I have been delving pretty deeply into the science of the gut recently and have found some really astonishing facts. Like, did you know that your GI tract is up to 20 ft long? Or that the gut is sometime referred to as our second brain? How about that leaky gut syndrome, caused mostly by obesity, is one of the largest contributors to chronic disease? Maybe these things are not as interesting to you as they are to me but ,the truth is, 21st century medicine will absolutely have a strong emphasis on healing the gut.
What is The Gut?
Essentially, your gut is a hole going from your mouth to your anus. What goes in at the top, must come out at the bottom, unless of course it is digested. This makes some sense, because one of the main functions of the gut is to prevent foreign things from entering into the body. When the gut becomes leaky, or permeable, foreign proteins tend to sneak into the bloodstream that were not meant to be there.
How does one accrue “Leaky Gut Syndrome?”
As with many things, it all starts with diet. Eating toxins such as gliadin, found in wheat, increases zonulin production which can lead to a leaky gut. Other contributors to a leaky gut can include: Lactose in dairy, Fructose (type of sugar), and lectins found in beans, grains and nuts. Another main factor in acquiring a leaky gut is the types of medicines you take. Antibiotics, steroids, antacids and NSAID’s can all lead to a leaky gut. What is important is to understand that just because you don’t have gut problems, does not mean that you don’t have a leaky gut. A Leaky gut tends to show up through”eczema or psoriasis, heart failure, autoimmune conditions affecting the thyroid (Hashimoto’s) or joints (rheumatoid arthritis), mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, depression and more.”
The Process of the Leaky Gut Syndrome is well illustrated here:
So, How on earth do I avoid Leaky Gut Syndrome?
You need to start improving the good bacteria in your gut, and get rid of the bad. The bad gut bacteria is the bacteria that deteriorated your gut, causing those proteins to leak into the blood system (aka: leaky gut syndrome). To decrease the bad bacteria, stop eating things high in sugar and low in nutrients. Foods like this would include any processed foods, grains, sugary foods, etc. The foods that increase the good bacteria include things like: fermented foods, probiotic supplements, and by not using exaggerate amounts of soap or antibacterial lotions on foods and skin.
It is very probably that your gut is a very large contributor to your overall health. In order to stop the potentially detrimental effects a leaky gut can have on your immune system, adopt a pale type diet which eliminates sugary, processed foods and grains, legumes and dairy. To really improve your gut, you need to start eating fermented foods, like sauerkraut, on a regular basis. Do not take your gut lightly, it will come back to get you.