What is Leaky Gut Syndome?

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Leaky gut syndrome has been gaining traction among the fitness and health-minded communities as a serious medical condition. Also called intestinal permeability, the leaky gut syndrome is actually a fairly new topic of research, and much of the mainstream medical profession does not even recognize it as a real condition. However, there is quite a bit of convincing research surrounding the condition, and many believe it to be the cause of multiple health problems. 

To understand leaky gut syndrome, we need to talk about the human digestive system. Not the most glamorous of health topics, but the digestive system plays an important role in protecting your body from harmful substances. Our intestines act as barriers by controlling what enters the bloodstream, and small gaps in the intestinal wall allow for water and nutrients to pass through while blocking out any toxins. 

Sometimes, these small gaps become loose, allowing more substances to enter into your bloodstream from your gut. Some of these substances can include bacteria and toxins, which can cause inflammation and elicit an immune system response. This widespread inflammation is said to lead to a variety of health issues and even chronic diseases. 

So what causes a leaky gut?

We don’t quite have a definite answer for this, but research is beginning to point us in the right direction. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to having a leaky gut, but the main theorized driving factor is our modern lifestyles. 

The modern American diet consists of high levels of fats, sugars, and carbs, all of which are thought to accelerate the process of developing a leaky gut. Excessive consumption of alcohol along with high levels of stress are also said to play a role. 

Misconceptions surrounding leaky gut syndrome

Since the leaky gut is a new theory in the medical field, there is little to no research on the condition. Some say that the condition is connected to a wide variety of ailments, including cancer, depression, anxiety, and autism.

Improving your gut health 

Leaky gut syndrome is not an officially recognized condition, but that doesn’t mean that gut health is not important. Taking care of your gut health will reduce the risk of developing gastrointestinal diseases like celiac, diabetes, and Crohn’s. Try these strategies to support a healthy gut:

Take probiotics: Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is begin taking a probiotic supplement. Loaded with beneficial bacteria, they can be very effective in improving gut health. 

Eat plenty of fiber: Soluble fiber found in fruits, vegetables and legumes help feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. 

Limit refined carbs: Harmful bacteria prefer to live on sugar, and refined carbs have plenty of that. 

Limit the use of painkillers: Also known as NSAIDs, consistently taking painkillers like ibuprofen can result in developing a leaky gut. 

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