If you’re not feeling well on a consistent basis and are experiencing a wide variety of symptoms that seemingly have little to do with one another, then you might have a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. While the name may sound nasty, what it can do to your body is even worse. That said, the biggest problem with leaky gut is the fact that it can be very hard to diagnose. This is because it can cause so many different symptoms, and these symptoms may seem like indicators of other illnesses.
Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors and conditions in your body. One of these is when the lining of your small intestines becomes damaged and undigested food leaks into your abdominal cavity. This can lead to bacteria and other toxic body waste getting into your bloodstream which then causes a variety of health problems that can seem unrelated. In some cases this is caused by medications such as aspirin, antibiotics, or steroids that irritate the lining of your intestines and their protective mucus layer.
Leaky gut can also happen when your body reacts poorly to the food you eat. Soy, gluten, and even dairy products can be treated as invaders by your body and an immune response will be triggered. This immune response can then lead to problems such as diarrhea, joint pain, chronic fatigue, and more.
The Signs of Leaky Gut
While leaky gut syndrome is a condition that can make your life miserable, the good news is that it can be treated directly once you realize that you have it. This being the case, let’s take a look at the 11 most common signs of Leaky Gut, and what you can do to heal it.
1. Problems with Your Digestive System
Since leaky gut takes place in your intestines it has a habit of causing problems with your digestive system. This can include frequent diarrhea or constipation. It can also lead to gas and bloating as well depending on the circumstances.
The key here is to take note of what you’re eating and how it affects your body. If you find that certain foods lead to these symptoms, then it could be an indicator that you have leaky gut. On the other hand, if these signs tend to happen randomly, then you may just be experiencing a common illness.
2. Psychological Issues
Not only can leaky gut affect you physically, it can affect you mentally as well. This is because the toxins in your bloodstream make their way to your brain and when they do the results can be problematic. In fact, leaky gut can cause mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and mental fatigue. Alternately, it can also lead to conditions such as ADD/ADHD. In any case, linking these mental health problems to leaky gut can be very difficult, and often times there will need to be other leaky gut symptoms present for an accurate diagnosis to be made.
3. Other Brain Afflictions
In addition to having psychological effects, leaky gut syndrome can cause more direct brain problems as well such as headaches, brain fog, and even memory loss. If you have trouble concentrating on a daily basis and constantly feel like you just woke up, then leaky gut could be to blame.
4. Unusual Cravings
One of the the more subtle signs of Leaky Gut are the cravings you might have as a result of having this affliction. This usually manifests as a craving for carbs and/or sugar. The reason for this is that since leaky gut makes it difficult to fully digest your food, you’re not getting the proper levels of glucose that your body needs to function.
Keep in mind that this is one of the more serious symptoms of leaky gut, and could lead to severe health problems if ignored. If you are having unusual cravings for carbs and/or sugar that you don’t normally have, then you should definitely get checked out by a doctor to see what the problem is. It could be leaky gut, or it could be something much worse like diabetes.
5. Joint Pain
Joint pain is typically caused by inflammation, and inflammation can be the result of leaky gut. This is especially true if the joint pain is happening when you haven’t experienced a joint injury that could explain it. Even worse is the fact that leaky gut can even lead to arthritis if left untreated.
Since the inflammation that causes joint pain can occur due to a variety of factors, you want to crosscheck and see if other signs of leaky gut are present. In any case, joint pain is something you shouldn’t ignore, and you should take it seriously since it will only get worse if left untreated.
6. Skin Problems
Other signs of leaky gut that may not be immediately recognizable are skin problems. This can include issues such as rashes, chronic itching, and even more significant afflictions such as eczema and rosacea. In some cases leaky gut can also lead to an increased outbreak of acne.
7. Autoimmune Diseases
An autoimmune disease is a disease in which your own immune system attacks your body. This can be problematic for a large variety of reasons, including the fact that if your immune system is attacking your own body, it may not be doing it’s job of fighting off invaders as well as it should be. Regardless, autoimmune diseases can be associated with leaky gut syndrome.
Some of the autoimmune diseases caused by leaky gut are rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and lupus. Of course, these can occur independently of leaky gut as well which is why doctors may not realize that leaky gut is the true underlying problem.
8. Nutritional Deficiencies
If undigested food is leaking out of your intestines then it isn’t getting broken down like it should be. This means that your body won’t be getting all the nutrients and vitamins that it needs and can suffer from nutritional deficiencies as a result. This of course can lead to a wide variety of health problems including many of those previously listed such as chronic fatigue and brain fog.
Since nutritional deficiencies can create so many different conditions, it may be hard to figure out that this is the true problem without having your blood tested. Even if you do have your blood tested and find out that you have deficiencies, your doctor could still miss the fact that leaky gut is the root cause.
9. Seasonal Allergies or Asthma
This symptom of leaky gut may have you scratching your head, but if you start having seasonal allergies or asthma problems that you previously didn’t have, then it could be a sign of leaky gut syndrome. Usually people who have seasonal allergies and respiratory issues have had them for their entire lives meaning that any sudden onset of these problems could be an indicator that leaky gut is to blame.
10. Hormone Imbalances
Out of all of the ways that Leaky Gut can have a negative impact on your health, this one is probably the hardest to detect. That’s because hormone imbalances can manifest a wide variety of symptoms and even then it can be hard to tell if a hormone imbalance is the real culprit. This ambiguity can further obscure the fact that leaky gut is the root cause of your health issues.
11. Difficulty Losing Weight
Unsurprisingly leaky gut syndrome can also make it difficult to lose weight, and as a result you may find yourself actually gaining weight. The reason for this is that the nutritional deficiencies that can arise from leaky gut can impair your metabolism which then leads to weight gain.
How to Heal Leaky Gut
If there’s one takeaway from the information above, it’s that it can be hard to determine whether or not you have leaky gut syndrome. The good news is that treating leaky gut and decreasing the severity of its symptoms can be done at home by following a few simple strategies designed to improve your overall health. Let’s take a look at these strategies, and see just how easy it is to heal leaky gut, or at the very least get its symptoms under control.
1. Eat Healthy Foods
Since leaky gut can arise from eating an abundance of unhealthy foods it should come as no surprise that eating healthy foods is one of the best ways to get leaky gut under control, and diminish or eliminate its symptoms. The foods that you should be eating include:
- Gluten free grains
- Lean meats and eggs
- Sprouted seeds
- Fatty Fish
The reason that eating these foods is an affective way to combat leaky gut is that they’re not only healthy, but also a good source of healthy gut bacteria. This beneficial bacteria can help to keep your digestive system working the way it should, and help you to reduce the impact of leaky gut symptoms.
2. Avoid Unhealthy Foods
It kind of goes without saying, but eating healthy also means avoiding unhealthy foods which can cause leaky gut symptoms to become worse. These food can cause a variety of health problems, and increase the bad gut bacteria that helps make leaky gut possible. Unhealthy foods to avoid include:
- Gluten rich grains
- Processed meats
- Dairy products
- Junk food
- Fast food
- Wheat-based products
- Refined oils
The thing to remember here is that you don’t have to avoid all of these foods all of the time. Eating things like dairy or gluten rich grains can be fine in small amounts so long as you’re body doesn’t have any major negative reactions to them. Eating healthy is all about being smart and eating certain foods in moderation after all.
3. Maintain a Healthy Sleep Cycle
Your sleep cycle is much more important to your overall health than you probably give it credit for. Getting a good night’s sleep will help your body in a variety of ways such as improving your ability to concentrate, and strengthening your immune system. If you feel like you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, try altering your schedule to allow for a full nights rest if possible.
4. Cut Down on Stress
Stress is a huge problem for most people yet most don’t even realize it. Not only can stress intensify the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, it can also lead to heart disease and cancer. Dealing with stress can be difficult since it often times arises from scenarios outside of your control. Fortunately, simple things like taking time off from life to concentrate on yourself, exercising, meditation, and even reading can all help reduce your stress levels and help heal your leaky gut as a result.
Being Proactive and Taking Leaky Gut Seriously
Leaky gut syndrome is a serious health issue and should be treated as such. It can negatively impact your health in a variety of ways and even make other health conditions worse. If not treated appropriately, leaky gut syndrome could even shorten your lifespan in addition to diminishing your daily quality of life.
The biggest problem with diagnosing leaky gut syndrome is the fact that its signs and symptoms can be caused by other factors, and may seem unrelated. This means that an insightful doctor is usually required to put all the evidence together and figure out what’s really going on.
On the positive side of things, leaky gut syndrome is typically treated very easily at home by simply making smart choices regarding your diet and overall health. Eating healthy, getting good exercise, and sleeping enough each night can go a very long way in diminishing or eliminating leaky gut syndrome and the problems that it causes.
If you suspect that you have leaky gut syndrome, you should of course see a doctor. That said, you should also take it as a sign that you should take a closer look at how you’re living, and that maybe you should place a greater focus on developing healthy daily habits. With a little care, thought, and effort, leaky gut syndrome is manageable.
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