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Establish a Peace Treaty With Your Gut

Why is supporting my gut important?

  • An intact intestinal mucosa acts as both the barrier to a hostile environment and transport mechanism
  • It produces ¾ of your body’s neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA and norepinephrine, which are key brain mood regulators to support mental well-being
  • Contains over 2/3’s of the body’s immune tissue
  • Has greater metabolic activity than the liver
  • More than 70% of Americans have gut or gut-related symptoms of diseases related to a dysfunctional gut

The bottom line: The most effective clinical outcomes across all diseases can result from normalizing the gut function.

What can cause a leaky gut?

  • Genetic pre-disposition, eg., to celiac disease
  • Environmental factors, eg., toxin exposure, poor dietary choices
  • Infections, dysbiosis (having an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria (microbiome) that supports a healthy gut)
  • Nutrient insufficiencies
  • Stress
  • Medications (eg., NSAIDs, antibiotics, etc.)
  • Low stomach acid
  • Food sensitivities and allergies
  • Immune activation

The bottom line: Alone or in combination, chronic exposure to these can cause leaky gut and increase your risk for disease.

What happens if my gut mucosa is no longer intact?

  • A leaky gut can result from both damaged villi in the gut mucosa and cell junctions
  • This can allow particles which normally are prevented from going through the mucosa, to leak out of the gut and get into your blood stream
  • A leaky gut results in inflammation and activates your immune system

What kinds of diseases or conditions may be linked to a leaky gut?

  • A chronic leaky gut can lead to autoimmune disease (eg., Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Parkinson’s)
  • Gut diseases or conditions like celiac, ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Bacterial Intestinal Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Inflammatory skin
  • Obesity
  • Migraines
  • Mental diseases, Alzheimer’s

How would I know if my gut may be leaky?

  • Weight gain
  • Weak immune system
  • Depression/Mood swings
  • Brain Fog
  • Lab tests (eg., Zonulin or lactulose tests, IgG food intolerance test, stool tests, lactulose mannitol test)

What can I do to keep my gut healthy or to address a leaky gut?

  • Understand your and your family history of disease
  • Eat whole foods and eliminate processed foods
  • Eat organic
  • Get enough fiber in your diet
  • Avoid foods where you have food sensitivities or allergies (gluten and dairy are common triggers)
  • Minimize alcohol consumption
  • Reduce refined sugar intake
  • Avoid exposure to toxins
  • Promote relaxation to reduce stress and get adequate sleep and rest
  • Eat healing foods such as bone broth, healing herbs/spices, omega-3 fatty acids, pre-biotic rich foods, fermented foods as your condition allows and provider recommends.
  • Use/take supplements, essential oils, digestive enzymes as directed by your provider
  • Work with your functional medicine provider, dietician, and coach to get your body back on track to address or to address causal factors, reduce symptoms, heal a leaky gut, and restore the balance of gut bacteria (a healthy microbiome). A specific food plan may be recommended.

The Bottom line: You have the power to chose to work on keeping yourself healthy and/or to address a leaky gut. If you develop a disease, where a leaky gut is a factor, it’s not too late to work on your gut!

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