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How do I heal a Leaky Gut?

Posted by Geoff Beaty on 25 June 2021
How do I heal a Leaky Gut?

During chemotherapy, people often suffer with symptoms known as "leaky gut".

Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability or gut permeability, can create havoc in your body and lead to many unwanted symptoms that make it difficult to live well. Leaky gut is also a common underlying factor in many Autoimmune disease states. The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take, especially with your diet, that can help you to heal and repair your gut and return to living life optimally.

What exactly is leaky gut?

Your gut, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, includes over 4,000 square feet of intestinal epithelial lining that controls what gets into your bloodstream. If unhealthy, your gut may have holes or cracks in it.

Leaky gut occurs when the tight junctions between the cells that line your small intestine loosen. This then allows undigested food particles, bacteria, toxins and antigens into your bloodstream and can cause an immune system reaction.

Leaky gut syndrome has been implicated as a factor in many medical conditions, including celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and some autoimmune diseases, though whether it is a cause or consequence of those diseases remains unclear. [1] Clinically, we see great improvement in our patients, including autoimmune patients after repairing the gut barrier.

What causes leaky gut?

Research has shown that higher levels of zonulin, a protein that regulates the tight junctions that line the small intestine, may loosen tight junctions and increase intestinal permeability.

Healing a leaky gut

There are a number of steps you can take to heal your gut.

At Vitawell, we will uncover the causes of your symptoms, investigate your current diet and lifestyle and tailor a plan to help you reduce symptoms and heal your gut.

Important strategies to heal your gut include:

Remove all food toxins from your diet;

Increase your intake of high-fibre foods. The soluble fibre found in vegetables and fruit support your gut's beneficial bacteria.

Eat plenty of fermentable fibres such as sweet potato;

Take probiotic supplements which are helpful for many gastrointestinal conditions, such as IBS

Eat fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc

Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present

Manage your stress gut bacteria can be harmed by chronic stress

Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates. Too much sugar can negatively impact gut barrier function.

Diet strongly influences leaky gut so it makes sense that finding a diet that works for you is one of the most important steps you can take to improve leaky gut.

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet will reduce bloating, gut pain, brain fog, fatigue and joint pain and help you to maintain a healthy microbiome and intestinal wall.

What to eat to help heal a leaky gut: A wide range of fruit and vegetables; Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil and avocados; Clean, grass-fed or wild proteins, like beef, pork, poultry, fish and eggs; Gluten-free whole grains some people do better avoiding grain all together for a period of time to accelerate healing; Nuts and seeds; Herbs and spices; Cultured dairy products (if you are dairy tolerant); Bone broth; Add foods to your diet that contain probiotics and prebiotics.

You might need to follow a FODMAP diet: ask us for a personalised diet to help you healing your gut, naturally.

 

Author:Geoff Beaty
Tags:NewsResourcesCancerGut Health

Associations

  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australasian Integrative Medicine Association
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia