What is a leaky gut syndrome?
The walls of the intestine have specific permeability which allows only nutrients and water pass. But in some cases, the walls of the intestine change their permeability when they are continuously exposed to the toxins. This arises the condition called Leaky gut syndrome in which the intestinal walls become more porous. In other words, the increased permeability of the intestine results in leaky gut syndrome. We may refer to it as lazy bowel syndrome or leaky bowel syndrome.
How is a leaky gut syndrome caused?
The walls of the intestine are susceptible to attack by various toxins in our diet and many drug molecules in our medicines react aggressively on the wall of the intestine. The basic cause of the leaky gut is poor diet habits.
Excessive sugar intake, excessive alcohol consumption, and nutrient deficiencies cause lazy bowel syndrome. Furthermore, drugs like NSAIDs, yeast growth in the gut, inflammation in the gut, and stress lead to poor gut health and contribute to the factors causing leaky bowel syndrome.
Nutrient deficiencies: Poor diet habits result in nutrient deficiencies of vitamin A, vitamin D, and zinc which are responsible for increased intestinal permeability.
Excess liquor intake: Evidence suggests that alcohol increases intestinal permeability.
Drugs like NSAIDs: Such drugs hit the defensive mechanism of the digestive system and the intestinal lining is damaged. This results in increased intestinal permeability.
Excessive sugar intake: A diet which is high in sugars like fructose lead to increased intestinal permeability.
Inflammation in the gut and body: Inflammation results in the release of certain chemicals that result in high intestinal permeability.
Stress: Chronic stress leads to several intestinal diseases which include leaky gut syndrome.
Yeast growth in the gut: Yeast growth in the gut may leady to an increase in the intestinal permeability.
Why healthy foods are important for leaky gut?
Currently, there is no specific leaky gut syndrome treatment. Medical science is still figuring out whether it is a disease or a result of other diseases. Busy in proving that it is a symptom of other diseases, medical science ignored the fact that if this condition exists, they should develop a strategy to deal with it. Only a few concerned people who did not have access to medical research studies came up with the list of natural remedies to help with this syndrome.
A healthy diet is important to relieve leaky gut syndrome symptoms. That is why we need to focus on the foods good for the digestive system if we are interested in healing our symptoms. Right now, natural remedy is the only remedy to deal with leaky gut syndrome. That is why foods that heal leaky gut are important to be implemented in our diet.
How do you tell if you have a leaky gut?
Does the question arise that how do you know if you have leaky gut? There are some medical signs, which we can categorize as symptoms of leaky gut. They range from mild symptoms like fatigue, headache, mood swings, etc. to the chronic symptoms like depression, migraine, and multiple sclerosis. The other leaky gut symptoms include fibromyalgia, food sensitivities, thyroid abnormalities, skin conditions, constipation, chronic diarrhea, gas, or bloating of the colon. Autoimmune diseases are also caused by the leaky gut syndrome as toxins enter the blood and induce several changes in the immune system which results in diseases like autism. You will show these signs if you have the leaky gut syndrome.
Best Foods for gut Health
Colon healthy foods help in decreasing the intestinal permeability and thus it helps to heal the gut naturally. The leaky gut syndrome diet plays as the best source of recovery from the leaky gut syndrome symptoms.
Following is the list of gut healing foods:
Prebiotics and probiotics:
We should use prebiotic and probiotic foods to heal leaky gut. Such foods help to diversify and increase good bacteria in our gut so they are good foods for leaky gut. Best probiotic foods are those which add good bacteria in our gut so that the gut’s normal flora can be maintained. This normal flora plays an important role in normal functioning of our gut. They release the factors which improve the permeability of the intestine. While prebiotics help in feeding the good bacteria so that they may grow and populate.
Good bacteria foods are generally good foods for the digestive system. Best probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, kimchi, fermented dough bread, and cheese. These are good gut bacteria foods that improve the general health and well-being of the intestine.
Prebiotics can be gained from foods like garlic, onion, jicama, and dandelion greens and they are good gut foods. However, if you want to opt for an easy option, resistant starches are the best option. They can be gained from potatoes.
Can probiotics cure leaky gut?
A good leaky gut treatment plan must have to things in it, foods good for the digestive system and the foods which may protect the gut lining from further damage. The best thing is that good gut bacteria foods, probiotic rich foods, do both. They are the best foods for gut health so they must be included in the leaky gut diet food list.
How can you tell if probiotics are working?
As we know probiotics are best foods for gut health, they will make certain changes in our body which will indicate that they are working. You will feel increased energy which will also lift your mood. You will have frequent bowel movements and less bloating issues. The sugar cravings will diminish and anxiety will decrease as well. Your weight loss will be enhanced.
Should I take prebiotics in the morning or night?
The best time to take prebiotics is a little before you take your food. You may follow the before breakfast routine for prebiotics but in case you miss any day, you can take them before lunch or dinner that day.
Is it better to take prebiotics on an empty stomach?
Yes, prebiotics are best taken on an empty when acid level is lowest in the stomach. It helps the bacteria to pass through the stomach easily and go to the intestine. Along with good gut bacteria goods, we should also take foods good for digestion like fibers. This helps to nourish the good bacteria in the intestine.
Vegetables and fruits:
Next in the list of gut friendly foods is the vegetables and fruits because they are the foods which are good for digestion. These foods contain the right amount of fiber which we need to improve the health of our gut. Fiber is helpful food to heal the gut because it reduces inflammation and help with the chronic disease.
Fruits and vegetables are source of valuable nutrients and they fill the nutrient gap left by poor diet. The right amount of nutrients helps in healing of the gut.
Vegetables which are good for leaky gut include broccoli, cabbage, carrots and eggplant etc. While fruits include blueberries, lemon, oranges, pineapple, banana, grapes etc. are good for gut health.
Grains also have the contents which heal the gut and treat this chronic condition. When we eat the right grains, they help the bacteria to respond better to the leaky gut condition. Studies have proved this fact that for intestinal health, grains can be used because good bacteria respond positively to them.
With the right grains, we mean that you should use only gluten-free grains because it has been proved that gluten is a culprit to worsen the leaky gut condition. Gluten free grains include oats, buckwheat, amaranth, and corn, etc.
The best gut foods include dairy products but we need to take care that they should have the lactose sugar extracted out because lactose may irritate the gut. Fermented form of dairy products is best for gut health as it is a probiotic rich food. It includes yogurt, cheese, and others.
The plant-based milk can also be utilized for healing the gut and relieving the leaky symptoms of the gut.
Nuts and Seeds
The list gut friendly foods enlist nuts and seeds with good nutrient contents. The nuts include almond, cashews, peanuts, etc. while the seeds are the flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc. These foods have the capability to improve gut health gradually. That is why these are the best foods for leaky gut.
Seeds and nuts are rich in fiber which, as we stated earlier, helps to reduce inflammation and relieve chronic symptoms in the gut.
Foods to avoid with a leaky gut
You have to avoid certain foods with the leaky gut and take only the foods which are good for the intestine. These are the foods that either lead to leaky gut or worsen the symptoms of leaky gut. If you know that you have the lazy bowel syndrome, you should know that you have to eat as fewer toxic foods as you can so that the toxins level in your blood may not exceed the limit. You have to avoid these foods in autoimmune diseases as well which are triggered by leaky gut.
Wheat-based products & Gluten-containing grains:
Heat contains gluten which has been proven to increase intestine permeability so we need to avoid wheat and grains which may contain gluten. The wheat-based products are bread, wheat flour, cereals, pasta, couscous, etc. Commonly these grains may have gluten: rye, barley, bulgur, etc.
Baked goods: Most baked goods have either high sugar content or wheat flour. Both are not good in leaky gut.
Junk food: Junk food is included in poor diet and it leads to the leaky gut condition.
Beverages: alcohol leads to a decrease in the level of prostaglandins in the body, a natural chemical to heal inflammation. In this way, it triggers the condition of the leaky gut.
Artificial sweeteners: sweeteners are toxic for the leaky gut as they induce inflammations in the gut.
Processed meats: Processed foods and meat have certain ingredients that may trigger the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, so we should avoid them.
10 Tips for healthy foods
Adding these gut health foods in the diet will help to deal with the leaky gut syndrome because these foods are good for leaky gut syndrome.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for all the gut issues that is why it is often referred as ‘jack of all trades’ for gut. It is helpful in leaky gut syndrome because it is probiotic rich and it has beneficial amino acids in it. That is why it must be in leaky gut diet food list.
Dairy-free or lactose-free yogurt
The yoghurt which is obtained from nondairy milk like rice milk, almond milk and soy milk are easily digestible and they provide the probiotic needs of the gut. The dairy products have however lactose which is not good for leaky gut syndrome.
Anything which is fermented contains probiotics in a great quantity which eventually helps the gut to improve the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. That is why fermented coffee gives probiotics and energy to the body.
Mangoes are very beneficial for health as they have many nutrients and bioactive compounds that heal the gut. They help o reduce fat and maintain blood sugar levels.
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties which help it to kill the harmful microbes in gut. For this reason, it is quite helpful in the yeast caused leaky gut syndrome. It restores the normal functions of gut with its s medium chain fatty acids.
Garlic gives most benefits when eaten raw. It has high number of prebiotics which assist the existing flora of gut. The probiotics and prebiotics are equally important for normal gut health and they help to relieve the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
This is the most delicious ay to get rid of leaky gut syndrome. Several companies are producing chocolate bars with prebiotics and probiotics which are ultimately the treatment of leaky gut.
The collagen makes our tissues and holds our bodies together. With the age, collagen production diminishes in the body, thus it results in delayed healing of inflammations. So, we should eat collagen proteins in our diet to fill the deficiency and it will ultimately reduce the inflammation in gut. Thus, it will reduce the permeability of the gut. This is also one of the foods to eat with irritable bowel syndrome.
It is made by slowly cooking bones of chicken, goats, or cows. The nutrients from bones and bone marrows seep into the soup and a nutrient rich broth is formed. It contains a high amount of amino acids. One of the amino acids is L-glutamine which is great for healing the lining of the large and small intestine.
Prebiotics are the foods that feed the right bacteria in our gut, unlike processed foods that feed the harmful bacteria of gut. Onion is rich in prebiotics and thus it helps to maintain the normal flora of the gut.
Summary of diet in leaky gut syndrome
Summary of diet in leaky gut syndrome
|Foods To Eat||Foods To Avoid|
|Fermented dairy products like yogurt, cheese, etc.||Sugars|
|Bone broth||Alcohol and beverages|
|Fruits and vegetables for fiber||Baked goods|
|Nuts and seeds for good fats and fibers||Gluten containing grains like wheat|
|Collagen supplements to heal the inflammation||Processed meat|
|Probiotics and prebiotic supplements||Junk food|
One of the frequently asked questions is how to heal leaky gut fast? The answer is good exercise. Several exercises have been proved to relieve digestive tract issues. Thus, we can also use exercise as a therapy for the treatment of leaky gut syndrome. Exercise helps to increase the blood flow to the gut and thus helps in quick relief from inflammation.
However, a point should be kept in mind that stress is dangerous for the gut and it leads to several gut issues. So, you have to avoid exercises which cause stress. Mind relaxing exercises are the one which will help you to get better at gut health.
Following are some exercise which will help in leaky gut syndrome:
Cardio: Doing cardio regularly will help you to increase your heart rate. Eventually, more blood will reach the intestine and it will boost the healing process. The damaged lining of the intestine recovers fast and the damages are decreased.
Yoga: Yoga is a mind relaxant exercise that helps to reduce stress and thus it leads t better gut health. Moreover, several yoga poses help to stretch the abdominal muscles which is beneficial to the leaky gut symptoms.
Breathing: if you breathe deeply and regularize your breathing pattern, it will be very helpful for your digestive health. Digestion will improve, heartburn will be relieved, and blood will be more oxygenated. So, the gut will be healthy.
Walking: walking after meals and the morning walk both are gold for your digestive tract health. It boosts colon health by stimulating contractility. It keeps you away from digestive issues.
Is there any test for Leaky gut syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome test is performed to analyze the presence of leaky bowel syndrome. The test is done by giving a person two solutions to drink. One has mannitol in it while the other has lactulose. Mannitol is highly absorbed by the body lactulose is not absorbed much. After that, the urine test is done to evaluate the levels of both sugars. If the urine test shows a high concentration of mannitol as compared to lactulose, then the person is healthy. If the level of both are high, the person has leaky gut
Some tips for leaky gut
1. Cut out toxic foods from your diet:
You should cut the sugars, alcohol, junk food, and other toxic foods that deplete your gastric lining. You have to avoid these foods in leaky gut syndrome.
2. Reduce stress:
Stress is a silent killer. It is the root cause of many health issues, including gut inflammation. So, you should focus on reducing mental and physical stress to relieve the digestive tract issues.
3. Take digestive enzymes:
These help in breaking down the proteins and bacteria which may damage the lining of the digestive tract. You should take some broad-spectrum digestive enzymes.
4. Eat more healthy fats:
Fats like ghee, butter, etc. provide us with beneficial fats that help in the growth of gut flora. Thus, it contributes to gut health.
5. Get some sleep:
Sleep relaxes our body by giving it some rest. Moreover, it boosts the healing processes and heal the inflammations. Thus, it contributes to gut health.
How long does it take to heal leaky gut?
Most studies indicate 12 weeks or more are required for a gut lining to heal. But it can be prolonged or decreased if gut healing foods are not being used. The healing is not linear. There will be days when you will feel fine but later you may feel nothing has been cured. The key is to stick with precautions and maintain a diet with the best foods for leaky gut.
Several factors lead to an increase in intestinal permeability. Then, the food materials along with toxins start seeping into the bloodstream leading to major complications. The leaky gut can be treated by controlling diet. You have to eat probiotic rich foods and take care of proper diet. You have to avoid certain foods in leaky gut. Food for colon health should be a major part of our diet. Proper exercise and diet are the therapy which helps to heal this condition. Have some sound sleep and stay stress free to recover quickly. We should take the best foods for healthy gut which are collagen, yogurt, good fats, and others so that