When considering health, it’s common to overlook the role of our gastrointestinal system, but you shouldn’t!
Modern life may be the primary driver of gut inflammation. There is emerging evidence that the standard American diet, which is low in fiber and high in sugar and saturated fats, may initiate the leaky gut syndrome. Because the leaky gut syndrome is an impaired gut lining, nutrients aren’t properly absorbed, and the impaired lining fails as an effective barrier to protect against foreign invaders. The exact cause of leaky gut syndrome has yet to be discovered; however, there are many possible underlying causes. Genetic predisposition may be to blame in some people who are sensitive to environmental triggers that initiate an autoimmune response.
Diet is a significant factor when it comes to health and wellness. Certain foods have been linked to increased inflammation, which can aggravate or worsen leaky gut syndrome. Toxin overload from environmental exposures, high drug and alcohol consumption, or overuse of antibiotics may be to blame. Toxins weaken the immune system, which can have a negative impact on the gut. Determining which causes are attributed to your illness is key to correcting issues.
Understanding the Gut
The gut contains ten times more health-determining bacteria than the rest of the body, which means it works very hard to protect us from infection, support our metabolism, and promote healthy digestion and elimination. Three-quarters of our immune system comes from over 100 trillion organisms in the gut, which is why many health professionals are finally turning their attention to the gut when it comes to diagnosing illnesses.
An unbalanced gut flora, called dysbiosis, leads to an increased susceptibility to intestinal permeability, which determines our overall state of health. The gut contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria, which makes up the gut flora. Permeability refers to a process where molecules can pass through to enter the bloodstream. This process is essential for nutrient exchange. The majority of the population has unbalanced gut flora, which is primarily attributed to poor diet.
If you experience symptoms regularly, you can work with a health professional to determine the cause of your condition and prevent further illness.
“The road to health is paved with good intestines!” -Sherry A. Rogers
What is Digestive Wellness?
Digestive wellness isn’t limited to the intestines! Let’s talk about what happens in your body as you fuel it with food. The digestive tract begins with the mouth, as we chew, our saliva starts breaking down food and releases enzymes to initiate the process of dissolving proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Next, enzymes and acids in the stomach further break down food as it prepares to enter the small intestine. The large intestine continues to break down the food even further. The small intestine absorbs digested molecules of fats, proteins, and starches. The gut lining is vital to disease prevention. However, it is vulnerable to external elements, such as harmful bacteria, fungi, yeast, or other microorganisms, which enter the body through food and water.
The gut lining is under continuous assault from processed foods, sugar, food intolerance, stress, toxins, alcohol, infections, and medications that irritate and inflame it. Furthermore, inflammation can occur in the absence of adequate fiber.
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” -Plato
Are these symptoms familiar?
Many leaky gut symptoms are brushed off as “normal” bodily functions, but these uncomfortable conditions can be avoided!
- Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, or bloating -Nutritional deficiencies
- Poor immune system
- Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema, or rosacea
- Cravings for sugar or carbs
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD
To heal from the leaky gut is to invest in your stomach and digestive health. Our Part II of our Leaky Gut BLOG will introduce you to test and diet changes.