Leaky Gut Syndrome
There is current research underway to clarify the connection between the gut micro-biotic content (microbiota composition) and dependency/addiction.
New theories and research suggest that gut bacteria can influence brain functions and the gut-brain axis or connection is involved in a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder and even Parkinson’s Disease and stroke.
When your gut is healthy, the communications between your gut and brain will work efficiently. You will be able to absorb all the nutrients from your food and produce the neurotransmitters that the body needs for calm functioning of the body and mind.
The thin, delicate barrier in the gut lining allows nutrients and minerals to be absorbed into the bloodstream and prevents unwanted substances from entering the bloodstream. This delicate barrier can become damaged and more permeable, allowing toxins, bacteria and undigested food particles into the blood. This is known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’. This causes the immune system to launch an inflammatory response, often leading to allergies and chronic inflammation which can affect the whole body, especially the brain.
Substances and excess alcohol can lead to inflammation in the gut. It can alter the gut microbiota composition, increasing the permeability of the gut. This in turn puts a strain on the immune system and overall health and can lead to other more serious diseases and damage to other organs and also affects the communications between your gut and brain.
Leaky gut syndrome can be linked to a host of serious symptoms and diseases including:
- Food allergies
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Brain Fog
Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by a number of things including:
- Diet – a diet high in refined sugars, processed foods, junk foods, preservatives and additives
- Diet low in fibre – putting a strain on the digestive system
- Genetic disposition – A digestive system more sensitive to change
- Antibiotics – causing an imbalance in gut microbiota, lack of good bacteria
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, naproxen – can cause inflammation and gut permeability and sometimes internal bleeding
- Gluten Intolerance – Can lead to leaky gut, always best to check for food intolerances if in doubt
Healthy gut bacteria plays a crucial role in maintaining gut lining integrity and preventing the growth of pathogenic (bad) bacteria. A good probiotic supplement will help to restore the balance of the gut flora and increase the good bacteria.
I do a parasite cleanse annually to reduce harmful bacteria and parasites. The cleanse that I use is ‘Hulda Clarkes Parasite Cleanse’. I also use ’Oxytech’ from Dulwich Health to do a cleanse for candida annually.
If people ran their cars for ever and never serviced them, they would eventually break down. In the same way, people should respect their bodies and service them too.
More and more rehab centres are focusing on diet and gut health as a treatment method and are acknowledging that diet and gut health are an essential part of regaining good emotional and mental health free from dependency and addiction.
You can be tested for leaky gut. However, if you have digestive and/or bowel issues, for example IBS, bloating, poor digestion, stomach cramps or allergies, it is fairly safe to say that you will probably be suffering from leaky gut to some degree.
To protect yourself or repair leaky gut you could try the following:
- L-Glutamine – help repair gut lining and protect it
- Digestive Enzymes – help break down complex sugars, starches and protein that may cause inflammation
- Zinc – help repair gut lining and protect it
- Magnesium – help replenish lost minerals, improve digestion
- Vitamin D – Improve immune system
- Turmeric/Curcumin – help reduce inflammation
- Probiotic supplement – help restore the balance of the gut flora and increase good bacteria
- Probiotic Yoghurt – support growth of healthy bacteria in the gut
- Oats – help restore healthy gut bacteria
- Fermented Foods – improve digestion, stronger immunity
- Healthy fats – help calm inflammation caused by leaky gut and help build the integrity of the intestinal wall
- Coconut oil, avocado, fatty fish like salmon, olives, olive oil
Do not underestimate or forget the importance of a balanced, nutritional diet to free the body and mind. Good luck in healing your leaky gut on the road to your recovery