Leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability refers to the intestinal wall developing tiny holes or ‘leaks’, allowing large molecules and toxins to pass through from the gut into the bloodstream, causing systemic inflammation and an immunological response. Reduce gut inflammation and enhance overall digestive health are the greatest ways to treat leaky gut. Leaky gut is a sign that you need to enhance your gut health. By lowering gut inflammation, the correct diet, behaviors, and nutrients can help improve leaky gut.
Researchers are still looking into the benefits of different therapies for enhancing overall health and the integrity of the gut lining. These therapies may not be able to treat a pathological condition, but they may help reduce the effects of everyday variables like stress, food, and microbial overgrowth on the lining of the gut. In addition, they may in relieving your overall gastrointestinal issues. Among the therapies are:
- Manage Stress:
- Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation and yoga
- Stress increases the levels of hormones such as cortisol, which may lead to a leaky gut.
- Follow a Gut-Friendly Diet:
- Emphasize nutrient-rich, whole, and fiber-dense foods
- Consume foods rich in probiotics such as kefir, yogurt, and fermented veggies
- Reduce dietary fat and sugar intake since they promote the growth of bad bacteria and cause the production of harsh dietary emulsifiers that can cause gut inflammation.
- Low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet is frequently recommended for persons with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food allergies since it removes most of the main food triggers. Using it for a short period of time may allow your stomach to mend itself while also alerting you to the dietary triggers you are sensitive to.
- Other diet plans to consider are the Paleo diet, intermittent fasting, and elemental diet.
- Avoid gluten-rich foods. Zonulin is a protein produced in the small intestine and liver that, when activated, loosens the tight junctions of small intestinal cells and increases intesitnal permeability. Gut dysbiosis and ingesting gluten or gliadin-containing foods are the major causes of high zonulin levels.’
- Gut-supportive foods include collagen, fish, bone broth, fiber and probiotics, and fermented foods. They support healing of the gut lining, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production, and improve gut microbial diversity.
- Detect and Manage Food Sensitivities
- Work with healthcare professionals to detect and address food sensitivities
- Limit Medication Use:
- Use medications such as antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cautiously as prescribed by healthcare professionals
- Antibiotics can have a deleterious impact on beneficial bacteria populations, leading to leaky gut and making you prone to opportunistic infections.
- Consider Gut Health-boosting Supplements:
- Try supplements such as L-glutamine (amino acid), omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and probiotics
- L-glutamine helps in repairing the gut lining.
- Probiotics help restore gut barrier function and maintain the health of your gut lining by preventing overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut, particularly the small intestine.
- Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in your stomach, giving them an advantage in the battle. They are often plant fibers – thus another incentive to consume your vegetables.
- Other supplements include Vitamin D, zinc carnosine, fish oil, and fermented foods (such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir). Vitamin D improves gut immunity, zinc carnosine stabilizes the gut lining, fish oils provide health fats such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and fermented foods provide healthy probiotics.
- Environmental Awareness:
- Reduce your exposure to environmental contaminants
- Maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Exercise on a regular basis, get enough sleep each night, reduce alcohol intake, and stop smoking.
The 4R method to improve gut health
- Remove inflammatory foods that can lead to a leaky gut such as dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, and corn.
- Replace the bad (processed, calorie-dense) with good (healthy, nutrient-dense) gut-boosting foods. Incorporate supplements like digestive enzymes in your daily regimen that support optimal digestion as well as nutrient absorption, and improve the body’s gut repair responses.
- Restore the good or beneficial bacteria in the gut using probiotics to re-establish microbial composition and diversity
- Repair the gut with the essential macro- and micronutrients that it requires to heal itself.
Leaky gut syndrome, a phrase used to describe gastrointestinal problems, is frequently misinterpreted due to its ambiguity and unclear origins. True intestinal hyperpermeability, on the other hand, is too particular and severe to explain most people’s symptoms. Most individuals just have general gut inflammation, which can be caused by a specific disease or by a combination of poor nutrition, chronic stress, and other things.
A nutritious diet combined with frequent exercise and physical activity is suggested to promote gut health. Eating prebiotic fiber-rich foods such whole grains and vegetables, limiting dairy, eggs, and meat consumption, and avoiding artificial sweeteners and added sugars are other dietary recommendations. A healthy gut can also be supported by lifestyle modifications such as getting adequate sleep, exercising frequently, avoiding antibiotics, lowering stress, and quitting smoking.