Solutions For A Leaky Gut
Amazing Wellness|Winter 2019

When our gut and digestion are on track, most of us feel good. When they’re not, a range of gut troubles can make us feel miserable. Here’s how to treat leaky gut for greater energy and faster healing.

Steve Downs, CSCS

“All disease begins in the gut.” So proclaimed the Greek physician Hippocrates more than 2,000 years ago. As a healer who favored science over superstition, his theories opened up the concept that you are what you eat—or, more precisely, what you digest. Although the exact mechanics were unknown to Hippocrates at the time, his prognostications have been proven true today in the condition known as “leaky gut syndrome.”

Also known as “gut permeability,” this malady has been studied for more than 100 years. But only recently have the affects of microbial balance in the gut been realized as the very foundation of proper health. Just as probiotics have been linked to a variety of disease treatments outside of digestion—including immunity, skin and hair health, cognitive ability, and even muscle mass and strength—the treatment of leaky gut can ensure that you experience greater energy, faster healing, and improved performance.

WHAT IS LEAKY GUT?

In essence, this condition is exactly what it says: Within the intestines, there are junctions between the cells that are bound together tightly to maintain gut integrity and optimal function. The lining of your intestinal tract is like a net with extremely small holes (junctions). These junctions control what is passed through the lining of the intestines and into your body, and from your body back into your intestines. Vitamins, nutrients, water, antigens, and more travel back and forth as part of your digestive process, as your body breaks down food and eliminates waste.

However, should these junctions become compromised and the “net” of your digestive tract begin to tear apart, unwanted toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles escape into the body. As a result, pathogenic bacteria can begin to grow and proliferate in your bloodstream and in the tissues of your body. This initially appears in the form of chronic digestive issues such as irregularity, gas, upset stomach, and so forth. But it leads to hampered immunity and disorders affecting the sinuses, joints, adrenals, and skin.

At the same time, while toxins accumulate in the bloodstream and tissues throughout the body, “bad” bacteria also proliferate in the gut, thereby pushing out the “good” probiotic microbia. This, in turn, activates an increased inflammatory response that puts greater strain on the liver to detoxify the accumulating amount of toxins in the system. The result is compromised immunity, reduced absorption of nutrients from food, diminished healing, slower recuperation, increased fatigue, and greater incidence of illness and digestive issues. Experts also warn of IBS, migraines, muscle pain, chronic fatigue, arthritic changes, and even depression as consequences of untreated leaky gut. If that weren’t bad enough, this condition also can cause malabsorption of vital nutrients such as vitamin B12, zinc, and iron.

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