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What Is Leaky Gut and What Does It Mean for You


What Is Leaky Gut and What Does It Mean for You

The term ‘leaky gut’ is getting a lot of attention in medical blogs and social media alike. Leaky gut can also be called Increased Intestinal Permeability.  These terms are somewhat new in the medical world but are slowly gaining recognition and there is a growing interest to develop medications to combat the effects of leaky gut syndrome.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

When your intestinal lining is working effectively and efficiently, it forms a barrier that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream.  When the gut lining is unhealthy, it forms holes which allow partially digested food and toxins as well as bugs to penetrate the tissues below it. This will in turn trigger inflammation and changes within the gut flora which is the normal gut bacteria. This could lead to health issues within the digestive tract leading to other symptoms. 
There is much research showing that an imbalanced gut flora as well as inflammation may play a role in the development of several common chronic diseases.

Who gets Leaky Gut Syndrome?

To some degree, we all have leaky gut, as this barrier is not completely impenetrable and isn’t supposed to be. This is due to the following facts:
  • There may be a genetic predisposition.
  • Modern life may be the main instigator of gut inflammation. Emerging evidence shows that the standard western diet, which is low in fibre and high in sugar and saturated fats, may actually set off this process. Heavy alcohol use and stress also seem to disrupt this balance.

A Path Toward a Healthier Gut

Many alternative and integrative medical practitioners have worked towards healing the gut as an initial step towards treating chronic diseases.
Some common practices:
  • Removing foods that can be inflammatory and could promote changes in the gut flora. Some of these inflammatory foods include alcohol, processed foods, certain medications, and any foods that may cause allergies or sensitivities.
  • For a healthy gut, it is a good idea to eat a nutritious, unprocessed diet that can help decrease inflammation, promote gut flora balance and help to repair and rebuild the gut lining.

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