The Leaky Gut Conundrum
Leaky gut can be one of the most challenging problems for those with gluten sensitivity. Primarily because the extensive damage caused by years of gluten exposure leaves this vital system in disarray. Gluten…
- Disrupts the gut barrier
- Alters healthy gut bacteria
- Causes GI inflammation
- Causes digestive distress
- Leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and Mal-absorption
On top of that, the other properties of gluten and grain in general can also cause GI damage and inflammation. Examples include:
- Heavy GMO pesticides used in grain production
- Heavy level of mycotoxins found in grain. Heavy levels of mold found in grain.
- Large quantity of oxylates that block mineral absorption
- Chemicals called ATI’s that hinder digestive enzyme release from the pancreas.
All of these factors contribute to delayed healing and persistent problems with food allergies, infections, and digestion. This big cycle is one of the most frustrating catch 22’s in healing.
To heal we need a healthy gut to receive nourishment, but because the gut is broken, we cannot get at the nourishment necessary to heal.
10 Natural Steps to Help Heal a Leaky Gut
So aside from maintaining a TRUE gluten free diet, what do we do to overcome this problem? Here is a list of the top 10 “To do” steps to naturally get your gut and health back on track:
- Consider intermittent fasting or a liquid diet. Fasting can be done in 16 hour or 24 hour time frames. Consider fasting twice per week as it gives the GI tract needed rest from the burden of digestion and food processing. If you go the liquid diet route, stick to bone broth, meat and vegetable stocks, or fresh vegetable juices. These liquids can be nutrient dense and are gentle on the damaged gut.
- Have your doctor test you for other hidden food allergies. This will allow you to eliminate potential sources of food based inflammation and persistent gut damage.
- Have your doctor test you for gut infections. Often times a yeast overgrowth, a bacterial infection, or an imbalance in gut bacteria can contribute to persistent problems.
- Avoid difficult to digest foods like dairy, beans and FODMAPS. These foods may be gluten free, but they are naturally harder to digest, and they can slow down your GI recovery.
- Be wary of any medications that block stomach acid or reduce pain (NSAIDS). These medications alter your ability to digest and also strip away the GI mucosa important in regulating leaky gut.
- Practice deep breathing exercises before eating. The act of deep breathing slows down the part of your nervous system that inhibits digestion, and activates the hormones that aid in digestion.
- Move your body. The act of moderate walking (4-5 miles daily) stimulates the nerves that help maintain gut motility. Most people sit at a desk all day working. This sedentary lifestyle can actually contribute to a neurological slow down of your gut function.
- Take a high quality probiotic. You will need at least 80 billion CFU’s per day. Probiotics help digest your food and regulate your immune response. Many probiotics are grown on corn and cause a reaction in gluten sensitive people. You can get corn free, gluten free probiotics here.
- Consider a strong digestive enzyme formulation. Those with gluten sensitivity commonly suffer with enzyme deficiencies, and these important proteins are necessary to break down your food and allow for proper nutrient absorption.
- Use a supplemental source of immunoglobulins. These immune proteins are helpful in binding gut pathogens (bacteria, yeast, virus), supporting gut immune function, and supporting gut barrier function.
The use of turmeric, L-glutamine, aloe, and ginger would also be helpful. If you have battled and recovered from a leaky gut, please leave your feedback below. Your story might help someone else regain their health and vitality.
Always looking out for you,
Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior