Leaky Gut Treatment, Symptoms, and Potential Causes
Many questions arise regarding the so-called leaky gut syndrome. It is described as a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins can easily “leak” through the intestinal wall, causing different health problems.
According to the majority of mainstream medical professionals, leaky gut is not considered a real condition. However, recent scientific data has proven that leaky gut could be a severe problem and may be associated with different health problems.
Any inconvenience that could cause health issues should be perceived and treated as a real condition. Digestive problems can harm your overall health and organs, which is why it’s vital not to ignore any signs of potential disorder. Many herbal therapies combined with acupuncture can help you reduce leaky gut symptoms and feel much better – thanks to the holistic approach they’re based upon, they won’t address only your actual condition, but they’ll focus on boosting the immune system and retrieving the balance and vital energy to the body.
This article will provide in-detail information about leaky gut syndrome, its symptoms, causes, and potential treatments.
What is Leaky Gut?
The human digestive system is a complex system that impacts the function of the entire organism. Apart from being the place where food is broken down, and nutrients are absorbed, the digestive system plays a significant role in protecting your body from bacteria and other harmful substances that could have a negative impact on your health.
The walls of the intestines are like barriers – they control what enters the bloodstream and what’s transported to your organs. However, when tight junctions of these walls become loose, harmful substances can easily pass from the gut to your bloodstream, leading to what we know as leaky gut.
Although it’s commonly not recognized as a medical condition, leaky gut may be the underlying cause of many other problems, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, thyroid abnormalities, food sensitivities, autism, skin conditions, mood swings, etc.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
Since the concept of leaky gut syndrome still lacks some fundamental data, the specific factor that causes it is still unknown. However, people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to have leaky gut than healthy individuals.
The reasons for developing leaky gut can also be genetic, but factors that could trigger such a condition include the following:
- Excessive sugar intake: An unhealthy diet high in processed sugar may lead to gut problems.
- Excessive use of NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, could be the reason why the function of the intestinal wall is reduced.
- Alcohol abuse: Alcohol abuse leads to many health issues, including leaky gut.
- Nutrient deficiencies: Deficiencies in vitamin A, D, and zinc, may cause the onset of this syndrome.
- Inflammation: If not properly treated, chronic inflammation may lead to digestive problems.
- Anxiety and stress: Chronic stress is harmful to a person’s overall health, and it may have quite a negative impact on the digestive system.
- Poor gut health: There are millions of different bacteria in the gut, both beneficial and harmful. If the balance between them is disrupted, it may affect the digestive system function.
- Yeast overgrowth: The overgrowth of yeast, which is naturally present in the gut, may contribute to the development of the leaky gut.
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What are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut?
The following signs may indicate leaky gut:
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue (fibromyalgia)
- Difficulty concentrating and thinking
- Food allergies
- Hormonal imbalances
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Mood imbalances
- The onset of autoimmune diseases – rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, lupus, celiac disease, psoriasis
- Seasonal allergies
- Skin issues – eczema, rosacea, and acne
- Stress and anxiety.
According to many patients, the most common leaky gut symptoms include diarrhea, chronic fatigue, mood swings, and hormone imbalances. They often manifest right after you’ve eaten, especially if there was a food allergen in your meal (soy, gluten, lactose, etc.).
You can perform a leaky gut test to determine whether you have intestinal permeability. However, there is no evidence that any test can verify that you have a leaky gut, which is why your practitioner may ask you to keep a food diary – that way, they can see whether you’re oversensitive to some foods and recommend the right therapy for you.
How to Heal Leaky Gut?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a person’s overall health is vastly connected with the health of the spleen qi and stomach qi. Digestive issues may trigger the onset of different conditions, even the chronic ones, which is why it’s essential to treat them accurately and on time.
The most common forms of TCM treatments include acupuncture and herbal therapies, and both are considered exceptionally convenient for treating digestive problems, such as the leaky gut.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Treatment: Herbal Therapies
Another goal of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to provide drug-free therapies based on natural herbal methods that take your overall health to the next level. Many herbal formulas address the liver, stomach, and spleen problems, and each of them is often modified so that it fits a patient’s particular condition.
Herbal formulas are useful since they foster the patient to eat healthier food and regulate their diet. For example, patients are encouraged to eat larger meals earlier in the day, avoid processed foods, avoid skipping meals, and eat slowly. They should generally avoid foods high in sugar and carbohydrates since they can harm the digestive system and cause additional problems in people with leaky gut.
Your certified practitioner will prescribe a unique herbal formula for you, and it will be based on your particular condition and symptoms that should be addressed. A practitioner may suggest some vitamins and supplements you can add to your herbal formula to enrich your diet and boost the immune system.
Chinese herbs are often used as a complementary treatment, which means that practitioners tend to combine it with acupuncture and functional medicine approaches to provide better and long-lasting results.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Treatment: Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been practiced for more than 2,500 years, and it’s believed to be one of the most efficient treatments for a variety of conditions, including gastrointestinal disorders. Acupuncture aims to boost a person’s overall health and to help them get rid of the symptoms associated with a particular condition.
The entire process is quite safe and painless; it involves the use of acupuncture needles placed on specific acupoints on a person’s body. That way, it promotes the flow of blood and energy, bringing back the balance that plays a significant role in a person’s overall health. Acupuncture is widely used for treating the following conditions:
As for its therapeutic effect on gastrointestinal function, it’s quite significant. Namely, acupuncture promotes certain regulatory effects that help improve the overall digestive function and prevent nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions that come as a result of gastrointestinal dysfunction.
Acupuncture treatments are also efficient in reducing chronic pain caused by leaky gut or any other gastrointestinal disorder. Your practitioner may suggest herbal therapies and moxibustion in addition to acupuncture to deliver much more enhanced results.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Treatment: Functional Medicine
Thanks to its holistic approach and effective methods of addressing various symptoms associated with different conditions, functional medicine is exceptionally convenient for treating leaky gut.
It’s a comprehensive approach that combines the methods of both Western and Eastern medicine, making sure the patients feel a quick recovery. Functional medicine focuses on improving the person’s optimal health by suggesting some vital lifestyle changes, which include diet, sleep, physical activity, and stress reduction. All these factors may affect the immune system and trigger the onset of leaky gut, which is why it’s essential not to ignore them.
Functional medicine can bring improvements regarding the following issues:
- Bloating after meals
- Acne after eating particular ingredients
- Abdomen tenderness
- Stuffy nose
- And more.
Your functional medicine practitioner will determine the right therapy for you after a comprehensive examination. You may even be asked to bring lab tests, which will be useful for a practitioner and provide the best therapy for you.
The 4 R Program: An Efficient Leaky Gut Treatment
Functional medicine also uses a so-called 4 R Program, which consists of the ideas that could help heal your gut and improve optimal well-being. Such ideas include:
The goal of this idea is to remove all the bad stuff from our diet and lifestyle – inflammatory foods, alcohol, caffeine, and excessive use of drugs. Inflammatory foods include gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, soy, and sugar, but you should also avoid foods you’re allergic to.
You can remove the infections with adequate therapies, herbs, and supplements, which will be provided by your certified Chinese herbalist.
The idea is to restore what’s missing. This can include ingredients essential for proper digestion and absorption, such as digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and other nutrients that could provide a better digestive function.
It’s essential to restore beneficial bacteria to reestablish balance in your organism. You can do that by taking probiotic supplements that contain a significant amount of beneficial bacteria, as well as consuming foods high in fiber.
To get rid of leaky gut or other health inconveniences, it’s vital to remove harmful things and replace them with some healthier alternatives. This idea summarizes the concepts mentioned above and promotes the importance of a healthy lifestyle that impacts all spheres of our lives.
Leaky Gut Syndrome Treatment: A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is vital for any individual who suffers from a leaky gut. Many foods improve the digestive system’s health, including fruits and veggies, gluten-free grains, sprouted seeds, healthy fats found in avocado and olive oil, and certain beverages. It’s strongly recommended to avoid alcohol and foods you’re allergic to.
A proper leaky gut diet should be based on the following foods:
- Probiotic yogurt
- Fermented yogurt, or kefir
- Fermented foods such as kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut
- Sourdough bread
- Some types of cheese
- Veggies such as eggplant, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, and zucchini
- Fruits such as blueberries, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and papaya
- Nuts and seeds that include almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, and cashews
- Lactose-free products, such as hard cheese, lactose-free milk, and plant-based milk options
- Grains, including oats, corn, quinoa, and rice.
And what foods should you avoid if you have a leaky gut syndrome? Have a look at the following list of foods that shouldn’t be a part of your leaky gut diet:
- Wheat-based products such as bread, pasta, couscous, cereals, etc.
- Foods that contain gluten
- Processed meats
- Snack foods such as crackers, popcorn, pretzels, etc.
- Baked goods
- Junk food, including fast foods, potato chips, candy bars, and more
- Dairy products such as milk and ice cream
- Refined oils, especially sunflower and soybean oil
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sauces and salad dressings
- Beverages like alcohol, carbonated beverages, and sugary drinks.
Your leaky gut diet should be regulated and based on foods that provide a sufficient dose of nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. That way, you can improve your digestive system’s overall function and get rid of the symptoms provoked by leaky gut.
Makari Wellness: Experience the Best Leaky Gut Treatment Options
Mike Woodworth, a founder of Makari Wellness and one of the best functional medicine practitioners San Diego has ever seen, knows how challenging it can be to deal with gastrointestinal problems and other conditions associated with your gut. Therefore, he offers a wide variety of acupuncture treatments and herbal therapies to improve a person’s optimal health and retrieve the lost balance.
Give us a call at (888) 871-8889, and let us help you alleviate leaky gut symptoms and start your day with a smile on your face.