The Four R's of Healing Leaky Gut
"The good news is that leaky gut syndrome and its symptoms are often reversible."
In recent years doctors have been pointing more and more toward Leaky Gut Syndrome as a cause of many health issues.
In today’s live show with Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD holistic nutritionist, you’ll learn the symptoms and causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome, and what all-natural things you can do to help heal it and prevent it in the future.
- 03:56: What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
- 07:39: Health conditions caused by leaky gut
- 10:27: Signs and symptoms of leaky gut
- 11:28: Key contributors to leaky gut
- 16:13: The four R's of leaky gut
- 16:19: Remove
- 17:25: Rebalance
- 18:51: Repair
- 23:00: Replace
- 25:36: Golden milk recipe
- 27:25: Summary
- 33:42: Bonus tip
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Can your digestive system really leak? Believe it or not, the answer is yes. Inside your belly is an entire digestive infrastructure also referred to as your gastrointestinal, or GI tract. In this article, we’ll refer to this as your gut. Your gut is nearly 25 feet of intestines! When your gut is functioning correctly, and the gut lining is healthy, food passes through the digestive system: from the mouth to the esophagus, then the stomach. Then it's broken down and the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. However, for many people, the lining of the gut is not healthy. An unhealthy gut lining develops small holes and tears that become larger over time. When left unaddressed these holes and tears allow partially digested foods, bacteria, and harmful toxins to pass, or leak into the bloodstream and all these particles move throughout the body where they cause inflammation, which leads to all kinds of serious health issues.
Your digestive system works closely with your immune system. In fact nearly 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut. So in many many ways, your gut really is your first line of defense for your body. If you want to heal your body, in many cases you've got to heal your gut first. If your gut lining is unhealthy, bits of undigested food and bacteria leak into your bloodstream, and that triggers an immune response. Your immune system treats these undigested foods, toxins, and bacteria as foreign bodies that it needs to protect your body from. This can cause you to feel even more sick and more inflamed, in a vicious cycle.
For most of us, this immune system attack mode means the body is responding by mass production of antibodies normally designed to protect us from harm. But as more and more antibodies are produced, it triggers an inflammatory response in the body. Over time this inflammation can then become chronic, and widespread throughout the body, contributing to multiple serious health conditions.
Some of these serious health conditions include:
- Food sensitivities (especially gluten and dairy intolerance)
- Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). This includes Crohn's disease and colitis
- Autoimmune disorders, such as: celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and aches and pains along the spine.
- Thyroid problems. Most commonly Hashimoto's disease, or hypothyroidism.
- Inflammatory skin conditions like acne, or psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that manifests as patches of inflamed, flakey, and discolored skin on various parts of the body. Often people experience patches right behind their head or in their scalp.
- Weight gain
- Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals
- Depression and anxiety.
The good news though is that leaky gut syndrome and its symptoms are often reversible. They are treatable and even preventable. Keep reading for natural, holistic tips to treat leaky gut. But first, let's talk about how you would know if you even have leaky gut syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Gut
- Chronic diarrhea
- Belly bloat
- Nutritional deficiencies
- A weakened immune system
- Headaches, brain fog, and memory loss
- Excess fatigue
- Cravings, especially for sugar and carbs
- Arthritis joint pain
Key Contributors to Leaky Gut Syndrome
We are learning more and more that there are a few key contributors that cause gut inflammation and leaky gut syndrome. These contributors include:
Some of us are just born with a genetic predisposition that makes us more sensitive to how certain foods and other things affect our gut lining over time.
Stress is another significant contributor. Chronic stress is known to cause inflammation, and it also inhibits the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive system, further contributing to issues associated with leaky gut.
Exposure to toxins
Your exposure to toxins and chemicals in your everyday environment in the home or outside of it also contributes to leaky gut. In fact, on average, a person comes into contact with more than 80,000 different chemicals and toxins each year. That is staggering. The perfumes, colognes, and cleaning agents that you use, if they are a commercial grade, are often packed with toxic chemicals. Many of these toxins are absorbed into the body and they result in inflammation, increasing your risk of leaky gut syndrome.
The food you eat is the number one major contributor to leaky gut syndrome. Our modern western diet is not helping. Specifically our intake of red meat, processed and prepackaged foods, fried foods, high fat dairy products, refined grains, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Oils, refined sugars, and gluten-rich foods, all cause significant damage to the digestive tract, especially to the lining of the small intestines. A poor diet is also the most common contributor to autoimmune reactions resulting in chronic inflammation, which is responsible for most diseases and conditions including leaky gut syndrome.
The Four R’s of Healing Leaky Gut
Remove food and toxins that cause damage to your gut from your life. Start by removing gluten, dairy, sugar, trans fats, processed foods, and foods with chemicals or pesticides. Remove tap water and replace it with clean, filtered water.
Also you want to remove household cleaning supplies that are toxic including synthetic cosmetics, toxic soaps, shampoos, lotions, and anything else that triggers inflammation throughout your body and contributes to the development of leaky gut. It is essential that you remove all of these from your environment immediately, especially if you are experiencing a lot of the symptoms listed at the beginning of this article.
Restore the balance of your gut bacteria with all-natural, anti-inflammatory healing foods and products. Download Dr. Nancy’s anti-inflammatory diet for a list of all the things that you should be looking for when you go to shop. You want to start looking for anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables, oils, berries, seeds, nuts, and more.
Now that you’ve started to remove harmful things and rebalance with healthy alternatives, now you want to repair your body and support your gut with good supplements. The right natural foods can work wonders when it comes to reducing the inflammation and improving your gut health. But we also recommend pairing a diet of healing foods with a high-quality natural supplement that supports a normal inflammatory response in the body, as well as a natural supplement to help with digestion.
- Digestive enzymes promote healthy digestion. When you cook foods, many of the enzymes you need to help digest the food die during the cooking. Also as you age, you lose more and more enzymes that help break down the food and absorb vitamins and nutrients. So make sure that you have a healthy digestive enzyme on hand to fill the gaps, especially if you had enzyme insufficiency or food sensitivities and gut health issues, including leaky gut. These enzymes are going to help move proteins and fats and carbs through your digestive tract, with less bloating less cramping and less constipation. Smarter Nutrition Enzymes are a 100% organic, high-grade blend of 16 of the most effective natural enzymes.
- Curcumin. Curcumin is the bioactive healing compound found inside turmeric root. It's one of the most powerful inflammation fighters found in nature. Curcumin also helps to relax the muscles in the intestines, allowing for food to naturally move consistently through with less damage to the wall lining of the gut. Smarter Curcumin provides curcumin in its most bioavailable form, 250x more potent than regular curcumin. It includes a patented herbal complex that's clinically shown to boost absorption by 92%, as well as ginger extract and a traditional bio enhancer that works in synergy with Curcumin to enhance its effect. Studies have also found that curcumin has significant benefits for joint health, heart health, brain health, digestive health, immune health, and much more.
So we went through removing the toxins, rebalancing your body with anti-inflammatory foods and products, repairing with healing supplements, and the final step is to replace gut health with probiotics.
Probiotics are the good bacteria your body needs for a healthy digestive system. You can look for probiotics support from fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha. However, taking a targeted high-quality probiotic supplement, if you are not a natural miso or sauerkraut lover, is really helpful to get rid of bad bacteria in your gut and improve the health of your gut lining, surrounding it with healthy bacteria.
Dr. Nancy recommends Smarter Gut Health for this. This product is different than other probiotics that you see in the stores, even the ones in the refrigerator section. It contains hearty soil-based probiotic strains that naturally help restore the gut balance and health, relieving stomach and bowel discomforts. It also helps support your immune system, which as we already discussed, is largely in your gut. Probiotics help support immune strength, and provide relief from common bacterial imbalances and other digestive issues.
Golden Milk Recipe
Now that we’ve learned all that, it’s time to learn how to make a delicious anti-inflammatory drink that is great for supporting gut health and repairing the damage caused by leaky gut syndrome. This recipe combines multiple anti-inflammatory foods including:
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 cups organic coconut milk
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- A pinch of black pepper
- 1 tsp raw local honey
- Ginger (ground our sliced. About 4 thin slices)
All you need to do is add all these ingredients to a blender to combine. Blend for 20 or 30 seconds, then pour the mixture into a sauce pan and heat it up for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat until it's warm. Then enjoy a warm, spicy, anti-inflammatory drink as an afternoon pick-me-up or in the morning when you wake up.
Leaky gut is a digestive condition that allows undigested bits of food and food particles, bacteria, and toxins to leak through the intestinal walls, where they are then absorbed into the bloodstream. This can cause chronic inflammation and a host of other health issues in the body including food sensitivities, IBD or IBS, thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, anxiety, depression, weight gain, and nutritional deficiencies. Leaky gut syndrome can also weaken your immune system so that you feel sicker more often, and cause stomach issues like constipation, cramping, diarrhea, and gas. It can contribute to brain fog, fatigue, and joint and muscle pains.
Research has demonstrated that a number of factors including genetics, stress, exposure to toxins, and an inflammatory diet are all primary reasons people develop leaky gut syndrome. Fortunately the condition is mostly treatable, reversible, and mostly preventable by using the simple four R’s.
Remove harmful foods and toxins, replace with healthy anti-inflammatory natural foods, repair your gut with support from supplements including digestive enzymes and curcumin, and finally restore the good healthy bacteria in your gut by using a high quality probiotic supplement.
Bonus Tip: Ginger is a great digestive aid. If you want something to soothe your belly, calm you, and help you go to sleep faster, try some ginger tea. Just take chamomile tea or hot water and add a few ginger slices, raw honey, and lemon.