How Leaky Gut Happens
There may be some disagreements on terminology around leaky gut, but that doesn’t make the symptoms any less real to those who suffer. Whether your doctor calls it increased intestinal permeability, digestive distress, loose intestinal tight junctions or leaky gut, they all mean that particles and toxins which are supposed to stay in a sealed digestive tract and exit are getting released into the body and bloodstream causing autoimmune diseases, inflammation, irregular digestion and stressing the immune system with increased activity. Common symptoms of leaky gut are diarrhea, constipation, brain fog, bloating, gas, cramps, inflammatory bowel disease, food sensitivities and a host of other things.
For many in the medical field, leaky gut is new, and research is just emerging, but for those in complimentary and alternative medicines, leaky gut has been around since Hippocrates. He did say, “All disease begins in the gut.” Though he was technically incorrect, the gut does house nearly 80% of the immune system. This would naturally lead one to the conclusion that a healthy gut means a stronger immune system, and this would make one less prone to disease. Putting history in perspective, we can see why most treatments offered for leaky gut are based on supplements and diets. They’ve simply been acknowledging the connection for a longer period of time.
Whether you believe you have leaky gut, food sensitivities, gastric issues or an autoimmune disease, the functional approach would be to heal the digestive system, reduce unnecessary inflammation, eliminate foods which you react to and build up your gut microbiota. These things will help restore your immune system which will decrease illness, and as the diet is predominantly whole foods, no preservatives or processed junk, your body will feel better than it ever has before.
If you’re wondering what caused all of these symptoms and diseases wrapped around gut health to begin with, then we need to start with what we eat. No matter what labels or treatments are disagreed about, everyone agrees that the modern diet is not what we were designed to consume. Our systems are not built for the quantity of chemicals, artificial ingredients and high levels of preservatives that have become the staples in the American kitchen. The food we put in our bodies is what heals us or kills us, not to put too drastic a point on it.
Other factors that cause leaky gut and compromise your gastrointestinal tract are chemical household products, environmental toxins, GMOs, pesticides, carcinogenic plastics, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, stress, Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. With this many factors waging war against our intestinal tract, there’s a reason one out of three people think they have a digestive disorder and why the umbrella term of leaky gut has come to cover so many different symptoms!
Now the question becomes, what do we do about it?
We may not be able to immediately change our air pollution, exposure to plastics, cleaning solutions or even necessary medicines, but we can support our immune system, strengthen our gut microbiome and rebuild our intestinal linings. We don’t need to say goodbye to gluten, dairy or even a modest amount of natural sugar if these things are not currently causing digestive symptoms or inflammation. We need to choose whole sources of these foods. When grocery shopping, avoid boxed, fake, instant, chemicalized foods and find organic, non-GMO, whole foods that are as close to their original source and local origin as possible. If you have a regional farmer’s market, that would be a great place to start.
Next, be sure to add in leaky gut supplements that focus on reinforcing the intestinal lining and restoring the balance of healthy gut bacteria. Whether you have gastric issues or not, there are a few things that will keep your system in working order and help prevent many irritable bowel symptoms. Today’s buzzwords are collagen, probiotics, L-Glutamine, Glucosamine and Ashwagandha. We don’t want to get overly complicated, so here are some facts.
Collagen is a major player in the development of soft tissues at a cellular level. It does incredible things in the body like aiding in sore and aging joints, restoring elasticity and strength to your skin and improving organ soft tissues, like gut lining.
Probiotics are just about everywhere because they are incredibly important in restoring the balance of good bacteria in your digestive system. This helps to break down food and build the immune system while preventing gastrointestinal conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.
L-Glutamine works to increase the production of immune system cells and their active roles in fighting disease. It also helps to ease stomach spasms and is essential in maintaining the mucosal lining in your intestines. The body uses it in energy production to maintain and repair the gut barrier and epithelial tight junction integrity.
Glucosamine is often found in supplements for joint pain and cartilage health because it acts as a natural lubricant in the body, but it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and aids in proper digestion. This amino sugar works to build up new connective tissues in the digestive tract, heal gut lining and strengthen tight junctions.
Ashwagandha is an ancient adaptogenic herb that is used for everything from stress management, chronic inflammation and mood swings, to blood sugar regulation, cholesterol levels and slowing the development of cancer. It is an immune support that is good in any situation.
These key gut health supplements may be difficult to find, but Terra Origin has combined the highest quality sources in combinations designed to fit your lifestyle. For those who want gut health and a macro boost, take a look at Bone Broth Collagen + Protein in chocolate or vanilla. If you already suffer from digestive irregularities or disease, get extra support from Healthy Gut in mint or peach banana. You will get rich sources of Glutamine and Glucosamine along with supportive herbs and zinc carnosine. Combining healing and prevention, Collagen + Probiotics comes in a delicious Matcha Green Tea flavor. Don’t forget lifestyle plays a big role in your gut. Opt for balancing herbs like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and Astragalus in blends for Healthy Inner Balance.
You can protect your health and your gut by simply being aware of what you put in your mouth. Terra Origin can be one of those good choices on the road to recovery.