How often do you feel bloated or "gassy"? Have you ever come home after work or a party and immediately changed out of your clothes and into loose sweats because you were uncomfortable from gas or bloating?
I have had clients that tell me they have these symptoms EVERY day!
And just in case you are wondering - no, that is NOT normal and, in fact, is a sign that you have serious digestive issues correlated with leaky gut syndrome. It will, eventually, cause some detrimental health issues.
Chronic bloating and gas are a sign of gut lining problems that will disrupt digestive function, but there have also been connections with diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn's, IBS, Celiac and even mood disorders.
When we eat, the food passes via the stomach to the small intestine. This is where our nutrients - vitamins and minerals - are meant to be absorbed. With leaky gut, however, most of our nutrients are not absorbed due to micro-perforation of the gut lining.
Take a look at the diagram above. The intestine is healthy and allows nutrients to be absorbed and prevents toxins from being released into the bloodstream.
Now take a look at the diagram below.
The gut lining has been compromised (from a chronic assault of pro-inflammatory foods and NSAIDS - non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, antibiotics and steroids) and now "leaks" the undigested foods that contain vitamins/minerals which we want to absorb, and toxins and waste are also released into the bloodstream. Once the toxins and waste products are released, the body senses these "invaders" and the immune system responds by going into full alert mode - inflammation! (Stay tuned to a future post on the health-altering conditions due to chronic inflammation!)
How do you know if you might be victim to leaky gut?
If you are eating a standard American diet that is high in processed foods, high in refined carbohydrates, gluten, additives, preservatives and chemicals and are dependant on NSAID's; I can almost guarantee that you suffer from some form of leaky gut.
The good news? Our bodies do an incredible job of healing itself and much of that healing does not require expensive prescriptions (which have a long list of side effects) or visits to a specialist. Within one week, your gut can be on it's way to being healed and that healing brings immediate relief.
1. Rid your daily nutrition of suspect foods (processed foods, refined carbs).
2. Slow down and chew your food thoroughly. Give your body a chance to digest the food. When you swallow food that has not been chewed up, your body works twice as hard to digest it.
3. If gluten-containing foods are part of your daily/weekly nutrition, there's a good chance your gut lining is compromised. Gluten contains a hardy protein that our body cannot digest. If it is not digested, it sits and ferments and releases toxins that break down the lining of the gut leading to - yep - leaky gut. Try eliminating gluten for 2 weeks and see how you feel. You don't have to have an officially diagnosed sensitivity to gluten to create a leaky-gut environment in your intestines. Try it - for 2 weeks....you'll see.