Intestinal hyperpermeability or “leaky gut” is a condition in which the gut barrier is compromised. This can lead to a heightened immune response, endotoxin absorption, increased inflammation, and adverse GI symptoms.
Think of your gut barrier as a fence. The cells that line your gut (enterocytes) are like fence panels. Their primary function is to separate the inside of your body from the outside – food is “outside of the body.” When you absorb all of the nutrients from your food, it is now considered inside your body. They also control what is and is not allowed into the body.
Immediately beyond this first line of defense is an army of soldiers (your immune system) and their role is to attack anything foreign that may have gotten through the fence panels. In most cases of leaky gut, those enterocyte fence panels have been damaged, leaving open gaps for undigested proteins, bacteria, pathogens, and toxins to enter the body. Those panels are the tight junctions and the proteins that keep the gut lining sealed and selective about which passes through.
When necessary, the immune system sounds an alarm by increasing systemic inflammation and mounts an attack (which feels like an allergic reaction) against the invaders. However, this attack often gets out of control leading to food allergies, neurological issues, autoimmune disease, and chronic inflammation.
A leaky gut is involved with the development of autoimmune diseases. It’s imperative to follow an autoimmune protocol diet until your symptoms improve. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up your favorite foods forever, just a few months or more until we see decreased inflammation on lab panels and you feel better.
Causes & gut irritants:
• Pesticides, toxins (GMOs)
• Gut dysbiosis
• Poor sleep
• Lack of hydrochloric acid (HCl)
• Industrial seed oils (soybean, canola, cottonseed)
• NSAIDs and other drugs
• Anti-nutrients found in grains, legumes (foods containing lectins, saponins, phytates)
The first step is to remove any gut irritants you have control over. Eat calmly, in a parasympathetic manner to have good HCl to break down foods to their molecular level. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods and avoid heavily processed and packaged foods with gums, binders, fillers, food starches, chemical sweeteners, artificial flavors and colors, seed oils, and preservatives. This does involve planning your meals and being methodical about shopping, planning, and cooking. Some folks find it easier to order healthy meals from a delivery service or local shop that makes healthier foods, like 100 Bowls of Soup in Herndon, or order online from Territory Foods. If you have troublesome gut issues like gas, bloating, IBS, food allergies, skin issues, and autoimmune disease, we need to start working on your gut health. You can set up a free consultation at my website, www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.
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