syndrome, and don’t even know it.
The medical field can sometimes be slow to acknowledge new research, but there have been several studies published in the last few years that have shed light on the situation as well as informing us about how to handle this condition.
Leaky gut is a condition where the lining of your intestines becomes permeable, or “leaky,” allowing bacteria and toxins to pass through into your bloodstream. This can lead to inflammation throughout your body and cause a variety of health issues.
It’s not uncommon for people with leaky gut syndrome to experience symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain. However, some people may not experience any symptoms at all. Here are some myths and facts that surround leaky gut syndrome:
Myth #1: Leaky gut syndrome is a fake diagnosis.
Fact: While leaky gut syndrome is not officially recognized as a medical condition, it can manifest a wide range of symptoms.
Myth #2: Leaky gut is caused by eating too much sugar or drinking too much alcohol.
Fact: While these things aren’t good for anyone’s health, they don’t directly cause leaky gut syndrome. They do, however, have a role as precursors.
Myth #3: You can’t have leaky gut if you eat healthy foods.
Fact: Although eating healthy does help reduce inflammation in the body, it won’t fix leaky gut syndrome on its own—you still need to get rid of the bad bacteria in your body that are causing the problem in the first place.
Is Leaky Gut Real a Real Condition – What Is Proven?
As a symptom, leaky gut syndrome is widely recognized by medical professionals, but it’s not recognized as a real condition. This means that it’s not possible to diagnose leaky gut syndrome on its own, without the presence of other symptoms.
Leaky gut syndrome is a term used to describe an inflamed or damaged intestinal lining, which can cause an increased amount of partially digested food to enter the bloodstream.
This can result in inflammation throughout the body and other symptoms like bloating and fatigue. Although not a real condition, it can be associated with other serious conditions:
IBD & IBS
The symptoms of leaky gut syndrome vary greatly depending on the person and their individual circumstances.
However, there are some common signs that leaky gut syndrome may be present: diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, gas and/or cramping after eating certain foods, nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B12 deficiency from poor absorption of nutrients from foods due to leaky gut syndrome.
Celiac disease is caused by an autoimmune reaction to gluten, which then causes an inflammatory response that damages the intestines and interferes with nutrient absorption, leading to malnutrition and other health problems.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. Some medications used to treat HIV can damage the intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut.
In addition, people with HIV have weakened immune systems that may not be able to fight off infections as well as healthy people do. These infections can cause inflammation, which damages the intestine further and leads to leaky gut syndrome.
Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The first thing to know about leaky gut syndrome is that there are two different types of leaky gut: intestinal permeability and gastric hyperpermeability.
- Intestinal permeability is the more serious form of leaky gut, and it’s when the tight junctions between your digestive tract cells break down and allow bacteria and other harmful substances to pass through your gut into your bloodstream. This can cause chronic inflammation in your intestines, which can lead to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- Gastric hyperpermeability is less serious than intestinal permeability; it just means that digestive enzymes are leaking out of your stomach instead of staying where they belong (in your stomach).
In most cases, leaky gut syndrome is caused by long-term inflammation of the stomach lining caused by inadequate digestion or malabsorption of nutrients from foods. This can happen if you have celiac disease or other autoimmune disorders that affect how your body processes food. It can also happen if you’ve been taking antibiotics for too long or if you’re taking NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen on a regular basis.
Leaky gut syndrome is often associated with inflammatory conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS). Some people with MS may experience symptoms such as numbness or tingling in their limbs, fatigue, muscle weakness, poor coordination, depression, anxiety, vision problems and difficulty swallowing or speaking.
These symptoms can be caused by inflammation in your body that’s triggered by leaky gut syndrome. Inflammation can damage myelin sheaths—a protective layer around nerve cells—and this damage can lead to MS symptoms.
Some research suggests that leaky gut syndrome may be associated with type 1 diabetes.
In one study, researchers found that people who were genetically predisposed to develop type 1 diabetes had higher levels of antibodies against gliadin (a component of gluten) when they were younger than those who never developed diabetes.
They also found that those who developed type 1 diabetes had higher levels of antibodies against gliadin compared with people who did not develop diabetes during their lifetime.
Who Can Get a Leaky Gut?
Anyone can get it, but there are some factors that make it more likely to occur in some people:
- Leaky gut is more common in older people because their intestines tend to be less flexible than those of younger people. This makes it harder for them to absorb nutrients from food as well as drugs and supplements.
- A diet high in processed foods can lead to leaky gut syndrome because these foods have been stripped of their natural nutrients and fibers, which would normally help keep your intestines healthy. Eating too much sugar can also damage your intestinal walls and cause a leaky gut syndrome.
Other people who are at risk for developing leaky gut also include:
- Those who suffer from digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease or celiac disease
- Those who have undergone surgery on their intestines
- People who have taken long-term antibiotics or steroids
How Do You Test For Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut is a condition that has been discussed in medical literature for decades, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers discovered the mechanism behind it. There are several different tests you can take to determine if you have leaky gut syndrome. These include:
1. Hydrogen Breath Test
A hydrogen breath test, where you’ll be given a drink that has a high concentration of lactulose (a sugar) and measure how much hydrogen is produced in your breath after an hour or two. This can be used to diagnose various gut disorders including SIBO, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease.
2. Lactulose: Mannitol (LM) Test
Another test is called the lactulose/mannitol test, which measures the amount of water that moves into your intestines when these sugars are ingested.
If there’s more than normal movement of fluid into your intestines, this could mean that there’s something wrong with how well your tight junctions are working, which are the junctions between cells in the intestinal wall.
The other option for this test is to look at levels of zonulin in blood samples; if it’s elevated then there may be some damage to tight junctions that needs attention.
3. Other Test
- There are also several more advanced tests available such as CT enterography and MRI enterography where images are taken of your small intestine while you’re ingesting different liquids like barium sulfate or mannitol.
- Endoscopy/colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy, which is a procedure where your doctor will look at your intestinal lining directly.
- There are also several tests available online to help you get started. While these may not be as accurate as actual tests, these online resources can help you identify the symptoms.
What Causes a Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut is a controversial topic in the medical community, and there are many unanswered questions about its origins. Theories abound, but most experts agree there is no single cause.
While we don’t know specifically what directly causes leaky gut syndrome, we do know that it’s associated with a wide range of health conditions, including autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Here are several different factors that can contribute to leaky gut syndrome:
Excessive Alcohol Use
Alcohol is a sugar, and when it’s consumed in excess, it can cause inflammation and damage to your intestines. Alcohol use can lead to a leaky gut.
In addition, alcohol does not contain any fiber or nutrients that slow down absorption of sugars and carbohydrates into the bloodstream. As a result, excessive alcohol intake can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can also cause inflammation.
Unhealthy Diet High in Sugar
The exact causes of leaky gut syndrome are not yet known, but it appears that certain foods may aggravate the problem by causing the tight junctions in your intestines to loosen up.
The excessive consumption of wrong types of foods—including too much sugar or carbohydrates— contributes to this, but it can also be caused by eating too little fiber or protein.
Long-term Use of NSAIDs Drugs
A number of studies have shown that ibuprofen can affect the mucosal barrier function by inhibiting tight junction protein expression. Other studies have also shown that ibuprofen can increase intestinal permeability by affecting tight junction proteins.
It appears that it is not just ibuprofen but all NSAIDs that can affect the gut barrier function by decreasing the expression of tight junction proteins or increasing intestinal permeability.
When you are under a lot of stress, your body can react in a number of ways. One of which is to produce more cortisol, the hormone that helps you deal with stressful situations by raising your blood sugar level and helping you access extra energy stores in the form of fat.
However, this reaction can be harmful if it goes on for too long or occurs too often because it can disrupt your immune system, which fights off invaders like viruses and bacteria. A weakened immune system may allow pathogens to enter the gut and cause inflammation in the lining of your intestines.
Inflammation could be one of the causes of leaky gut syndrome. Studies have shown that high-fat diets and high levels of insulin can contribute to inflammation in your body. Inflammation is often accompanied by pain and other issues such as bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, headaches and more.
One of the ways that yeast overgrowth can cause leaky gut syndrome is by producing toxins that damage the intestinal wall.
When this happens, more nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and leak through into other parts of your body. Because yeast overgrowth also affects digestion, it can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, which can contribute to leaky gut as well.
5 Tips For Healing a Leaky Gut
How do you fix a leaky gut? Here are 5 tips to get you started:
#1 – Remove Sugar From Your Diet
If you have a leaky gut, removing sugar from your diet is the first step toward healing. Sugar and other refined carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars that can be absorbed by the small intestine.
If your small intestine is damaged and unable to properly absorb these sugars, they can pass through the lining of your intestine into the bloodstream and cause inflammation.
#2 – Remove Alcohol
Alcohol is processed by the liver and can be incredibly hard on this important organ. The liver is responsible for breaking down toxic substances and taking them out of your body, but when it is forced to process too much alcohol, it becomes overwhelmed and can’t do its job properly.
This means that all those toxic substances that were supposed to be removed from your body remain in place, causing inflammation and worsening your leaky gut condition.
#3 – Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that help with digestion, while prebiotics are fibers that promote their growth. Some common sources of probiotics include yogurt (with live cultures), kombucha tea, kefir milk, sauerkraut juice, miso soup and kimchi (fermented cabbage).
#4 – Balanced Diet With Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals
A key step in healing your leaky gut is by making sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. You can do this by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, iron and zinc.
You should also make sure you are getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy by regulating bowel movements and reducing inflammation. It also helps prevent diverticulitis, a condition where small sacs develop on the inside of your intestines.
Finally, drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and flush out toxins from your system.
#5 – Limit the Use of NSAID
NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are common painkillers that you can find in many over-the-counter medications. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
While they are effective at reducing pain and inflammation, they can have harmful side effects on the digestive system. To heal leaky gut syndrome, it’s important to limit the use of NSAIDs as much as possible.
The Best Way To Take Care Of Leaky Gut
You can, in fact, heal leaky gut in as fast as 2 weeks. Just follow the tips that I have mentioned earlier and stick to the program as strictly as possible.
To boost the effects of your lifestyle change for healing your leaky gut, I recommend taking Optima Healthy Gut Solution. This cutting-edge formula helps in your body’s absorption of nutrients, promotes better bowel movement, reduces gas and bloating, and improves your brain cognition.
Luckily, in this day and age; there are lots of leaky gut diet tips at hand to help you but only choose the right ones. With a balanced diet, stress free lifestyle, and the right supplements you can ensure that the leaking gut issue is a thing of the past.
There are no super quick fixes to healing leaky gut syndrome. To really address the roots of this condition, a commitment to improving your overall health is vital. But don’t be surprised if your physical symptoms improve right away once you get serious about your gut.
Some people see improvement in just a few days or weeks. It all comes down to you, of course. You can take charge of your health, and this starts with taking charge of your gut.